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Ladder Shogi. Shogi variant on 10 by 10 board where pieces climb the social ladder by multiple promotions. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
(zzo38) A. Black wrote on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 05:07 AM UTC:Good ★★★★

A question: What happen if non-value pieces captures non-value pieces? Can it be dropped? Can it be captured at all?

Can the kanji of name of these pieces be decided and written in this article, too?

One way to represent the value pieces, would be, the single piece marks 1, add smaller markers on top to mark 2, 3, 4, 5, flipped over (making the red side visible) with no markers to mark 6, and then the red side with smaller marker for 7, 8, 9, 10.

Therefore if such kind of kanji is made up, you can make up flat pieces, black on unpromoted side and red on promoted side, represent all pieces of this game, using their names. Value piece can be piece with holes, to fit the small markers into.

Anonymous wrote on Mon, Apr 11, 2005 09:42 PM UTC:
If the situation in one part of the board looks like this:
White: Merchant a2; Dragon Emporer a3; Dragon King a5
Black: Dragon Emporer a4
and White took Black's Dragon Emporer on a4 with his Dragon King on a5,
could the extra experience go to the Merchant on a2 through the Dragon
Emporer on a3?

JCRuhf wrote on Sat, Apr 9, 2005 12:01 AM UTC:
Mason, I have also thought about Shogi and how every piece from Pawn to
Silver General promotes to Gold General, and how variable the benefit of
that promotion was to Knights and Silver Generals, but I solved that
problem by inventing Black Hills Shogi.  In Black Hills Shogi, there are
three types of Gold General which become available through promotion,
are as follows:
1. Red Gold (RG) +P - Knight + Palladium General (fbK)
2. White Gold (W) +N, +L, +S - Red Gold + Prince (K)
3. Yellow Gold (Y) +G - White Gold + Prince (K)
As you can see, every piece from Pawn to Silver General still promotes,
but not to the same piece, the Pawns promote to Red Golds whereas the
Knights, Lances, and Silver Generals promote to White Golds.

JCRuhf wrote on Sat, Mar 26, 2005 02:19 AM UTC:
No, Mason, I do not, but I hope your names for them become 'oficial', I like the way you use -lfil and -baba(h) to extend the Alfil and Dababa(h) leaps to range 3 and beyond.

Charles Gilman wrote on Mon, Mar 14, 2005 08:21 AM UTC:
My Trebuchet was intended as something leaping only orthogonally reagrdless of board geometry. The BCVS site also says that on a 3d board the Threeleaper has the 2:2:1 leap as well as the 3:0:0 - a compound with oblique and radial leaps of a common length. This is consistent with the Fiveleaper (4:3:0 and 5:0:0) and Rootfiftyleaper (7:1:0 and 5:5:0 - and in 3d 5:4:3 as well). Further extrapolations are the Rooteighteenleaper (4:1:1 and 3:3:0), Roottwentysevenleaper (5:1:1 and 3:3:3), Rootseventyfiveleaper (7:5:1 and 5:5:5). These names are a bit abstract even for my liking, and any better ideas are welcome! BCVS gives 4:4 as a Commuter, from which I extrapolated a 4:0 Cobbler, 5:0 Quibbler, and 5:5 Quitter. I admit that some of my piece names are pretty desperate, although I am quite able to picture a Fortnight as a knight guarding a fort - and a Zemel as a camel-shaped but zebra-striped imaginary creature!

David Paulowich wrote on Sun, Mar 13, 2005 04:47 AM UTC: <p>gives the semiofficial names of 'Tripper' for the {3,3}-leaper and 'Threeleaper' for the {0,3} leaper. On 2004-10-25 Charles Gilman proposed 'Trebuchet' for the {0,3} leaper, which was called a Lion in Grande Acedrex (1283). In my variants LIONS AND UNICORNS CHESS, the Lion is a new name for Ralph Betza's Half-Duck (HFD).

💡📝Mason Green wrote on Sun, Mar 13, 2005 12:44 AM UTC:
Hey JCRuhf, do you know if there is any 'official' name for the piece represented by Ralph Betza's G? How about his H? I have proposed a tentative suggestion for naming these pieces as part of my as-yet-unpublished game Recombination Chess. The names are Tribbabah (for the 0,3) and Trilfil (3,3). I find that combining the Greco-Latin numerical prefixes with the suffixes -lfil and -bbabah create good names for radial leapers of any length. So we have tetrabbabah, pentalfil, etc. Of course, all these pieces are extremely colorbound (the tribbabah is 9-bound, and trilfil is 18-bound, etc.) but the basic premise of Recombination Chess is that they (along with lots of other elemental pieces) can combine with each other to make lots of nifty pieces.

JCRuhf wrote on Fri, Mar 11, 2005 11:56 PM UTC:
I just realized that I was using your versions of the Silver, Gold, and
Platinum Generals in one of my chess variants, as part of three pieces. 
These are the Silver, Gold, and Platinum Calculators.  They are
combinations of my Scientific Calculator and the original (single-step)
versions of these pieces, so this means that your versions of these pieces
would be S2, G2, and P2 in my version of Ralph Betza's funny notation.
(Note that he uses the letter 'G' for a piece that jumps 3 squares
diagonally, but this is too 'big' for the 8x8 board, so I decided to
it for the original (single-step) version the Gold General, which is more
suitable for the 8x8 board.)

