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Lemurian Shatranj. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Paulowich wrote on 2007-01-29 UTC

The Sliding General has been used in Adrian King's 16x16 variant Jupiter, under the name Hawklet. The 'Hawklet' piece is also listed in the Generic Chess Piece Creation System.

One of these days I will post the rules for my 'subvariant' of Lemurian Shatranj, which replaces the War Elephants with Rooks.


Greg Strong wrote on 2007-01-29 UTC
It would be nice to see the Sliding General's name changed (maybe to Hawklet - I like that name) because the name Sliding General is also used in one of Joe's other Shatranj variants for a different piece.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-01-30 UTC
David, thanks for the pedigree on the sliding general. I appreciate the knowledge and the effort that went into learning it that your reference demonstrates. I admit that whenever you give a history for a piece I've re-designed, it gives me a little nudge to come up with a better effort and a truly new piece, which makes it more fun. Thanks. I enjoy having designed several pieces you haven't [yet] put a history to. Greg, you are quite right about the sliding general. There are several games where it shows up, in 2 versions. There is the linear version, which is a 2-square queen reaching 16 of the 24 neighboring squares, and a bent version which adds the knight move and can reach all 24 of the squares within 2 of its initial position. There are also 2 icons, one with some grey tint and one without, which distinguish the 2 versions. Among other places, the straight version is in HyperModern Shatranj and the bent one is the royal piece, the chieftain, in Chieftain Chess. I do have a naming deficiency, which I've admitted to before, which I compound by being very picky about the names I will use. Not that I often manage it, but I prefer a coherent style of names and piece icons in a game. I don't mind more than one name for an icon, but I do mind more than one move for an icon. Haven't quite managed it yet, though.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-05-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Two exciting new pieces are featured here. Hero and Shaman are the best (perhaps the only) inclusive compounds designed for use in a chess variant that does not rely on overpowered pieces.

Two set of colorbound pieces create some interesting possibilities, which I have continued to explore on a 10x10 board in Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. I decided to replaced the War Elephant (FAD) with a similar, but nonleaping, piece.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-05-28 UTC
David, thank you very much. Of pieces I've designed, the Hero and Shaman are my two favorite straight chess pieces, if you can call a pair of twisty shatranj pieces that. This game and these 2 pieces are the furthest I've gone so far in shortrange development in a standard chess environment. They came from the flexible and twisted knights of Atlantean Barroom Shatranj, when I realized I could cut those 2 pieces in half and still have a piece that was almost as powerful and considerably simpler. 

Originally they were set up in the standard rook and bishop positions, with a knight between them, all flanking a king and guard. After pushing pieces a little, I came to the conclusion that the knights were redundant, so I replaced them with the heroes; and then I had the 2 corner squares empty. Now I needed a piece that was shortrange and reasonably but not too powerful, and that could be developed without too many contortions in a game with shatranj [1-step] pawns. The FAD seemed ideal to me, as it is both powerful and limited, being unblockable, quite shortrange, and colorbound. [The specific starting squares of all the colorbound pieces has, I think, a lot to do with why and how this game works.] Finally, I replaced the queen analog, the guard, with the hawklet/bent sliding general, as it has a fair chance of taking out a piece attacking itself or the king, unlike a guard, which cannot even block the other pieces, much less defend against or make a serious attack on them.

While I was working on everything in the above paragraph, this game spun off a variant of its own, which got posted first - Chieftain Chess. And that game started my foray into the really large variants.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-13 UTC
Lemurian Temple Shatranj 
Jeremy Good asked me to design a game that used the linear hero and shaman the other day. Recently, I've been thinking about the 'double-wazir', a complement to David Paulowich's Opulent Lemurian Shatranj war elephant/free padwar. If it moves 2, it winds up on exactly the same squares as the war elephant, but can change color, so keeping Andy Maxson happy. Anyway, after very little thought, this is what I came up with as a prototype:
P - standard shatranj pawn
R - replaced with double-wazir, no null moves
N - replaced with linear Hero, D+W; steps 1 and/or leaps 2 orthogonally
B - replaced with linear Shaman, A+F; steps 1 and/or leaps 2 diagonally
Q - replaced with H/S combo piece
K - inclusive compound W+F; moves as 1 component, then stops or may move as the other component [ref: Piecelopedia, 'Moo']
This leads to a few questions:
 Does this play okay on an 8x8, or must these pieces be moved to a larger board? 
 Is the king too strong, leading to mating problems? 
 What are the promotion rules, and is there a non-royal king equivalent that can always be promoted to?

