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Fergus Duniho wrote on 2016-07-20 UTCPoor ★

I'm moving a comment I previously posted on the page before the commenting system was up-and-running to the comments. This comment is basically my review of the game, which I wrote in 2001.

Conceptually, this game is very similar to my own game Cavalier Chess, though it is completely unrelated, as I was ignorant of it when I created Cavalier Chess. Both games increase the power of the pieces mainly with additional Knight moves, hence the very similar names. Yet they are also radically different from each other. Cavalry Chess just soups up the power of each piece, whereas in Cavalier Chess I didn't make the pieces as powerful as I could have, because I determined through playtesting that really powerful pieces would hurt the game. For example, I originally replaced the Queen with an Amazon (as Maus did in Cavalry Chess), but I judged that it was too powerful. I also tried replacing the Pawns with Chess Knights, but they merely wiped each other out, clearing the way between the other pieces. I found Chinese Chess Knights much more interesting as Pawn replacements, because they could block each other, something like Pawns do, and unblocking them would sometimes create extra threats. In contrast, I find the Pawns in Cavalry Chess much too powerful. They make forward movement very difficult, because a row of Pawns covers the entire two ranks in front of them. Considering that Pawns are the soul of Chess, as I think Philidor once said, I had to replace them with just the right pieces. I think I succeeded with Chinese Chess Knights, though I don't think Maus succeeded with these super Pawns. I also tried to keep the same balance of power in Cavalier Chess as there is in Chess. Maus has not done this with Cavalry Chess. I replaced the Knight with a Nightrider, which remains less powerful than the pieces replacing the Rook and Bishop, and all new pieces remained less powerful than the Queen (which I didn't change). Maus changed the Rook and Bishop into the same pieces as I did, but he replaced the Knight with a terribly powerful piece that throws off the whole balance of the game. Once it has the opportunity to safely check the enemy King, there is little the King can do to get away from it. Checkmate, and maybe some heavy piece loss along the way, will soon follow. Still, Cavalry Chess may have some appeal if approached from a different perspective. If you approach it like a game of Chess or even Cavalier Chess, you will easily be frustrated. But if you approach it with the strategy of safely checking the enemy King with your Knight before he can do the same, it might be an interesting challenge for awhile.


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