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Cavalry Chess. A once popular variant from the 1920's where every piece has additional jumping moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2008-10-08 UTC
I haven't playtested that, but I think what you say makes sense: the massacre performed by the Bison was due for a large part to them attacking pieces that were still trapped on the back rank (and in particular a trapped King). So perhaps shifting the Pawns in the opening array one step forward would solve the problem: no pieces will be trapped, and the Bions cannot attack any piece in its starting location without being exposed to Pawn fire. The only problem the side defending against the Bisons has to worry about would be to maintain control over every square on second and third rank, which does not sound too difficult.

Perhaps I should test the Bison from this setup to get a better idea of its middle-game value.

Note that a Falcon, which has the same target squares as the Bison, but does not jump (athough due to its multi-path nature it cannot be blocked very easily) has the same value as a Rook, and the Bison will certainly be stronger. And the Cavalry Knight will be about a Knight stronger than that, plus possibly some synergy because of highly increased manouevrability. (The Bison is really an awkward piece, with all its moves being quite distant.)