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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-11-17
 By Dmitry  Eskin. Asymmetric Chess. Chess with alternative units but classical types and mechanics. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-18 UTC

English is not my native language, that's why if you'll find any mistakes, please point on its to me.
Also, I'm opened for new suggestions, including the balance of some units and estimating their real value. But please consider that the main goal of this chess variant is the asymmetric balance with very simple rules and saving all basic mechanics and types.
And it will be very good if this chess variant will be implemented on any online chess engine, including AI testing balance, I hadn't done it yet.

Thanks for this site. And for "Chess with different armies" also, I'm not agree with some of things (basically with unaltered pawns, strange extra moves of typical pieces, extended/limited pieces), but learning of this experience was important for me, helping to realize what is better to choose the implementation of pieces.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-20 UTC

I is pretty hard to judge if your other armies are anywhere near balanced with the FIDE ('Human') army, without computer assistance. Because of the unconventional Pawns. Any uncertainty in their value will be multiplied by 8.

It seems all the pieces you use are well within the capabilities of Fairy-Max. So it should be easy to configure Fairy-Max to play this variant.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-20 UTC

Yes, the Pawns are the most dangerous because they are very complex and progressive units, especially with pawn's chains in any different forms.
But I can't configure Fairy-Max to play this variant because of problems with configure linear-leaps (unicorn/werewolf, wyvern/hunter). It has very strange instructions and unclear mechanics of configuring complex moves, even for a programmer.
For example, if I put a move like 15,FFFF070 (-16) then a piece can move from g8 through f7 to e7. If put 15,1070 (+1) then a piece can move from g8 through f7 to... d6. But any other tries with -1 and +16 do nothing. I need help for it.

Do you know any online chess service supporting illegal moves (free moves by agreement between the players themselves)? It would be the best for playing many non-classic variants without any programming (no AI analysis, no AI player, no AI tips - but the natural, origin wood form of a chess doesn't have these options too).


Greg Strong wrote on 2016-11-20 UTC

Hi Dmitry,

This is an interesting looking invention you have here.  I like the concept of the game and the principals you followed.  It has led to a promising game.  Of course, something so radical will require testing.  The only thing that is unfortunate is the bishop "blink". I think the Elven pawns may be powerful enough that the extra blink might be unnecessary.

Regarding playing, your best bet is Game Courier on this site.  You can open one of the Chess presets, click Edit to modify it, and just erase all the code in the seven boxes at the bottom to stop it from enforcing any rules.  Then, in the first box, change the name from Chess to Asymmetric Chess, enter your user id and password, and click Save.  It will give you a link that you can then use to send out invitations to play.

Cheers,
Greg


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-20 UTC

to Greg Strong
Hi Gregory!
Thanks for the feedback.
The blink is added only to the Phoenix (Archbishop) not the Hunters (Bishops).
Adding the blink wasn't a simple decision, but at the current moment I think it is necessary (and is a minimal fee for the balance). A Phoenix without the blink (classical Archbishop) has an estimated value 8.2 (instead of 10.6), a half pawn less than a Dragon (Chancellor). And a Fairy promoting to non-blinking Phoenix has an estimated value 1.25 (instead of 1.33). Summary a blink removing makes elves 3.0 classical pawns weaker. It will be wonderful if such elves with so much estimating weakness will be balanced. But now I believe to these estimatings more than to a wonderful equality.

As an alternative variant without the blink, there is possible to buff the Pegasus, from 2 up to 3 range (leaping) but this is controversial and gives more advantages to elves (according to my estimates extended Pegasus has value of 4.9 instead of 3.1)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-20 UTC

"For example, if I put a move like 15,FFFF070 (-16) then a piece can move from g8 through f7 to e7. If put 15,1070 (+1) then a piece can move from g8 through f7 to... d6. But any other tries with -1 and +16 do nothing. I need help for it."

