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Directed Alice IIIA game information page
. a 3-board Alice Chess variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2010-11-05 UTC
Larry, Charles, thanks for the comments. I truly appreciate different viewpoints, and every designer likes his/her work discussed. 

DA3 came about because I was fascinated with the concept of Alice's involuntary move. Chess is the quintessential game of control; you win by moving your totally controlled pieces just so. And Parton took that total control away. Your move wasn't just yours - you had to make an extra move without recourse. If you couldn't, you lost. That was the key idea of Alice, the loss of control over a piece's endpoint. You have total control over the move, but VR Parton controls which board your piece winds up on. 

The results of Alice's changes include the colorbinding of the knight, the halving of starting piece density, and the extra difficulty in making a move, as you need an extra square to be free to make each move. Those are negative, Positive changes include being able to move 'past' a line of defenders on the opposite board to set up a threat or check on that board after the transfer, and the ability to take a piece and escape to another board, possibly dodging recapture.

DA3 mitigates the negative factors, allowing the knights to attack every square on the gameboard, giving 3x the number of squares to move to with a lower starting piece density to allow much easier moves, and taking away the forced part of Parton's involuntary board transfer by giving players a choice of boards to land on. The 'extra board' also enhances the ability to get by defenders and the ability to hit and run. 

The larger absolute numbers and types of pieces in DA3 allow new options in Alice. The inclusive compound pieces allow multiple board changes in a single move - well, 2 anyhow - at the players' discretion. The larger absolute number of pieces with the 'attacks every adjacent square' property allows a close-in defense of the king that standard Alice cannot. The leaping ability of a large percentage of the pieces also changes the game, allowing new tactics to get past pawns and pieces on the same board...

Yeah, well, I do try to give good value for the money, and present a new experience with each game. VR Parton had a brilliant idea. I've had the fortune [good or bad I'll leave up to the reader] to be able to expand on it. I've enjoyed the process. In a sense, what I did was introduce a twist into Alice, which acts somewhat like the twist that makes a paper ring into a moebius strip. It allows the knights to reach both colors of the gameboard as its most obvious characteristic. But I hope the game offers more than just the unbinding of the knights. ;-)