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Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-27 UTC
Thought I'd share some recent reflections on Hullabaloo, as it has been occupying my thoughts lately.

So far, this game is my favorite variant that I've designed. However it remains relatively untested. Based merely on experience so far, the game is a colossal failure as the longest game played has only been six moves long and then I'm not sure whether my opponent ever understood how to play it (that game implemented the suggestion I made in my previous comment of allowing just two moves per player per turn after the initial one move).

It is in part an homage to the whole shatranjian set of unique pieces Joe Joyce invented and shows how they 'evolve' to become more powerful and uses every stage of them as they developed from Great to Linear to Grand to Lemurian to Atlantean Barroom (referring to the Shatranj games where Joe Joyce short range pieces took on greater powers.

It also implements another mostly original contribution of Joe Joyce's in having pieces that are activated by other pieces (in this case there is just one activator, but in some of Joe's games, there are multiple activators).

But it's unique also in that it allows linear sliders to counterattack in a competitive way with the powerful short range pieces. It does not however involve allowing these linear sliders to evolve, the way their short term counterparts do. This morning, the thought occurs to me to allow rooks to combine into reapers, bishops into harvesters, queens into combines.

Hullabaloo is unique also in the fact that it confines very powerful pieces to a small board. Yet it seems to work, seems to be really fun. I think I have an invite for this game out there if anyone wants to test it with me? That would bring me joy! Joe, you and I have a game of this going and I'd be pleased to continue that with you, but also would love to play one using the new 1-2-2-2... move rule I plan to introduce.

I will be revising the rules shortly to specify just two moves per player. This makes the game a lot easier, and I think, more fun to play. Perhaps the four moves per player is possible for advanced Hullabaloo players or perhaps it's just not something that can be played, but even so, it can feel tedious to have to enter the annotation for multiple moves as you are playing. Perhaps we will get a version of GAME Courier that allows us to move multiple pieces and not just one? That would be fun!

Even though this is a posted game, I consider it still to be a work in progress. I'd like to know what would happen if I added my 'Time Travel Chessgi' rules to this game. Seems like it might work out well.

Joe Joyce doesn't have games where he allows knights to evolve the way his other short range pieces evolve. With Nachtmahr and Quintessential Chess and Quinquereme, Knappen's done some excellent work in dividing knights and (k)nightriders into components. Betza has done it also with his crab-rider and barc-rider (and also with his Weakest Chess, in a sense). In my variant Tonight I implement full-scale Shatranjian evolved knights just to get a feeling for what they might be like.

One problem with using knights in some of the ways Knappen suggestsis that it's a bit hard to get a good grasp on their direction and a good visual representation of that directionality is also hard to create. I would like to be able to design pieces that make Nachtmahr and Weakest Chess more playable but that hasn't been easy for me.

Since a knight can be seen as a piece that moves as wazir then ferz or ferz then wazir, I might try to add in an option to have wazir and ferz combine alternately into a knight (instead of just a guard) and then attempt a set of evolutions for them as I've already done for wazir, ferz and knight (eventually leading up to the pieces I have in Tonight). This attempt to add in the knight component could force a reevaluation of the evolution of all the pieces in this game.

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