I agree, for pieces that change direction the definitions are awful. But the latest Fairy-Max version (5.0b) actually improved on that. Rather than having to specify the step change in hexadecimal in the upper bits of the move rights, (which is how it is interally stored) it allows you to simply write the secondary step as an (optional) 3rd element in the move definition. So 17,3,1 would now be a Griffon move, a slide that first steps diagonally (17), and then continues orthogonally (1). Fairy-Max itself then calculates what bits have to be changed to make a 1 from a 17.

The 'Skip Rook' in a sense is also a 'bent slider' like the Griffon, except that the move step does not change direction, but only length. The first step of the slide is that of a Dababbah, then the slide continues with single steps. The description of moves that do this would look like 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 etc. The 'lame Knights' move description would be like 1,43,17 (blockable orthogonally) or 17,43,1 (blockable diagonally).
 

I might equip future versions of Fairy-Max with a compiler for Betza notation, so that the piece definitions can be given in this form. That wouldmake it a lot more user-friendly.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

to H. G. Muller
Thanks you for your program and advices!

I put this variant and it works but I need to configure pieces' images: elvish (black in this case, and white for future presets) bishop and knight must exchange their starting places.

I use classic preset (images), but maybe it's better to draw alt. queens as chancellor and archbishop, but I don't know how to configure it.

// Asymmetric Chess (Orc-Elf)
Game: normal # PNBRQ.........Kpnbrq.........k
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 11 10 9 3 10 11 8
p:125 -16,24 -16,7 -1,5 1,5
p:130 15,24 17,24 15,7 17,7
K:-1  1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
N:430 1,043,-15 1,043,17 16,043,17 16,043,15 -1,043,15 -1,043,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,043,-15
B:280 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:860 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:310 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7
Q:1060 15,103 17,103 -15,103 -17,103 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
N:440 17,043,1 17,043,16 15,043,16 15,043,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,043,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,043,1
B:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15

Update: randomly get exchanging of the black knight and bishop, but how to get chancellor and archbishop images, it's a riddle...


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

I tried your game definition, and it needed the following fixes:

  • The first was my bad: the lame Knights did not require 43 move rights, but 70 move rights, because otherwise they would be able to make the W or F step already with full rights (3), and the secondary step would only toggle the termination bit (4) on. But the W or F step should not have any rights (0).
  • The piece ID of N and B equivalents in the piece lines was made lower case; this makes them seek the center. Otherwise Fairy-Max becomes very tardy developing them. I also did that for the Elvish Queen, as in Capablanca Chess the Archbishop also seemed to be worth more when seeking the center. Not sure if this is also true for the cylinder version, however. Perhaps the short Rook should also be center seeking to let Fairy-Max make better use of it.
  • I changed the name into orc-elf; it should now appear under that name in WinBoard's New Variant dialog
  • I appended " # fairy" to the game line to specify 'fairy' as parent variant. This variant implements normal Chess rules w.r.t. promotion, check, stalemate, castling etc., and is thus a good parent for most western Chess variants. Because it is a 'catchall' variant where WinBoard has no prior notion of the initial setup, WinBoard will pay attetion to the engine's setup command even when legality testing is on,which is another advantage.
  • I appended Betza move definitions to the game definition, which don'tmean anything to Fairy-Max, but are sent to WinBoard at the start of the game, to make WinBoard aware of how the pieces move. This enables WinBoard to highlight target squares in human-engine games, and properly disambiguate the move notation. (It is of course bad design that two independent, and therefore possibly conflicting move descriptions are needed. But the ability of WinBoard to accept piece definitions from the engine is a recent enhancement, and was then added to Fairy-Max as an afterthought. Ideally Fairy-Max would derive one set of move definitions from the other.)
  • I played a bit with the 'pieceToChar' string in the game line. Each position in this string corresponds to a WinBoard piece glyph, and specifies the piece it has to be used for. The first half of the string is for white pieces, the second half for black. The first five for each color are standard symbols for PNBRQ, the last one for K. In between come upto 17 other piece glyphs built into WinBoard. I selected some of those that seemed applicable. (Masked knight and unicorn for the lame Knights, commonly used pictograms for Archbishop and Chancellor. WinBoard does not have enough rookish or pawnish glyphs, however, so the 'Skip-Rook' is still depicted as an orthodox Rook. Of course it is a matter of taste whether you want all pieces to look different or just use the orthodox images. This whole issue can also be solved purely on the GUI level, by configuring use of (and providing) external images in WinBoard.)