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-07-13 UTC
An inclusive compound W+F royal piece will be very hard to checkmate. You could try a 'Caïssa Britannia' limitation, where the King is cannot make the first step of its move into a square that is under attack. That can lead to tricky situations - for one thing this King can only capture a piece a Knight-leap away if it can trace a safe path to its target. A simpler limitation would be to say the King can only move one step when it is in check. Note: 'and/or leaps 2' is the wrong phrase for linear compound pieces.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC

Lemurian Temple Shatranj The king (substitute) in this game moves to all the squares the knight, wazir or ferz moves to; the rook in this game moves to all the squares the dabbaba, wazir or ferz moves to. Interesting pieces. As with Lemurian Shatranj, the king is fairly powerful and you put one of the weaker pieces on the rook squares. [Added note: Only they are multipath movers, not jumpers.]


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC
Thank you for the comments, David and Jeremy. 
David, you are absolutely right in the limitation to the king, being unable to move into/through check. Thank you for making it explicit. Heh, thought you'd get me on the WW, which: 'winds up on exactly the same squares as the war elephant', which it doesn't, exactly. It misses the 4 Alfil squares. It counterbalances those 4 squares with the 4 initial wazir squares. This leads me to suggest that since both pieces hit the same number of squares and have the same range, the more powerful one is the one that attacks more close squares. This would be the double wazir [isn't there a better name for this thing? C'mon, what is it?], which, since it may change color, should be more powerful anyway. Finally, the 'and/or' in the linear H&S descriptions is my way of trying to get off cheap in explaining the exact moves of pieces that may step one, leap 2, or do both, in either order, but only in a straight line. There, I got it all in. ;-)
Jeremy, you are right about the weakness of the corner pieces. They are, in fact, my knight analogs for LemS and LemT. And you well know the Hero pieces are rook analogs that moved in 1 square and took over the knight's position, because they took over the knight's move. That's how the knight pieces got banished to the corners, which is supposed to be a no-no. But is it always? The FAD can get out of the corner easily; on turn 1 it has 2 moves, 1 of which attacks 2 of the 4 center squares. The FAD is a strong piece for a knight analog, even though it is colorbound and stuck in a corner. Is the double-wazir good enough in the corner, or will it languish like the 'woody rook' often does when it starts in a corner?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC
The king is what I called a pony in the Shortrange Project. Thanks for the preset, Jeremy ['Do you want to play a game?']; that's a very basic piece design you've got there, with the virtues of simplicity and instant recognition. Whose move is it? 
You want assassins, don't you? Nobody moves, but a piece next to the ww just happens to drop dead, and poof, it's the next turn! Well, I gotta tell ya, the Atlanteans just might sneak that piece into the game as a change of pace, but the Lemurians wouldn't. They were more conservative in many ways*. The Temple version is supposed to be the original version; the 'new' Lemurian Shatranj with the bent hero and shaman was actually strongly influenced by their colony and rival's Barroom Shatranj, which was the first to introduce the bent pieces. In fact, Temple is also influenced by the new version, as the first Temple version had the hero in the corner. ;-) 
* You didn't bribe the priests. Ya want assassins, ya gotta pay for 'em.
Finally, and seriously, to compare power in the 2 games, you have to look at what is stronger in Temple - the Q analog has greater reach, the king is stronger, and there is only 1 pair of colorbound pieces per side, instead of 2 like LemS. The 50% colorboundness of Lem dilutes its pieces' power compared to the standard 25% of Temple or FIDE. 
Next: Promotions

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-16 UTC
Well, Joe, perhaps a Shatranjian CDA of Lemurian Temple Shatranj vs. Lemurian Shatranj might be in order here.

