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Boyscout. Moves in a diagonal zigzagline.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
KelvinFox wrote on 2020-02-01 UTC

I've had a idea lately with a vertical only version of this piece

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-02-01 UTC

It seems pretty obvious that this piece should be far stronger than an ordinary Bishop. Even the "chiral half" of it (which only has the moves that start with a turn in the same relative direction) has on average more moves than an ordinary Bishop; on non-edge squares it in fact has the same number of moves as a Rook. With both the left-handed and the right-handed moves it doesn't really have double the number of moves, as half of the moves overlap. But even then being able to go there along two paths must be worth something extra beyond having just a single way to get there. (There is no compensation for the fact that the left-handed and right-handed moves overlap on the F-squares, though, as these moves were unblockable anyway.)

KelvinFox wrote on 2020-02-02 UTC

How about Crooked Rook?

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-12-13 UTC

I would like to move this piece is Zillions. I wouldn't say I'm good at programming Zillions.

I use this string: (define zslide ($1 (while empty? add $2 (verify empty?) add $1) (verify not-friend?) add)) I use 8 of them for the piece (nw ne; ne nw; nw sw; sw nw; etc.)

It works but then the value attributed to that piece is too strong because half of the squares it can reach are counted twice (those in position of dabbaba-rider).

Does anyone know how to fix that?


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-12-13 UTC

I know you can make a piece artificially stronger by adding extra redundant move adds. I do not know how to make it weaker. The two options I see are (1) rewrite the definition of the boyscout to not add the squares twice - could be difficult, or (2) make all the other pieces artificially stronger with redundant adds.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-02-24 UTC

It occurred to me last night that the movement pattern of this piece resembles a double helix, though it is not exactly that. This led me to think of pieces whose movement pattern actually does form a double helix. The diagonal form would go one space diagonally, then if it continued, turn 90 degrees and move up to two spaces in that direction, and if it continued, it would turn back to the other direction and move up to two spaces in that direction, and so on, alternating between the two diagonal directions that move it away from its origin along a particular orthogonal axis. Each movement path would be a single helix that keeps going back and forth across the same axis, and since a piece would normally have two helical paths around the same axis, this would be a double helix, as in the structure of DNA. Because it would need room on each side of its axis to complete its move, it would be weaker than the Crooked Bishop on the sides of the board. Has this already been invented? If not, Helical Bishop would be a fitting name.

There would also be a Helical Rook. This would move in an orthogonal direction, and if it continues, turn 90 degrees and move up to two spaces, then if it continues, turn back to the other direction and move up to two spaces, and so on, always criss-crossing the same diagonal axis in a helical manner. Like the Helical Bishop it would need room on each side to complete its move and so would be weaker on the sides than the Crooked Rook.

The Helical Queen, of course, would be a compound of these two pieces.

Bn Em wrote on 2021-02-24 UTC

Charles Gilman, rather predictably, is way ahead of us here. The helical Rook, Bishop, and Queen are in M&B09 as respectively Proselyte, Brueghel, and Halcyon. The slip‐ pieces you described in your other comment are the non‐crooked forms of these, respectively the Panda, Bear, and Harlequin (in M&B06 — naturally ‐06 has names for the ski‐sliders too: Picket (after Tamerlane), Pocket, and Fagin)

Edit: just realised you said up to two steps between turns; that may well be new, albeit closely related to the M&B09 pieces

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-02-24 UTC

Charles Gilman, rather predictably, is way ahead of us here. The helical Rook, Bishop, and Queen are in M&B09 as respectively Proselyte, Brueghel, and Halcyon.

Here is what he says about those pieces:

Crooked odd-move pieces alternate between destinations on two paths of Bent pieces. Names combine the start of the Straight piece and end of the Bent one, where possible alluding to the latter. Square-cell boards have the PROSELYTE, meaning someone changing religion, is a 90° Crooked Panda switching Anchorite paths and the BRUEGEL or BRUEGHEL, a 90° Crooked Bear switching Angel paths and named after a family of Dutch artists. For Proselyte+Bruegel - a Crooked Harlequin switching Gorgon paths, HALCYON as a synonym for kingfisher conveys a Kinglike combining of orthogonal and diagonal.

The Panda is the Slip Rook, which I called a Shifty Rook. A Crooked Panda would make criss-crossing Dabbabbah leaps across a diagonal axis. The Crooked Bear would make criss-crossing Alfil leaps across an orthogonal axis. In contrast to these, the Helical Rook makes a series of criss-crossing Wazir moves, and the Helical Bishop makes a series of criss-crossing Ferz moves. So, I don't think these are the same pieces.

Bn Em wrote on 2021-02-24 UTC

Indeed, I updated my comment once I noticed they weren't the same after all. It seems like the kind of thing he'd've come up with a prefix word (like switchback) for, but I can't find one, and Helical does seem apt (though I expect he'd have called them helical girl‐/boy‐/doublescouts rather than rooks/bishops/queens)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-02-24 UTC

though I expect he'd have called them helical girl‐/boy‐/doublescouts rather than rooks/bishops/queens

He liked to give everything a unique name, which could create a barrier to remembering all the many pieces he named. I want to keep things simple, memorable, and generic, especially when it comes to names to use outside of any variant. I would just use the names of Crooked Rook, Bishop, and Queen for the pieces he gave scout names.

Bn Em wrote on 2021-02-25 UTC

The remark was very much an assessment of my impression of Man and Beast rather than an actual suggestion as such.

True, he was rather fond of, sometimes gratuitously, proliferating names, though in his case it kind of makes sense considering they would often turn up in games together and it'd be a bit of a pain to have several kinds of very different ‘rook’ in a game. A matter of degree I suppose really (after all we don't go around calling things wazir‐/ferz‐/manriders (the reuse of those for shogi‐general extrapolations in M&B10 notwithstanding) — and ofc the large shogis are even more extreme, if not nearly as numerous).

Fwiw at least Boyscout is well‐enough established imo that ‘helical boyscout’ wouldn't generate much confusion — but helical bishop doesn't have any other obvious meaning so… they can be synonyms! (now all that's missing is a prefix combining helical and switchback…)

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