______________________________________________________________________

// Asymmetric Chess (Orc-Elf)
Game: orc-elf # P..R..B.....N...Q....K.......q.....br...p.nk # fairy
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 11 10 9 3 10 11 8
p:125 -16,24 -16,7 -1,5 1,5
p:130 15,24 17,24 15,7 17,7
k:-1  1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:430 1,070,-15 1,070,17 16,070,17 16,070,15 -1,070,15 -1,070,-17 -16,070,-17 -16,070,-15
b:280 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:860 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:310 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7
q:1060 15,103 17,103 -15,103 -17,103 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:440 17,070,1 17,070,16 15,070,16 15,070,-1 -17,070,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,070,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
#
# P fWscWifnD
# p fFifnA
# N afsW
# n afsF
# B FA
# b jB
# R jR
# r WD
# Q RN
# q oBN


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

" Do you know any online chess service supporting illegal moves (free moves by agreement between the players themselves)? It would be the best for playing many non-classic variants without any programming (no AI analysis, no AI player, no AI tips - but the natural, origin wood form of a chess doesn't have these options too). "

I took the liberty replying to this in the Asymmetric Chess comments, as it did not seem to have anything to do with ChessV. You could use a page like this one. Although it highlights how pieces can move, it does not enforce this, and you can move them any way you want. If you have your own web space you could copy the page and change the rules it uses for highlighting to be the rules you want.


Greg Strong wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

Hi Dmitry,

I'm not sure how you determined your piece values but they are almost certainly off from the true values.  I suspect the elves are as strong as the humans without the phoenix blink.

If you would like to try it, I created a preset for Game Courier and posted an open invitation.  I will take the Elves (black) without the blink power.  You can use the following link to accept the invitation:

/play/pbm/play.php?game=Asymmetric+Chess&log=mageofmaple-cvgameroom-2016-325-681&submit=Accept

Cheers,
Greg


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

To H. G. Muller:

Alternative Knights are not lame Knights! They have up to all 12 squares to moves, like a linear piece (with a limited range up to 2). Regarding the rest, I will try it, thanks.

I tested the old configure and had found that:
1) Blink-Phoenix is terrible! Elf vs Human defeats a pawn with 1.B:a7 (if the 1....R:a7 then 2.Qe3 with a diagonal a7-h8 attacking and capture one of the rooks). It need to be fixed and I'll remove this ability at the next update of the Asymmetric Chess.
2) AI is weak at the openings and is strongly influenced by the way played alternative pieces, maybe its a problem with my mistakes of configuring (upper case) or with starting arrangements or with some pieces/pawns' design.
3) The total results of the balance for now (with time-control of 1 minute per 40 turns):
Orc-Human 13:7
Elf-Human 8,5:11,5 (but 5:5 when the elf is white and capture a pawn with 1.B:a7 and 3,5:6,5 when the elf is black)
Elf-Orc 9:11
4) The Wyvern seems undervalued and strong as soon as the Griffin (classic Rook) because of the starting activity

Maybe instead Phoenix' blinking I'll give to the Pegasus range of 1-3 (instead of 1-2), I'm testing for it. The old Pegasus has very big difference with a classic Rook in his power, because a classic Rook (Griffin) has sieged range (longer that long-range of bishop's diagonals). An average range of diagonal's direction is about 2,5, and an average range of orthogonal's direction is 4. That's why I think that 4+ distance is sieged range but a range of 3 isn't sieged. New Pegasus will be as strong as a Griffin (Rook) because of a great jumping ability.

