The Chess Variant Pages

Etcetera

By Roberto Lavieri

Introduction

Etcetera is a game played in an 7x8 board . There are two marked zones of 9 cells each in the game, the Fortresses. Kings are confined to their own Fortress, as in Xiang-Qi. A King canīt SEE the other King; i.e., they can never be on the same vertical line if there are no pieces between them, also as in Xiang-Qi. The pieces in this game are: King, Pawn (special movements), Rook (limited movements), Flyer-Elephant, Man and Guardian.

Kings and Guardians are cannibal pieces; they can take friendly pieces, and, of course, enemy pieces too. A Rook, A Flyer-Elephant, a Guardian or a Man can take any enemy piece, EXCEPT ANOTHER OF THE SAME TYPE. This is the most characteristic rule of ETCETERA: in this game, Rooks are immune to enemy Rooks, Flyer-Elephants to enemy Flyer-Elephants, a Man to an enemy Man, and Guardians to enemy Guardians. But Pawns can take enemy Pawns.

A Pawn can promote to Rook, Guardian or Flyer-Elephant when it reaches the enemy Fortress. There is no castling or en-passant movement .

The object of the game is to Checkmate the enemy King, but you can also win the game if your enemy is stalemated.

 

Movement and General Rules

In Etcetera, a piece canīt capture or be captured by a piece of the same type. Rooks are immune to Rooks, Guardians to Guardians, Flyer-Elephants to Flyer-Elephants, and a Man canīt capture or be captured by an enemy Man. The King and the Guardians are cannibal pieces; they can take friendly pieces. This capability can be used eventually, for attack or defense purposes. Strategy and tactics are different than in other known Chess variants, but they are really nice. The game has some elements of Xiang-Qi: a King is confined to its own Fortress; it canīt leave it; and, as in Xiang-Qi, a King canīt be in line with the other King if there are no pieces between them in the same line. The Pawn and the Man are short-range pieces; and Rooks, Guardians and Flyer-Elephants are medium-range pieces in this game.

 

Board and Set Up

  

The Board has 56 cells. There are two marked zones, the FORTRESSES. The White pieces that you can see on the lower cells are: Guardian, Flyer-Elephant, Rook, King, Rook, Flyer-Elephant and Guardian. In the next cells above, there are seven Pawns, and the next piece above is a Man, and above it there is another Man .

 

PIECES

 

 

Pawn: The Pawn moves in the three forward directions, but captures diagonally forward. It promotes to Rook, Flyer-Elephant or Guardian on squares of the enemy Fortress. 

 

M

 

Man: The Man can move and capture one step orthogonally in any of the four directions, to an adjacent square. A Man can slide without capturing two squares orthogonally in the four directions. A Man canīt capture an enemy Man.

 

G

 

Guardian: A Guardian can move and capture moving one step to any of the eight adjacent cells, like the King, or leap exactly two steps diagonally. In leaping it can jump over any piece on the first diagonal cell in that direction. Guardians can take friendly pieces. It captures any piece on the cell it is moving to. A Guardian canīt capture an enemy Guardian.

 

G

 

Flyer-Elephant: The Flyer-Elephant moves and captures with one step movement forward or backward, or to an adjacent square in the two diagonal forward directions. It is also a LEAPER: it can leap, moving or capturing, two squares in the same diagonal forward directions, or two squares forward or backward. A Flyer-Elephant can take any enemy piece, except another Flyer-Elephant. In this game, Flyer-Elephants are immune to Flyer-Elephants.

 

G

 

Rook: The Rook slides up to four squares orthogonally, capturing by replacement on the square it is moving to. Rooks are immune to Rooks.

 

 

K

 

King: The King moves and can captures to any of the eight adjacent squares unless the square is outside the player's own Fortress. The King can move only to cells within its Fortress. It canīt move to a cell that is in a vertical line with the other King if there are no pieces between them. A King can take friendly pieces too.  

 

How to win:

Win condition: Checkmate the opposing King, but you can also win the game if the other player is stalemated.

 

Playing Tips

Strategy and tactics are different than in other known chess variants, due the rule of pieces being immune to other pieces of the same type. Sacrifices may be common in the middle and end games. It is very dangerous to leave your King alone. If you do it, evaluate the risks well. Your King can be used against the other King as in Xiang-Qi, because Kings canīt be in line in this game if there are no pieces between them. The cannibalism of Kings is used in some defensive moves. Cannibalism of Guardians can be used eventually for attack purposes.

Computer Play

You can play ETCETERA if you have installed on your Computer a Registered version of ZILLIONS OF GAMES. You can download the ETCETERA ZRF at the link below. (Author: Roberto Lavieri).