[Added note (7-16): This was a suggestion, not a point. ;) ]


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-16 UTC
You make a good point. I'm not sure I'd want white in the following preset:
/play/pbm/play.php?game%3DShatranj+with+Different+Armies+1%26settings%3DSwDA%3A+LemS+vs+TempleLems
I lean toward Grand Shatranj with Different Armies here, with longer-range pieces for Temple to balance its weaknesses. The trick is to balance the pieces well, and justify the longer ranges for Temple reasonably well, or re-work the background mythos. But if Lem used the high priestes and minister as exclusive compound pieces, then Temple can use them with extended range. the high priestess adds a ferz move to either of the other 2 parts of ins move, N or A, and the minister adds the wazir to the beginning or end of the N or D move. These 2 pieces would be 'somewhat inclusive' pieces, and would be quite powerful, I think. Might throw the balance the other way, maybe...

George Duke wrote on 2008-06-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
We go along with the finding of coherence by others in this one. Joe Joyce recently uses the word ''hubris'' to describe what inventors who fall in love with their invention feel. Presumably, there being 3000-4000 CVs' separate write-ups in CVPage alone, most are certain to outgrow ''hubris'' and eventually try to place their game and philosophy in contexts. Thanks to Joyce for retroactively acknowledging Burroughs, whose work is now almost 100 years old and was inspiration to many -- even before Ultima came along in 1960's. Betza for example tells of reading Murray in some major East Coast Library (Philadephia) way back then; and Burroughs' Martian Chess was one of few additional standards for off-Chess ideas. A third before Dickens' 'Guide To Fairy Chess' (1969) was 'Scientific American' in its Martin Gardner columns, taking up CVs several times annually. Anyone working with Jetan look-alikes should reference Burroughs, as now done here. We should also get around to considering in what respect Bent Hero and Bent Shaman fit into the multi-path panoply. Nice over-all work.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-16 UTC
What would you estimate to be the value of the Bent Shaman?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-16 UTC
My estimate is slightly more than a rook in value. The rook on 8x8 hits 14 squares. The shaman hits 20 max, but just 5 when in a corner. However, it jumps and can change direction, and has the step-leap or leap-step ability. I suspect that these inclusive compound pieces are slightly underestimated in value by most people. But then, I could easily be wrong, because I use them more than most, so have a little practice; these pieces can be quite surprising in many situations. Their shock value probably adds a bit to their worth. Anyway, David Paulowich rates the shaman and rook equal in Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. (Do they maintain the same relationship in going from 10x10 to 8x8, or does one get a value boost? - Trick question, no?)

Possibly the best answer is this: if you have both shamans, don't trade 1 for a rook. If you've lost a shaman, trade the remaining one for a rook, unless you can trade your remaining shaman for 1 of your opponent's pair of them, thus busting up that pair. 

By pair, then, I rate the shaman higher than a rook; by itself, one shaman is likely worth no more than a rook, at best.

zodiac wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
So Bent Shaman goes to all of Omega Chess Wizard squares, and then some more squares too?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
Yes, the bent shaman does hit all the Omega wizard's squares plus 8 more: the 4 alfil 2,2 leaps, and the four (3,3) diagonal steps out beyond those alfil moves. To make the 3,1 move requires an intermediate empty landing and take-off square, but there is a choice of 2 such squares. 

