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Game Reviews (and other rated comments on Game pages)

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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-01-12
 By wdtr2. Shako_Balbo. Game with Diamond Shape Board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2020-09-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is an excellent chess variant, and is one of my favorites. I think it plays better than either of the games from which it is derived. The starting position is carefully considered, allowing a wide variety of different openings.

The rook should still be worth slightly more than the bishop on this board but it is very close. I performed the mobility calculation. With a 30% board occcupancy, the rook's average mobility is 9.8 whereas the bishop's is 9.2. And the mobility of the rook increases faster than that of the bishop as the board clears out.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 By David  Howe. Diagonal Chess. Board turned 45 degrees. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Brian Wagner wrote on 2020-09-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Very similar to Wagner Chess: https://github.com/brianthetall/wagnerChess


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-08-01
 Author: John Kipling Lewis and Greg  Strong. Inventor: John Kipling Lewis and David  Paulowich. Victorian Chess. (Updated!) Capablanca variant with the most powerful pieces starting on the outside. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2020-07-13 UTCGood ★★★★

I updated this page heavily...

  • Added graphic of setup (was just ASCII)
  • Updated intro to provide detail about chronology of invention
  • Changed format to be more consistent with other game description pages
  • Added information about Game Courier play/computer play
  • Added interactive diagram

UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-07-12
 By David  Paulowich. Shatranj Kamil (64). (Updated!) Modern Shatranj based variant on 8 by 8 board with new pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2020-07-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I've made several updates to this page. The HTML had a number of issues, (unclosed tags and the like), although they mostly weren't obvious to readers. I also reformatted it to better resemble our typical game descriptions and edited the text to be clearer. The Computer Play and Equipment sections have also been updated to reflect what is (and is not) currently available.

I will try to post a more in-depth review when I have some time to write one, but for now, suffice it to say this game plays very well and I do not hesitate to rate it Excellent.


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-07-02
 By Greg  Strong. Brouhaha. (Updated!) Like Chess, but it really brings the ruckus! (8x8, Cells: 72) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-07-01 UTCGood ★★★★

I have 2 questions about the brouhaha squares:

1) What is the advantage of allowing a capture on a brouhaha square? Spontaneously, I find this strange: I understood that such a square hosts a piece until it is activated and enter into play, then the square disapears. Then, this square is not part of the play area really. So, I wouldn't have allowed a capture on it at all. Maybe there is something I don't see.

2) Why this name of "brouhaha" square? At least in French a brouhaha is a surrounding noise. Those squares are more like a fog, brouillard in French. Brouhaha/brouillard, is there a linguistic confusion there? 


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-05-19
 Author: Ola  Sassersson. Inventor: Nick  Bentley and Christian  Freeling. Chess+. Players choose when and where to place their pieces behind the pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Cannon wrote on 2020-05-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Great idea. I have always loved Fischerrandom Chess, but I really don't like the way it gives players no control over where their pieces start. I also consider Fischer's castling rule to be cludgy and it's hard to believe that a man of his genius came up with that. Your project fixes those shortcomings. 

One tweak I'd make if it were up to me is to require both players to enter ALL their pieces before making any other moves. White would enter a piece, followed by black, and they'd take it in turns to enter pieces, one at a time, until the first and eighth ranks were full. Of course, Bishops must be required to be on different coloured squares. 


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-30
 By Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Zanzibar-XL. Further step after Metamachy. 80 pieces of 19 different pieces, with historical lineage.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-05-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Thank you very much. I have been able to upload all diagrams and the process was very lean. 

Yesterday, it was my mistake for the size limit. Instead of uploading the jpg diagrams I have made for my own website, I uploaded instead the source images coming from the board painting tool, which are much heavier. Thank you for your help.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-04-25 UTCGood ★★★★

Pieces are never attacking friendly pieces or I miss something

That is the answer to my question. So if a virgin King is on h1, a black Bishop on h2, and a black Knight on g4, the King can move to h3. If his own Bishop was on h2 instead, he could not.

Some people would say pieces can attack the square a friendly piece is on. They obviously cannot capture it, but that doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as being attacked. E.g. when my King stands next to an enemy Pawn that is protected, does he attack that Pawn?

Personally this rule strikes me as quite illogical; to pass through a square it should be empty, and if you don't pass through it but jump over it, you shouldn't have to worry if you are attacked there. And I wonder how much this rule actually affects the game; it seems very hard to attack any squares next to the enemy King before he moves away to safety, as he starts buried behind 2 or 3 ranks of pieces. Especially if he can jump.

