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H. G. Muller wrote on 2015-03-11 UTCGood ★★★★
The description in the linked page basically follows the rules from the TSA leaflet. But progressive insight due to easier contact with people in Japan through the internet has led to substantial revising of the rules, and the current Wikipedia description of this game differs in several important respects from the TSA rules. For instance:

The Lion Dog is now thought to have 3-step linear Lion powers, similar (but greater than) the 2-step linear Lion power of Horned Falcon and Soaring Eagle in Chu Shogi. That it should not have Lion power was argued in the TSA leaflet apparently on no other basis than that 3-step full (i.e. direction-changing) Lion power would make it much to strong, but the restriction to linear movement that voids this arguments was never considered.

It is now considered unlikely that promotion (on capture) was mandatory. Unlike Dai Dai Shogi, where most pieces do not promote (or start out promoted, if you want), having forced promotion in Maka Dai Dai would thoroughly wreck the game. Many of the strong pieces 'promote' to the weak Gold, (hook movers, Lion Dog), and there are no pieces in the initial setup that would promote to any of these lost pieces. So you would quickly end up in a situation with flocks of Golds, plus some rather uninteresting sliders. A much better rule would be that promotion is mandatory only when you capture a promoted piece, and optional when you capture an unpromoted one. That would preserve the interesting pieces much longer. The idea that you would 'inherit' the promoted property from you victim is in line with the following rule as well:

The strongest pieces of the game, Teaching King and Buddhist Spirit (compounds of Queen + Lion Dog and Queen + Lion) cannot be traded out of the game, by a rule different from the Lion-trading rules in Chu, but practically achieving the same: whenever you capture a TK or BS, the capturing piece promotes to that. (Using the just captured piece to replace it.)

This makes the game much more interesting than once thought. The major drawback remains the very large size, which makes it tedious to play. I designed a version of it about half the size, on a 13x13 board: "Macadamia Shogi", on which I posted a page here.


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