Hm, that should mean the bent shaman is worth 1.5 - 2.5 pawns more than the wizard, no? What's the value of the wizard? I admit my original inclination was to value the bent shaman at 7, or roughly 6 - 8 points, and the bent hero at 8 - 10, roughly the value of a queen. A bit of consideration brought those numbers right to the bottoms of those ranges, or lower. The shaman is colorbound, and both are shortrange pieces. Still, the choice of steps makes these pieces more flexible than most pieces.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
I was Zodiac. (3,3) is Tripper for decades not just Gilman, but George Jeliss' ''All the King's Men.'' So opaque Bent Shaman is fourfold-optional-serial-compound of Ferz, Alfil, Camel and Tripper with nuances for required intervening vacancy when going three steps out. I think Gilman mostly stops at tri-compounds. Bent Hero is a 1-2-3 Rook plus Knight for destinations similarly nuanced for slot-vacancy options -- making the Knight and Rook-3 pathways contingent. They both could be characterized as two-path to half of their each four kinds of squares. 4 kinds+4 kinds=8 kinds, and there are only 9 ''types of squares'' in surrounding 7x7 set of squares. That means between them B.S. and B.H. use 8 of the 9, excluding only Zebra. B.S. and B.H. are funny pieces, like from a Betza article in the best (or worst) spirit of upstart CVs having entertainment value. For clarity, Joyce's ''intermediate empty landing square'' and ''take-off square'' immediately below three lines are intending to indicate one and the same functional square, just one square at a time, not two.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-18 UTC
I like these things for a gag, as rated 9.June.08, a novelty like Schizophrenic, insofar as intimidation is not attempted. A logical complementary pair, one of many, 
O_Z_O_X_O_Z_O  Joyce's Bent Hero and Bent Shaman add complications to 
Z_O_X_X_X_O_Z  natural moves of Knight and short-range Rook and Bishop.
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  The destination diagram for B.H. is represented by all
X_X_X_S_X_X_X  the X's. (1) Rook-3, called Trebouchet (0,3) requires
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  vacancy at either r-2 or r-1. (2) Knight spaces require
Z_O_X_X_X_O_Z  vacancy differently at either an r-2 or r-1 also. R-3 and
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  Knight are two-path, and R-1 and R-2 one-path. To experts, Leman. Shat. is as playable as it is unnatural, though B. S. as a piece is less so and more so respectively. Singly or dually they are decorative art one might see glorified -- as they should be -- on an Aztec stone mural or Navajo blanket for symmetry. Destination diagram for B. Shaman is represented by all the O's. (1) Camel squares require vacancy at either Ferz or Dabbabah. (2) Tripper requires such void at either Ferz or Alfil. Now with comprehension we see that Camel space (B.S.) is available neither by direct leap nor by way of the 3 Falcon pathways. Knight space (B.S.) is available neither by direct leap -- that even your 5-year-old should know inside out -- nor even by any diagonal one-step component at all in the pathway. Fine that's the way it is. Showing absurdity as entertainment, B.H. commands the triangle with sides a4-d7 and d7-d4 and d4-a4, thus excluding only the one square most natural of all, center c5. Let's isolate just the 16 squares, O Shaman, X Hero etc.
X_O_Z_O How many ways can we keep the S starting square and two Zebra
X_X_O_Z exclusions and divide the remaining 13 as being of 8 and of 5?
X_O_X_O 1287 ways. 1287 New World patterns. If each CVPage generation
S_X_X_X is 3 years, and there is one Joe Joyce each generation, in 3861 years we can run through these more or less arbitrary divisions of surrounding 7x7 space.
http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/glessndecimal.html

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-19 UTC
Entertaining analysis, George but tiny correction: Camel requires, like tripper, vacancy at either ferz or alfil which is what I think you meant to say. Here is another, similar diagram and comprehensive discussion of the move of Bent Shaman under 'Twisted Broken Heart.'

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-19 UTC
Thank you for the analysis, George; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and got a good laugh at the end. 

When I designed the pieces, I wasn't aware of their footprints. It wasn't until David Paulowich made a movement diagram that I realized just how these 2 pieces, the bent hero and shaman, fit together. They are complementary shortrange area attackers. And all I did was take a couple pairs of leftover junk pieces and stick them together with a flexible join. 

As far as values of pieces, while I am very interested in them, I'm not very good at figuring them out. I've only been playing 5 years, which isn't enough time or experience to give solid estimates. So I could easily be a pawn or three off in my values.

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

Some cool Shatranj style pieces here, on the classic 8x8 board.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

So you've changed the Bent Hero and Bent Shaman to Hero and Shaman, that now move directly to all these squares rather than taking two steps, optionally turning?


Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Hi, Greg. No, I just noticed the piece descriptions for them were missing from the rules page. Then I got 404 errors while trying to see the alfaerie expansion sets 3, 4, and 5. So I grabbed a copy from Opulent Lemurian Shatranj (one of the very best chess variants "period!") Back when the 3 of us were kicking around ideas, David commented that the name "bent hero" might convey a little more than intended. He obviously "softened the name" by putting the "bent" part in parentheses after the piece name. And the move is still either or both of a step and a leap. The hero and shaman are powerful enough already. The necessity of taking 2 steps to go 3 squares is about the only real limitation on the pieces' ability to attack almost half the squares within 3 squares.


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