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Comments by Mason Green

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Punning by Numbers. A systematic set of names for cubic-cell oblique pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-18 UTC
What's interesting about 3D elemental leapers as opposed to 2D ones is
there's a lot more diversity. In two dimensions, each (n:n) or (n:0)
leaper has 4 possible destination squares on an infinite board, arranged
like the vertices of a square. (n:p) leapers (where n and p are not zero
or the same) have 8, forming an octagon.

Finally, chiral (clockwise or counterclockwise) versions of the (n:p)
leapers have 4, arranged like a rotated square. A 'clockwise' knight can
only move to four out of the eight of a full knight, evenly spaced in a
clockwise pattern.

In three dimensions, we have many leapers whose potential destinations
resemble Platonic and Archimedean solids:

(0:0:n)         6 destinations, arranged like the vertices of an octahedron.
(0:n:n)         12 destinations, forming a cuboctahedron.
(n:n:n)         8 destinations, forming a cube.
(n:n:p), w/p>n  24 destinations, forming a rhombicuboctahedron.
(n:n:p), w/p<n  24 destinations, forming a truncated cube.
(0:n:p)         24 destinations, forming a truncated octahedron.
(n:p:q)         48 destinations, forming a truncated cuboctahedron.

And if that wasn't enough, there's MORE! It is possible to cut the
movement possibilities of an (n:p:q) leaper in half, by taking every other
destination away to form a chiral leaper (see above) who has 24
destinations, arranged like a snub cuboctahedron.

So there are 3 different fundamental 'types' of leapers in two
dimensions, and 9 in three dimensions.

PieceEater Chess. Yet another game with an indestructible randomly-wandering neutral piece. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-15 UTC
What does 'For Gnohmon's sake' mean and why does that result in the Piece Eater being a red elephant?

Contest to design a 10-chess variant. Cebrating 10 years of Chess Variant Pages with a contest to design a chess variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-13 UTC
I think my variant '10 Minute Melee' would qualify for the Hidden Ten
sub-contest because it uses the number 10 in a way that none of the other
CV's submitted to this contest do. Check it out! By the way, you don't
have to play it for exactly 10 minutes, if you don't want to. You can
play it longer or shorter, as time allows.

I just submitted a non-competing entry, which is only loosely based on the
number 10 but which is (in my opinion) my creation that I feel most proud
of. It's non-competing because it's only loosely based on the number 10
(it was created before I was aware of this contest). But it will be a
competing entry in the next Large Chess Variants competition--I sure hope
you guys have the next one soon!

Ladder Shogi. Shogi variant on 10 by 10 board where pieces climb the social ladder by multiple promotions. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-13 UTC
Hey JCRuhf, do you know if there is any 'official' name for the piece represented by Ralph Betza's G? How about his H? I have proposed a tentative suggestion for naming these pieces as part of my as-yet-unpublished game Recombination Chess. The names are Tribbabah (for the 0,3) and Trilfil (3,3). I find that combining the Greco-Latin numerical prefixes with the suffixes -lfil and -bbabah create good names for radial leapers of any length. So we have tetrabbabah, pentalfil, etc. Of course, all these pieces are extremely colorbound (the tribbabah is 9-bound, and trilfil is 18-bound, etc.) but the basic premise of Recombination Chess is that they (along with lots of other elemental pieces) can combine with each other to make lots of nifty pieces.

Contest to design a 10-chess variant. Cebrating 10 years of Chess Variant Pages with a contest to design a chess variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-11 UTC
I think my game '10 Minute Melee' qualifies for the Hidden Ten
competition because its use of the number ten is more unusual than that of
the other chess variants currently up.

By the way, when will the next 'Large Chess Variant' contest be? I have
co-created a game called 'Legend Chess' which is played on a 16x16
board. I have to get permission from my friend to publish it on these
pages, but it's been proven very enjoyable through playtesting. It would
be a perfect entry for a Large contest, but there hasn't been one of
those for several years. But there have been a lot of small CV
contests--one every year in fact. I think we should have another Large
Chess Variant contest soon.

