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Lemurian Shatranj. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
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.

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?

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.

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 2007-01-30 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.

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.

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.


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