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Existentialist Chess. 10x10 board with many different pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-09-28 UTC
I'll omit a rating.  There are too many interesting concepts to be Poor,
but probably not enough cohesion or playability to truly merit Good. 
Actually, the bits and pieces of this game might well make two or three
variants of reasonable merit with better focus.

(I started to write a ZRF, but set it aside.)

LCC wrote on 2002-09-27 UTCGood ★★★★
This is a nice variant, with many good ideas. In fact, almost too many good ideas. The author got carried away. I wouldn't bet this variant is playable.

M. Howe wrote on 2002-08-04 UTCGood ★★★★
Existentialist Chess certainly contains interesting ideas -- any one of which might be enough to be the basis for a good variant. The inventor certainly has a fertile mind. And I'm not at all averse to large and complex variants. But without having played E.C. yet, my impression is that the inventor might have tried to put too much into one game and the game therefore might suffer from lack of clarity -- meaning that it will be difficult for the player to see more than a couple of moves ahead given all of the interactions on the board. I think it might be worthwhile for the inventor to consider using the ideas in E.C. to make several variants, each simpler than E.C. but still complex enough to be interesting and with greater clarity. I might be mistaken, though, and if someone out there could come up with a ZRF for E.C., I'd certainly like to give it a try and be proven wrong.

Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-08-04 UTC
I think part of the trouble with this variant, and the reason that people
hesitate to try it is the lack of a coherent theme, by theme I include 
abstract themes such as all pieces have abstract quality X. 

this game have various categories of pieces:

King : royal

Squire, Viceroy, Pawn, Crowned Knight, left/right schzzhi: normal, 
      i.e. no special powers but can be effected by others

Bobber: extending powers (to itself)

dazzler, hyenna : immobilizer

archer, zednick : confabulators

yanzee : invulnerable

extentialist : morph

teleporter: transports self.

I feel there's a excess of categories and overlap between the powers 
between the pieces. this game would be better I think if no two pieces
have the same higher power. for example having had the dazzler both 
hyenna and yanzee is somewhat superflous.

similarly archer is a more coherent piece than zednick which has 4 
unrelated powers, so it would be a better games without zednick.
A compromise would to give the power of the zednick to the bobber
which creates the stretegic tension of whether to keep the bobber 
around or to confabulate it with some other piece to increase that
piece's power.

I think the more constrained variant below might be easier to start 

all the normal pieces and the king.

King : royal

Squire, Viceroy, Pawn, Crowned Knight, left/right schzzhi: normal

Dazzler: as the immobilizer and giver of invulnerability

archer: as the confabulator

bobber/zednick: moves as bobber or can confabulate as a zednick

teleporter: transports itself

extentialist: cycles through all the non-royal pieces, on 11th move it 
              sleeps, than another cycle, then explode.

I think I have preserved all the ideas in your game and simplified it
a bit. hope you find it interesting.

David Short wrote on 2002-08-03 UTC
Well, since I already posted one comment and rated my game as 
'excellent' I won't tip the scales any further with additional
comments so I will rate this comment as 'none'

I am glad that some typographical errors to the text have been
corrected. Also some additional material was added in a place or two.

I am surprised that this game has not drawn more attention among
the avid enthusiasts of this site since it has been published.
I think that this variant is extremely intriguing and exciting.
One of the things which makes it so interesting is that it is up
for discussion as to what the best strategy to use in this game is,
especially as regards the archer and zednick. Do you confabulate
them as early as possible and commit yourself to one course of 
action, or do you wait a while, develop your pieces a bit, let the
game get into some rhythmic flow, see which way the wind blows a bit
before deciding where to confabulate these pieces? What is the best
use for the archer? What is the best use for the zednick? What value
does one give the new pieces compared to the traditional ones?
How strong can the existentialist be? How can one defend against 
the archer? It would probably take quite a bit of play-testing,
not just one or two games but literally ten or twenty to really
begin to get a feel for the game and get an answer to these questions.
I do not think this game is overly complicated, it's just that there
are so many different possibilities that it may be hard to keep track
of all of them.

Richard Gresty wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
This an intriguing chess variant... interesting. I can't rate it until I get experience in the variant, if I can find the time to try it out.

Ben Good wrote on 2002-07-20 UTC
i can't judge a game this complicated w/o playing it first. i am looking forward to trying it tho. is anybody working on a zillions file for this game?

Michael wrote on 2002-07-13 UTC
This seems like a very complicated game. I rated it as 'none' because I
have no practical experience in  this game. I have not even imagined the
possibilities. It would be unrealistic for me to give it a rating. But I do
have comments (of course) ....... You have a good imagination. It seems a
bit much, but some pieces seem to have potential. I particularly like the
idea of the Hyena. I'm not too sure about the Archer though? And I'm not
too sure about this Confabulation theme? However, it does accomplish what
you appearred to have set out to accomplish ........ A game that is rich in
multiple possibilities. Really seems like a 'hard-thinking' game.


David Short wrote on 2002-06-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I think that EXISTENTIALIST CHESS is one of the most intriguing 
cv's I've ever come up with. Yes, it is complicated, but read 
through the rules a few times and eventually you'll get the hang
of it. One of the things that's fun about this game is all the
different combinations you can come up with from confabulating
the archer and zednick. Is the archer too powerful a piece?
Perhaps. One may be forced to give up one of their own powerful
pieces just to get rid of their opponent's archer. 

A few notes to add that I forgot to mention from the text:
A cannon's long jump move is done in a straight line either
horizontally or vertically but not diagonally. Though I didn't
intend it originally as such when I wrote it, so as to go along
with the literal description of the rule as stated, a dazzler
may not jump an enemy shield, either with the long cannon-like
jump (intended rule) or from 2 squares away (unintended rule).

There were a few typos in the text as originally posted, I've
sent in an email to the editors of this site pointing them out
asking them to correct them.

Captain Kirk, you're funny. I know what you mean, but I did not
set out to deliberately make a game that was overly complicated.
I just wanted to create a game with a lot of different pieces
and a lot of possibilities. I think that, by comparison, my game
is easier to follow than a game like THE GAME OF NEMOROTH 
which seems to me to be very hard to play and has pieces conflicting
each other all the time. 

Lastly I would like to add that I welcome anyone to email me
at [email protected] if you would like to play 
EXISTENTIALIST CHESS with me by email. We can submit an ASCII
diagram to each other with each move, though I would prefer to
play against people who have ZILLIONS OF GAMES and when a 
zrf file for this game is eventually posted to this page, use
it to record the positions of the game and only email each other
the moves, and not the diagram too.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-06-08 UTC
Holy cow! This is really really complicated!

I can't tell if it's good yet, but it sure as heck is complicated. I'll
have to read it three more times.

Capt. Kirk wrote on 2002-06-07 UTC
Child's play compared to Fizzbin Chess. Fizzbin Chess, now there's a *real* man's chess variant. :-)

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