In general I like your variants a lot, because you do not only feature super-strong pieces (much stronger that Rook), but also Knight-class pieces. Most variants suffer from an over-abudance of Queen-class pieces. The middle of the strength spectrum is still a bit under-populated, though: almost none of the pieces is close to a Rook in value.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-23
 By Albert  Lee. Bishops Chess. Chess with two light-squared and two dark-squared Bishops on each side.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2020-04-23 UTCAverage ★★★

I think this game is OK, but I do not care for the promotion rules.  The game does not have a queen, so promotion to queen would already be the strongest piece.  The amazon seems excessive and most games that feature that piece are not very good IMO.  The amazon attacks in 16 directions while the next strongest piece - the rook - only attacks four.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-30
 Author: H. G.  Muller. Inventor: Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Metamachy. Large game with a variety of regular fairy pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-04-15 UTCGood ★★★★

Thanks a lot. I didn't know about Lioness, very good.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Sho Shogi. Historic predecessor of shogi. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-04-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Very good information! What is not clear for me at the moment if that Asakura shogi is a reconstruction of a possible step in the evolution of shogi, or if that form of game is really asserted and supported by historical proofs. I may ask a specialist that   I know. Thank you again.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-06
 By Steven  Streetman. Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Cannon wrote on 2020-04-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I don't usually like games with different armies, but this is an exception. You've put a lot of thought into making a game whose different armies are not unevenly matched. For sure, the Spartan side lacks a Queen and its army appears to be slightly less powerful, but that is compensated for by the presence of two kings, both of which must be checkmated/captured. 


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-07-12
 By Kevin  Pacey. Sac Chess. (Updated!) Game with 60 pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I can't believe this game hasn't been reviewed yet. This is the best game I've played that includes an Amazon. I normally leave the Amazon out of my games, because it has the power to force checkmate by itself, and that has the potential to wreak a game. However, that hasn't been a problem with this game. This game includes several other weaker compound pieces that help make it unsafe to move the Amazons out too early. To get to the point where you could use an Amazon to force checkmate against a King, you have to do lots of maneuvering of other pieces. Furthermore, the potential of the Amazon getting a bead on the King means that position is sometimes more important than material advantage. You can't count on winning just because you are ahead materially. If you find that you can't stop your opponent's Amazon, you may lose even if you're materially ahead. This makes the game more dynamic and exciting.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-07-27
 By Michael  Nelson. Wizard's War. Game with piece-creating Wizards and a board divided into arena and enchanted sections. (10x10, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2020-03-26 UTCGood ★★★★

Well hey, apparently I never commented on this!

I quite like it! The interplay between needing pieces on the arena/safer on the enchanted squares is quite unusual.

Creating your own army is fun, and ensures no game start will be quite the same.

This is a very cohesive & well thought out variant.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-09-17
 By Ben  Good. Elevator. Three-dimensional chess variant with moving elevators and walking, vaulting and flying pieces. (8x8x4, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2020-03-11 UTCGood ★★★★

Very good, well-thought out game, with pieces which compliment the board--some require elevator movement, some use the empty shafts, and the ox can use them to capture. Nicely done.

I will say the rules allowing the flying pieces to go 'up, through an elevator trapdoor' feel very unintuitive; especially if playing with a physical set. It makes more sense to me to allow flying pieces to go either up or down through the empty shafts only; this would also make it impossible to threaten an identical piece without also being in danger.

Still, a very good variant!


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1999-03-21
 By David  Howe. Xhess. Decimal variant with Nightriders and Cannons. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2020-03-05 UTCAverage ★★★

This looks like a decent 10x10 variant; it has the basic Chess pieces--with more mobile Pawns-- and well-known Knightriders & XiangQi Cannons.

The King game-winning 'promotion' rule could liven up the endgames without totally changing the game.

However, I am confused as to the logic behind the apparently abitrary initial setup. The Rooks have an open rank (like Grand Chess) which is fine.  But the Horsemen (modified Pawns) are more mobile--but start very close to each other.  So close, in fact, they can't use their forward most moves initially without being captured.   Except the Horsemen on the far ends; they start one rank farther back for no discernable reason. 

The forward pawn lines leave a bunch of space to the rear; considering the vast area there aren't very many other pieces.

Also, the Knights are back a rank from the Horsemen, consequently they cannot move forward as the first move. They are protecting Horsemen, but it seems like there ought to be another way to do this.

Xhess is quite playable, but I'm left with the impression the starting setup could use an overhaul.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-04-01
 By Greg  Shanker. Deception Chess. Each piece has two identities, Cloak and concealed Base.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2020-03-03 UTCGood ★★★★

This is a really good idea, the only problem being it really needs a custom Chess set.

I'm guessing it would require similar bluffing strategy like Stratego. I can see myself thinking "hummm, that faux Pawn can't be anything valuable, it's too exposed.... unless that's what he wants me to think....or, he could be counting on me to think that's what he wants me to think...."

:-)

This actually has a decent chance of commercial success, in my opinion. It's got 'wow' factor, but close enough to normal Chess to feel familiar.

