The Chess Variant Pages




Operational Chess 2

Introduction

This is a game along the lines of American Chess. It also introduces ranged rifle or gun attacks as found in the Chess Battle variant invented in the Soviet Union 1933 by A.S. Yurgelevich. Having played that variant, I thought it would be interesting to create some gun capture pieces and play on a larger board. So there are pieces in the game which move and capture like traditional chess pieces, yet in addition they have the added capability of 'rifle' (gun) capture. That is to say, they can make a 'move' by sitting in place and indicating an opponent's piece to be captured along a diagonal or orthogonal, whichever the case may be. Imagine a rifle or big gun shooting at a target in a distance. That is what this type of capture tries to emulate. Notes on rifle capture: In the descriptions of the pieces, the terms 'gun' and 'rifle' are used interchangably; also, any piece with rifle has that capability in every direction, orthogonally and diagonally. Here are the ranges for the pieces which have gun capability: Helicopters-4 Tanks-3 Cavalry-3 Strongpoint-3 Infantry-2, Outpost-1.

Setup


Board: Operational Chess 2 is played with the setup shown. The board is 17 files by 11 ranks.

Pieces

Rooks, and Bishops (Tank, Cavalry); compared to their traditional counterparts (rook, bishop) these pieces (tank, cavalry) have limited movement. Instead of being able to slide in an unlimited fashion along open lines, each piece can instead 'leap' 1-4 squares. This means that the tank moves 1-4 orthogonally and can leap or 'move through' pieces along that line, and that the cavalry does the same along its diagonals. Remember that for both pieces, their gun capture capability is both orthogonal and diagonal.

The 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star generals have no gun capture but allow each player to approach the other's gun-capture pieces, by leaping into squares where there is no 'hostile gunfire.' These can be especially important when approaching the opponent's helicopter pieces, for the helicopters with their range-4 gun capture dominate the orthogonal and diagonal avenues of approach.

Soldier (P)

Steps 1 in any direction. range-1 gun capture. Promotes to 4-star general (Q) if it reaches opponent's 1st rank. No other piece in Operational Chess 2 promotes.

Airborne (Paratrooper) (C)

As a cannon - pao - from chinese chess, with diagonal - vao - capability built in. no gun capture.

Tank (R)

Leaps 1-4 orthogonally. range-3 gun capture (gun capture is orthogonal and diagonal).

Helicopter (H)

Leaps any combination of 4. range-4 gun capture as tank.

Cavalry (B)

Leaps 1-4 diagonally. range-3 gun capture as tank.

Missile (M)

Can move-capture to any square on the board of its same color; any square except for the opponent's back line. no gun capture.

Bomber (O)

Same as Missile, but on the opposite color. no gun capture.

2-Star General (N)

Leaps 2 squares diagonally or orthogonally. no gun capture.

3-Star General (G)

Leaps 3 squares diagonally or orthogonally. no gun capture.

4-Star General (Q)

Leaps 4 squares diagonally or orthogonally. no gun capture.

Fighter (X)

Moves to any square of the same color that is within range 3. no gun capture.

Outpost (U)

Capture all of your opponent's outposts and strongholds to win. the outpost has a range-1 gun capture.

Stronghold (S)

Capture all of your oponent's strongholds and outposts to win. the stronghold has a range-3 gun capture.

Rules

Blue goes first, then Red. There is no turn limit. Capture the opponent's 3 outposts and 2 strongpoints to win. A player left with no moves is stalemated and loses; in that case the last player who moved is the winner. Otherwise the first player to capture the other player's outposts and strongholds is the winner.

The back-lines: Each side's 1st rank is known as a 'backline.' The 1st rank is immune to the opponent's bomber and missile pieces. Some people refer to the back line as the 'bunker' or 'safe zone.' Note that this is a key feature to the game. The missile and bomber are by far the most powerful pieces in the game, so losing one or the other early on could be a big disadvantage. The lastline/'bunnker' feature allows both sides to protect these and the other less powerful pieces. If you have a bomber or missile available late in the game, and your opponent does not, it could turn the tide.

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