P.S. Alterntative Knights (unicorn/werewolf) may be counted as lame knights + ferz/wazir.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

Ah OK. Sorry I misunderstood the Knights. So 43 is the correct move rights after all. Or perhaps better, because there are two moves passing over the same first square: make one of those lame (70), and allow the other to terminate there (43). That way you prevent that Fairy-Max will try to search the same move twice. (The hash table would largely cure any ill effects of that, but sometimes hash entries get overwritten.)

If there is no incentive to develop, opening play might be VERY poor. It is never very good, because the first 5 moves are heavily randomized. So opening moves like h2h4 will not be uncommon. But because both sides suffer from that it willnot skew the results. And it is needed to cause enough game diversity; when you play 100 games you don't want the same two games be repeated 50 times each.

Note that a 13-7 score hardly proves anything; you should at least do 100 games, and even then the standard error in the score will still be 4%. I had played 40 games before I realized I was using the wrong Knights, and the Orcs were leading by about 75% against the Elves, though (26+ 7- 7=).


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-21 UTC

I would update auto statistics at this post (with the new extended Pegasus instead of blink):

Orc vs Elf = 22,5 : 17,5
Orc vs Human = 21,5 : 18,5
Elf vs Human = 41 : 39

P.S. I like the new Pegasus, this unit became a brilliant with a range of 3, and so I had updated the rules (removing a blink and upgrading the Pegasus).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

As a demo I have put up a page for Orcs vs Elves in my turn-based server ( http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/orc-elf/). It is rather easy to set up such a page for any variant; it only requires the interactive diagram included in it to be adapted to the variant in question.

It is not clear to me whether this variant has e.p. capture, though. Although the diagram is rather general in how it defines e.p. capture, there arises an ambiguity when Pawns have moves that can both capture and non-capture. If such a move would go to the square skipped over by the opponent Pawn on the preceding move, it could both be interpreted as a normal non-capture move or as an e.p. capture.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

H. G. Muller:
Thank you. But there are some details.
The Hunter has the first part of moving (to range of 2) as a leaping, although continues his moving as a linear rider. In other words, he ia as classical Bishop but always skips (and ignores) the first square in each direction (at melee range of 1), like the Knight.
And the Wyvern has too.
The Pegasus is R3 but 100% leaper to all of his moves (can leap through up to 2 pieces). It gives him a great flexibility and makes him as stronger as the Rook.

If there some unclear details in the current rules (at the main post), please propose that such determinations would be clear to all. Maybe my current determinations are not clear now.

Sorry if it is inconvenient for the current notations: these types of moves were invented before I got to know this theory.

"If such a move would go to the square skipped over by the opponent Pawn on the preceding move, it could both be interpreted as a normal non-capture move or as an e.p. capture."
Hmm, its interesting. I think that this move has a capture's priority (always e.p. capture if possible). But there are some cases in which e.p.capture is put own king under a check - then moving to this square is not legal right now, even it is legal without e.p. capture.

And yes, there is a problem with e.p. capture in a Fairy-Max - the pawns may capture such a way any piece (not only pawns), even friendly, its a bug and later it is out of sync for engines :)

P.S. How I had found, the strongest configure for elvish AI is classical R and Q for a rook and queen, not centralized, as a standard rook and a queen.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

Ah, I misunderstood your new Pegasus. This explains why the Elves were crushed so badly by the Orcs in my tests with Fairy-Max. (They scored only about 10%). I fixed that now on the web page.

The Wyvern and Hunter were already as you say, however. They cannot be blocked on the square adjacent to them.

What is unclear in your main article is how en-passant capture works with Orkish and Elvish Pawns. You write that all rules arethe same as in orthodox Chess, so that suggests there must also be en-passant capture. But if a Human or Orkish Pawn moves e2e4 while there is an Elvish Pawn on d4, can this Elvish Pawn then capture e4 by moving to e3? Can it move to e3 without capturing e4? Fairy-Max should never e.p.-capture other pieces than Pawns (i.e. the first piece defined for each color). Do you have an example game where this happens? Fairy-Max assumes that a move with capture rights to the e.p. square (i.e. a square where the preceding initial double-push could have been blocked) is an e.p. capture of that last-moved piece. You can define an initial double-push in an alternative way, either as a jump or as a lame move that does not create e.p. rights.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

And I want to make decision (when a blink was removed), where is the best starting place for elvish bishops (Hunters), on b/g or on c/f files?

