The Chess Variant Pages

Hordes of Change

Introduction

Hordes of Change is a chess variant inspired by Andernach Chess. Andernach Chess is a fairy condition used in puzzles. A capturing unit that's not a King becomes member of the opponent. This condition is not suitable for games, because a Pawn wall ensures a draw. Only when players play wihtout care, interesting situations may occur. So I changed the armies. I removed the Pawns and added some non-capturing annoying effect that can be used to force opponent to perform a capture or to enable captures with your King. Besides the changement of owner, pieces can also change from a type to another. And the initial piece density is 75 per cent, so the name Hordes of Change describes the game well.

Setup

Hordes of Change is played on a conventional 8 by 8 chessboard. There are six different pieces. Only three of them are present in the initial position. For both players, the first three ranks are initially filled with pieces.

The armies contain 2 Kings, 10 Rooks and 12 Bishops. The initial piece density is 75 per cent.

Pieces

The Rook and Bishop move like a Rook and Bishop in chess. When a Rook or Bishop captures a piece, it changes color, becoming a member of the opponent's army. As a move, a Rook can change into a Rook Magnet and a Bishop can change into a Bishop Magnet.
The Rook Magnet and Bishop Magnet can't move. Magnets can pull other pieces. A Rook (Bishop) Magnet can pull any piece regardless of type or owner in its unobstructed orthogonal (diagonal) line of sight to the square adjacent. Enemy Rooks and Bishops on squares adjacent to your Magnet have restricted moves.
A Rook orthogonally adjacent to an enemy Rook Magnet can't move in the direction directly away from the Rook Magnet.
A Bishop orthogonally adjacent to an enemy Rook Magnet can't move in the two directions away from the Rook Magnet.
A Rook diagonally adjacent to an enemy Bishop Magnet can't move in the two directions away from the Bishop Magnet.
A Bishop diagonally adjacent to an enemy Bishop Magnet can't move in the direction directly away from the Bishop Magnet.
These restrictions do not count when you use a Magnet to move a Rook or Bishop.
As a move, a Rook (Bishop) Magnet can change back into a Rook (Bishop).
The King moves like a King in chess. It can capture enemy pieces without changing color. Also it is unaffected by the Magnets' restrictions. However any Magnet can still pull a King on its line of sight. As a move a King can change into a Knight.
The Knight moves like a Knight in chess. Like the King, it can capture without penalties. Also, Magnets can pull the Knight, but don't deprive it from movement abilities. As a move, a Knight can change back into a King.

Rules

The object is to checkmate any King or Knight. Both armies have two royal pieces. This means that it is checkmate when it can't be prevented that either one will be captured. So when both royal pieces are forked by a piece that can't be captured or pulled away, it is checkmate. Three-fold repetition is a loss for the player who creates the same position for the third time. Due to the changement move, a stalemate is impossible.

Notes

Three-fold repetition is a loss. This rule is there to prevent that opposing Magnets continuously pull the same piece. Now, one player has to stop and that is not always the player that stands better.
Bishops are colorbound by themselves, but they can be pulled by Rook Magnets to squares of the other color.
You can check and even mate with a royal piece. This is possible when the checking piece is a King and the attacked piece is a Knight or vice versa.
You may pull other Magnets. This lift or create restricting effects. You may also pull an enemy King or Knight into your army, possibly checkmating.

Playing Tips

The way to gain material is to pull a piece into your territory, prevent it from moving back, block the guards and capture it with a King or Knight. This works well when you control the most territory. When your territory is too crowded. A simple check may force you to capture with a Rook or Bishop effectively losing a piece.
When your royal pieces join the attack, be careful for a fork. A fork can easily be given by a King changing into a Knight or vice versa.

Computer Play

If you have Zillions of Games installed on your computer, you can play this game. Download file: Hordes.zip.

Sample Game

Click here for a sample game


Written by Joost aan de Brugh.
WWW page created: August 5th, 2005.