Underestimating the Clobberers

It is also possible that the Clobberers are so weak that only by making some of their pieces stronger could they be helped. The chapter in this document about endgame values versus current values was written very recently, and the impression of its arguments is so fresh in my mind that I might now tend to underestimate the worth of the BD and FAD...

Underestimating The BD

Well, I think the middlegame value of the BD is at least as good as a Rook, and probably better; but in the endgame?

If we discount the special possibility of a mating attack with a pair of BD (or a BD and a FAD), it just doesn't "feel" like the BD should be all that much stronger than the B in the endgame. Certainly not enough to match the Rook, anyway.

Under this pessimistic evaluation, we have to think that the overall value of the BD is actually less than a Rook.

Underestimating The FAD

If we discount the special possibility of a mating attack, we have to presume that the FAD is clearly weaker than the Rook. In fact, in the email game where one human chessmaster had Bishops and the other had FADs, the FADs won the game by uncorking an endgame mating attack, but did not look so impressive in the midgame.

So we could be very pessimistic and say that the FAD isn't worth so much more than the Bishop.

What if this is true?

Well, if we think the FAD is worth a bit more than a Bishop and the BD is worth a bit less than a Rook, the Clobberers have no material advantage to balance out the fact that the NB is self-evidently worth less than the Q.

Under this pessimistic scenario, the Clobberers start the game with a material deficit of half a piece, and need to have a NBW instead of the NB to make things even.

Ah, but is it true?

I think that this is an exaggeration. However, I do wonder if the Clobberers lose some value to the levelling effect; the other armies each have four weak pieces, but the Clobberers have only two. It is hard to avoid trading a FAD for a N or B...

On the other hand, the Clobberers might start the game with a material advantage. The optimistic valuations say that the BD is better than a R, and the FAD is nearly as good as a Rook; for example, in this game trading a Rook for a FAD and a Pawn turned out to be crushing, and it seemed much more like a gain of material than a sacrifice.

So What?

You think that Chess with Different Armies is an easy thing to design?

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