If the Hunters stay on c/f (as classical) then:
1) there is the g7-vulnerability and in EvE matchup 1.Qc3 forces a reaction of gf6/ef6
2) the Hunters are less aggresive but more maneurable (for example, Bh3 or Bb5+ moves)
3) Bb5-type moves counter 1....d4/d5 openings in EvH because after Bb5+ there is only one way to protect the king - moving a bishop or a knight to d7 with unfavorable exchange; and also that moves counter df4/df5 openings in EvE

If the Hunters stay on b/g files then:
1) EvE, EvH matchup: 1.Ra4 (or h4) immdediately attacks a7 and forces a reaction; this is an ability to cancel own castling for an early agression (and I think that for Elves with mobile pawns the castling is not important as for other armies)
2) the Hunter are more aggresive but less maneurable
3) EvH matchup: Ra4/h4 openings are still relevant because of the threating to a5-a8 capturing a rook (Griffin). And a possible reaction is b6 or a5 (these moves save a7 pawn also)

This is important for the elvish knights (Unicorns) too.

If the Unicorns stay on b/g (as classical) then:
1) their activation is possible through с2/f2 squares only, or as an alternative through a2/h2 but passive like Na3

If the Unicorns stay on c/f lines then:
1) their activation is possible through b2/g2 and d2/e2, more active variants


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

H. G. Muller

This is the illustration of how e.p. capture is broken (engine's bug):
1. d2-f4+ de3 (engine's move) but f4 pawn is still on the board and 2.f4:g5 is not legal because it is out of the sync.
If there is a black knight on the e4, it will disappear after that e.p. capture.

The white is the Elf and the black is the Elf or the Human on this diagram.

http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/orc-elf/
I like all of the new pieces' images except the phoenix (archbishop) and the centaurs. I think that archbishop may be like classical archbishop (but mirrored as chancellor) and the centaurs must be associated with bishops' classical images (as new hunters now). Because the centaur is a bishop variation, not an exotic piece with unique movement. And maybe the pegasus will be better as a "winged" rook, not sure. I think that the best idea is the nearest associations with classic pieces (werewolves/unicorns, fairies/guards, hunters, dragon are very nice).


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

OK, I see. This is not an engine bug, but a GUI bug. That is, WinBoard was never really changed to handle this complicated form of e.p. capture. It has always performed e.p.captures by the heuristic that a Pawn moving to an empty square not in the same file would as a side effect remove the piece just behind its destination square. Later I coded exceptions for this in variants xiangqi and berolina,and limited this behavior to cases where either legality testing was on, or the Pawn moved to the e.p. file. But in the case of a diagonally capturing Pawn e.p. capturing a diagonally double-pushed Pawn, this heuristic deletes the the wrong victim (e4 instead of f5). The engine knows nothing about that.

I any case WinBoard should not assume anything on pieces with redefined moves, even when legality testing is on. It should only assume e.p. capture when the move redefinition explicitly specifies the piece can e.p. capture, and the given move matches the defined move that does this.

Using the Lance symbol for Pawns would avoid application of the heuristic, but then true e.p. captures would never get their victim removed. The whole issue of e.p. capture is problematic, because the standard move notation always assumed that that the capture is an implied side effect of the move. But the black Pawn in the position you show is Elvish, this is no longer true. There is no general heuristic that would predict whether de6 in this position should remove f4 or not. It depends on the game rules, and it could even be that these allow both, so that the move can no longer be specified by just the start and destination squares.