Ladder Shogi. Shogi variant on 10 by 10 board where pieces climb the social ladder by multiple promotions. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-10 UTC
I know it's not generally a good strategy to submit a game without playing
it first, but since I was in a hurry to get a submission in, I kind of
overlooked this fact :(

However, my friend (Andrew Kaczrowski) has volunteered to play a game of
Ladder Shogi with me soon. We'll see how it turns out.

By the way, if the absorbtion rule DOES turn out to be a problem, I can
always change the game to make it more WOtN-like, by saying value pieces
only go up one rank when capturing, and only go down ONE when being
captured (not all the way back down to a merchant).

By the way, the Cricket piece comes from Legend Chess II (see my earlier
post) where it was called a Paladin. The only thing that's been changed
here is its move (now like a King instead of a double Knight jump, as

Charles: I understand all about your wanting to standardize piece names.
However, my own personal opinion on the subject is that this is impossible
to achieve in practice. A chess variant that contains non-orthodox pieces
will only be fully enjoyable if it has some kind of coherent theme (such
as a medieval battle, a modern or futuristic one, or a feud between two
groups of animals). If you use only the 'proper' names for each piece,
then you might end up combining a Dragon (N+P) with a Pancake (see the
Piececlopedia) in the same game. To some designers this would be okay, but
since most of the games I create are themed, I generally don't like to
have mythological creatures and food pieces in the same game. As a result,
at least some name changes would be in order here. This is why I probably
wouldn't give one of my pieces a name like Fortnight (too abstract) even
if that was the 'proper' name for the piece.

Decima. Variant on 10 by 10 board where you win when you have 10 points on the 10th row. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for the information. I have now rated Decima 'Excellent'.

I would probably play the Zillions file right now, if I had ZoG on my
computer. Dang! Why does Zillions of Games have to cost money, though?
I'd download it right away if it were free.

More10. Chessvariant on a board with 10 squares. (2x5, Cells: 10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTCGood ★★★★
This is probably one of the best games that could be made on a 2*5 board.
Another idea would be to allow pieces to use the line intersections as
well as the squares, and transfer between them somehow. There are 18 line
intersections, however...and 28 cells doesn't sound very good for the

I do have one complaint, though--it has to do with the 'repetition'
rule. I generally don't like this rule, and here's why. Keeping track of
ALL the positions that have been used up so far is very time-consuming in a
real life game (though thankfully not in a computer match), because you
have to write down everything as you go along. That's why I don't like
Philosopher's Chess very much, even though it won a contest. It's not
that bad with more10, which probably will be fairly short, but I still
prefer games without repetition rules.

Caïssa Britannia. British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An excellent game with an excellent theme. Maybe I'll have to do a 'Swedish Chess' (since that's my heritage). Since Vikings once lived in Sweden, I guess I'd have to include elements from Hnefatl (or however that game is pronounced/spelled)...

Decima. Variant on 10 by 10 board where you win when you have 10 points on the 10th row. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTCGood ★★★★
It's always nice to see a chess variant when you win in yet another new, exciting way. However, I do have one question...would this game be drawish? I can imagine quite a few scenarios where there's a giant blood-bath and soon there aren't enough pieces left for this player to win. If I knew this game wasn't drawish, I'd rate it excellent.

Ladder Shogi. Shogi variant on 10 by 10 board where pieces climb the social ladder by multiple promotions. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTC
Roberto, regarding what you said about the game being too complicated--I
would have had only one 'pawn' type, except for the fact that this is a
'10' game, and removing any more pieces will destroy one of the many
facets of '10' that I've integrated here. Perhaps I'll simplify the
game later (with perhaps a 6-rung ladder) for the 45-square competition if
there's enough interest from other CVPhiles.

By the way, Michael, my friend has said that he thinks Legend Chess (the
first one) could be a contender for the recognized variants. I'm not
nearly as optimistic, but I think it's pretty neat myself. It has a lot
of historical (think Chaturanga) elements, and it's been playtested
zillions of times, with very satisfying results. I'll have to get his
permission, of course, but I'll let you know. 

It actually is quite simple compared to the second game (which we made
almost for fun, it's way too complex for most people).