Great idea.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1997-01-02
 By Christian  Freeling. Rotary. On a 9 by 9 board with rotating pieces. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
KelvinFox wrote on 2020-03-02 UTCGood ★★★★

Today played a game of Rotary with a set of pieces I made myself. It is a very nice game. The rotational element adds a nice layer of tactics. Only thing that feels weird is the promotion rule 


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-06-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Carlos  Cetina. Euchess. Grand chess variant on 10 by 10 board. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2020-03-01 UTCPoor ★

In my opinion, this is not a very good Grand Chess variant.

Grand Chess is built upon two main ideas; getting rid of castling by freeing the Rooks in the back rank, and introducing the two 'missing' compounds to be additional high-value pieces--the Cardinal & Marshall.

Euchess moves the Rooks back and re-introduces castling, and then doubles the number of Cardinals & Marshalls--but, inconsistently, keeps one Queen.

Ignoring the lack of numerical consistency, this is really bad from a playable perspective--the sheer number of power pieces diminished the value of Knights & Bishops significantly.

Euchess is much too top-heavy, power wise, and significantly dimishes the point of the open back row. (Marshalls, with their Knight move, don't need the room to be developed.)

I think there is room for some interesting variants of Grand Chess, but this isn't one of them.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-10-02
 By Seth  McGinnis. Robber-Baron. Which of the seven robbers is the robber-baron? (7x7, Cells: 39) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on 2020-02-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I have to comment it for having simple yet original rules, promising a good entertainment, perhaps even well commercially-sold.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-12-02
 By Kevin  Pacey. Hannibal Chess. Chess with added Modern Elephants (ferz-alfil compound) on 10x8 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-01-15 UTCAverage ★★★

Kevin!...

About game courier just ask me and I'l' do it. It is fine for me!...

I'll also teach you how!...

Yes that type of elelphant it is the lieutenenat of spartan chess. Or "the captain" I'm not sure. I like it because it is closer in value to the knight. Also the non square nature of the board helps. An alternative for another game (as you used in wide chess which we have played once) is the waffle. I think a lieutenant game and a waffle game would be more interesting than the 12x8 one! That is my opinion.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-02-26
 By Fergus  Duniho. Eurasian Chess. Synthesis of European and Asian forms of Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2019-12-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

About Vao: maybe Dawson gave that name because it was phonetically from the same family than Pao, and the V because this letter is made of diagonal strokes. Maybe it is not that, but it can be used as a mnemotecnic mean. Remark, it could have used Xao as well, that would have been looking more Chinese.

 


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1997-11-13
 Inventor: Ohashi  Soei. Tori Shogi. Tori Shogi, or Bird Shogi. A variant of Japanese Chess on a 7 by 7 board. (7x7, Cells: 49) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ed wrote on 2019-12-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I see that a new study of historical sources on Tori Shogi has been published: https://www.amazon.co.jp/禽将棋についての研究-禽将棋の背景と系統的位置づけ-MyISBN-デザインエッグ社-松本尚也/dp/4815014205/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_ja_JP=カタカナ&keywords=禽将棋&qid=1575339500&sr=8-1

I wonder if any Japanese have read the book and can comment on what new discoveries this book reveals.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-10-11
 By H. G.  Muller. Veteran Chess. Most pieces can or must irreversibly promote when they capture.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2019-10-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A very interesting game.  And you have the interactive diagram using our signature Alfaerie pieces and colors!  I love it :)


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-01-23
 By Zied  Haddad. Musketeer Chess. Adding 2 newly designed extra pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Zied Haddad wrote on 2019-08-27 UTCGood ★★★★

Hi, it's always good to hear criticism. And i think you've got it right.

Personally i give you the pieces i much like when playing Musketeer Chess: Hawk, Unicorn +++ and my favorite is the Archbishop combining Bishop and Knight abilities. I much like sacrificing my Queen for an Archbishop !!

 

Musketeer Chess idea was to get rid of the big amount of draws and also opening learning (long theoretical lines). The idea is also to give black a more important role by deciding the final combination of pieces, adapting his strategy to white's choice which will lower for sure the importance of white's advantage as the side who begins the game; But this needs for sure a precise play.

 

You pointed out the fact that the Board is overcrowded. Of course it becomes a problem if you choose to gate you r pieces whithout a prior clear strategy and this will hamper you from exploiting the huge potential of the new pieces.

 

The newly added pieces are strong and they bring so much excitment and tactics from the first move ! So the slightest lack of attention can be punished (more spectacular wins) but also if you lower your attention even with a huge material advantage on the board, your opponent can surprise you and mate you using the newest pieces whom some can mate alone.

 

Yes, Musketeer Chess is not a perfect game, but Classic Chess became mostly a game of "knowledge" and opening learning and is for sure less attractive for average kids and players that want to improve their level but are frustrated by this learning.

Elite tournaments are less spectacular and games most usually finish with draws.


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