As to the piece images used in the web page: I have only a limited set of images available, namely the XBoard piece glyphs. The crossed swords are WinBoard's standard representation of the Archbishop. I have only two bishop-like glyphs, one for the orthodox Bishop, the other now used for Hunter. (Well, that is not entirely true. I also have a Bishop without the inscribed cross. But it differs very little from the normal Bishop.Would it be better to use that for the Hunter, and the one now used for Hunter for the Centaur?) The point is that the piece that you call Centaur would be called Elephant in almost any variant it occurs. And it is a quite popular fairy piece. So Chess-variant players associate the Elephant very strongly with exactly the move you use for Hunter. So using a Bishop-like symbol for this piece would be rather confusing.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

H. G. Muller
Can you fix this problem with e.p. or it's very difficult (if WinBoard is your program)? In principle, it is not so terrible for automatic testing, simply replay some games. However, this interferes with the analysis and manual games.

On my part, I can simply:
- Make fairy leaping/laming the first move, but it is a buff (and an extra rule)
- Remove from the fairy possibility of double move, but it is a nerf and killing of game dynamics

The problem is that the elves are very equal balanced now. And it seems, now I understand why Spartan pawns have leaping first move :)

About pieces' images yes, I understand. But many other players do not know what is the elephant and why it is associated with a diagonal movement. And that's why I'm not sure which variant is better.

About the archbishop, if a piece has knightish moves but has not knightish image, it would deal "terrible damage", stunning any new players, because knightish moves are the most dangerous in the game and a player must be warned about this by the face of the horse :)

I had add the next rule about en passant capturing:

"For Elvish and Orcish Pawns en passant capturing has the first prioity, there is no possible to ignore en passant capturing with a simple moving to the square without capturing of this square​"

And how I see this is how the engine works now.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Correct me if I'm wrong:

Fairy = Stone General + pawn's basic mechanics (double move, e.p. capture, promotion)
Guard is unique

Unicorn = Ferz Knight without leaping
Werewolf = Wazir Knight without leaping

Hunter = Vanguard + leaping over adjacent squares
Centaur = Elephant (modern)

old Pegasus = Wazaba
Pegasus is unique
Wyvern is unique

Phoenix = Archbishop
Dragon = Chancellor


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

WinBoard is open source, and I am currently the most active developer. So, yes, I can and should change it. I had already started addressing the e.p. implementation in the latest release, to allow e.p. capturing on both skipped squares of a triple push (so that Omega Chess would work).

I uderstand that it would be very inconvenient to adapt the rules of your variant to work around problems of the interface.


"About pieces' images yes, I understand. But many other players do not know what is the elephant and why it is associated with a diagonal movement. And that's why I'm not sure which variant is better."

So one could argue it is high time for them to learn it. Originally Bishops were Elephants, moving two steps diagonally. In several languages they are still called such, and the slit in the head a modern Staunton Bishop is supposed to indicate their tusks. It never hurts to educate people.;-)

If I would use the 'featureless images' of Bishop and Rook (which were originally created for depicting pieces that move as normal Bishop and Rook, but promote differently, in Chu Shogi), I would be inclined to use them for Hunter / Pegasus, as the moves of these pieces are really very close to ordinary R and B.


"About the archbishop, if a piece has knightish moves but has not knightish image, it would deal "terrible damage", stunning any new players, because knightish moves are the most dangerous in the game and a player must be warned about this by the face of the horse :)"

Well, the Archbishop is a Bishop just as much as it is a Knight. It also seems confusing if too many pieces look like a Knight. Most players of variants in which the Archbishop participates do not seem to share your opinion. Seirawan Chess uses a Hawk for this piece, Gothic Chess uses the flattened Mitre I now used for Hunter. The popular SMIRF program for 10x8 Chess uses the crossed swords. I do have an image of a winged knight available, btw. People are likely to think it is a Pegasus, however. The names you assigned to the pieces does not fit their moves very well. In mythology Pegasus is a winged horse, and you use it on a piece that has no Knight moves. Similarly, a Centaur is both horse-like and human-like, and you made it fight for the Orcs without Knight moves. Perhaps you should consider renaming Phoenix to Pegasus, Pegasus to Eagle and Centaur to Troll (and Guard to Goblin, as Trolls and Goblins are known accomplishes of Orcs.)


