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Fearful fairies. An experimental army for CadA, featuring the Dullahan (Ferz-Knight compound) and the Banshee. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2012-03-07 UTC
When I say the array is safe, it refers to the array of the entire game, i.e. both players. And I think that with this material composition it is rather exceptional to have a quiet array. So if you are going to shuffle, in most cases it will be disaster. I also tried Frog starting on c/f, and this makes white win a Rook from scratch against regular FIDE.

So there is no guarantee this same setup of the Fairies will work well against the standard setup of the other armies. (In fact it was already noticed that solely due to the Banshee placement, Fairies - Nutters is a mate-in-one. Using alternate arrays for the opponents that have all Pawns protected (e.g. Clobberers II) does help, but is no guarantee: the Banshee already attacks some Pawns from where it starts, and if a long-range leaper like Frog can immediately create a second attack on it during its development, effectively gaining a tempo, and pick its back-rank target after it, black is in big trouble.

So indeed, Banshee and Frog are generally troublesome pieces. But that makes it of course all the greater a challenge to design a variant where they actually work.

More worrisome at the moment seems to me that the army seems way too strong in the middle game, even when a tactically quiet opening position is used. In my tentative testing it scored > 75% against FIDE.