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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-05-26
 By Roberto  Lavieri. Alpha Centauri. A very complex game, somewhat exotic, with some elements from Rococo. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2016-09-27 UTCGood ★★★★

Italian mathematician Roberto Lavieri moved to South America and became Venezuelan.   Alpha Centauri lacks the clarity the later Altair brought to the Horizontal rank movement of both games.


Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2005-01-24 UTC
Yes, the Rotor must be substituted by another piece, but I have thought about the game, and it should be good re-define the entire set of pieces, because it is very possible that this game works better with weaker pieces, making it much more strategic, due the fact that the objective of the game is, in essence, of run instead of checkmate. If you are interested in the basic concept of the game, I invite you to think on an alternative, playable game based in Alpha Centauri concepts, it is going to be, necessarily, an entirely different game, regardless the basic ideas, because Alpha Centauri was an interesting exotic idea though as a whole, but unfortunately, it crashed once tested in vitro.

George Duke wrote on 2005-01-24 UTC
How do you rotate anyway? Orthogonally, or diagonally, or a combination? Why not just drop the Rotor and put in a Falcon, or a Mage, or a Cannon/Canon? --in order to make it a playable game like Altair. Actually, Rotor does as a piece very much what Fourriere's Pocket Polypiece does continuously for the entire game.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2005-01-24 UTC
No, George, Alpha Centauri is almost unplayable by humans. I tested it physically, and I was sadly surprised with the difficulty of the game. One of the bigger problems is the Rotor, this piece can´t be used in a good manner, it changes drastically the game each time it moves, and usually improves the position of some pieces and destroys consolidated good positions of other ones. The deepness of the game is extreme, and you can´t see nothing, making the game almost exclusively tactical, but very difficult to play. The basic idea of the game can, perhaps, be adapted for a new easier variant, but the project Alpha Centaury was, definitely, rejected by myself.

George Duke wrote on 2005-01-24 UTC
Since Lavieri's Altair turned out to be a superlative game, to my surprise beyond Excellent, Alpha Centauri probably is too. Further a priori evidence for that is Maxima's being Excellent, as everyone knows. Ten types of pieces on 81 squares is within the realm of playability. The coloured board facilitates 'Change' and 'Horizontal' movements, too technical to explain in one sentence. Read the rules. Alpha Centauri's Change and Horizontal are obviously works-in-progress towards Altair, having those same features.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2003-08-21 UTC
The project for the ZRF was definitely cancelled. After some testing, I
must admit: This game seems to be extremely complex to be WELL played by
HUMANS. Rotor movement and the rest of rules makes the job of planning
something almost impossible, the combinations number grows with extreme
acelleration, and it is difficult to make good choices in many
situations.
That´s all, folks.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2003-05-26 UTCGood ★★★★
Very interesting game. The movement and capture dynamics are unique. The win condition is goal oriented, also creating a different dynamic. The non-capturable pieces are an interesting element too, somewhat inverting the 'checkmate' rule. The Rotor is neat, juggling pieces instead of capturing them!

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