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Greg Strong wrote on Fri, Jul 30, 2004 07:38 PM UTC:

These values may well be closer than mine, but I'm having a hard time believing that the Queen is worth more than the Unicorn. At the beginning of the game, the board is 44% full, and at that point the Unicorn has an average mobility of 14.18, compaired to only 12.36 for the Queen. Now, as pieces get traded off and the board clears out, the mobility of the Queen goes up a little faster. The average mobility of the two just happens to break even when exactly half the pieces are gone (board 22% full). And with even fewer pieces, the Queen begins to develop a small mobility advantage.

But, of course, there's more than mobility. I think other factors favor the Unicorn as well. The Queen attacks in 8 directions, whereas the Unicorn attacks in 12, giving it more forking power. Also, of the Queen's 8 directions, only 3 of them are forward. The Unicorn has twice as many forward attack directions (although 2 of them have a rather shallow slope.) Finally, there's stealth. The Unicorn's attacks along Knightrider lines is stealthy, meaning pieces attacked this way cannot counter-attack, with the exception of the Knight.

Presumably, the Queen has advantages, too. The forward Rook-slide is a very nice move because of it's ability to coordinate with the move of the pawns, and the Unicorn lacks this move. Any other Queen advantages I'm overlooking?

If anyone is interested in running a test, I think we can with the Game Courier. You take 2 Queens, I'll take 2 Unicorns ...

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