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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-03-28
 By Greg  Strong. Cataclysm. Large board game with short-range pieces designed to be dramatic without being overly complicated or dragging on too long. (12x16, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on 2007-04-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Damn.  I've been working on a ShortRange variant with pieces very similar to your Elephant, Tiger, and Duke - identical, in fact, save for one less square of range (WB3, FR3, and Q2).  Great minds... *smirk*

I'll still throw it out there if playtesting proves it to be any good - it's just that now I'll look like a copycat.

'It's not a's an homage!' :)

As for Cataclysm, I like it.  I like the big board.  I like all the pieces save the Great Rook, and that's only because I have a personal dislike of hoppers.  All in all, it looks like fun.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-05-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Is this the COURIER CHESS of the new century?  Many interesting ideas here.
If you decide that the Grand Rook is too strong, try using a Grand Cannon,
combining the moves of the Wazir and the Cannon. Note on terminology:
Roberto Lavieri uses (very different) Grand-Rooks and Grand-Cannons in 
ALTAIR.  As an experiment, I am subtracting 4P, D, S, C, T and cutting 
the board down to 12x12.  As in Mir Chess 32, the rotationally 
symmetric setup staggers the pawn lines.  Give all pawns an initial 2-step.

 . . . . . . . . P P P P  5
 . . . . P P P P . . C C  4
 P P P P E D S E . T . T  3
 C . T . E Q K E . . . .  2
 G R B . . . . . . B R G  1
 a b c d e f g h i j k l

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-05-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I would personally suggest a neater starting position than the one in use. You have 24 pieces, so it would seem natural to stack them in two 12-square ranks.

I'd suggest tilting the board so it's vertical instead of horizontal. You will have 12 files and 16 ranks. If you want 4 ranks between the two camps then pawns will have to start at the 6th rank. This is my suggestion :

 P P P P P P P P P P P P  6
 T T C C E E E E C C T T  5
 . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
 X X X X X X X X X X X X  3
 G R B S D Q K S D B R G  2
 . . . . . . . . . . . .  1
 a b c d e f g h i j k l


 P P P P P P P P P P P P  6
 R C C B S D S D B C C R  5
 . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
 X X X X X X X X X X X X  3
 G T T E E Q K E E T T G  2
 . . . . . . . . . . . .  1
 a b c d e f g h i j k l

The X's are Berlin Pawns. They have double-step and may be captured en-passant by other Berlin pawns (and/or normal pawns, if you wish.) Normal pawns promotion rules are as stated in the rules, on the 14th, 15th, or 16th rank. Berlin pawns promote at 11th, 12th, or 13th, with the same promotion rules.

The King may castle with Grand Rooks by moving four squares to the right or the left and the Grand Rook move to the square next to the King. Or with Rooks by moving three squares.

M Winther wrote on 2007-05-05 UTCBelowAverage ★★
I see no point in this, as this variant is virtually unplayable. The tactical capacity of short-range-pieces is such that this takes too long to play. Could somebody please explain the credo behind these constructs? Are they to be regarded pieces of art, or what? Why not settle for more modest constructs?

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Mats, I think you may be suffering from what Gary Gifford calls the 'green eggs and ham' syndrome. You haven't tried playing this game. I urge you to try playing a game or two of this and then I think you will see that it is in fact, very playable and it may even inspire you to create variants with boards of more diverse types than the ones you tend to favor. I realize that the format may seem overwhelming at first, the 12 x 16 board, but I really don't think that you can criticize something like this before trying it. The fact that larger shogi variants have achieved great success in past centuries gives us a clue as to what may be do-able in the universe of chess variants.

This is a very enjoyable variant, very cutting edge. It features a number of pieces whose relative value is very hard to determine on this long board so, as Greg Strong remarked to me, it turns into a Chess with Different Armies competition where you get to pick your own army depending on the type of exchanges your opponent is willing to allow. I've become very fond of this variant, though I think it may be helpful to use an alternate piece set at least until one is acclimated to seeing the one Greg Strong chose in the way he wishes them to be seen. I'd like to get this alternate piece set added at some point to the original preset so that players can choose which set of pieces they want to use (not sure how to do that right now).

Eric Greenwood wrote on 2008-02-15 UTCGood ★★★★
Can the Sorceress Jump? it doesn't seem like it can, but it is not disallowed in the rules. Thanks! :)

Eric Greenwood wrote on 2008-03-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
 I don't ever check my e-mail--Just accept the game for courier-spiel, and we'll talk while we play!
 BTW, this is a decent game-i've played a lot worse!

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2011-01-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Hey this game looks great, love the big board and not too many pieces added, really like the 'duke' too. I will have to check out the game courier logs, i like this type of game because one can learn more about gameplay with fairly short range type pieces on a very large board. Great stuff.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
In the notes to this game, it says this game has rotational symmetry rather than mirror symmetry. That does not appear correct based on the setup diagram. Even the king and queen face each other, each sharing the same file as in classical chess. Was the graphic updated, or am I missing something?
It does look like an excellent large-format variant. Does anyone know if ChessV plays it (and if so, how well)?

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCGood ★★★★

Several interesting piece types in this game. Can well-played games of it be reasonably short on average? Time will tell, but I suspect most such games won't go past 100 full moves, good for such a large board.

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