The site has moved to a new server, and there are now some issues to fix. Please report anything needing fixing with a comment to the homepage.

The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, PeterStobbe.

Clash of Command

By Peter Stobbe


           Clash of Command was made for the 41-squares Chess Variant Design Contest. It was inspired by a variety of games, including: Checkers, Fanorona, Cuarenta, Tishai, Alice Chess, Total Annihilation (computer game), plus probably several more that I'm forgetting.

           Although I'm sure there already is one, I didn't know of a chess variant where pieces are regularly added to the board, that doesn't require you to capture them first and "recycle" them (like Shogi). I wanted to play something that vaguely mimics the build-up of forces and ensuing conflict that characterizes real-time strategy games. When I realized that 41 squares made a nice square board of sorts, I knew I had to use it. Due to the unique board, I designed pieces which have no obvious analogues in Chess, so I gave them odd names and shapes which would not be confused with pieces from any other variant.


           The board is a graph with 41 nodes:

Clash board

      9 +---+---+---+---+
        |\ / \ / \ / \ /|
      8 | +---+---+---+ |
        |/|\ / \ / \ /|\|
      7 + | +---+---+ | +
        |\|/|\ / \ /|\|/|
      6 | + | +---+ | + |
        |/|\|/|\ /|\|/|\|
      5 + | + | + | + | +
        |\|/|\|/ \|/|\|/|
      4 | + | +---+ | + |
        |/|\|/ \ / \|/|\|
      3 + | +---+---+ | +
        |\|/ \ / \ / \|/|
      2 | +---+---+---+ |
        |/ \ / \ / \ / \|
      1 +---+---+---+---+
        a b c d e f g h i


Pieces occupy the nodes of the graph. See below for the initial setup. As in Chess, white pieces start on the lower half of the board and move "forward" up the board; black pieces start on the upper half of the board and move "forward" down the board. The white and black circles show where pieces promote.

Game Goal

           A player wins when their opponent has no more Commanders on the board.

General Rules

Piece Descriptions

           Moving "forward" means diagonally forward or straight forward, but only along a line.














           This is the initial setup:

Setup diagram

White: Droid c3, g3; Hawk e3, i3; Brute i1; Factor b2, d2, f2, h2; Commander a1, c1, e1, g1.

Black: Droid c7, g7; Hawk a7, e7; Brute a9; Factor b8, d8, f8, h8; Commander c9, e9, g9, i9.


Example diagram 1       Black to move. His moves include:       Black chooses the last option.
Example diagram 2       White captures the Factor b4 x a3.
Example diagram 3       Possible moves with the Black Hawk:       Black chooses the last option.
Example diagram 4       White should capture the Slicer either with b2 x a1, or c1 x a1. (In either case the Droid moved would transform to a Hawk.)

Example diagram       Here is an example of Brute movement. The Black Brute may move to the marked nodes.

      Note that in the diagram, Black is going to lose in a few turns if White plays correctly.

Slice Example diagram 1       Another example.

      Black to move. The Commander moves forward i3 - i1, leaving behind a Factor on i3, and transforming to a Slicer.
Slice Example diagram 2       White can now try to save one of his Commanders: g1 - f2, Brute on g1
Slice Example diagram 3       Black can use the Slicer to good effect: i1 x a1 x c1 x e1 x g1
Slice Example diagram 4       This is why you try not to let your opponent's pieces promote to Slicers. If you do, then usually the game is quickly over.


Zillions of Games

Written by Peter Stobbe.
WWW page created: March 8, 2001. Last modified: March 14, 2001.