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Three Elephant Chess. War Towers destroy 3 spaces at a time - protect your elephants while capturing your opponent's. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-06-05 UTC
FYI, corrected rules link on preset.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-06-03 UTC
In my last comment, which diverged from Stones to Blockades and pawns, I neglected to mention this interesting scenario: we could have situations in which Spearmen on both sides will form somewhat of a demilitarized zone between them... so, unlike a pawn-chain-lock in Chess, here we could have two ranks of Spearmen facing each other, separated by an empty but vey hostile rank (with all those spears pointing inward). Players would need to use War Towers to tear through such barriers.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-06-03 UTC
Roberto - thanks for the comment.  It is much appreciated.  In part you
mention Stones slowing the game; and Peter mentioned this as well. The
fact that two well-respected game designers/players mention this is
important to me.

So I must provide a few more of my thoughts on this subject: We must
consider the 'Pawn aspect' of chess when discussing the progress of
these games.  I offer that 'Western Chess Pawns' will actually slow a
game down more than the Stone / Spearmen  2:9 ratio mix we see here. 
Aaron Nimzovitch wrote an entire book on the subject of 'Blockade'... he
illustrated how pawns could lock up a game.  Such a lock up, slowing down a
game, is good if you need a blockade to defend from attack... it is not so
good if you are the one trying to get through the blockade.

Now, back to 'Three Elephant Chess,' if it used Western Chess Pawns the
game would be slower and adding Stones would slow things down, possibly to
a stand still if it wasn't for the War Tower's ability to crash through. 
We also must consider the Spearmen that can change their direction of
movement and capture.  With War Towers and Spearmen we can have no solid
pawn chains to provide a lasting blockade, even with the aid of stones. 

Of course, there is Theory and then there is Practice. We now will need to
examine the practice aspect.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2006-06-03 UTCGood ★★★★
This game seems to be very strategic, perhaps a bit slow, but it does not affects the fun, this game, as is, seems to be very interesting. My experience with stones is not negative, I like these pieces if you want a less tactical and a more strategical game, but I admit that it can slow the game. I need some tests to evaluate better this game; for a while, a 'good' rating.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-06-03 UTC
Jeremy, the Rules button in the preset brings me to Courier Chess (Modified), not 3 Elephant Chess.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-06-02 UTC

I am just going to post this preset here for now, but will post it formally some time in the next week (you are certainly free to do that now, Gary, if you want, but I want to tinker with the showpiece function and maybe try to get the notation to be a little less cumbersome before I post it myself).


Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-06-02 UTC
Peter: Thanks for taking time to comment.  You wrote, 'although I have some
minor doubts about the Stones -- in my experiance, these sorts of pieces
can make endgames less fun by making them slower.'

My response: I dislike endgames period, so a slower endgame would cetainly
be a drag.  However, since all pieces (including Spearmen' can move around
Stones, I can't imagine them hindering the more powerful player by much. 
The Stone move slow, like a King... they can hardly ward off 4 War Towers,
2 Dragon Horses, a Queen, 2 Horses and 9 Spearmen.  What they can do is
provide temporary protection and make someone work a little harder at
getting his (or her) attack to work.

You also wrote: But actual play should show if this is the case or not.
My response: I agree.  And with much appreciation to Jeremy Good (pre-set
builder)and Antoine Fourrière (who solved a Spearman directional problem)
the pre-set for Three Elephant Chess is just about ready to go.  I hope
there will be a few games to watch and participate in.

You also wrote: The War Tower has a slight resemblence to the Mad Elephent
in Mad Elephant Chess.
My response: I was not familiar with your Mad Elephant... but you are
correct.... there is some similarity between it, my Catapults of Troy Ram,
and the War Tower.  Perhaps the most important differences are that the War
Towers and Rams fall apart when used (1-time use). And War Towers only
impact 3 spaces... but Rams take out everything, so they are perhaps more
closely related to your wonderful Mad Elephant piece.

You now have me interested in Mad Elephant Chess, so I will be looking it
over later this evening.

Thanks again for your comments.  And also to Jeremy and Antoine for the
pre-set work.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2006-06-02 UTCGood ★★★★
Looks amusing, although I have some minor doubts about the Stones -- in my experiance, these sorts of pieces can make endgames less fun by making them slower. But actual play should show if this is the case or not.

The War Tower has a slight resemblence to the Mad Elephent in Mad Elephant Chess.

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