And Charles, where did the names for the 3D pieces originate? Just

Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTC
Well Michael...

Not all games would suit your taste, then. The game of Stratego, despite
its name, does not fulfill what you define as 'strategic'. In that game,
you don't know ANYTHING about your opponent's pieces. So you can't see
'several plies into the game tree!' But I still like to play that game a
lot. Same with any game that depends on luck/dice, such as Chaturanga for 4

Not all games are strategic like that, you know. Many games that truly
measure intelligence are games that require you to live with what you've
been dealt (as by the dice), to see how well you've recovered from a
blow, even if that blow was something you didn't expect. And besides,
Ladder Shogi is nothing compared to Stratego! In Ladder Shogi, you can at
least see, with full clarity, exactly what moves your opponent can
execute, as long as you pay attention to the Dragon and Cricket. Besides,
there are many possible combinations which involve
nonvalue-capturing-value or value-capturing-nonvalue that don't suffer
from this 'problem'.

And one final thing...I and a friend of mine have created a game (two
games, actually) called 'Legend Chess'. They're played on 16*16 and
18*18 boards, respectively. Those games (especially the second) have SO
many different things that can be done each turn that 'seeing several
plies into the game tree' is null and void. And both of us like to play
those I must be doing something right.


Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-07 UTC
Michael, what you said about discouraging exchanges really makes sense. However, I disagree with your view that this is a bad thing. In orthodox chess and in shogi, exchanges happen a lot. Ladder Shogi is a lot different in that for the non-value pieces at least, exchanges aren't as common. The very reason why I added the non-capturing Dragon and Cricket was to enable the use of sneaky tactics. It's very easy to 'not see' a potential opponent's move where a 5-7 type piece, which is next to a Cricket, first takes an enemy piece and then escapes to a not-guarded square. Exchanges won't happen as often, this is sure. But just because the game has fewer exchanges doesn't mean that it's necessarily worse, it's just <i>different</i>. Many other games I know of discourage exchanges, and that isn't necessarily wrong. This game just happens to value sneak tactics more.

Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-06 UTC
OK, I'm changing the opening array. Now, for white, it's:

1 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1 1
N H L 5 D C 5 L H N
    7 6 K A 6 7

Where K is king, A is kappa, N is ninja, and H is horse. The setup will
also be closer to orthochess in the revision--there will be line symmetry,
not point symmetry.

I decided to put the Dragon and Cricket out in front to speed up the
beginning of the game (the previous setup was really slow since you can't
use the 'speedy' pieces at the beginning.) The kappa is further back
since you don't need it right away. It's primarily a defense piece,
unlike the Ultima-style immobilizer.

Early development of Ninjas is also a lot easier now. They're more
powerful than lances and good pieces to use at the start. However, with
the new setup it seems likely that most of the viable opening moves
involve the Dragon and Cricket.

Please tell me what you think of the new setup. Notice that the burakumin
is gone--and with it, half of the time involved in learning the game. You
also start with Silver, Gold, and Platinum generals now, which should
heighten the excitement.


Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-06 UTC
I'm listening closely to what you all say about the Burakumin and the
starting array. The initial version of the game was created in only a few
days, somewhat hastily. The reason why I did that is I wanted to see what
people thought. Keep making suggestions, because I'm going to submit a
final version later, and I promise it will be a lot better.

I think that the Burakumin is a nice piece idea, but I'm probably going
to remove it. The game is as crowded as possible right now, especially
with the drop rule, which just crowds up everything. Thank you for all
your suggestions.


10 Minute Melee. Score as many points during 10 minutes of time with regular chessset. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-06 UTC

Yes, the reason why I decided on ten minutes is that this is a '10'
game. When this contest is over, I'm going to update the page to allow an
arbitrary length of time to be selected.

Like More10, this game is mostly experimental. It is, after all, one of my
first chess variants, since I'm a newcomer here.


Chess Variant Pages Membership. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-04 UTC
My new e-mail address will be [email protected]


Mason Green wrote on 2005-03-04 UTC
I'm a registered user of this site. However, I'm switching ISP's--and that will require an e-mail address change. How do I go about doing that?

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