"I had add the next rule about en passant capturing:

"For Elvish and Orcish Pawns en passant capturing has the first prioity, there is no possible to ignore en passant capturing with a simple moving to the square without capturing of this square​"

And how I see this is how the engine works now
."

Indeed, this is how Fairy-Max works. But WinBoard is supposed to be a general interface, and it is conceivable that other variants would have other rules. If at all possible I would therefore prefer a solution that works for all cases. WinBoard already has a general mechanism for writing moves with unexpected side effects, by writing them as two separate moves separated by a comma. So in principle a non-standard e.p. capture asin yout example could be written d4f4,f4e3 . There is no notation mechanism, however, to suppress implied side effects. So if e.p. capture is assumed by default, variants where one could choose would be in trouble.

I guess a good first step would be to design a mechanism through which the engine could inform the GUI whether e.p. capture has priority over non-capture, or whether it should be aplayer choice. One way to do this would be to adopt the rule that only when non-capture and e.p. capture in the Betza notation are enabled on the same atom, it is a user choice (so that e.p. capture would need the double-move notation). The Elvish Pawn should then be defined as fmcFfeFifmnA , while in the case of user choice one would have written fmceFifmnA. In the latter case the GUI should highlight e3 in yellow when you grab d4, and f4 in cyan. When you then click e3 it would leave f4 on the board, when you click f4 it would highlight e3 so you can finish the e.p. capture.

 


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

To H. G. Muller:

My opinions of the images are less important than the convenience of the players in any way. So if you sure maybe it's right.
About the Elephant, in my country the Bishop has name of the Elephant, but this is a word, not the image.

"The names you assigned to the pieces does not fit their moves very well. In mythology Pegasus is a winged horse, and you use it on a piece that has no Knight moves. Similarly, a Centaur is both horse-like and human-like, and you made it fight for the Orcs without Knight moves. Perhaps you should consider renaming Phoenix to Pegasus, Pegasus to Eagle and Centaur to Troll (and Guard to Goblin, as Trolls and Goblins are known accomplishes of Orcs.)"

In my opinions:
-Pawn-type is infantry
-Knight-type is cavalry
-Bishop-type is archers (but in fantasy subjects it's also casters)
-Rook-type is sieged (but in fantasy subjects it's a flyers)

So I had gave names with those types + race's themes. As for me, it is not a question of principle, if the most players agree with you, than change it. About the Guard, he was originally a Goblin, but the Goblin doesn't match to his defensive style, he is more Dwarf than Goblin (yes, this is a strange alliance).

The current Centaur and Pegasus are good associated with the classical knights not by moving types but by 100% leaping and limited range (originally they had the same range up to 2 squares - mid-range, but then the Pegasus was buffed to 3). That's why I had choose these names.



In terms of classic images, I like new images for the Hunter and the Wyvern, because (as for me) it's good associated with the blind zones that units have. But I like the Pegasus image too and so agree that it's very good for the Archbishop piece (it has a horse and the wings show that unit is mobile). This is the strong argue for renaming Phoenix to the Pegasus and I need to think about it.


George Duke wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Another one with Elven Army by name that is also a Chess Different Army is Fantasy Grand, Elven from year 2000.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Yes, but the Elves is only name, as fantasy theme is only image.
The main difference of this variant from the Chess with Different Armies is in 3 points:
1) all classic mechanics and types without any exotic moves
2) different pawns
3) new units/races are only for the asymmetrical balance, not for the new units/races (that's why it could never be 4+ races/armies if 3 is enough)

There is 100% guarantee that all non-king units are unique within this system, and all units in their types are not dominating each other (like extended knights with extra moves dominating classical knights at all aspects). There are simple rules limiting only classic mechanics. And these are very strong requirements or limitations for development, that's why the Asymmetric's Orcs and Elves armies can be included to Chess with Different Armies, but not vice versa.

In other words, this variant is detached subsystem of Chess with Different Armies, with strong limitations for classic rules and types.


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