💡📝Mason Green wrote on Thu, Mar 10, 2005 11:32 PM UTC:
I know it's not generally a good strategy to submit a game without playing
it first, but since I was in a hurry to get a submission in, I kind of
overlooked this fact :(

However, my friend (Andrew Kaczrowski) has volunteered to play a game of
Ladder Shogi with me soon. We'll see how it turns out.

By the way, if the absorbtion rule DOES turn out to be a problem, I can
always change the game to make it more WOtN-like, by saying value pieces
only go up one rank when capturing, and only go down ONE when being
captured (not all the way back down to a merchant).

By the way, the Cricket piece comes from Legend Chess II (see my earlier
post) where it was called a Paladin. The only thing that's been changed
here is its move (now like a King instead of a double Knight jump, as

Charles: I understand all about your wanting to standardize piece names.
However, my own personal opinion on the subject is that this is impossible
to achieve in practice. A chess variant that contains non-orthodox pieces
will only be fully enjoyable if it has some kind of coherent theme (such
as a medieval battle, a modern or futuristic one, or a feud between two
groups of animals). If you use only the 'proper' names for each piece,
then you might end up combining a Dragon (N+P) with a Pancake (see the
Piececlopedia) in the same game. To some designers this would be okay, but
since most of the games I create are themed, I generally don't like to
have mythological creatures and food pieces in the same game. As a result,
at least some name changes would be in order here. This is why I probably
wouldn't give one of my pieces a name like Fortnight (too abstract) even
if that was the 'proper' name for the piece.

Charles Gilman wrote on Wed, Mar 9, 2005 08:10 AM UTC:
It all started when I discovered that some people call the 2:1:1 leaper a
Sexton, a pun on its SOLL (Square Of Leap Length) of 6. This seemed as
good a jumping off point as any for 3d leapers, so I emulated it with
2:2:1=>9=>Ninja, 3:1:1=>11=>Elf, 3:2:1=>14=>Fortnight,
3:3:1=>19=>Underscore, 4:2:1=>21=>Overscore.
	For the compounds it was a matter of combining the them,es of their
components. Thus for Knight+Ninja I looked to a Japanese warrior of
(more knightly?) rank than a Ninja, hence Samurai, while Camel+Ninja
suggested to me the combination of someone taking their camel-loads to
from the Far East, a Merchant on the Silk Road perhaps. Also, I hadn't
used -ai and -ant for any Knight/Camel compounds with other 2d pieces.
Shogun is more senior still.
	Gavin Smith will have to answer for his own Merchant, but his piece
look to me to be inspired by Machiavelli-era Italy.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on Wed, Mar 9, 2005 01:39 AM UTC:
My English is not perfect, it is only functionally good enough, but some errors are not mine. There is a problem with my keyboard. Some letters are repeated frequently ('have', and not 'haave', etc.)

Roberto Lavieri wrote on Wed, Mar 9, 2005 01:32 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
I haave tried another test game, and I´m understanding it better. Interesting and somewhat intriging. Burakumin is a strange piece in this game, it is more an obstacle for both bands than a piece for adding activity. The game is extremely positional, and not very easy to play in a good manner, I insist, it would be better with less piece types. Some refinements should be good, but the game, as is, is interesting enough. I encourage another people to try it. Mason: Have you played your game?. Tell us about your experieces with it. You are a good designer, go ahead!.

Andrew Kaczrowski wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 11:57 PM UTC:
I would like to chime in on this topic...

Michael wrote:
'If the players can't see several moves ahead, let alone what's
happening on the current move, then the strategic depth of the game
suffers and play tends to be chaotic and heavily influence by

Mason and I have designed very large chess variants, and I have to say
from experience that strategy is a huge element in them.  We have
two now, with the second being more complex, and playing a bit like d&d
meets chess.

Ok, without mentioning details about it, our first game features many
pieces, but most certainly all moves that COULD be done are relatively
unused for purposes of bringing out more powerful pieces.

But here's the catch...developing with 'less powerful' moves creates
alot of advantages later.  So the opponent analyzes the probablity that a
certain narrow range of 'very powerful' moves would be done.

Each time a player would choose instead to make a relatively innocent
developing move with a relatively weak piece, it catches the other player
off-guard, and creates tension.

Our first game has been played a zillion times as mentioned, and it
literally gave me a headache after playing it with all the strategy I
could summon.

Ask yourself if d&d has strategy, and if the answer is yes, then our
second games stands quite firmly, the clarity is realized when analyzing
only the most likely devastating moves possible, and prioritizing

Suppose for instance a piece could simply transfer itself to another
square on a normal chessboard...some might say this is too complex,
BUT...what are the most likely places it might transfer to?  There might
be only a certain number of squares it would probably go to.

I rarely post to these forums, but I just had to talk.


Roberto Lavieri wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 11:25 PM UTC:
Mason, now I caan understand the reason of the numerous pieces: They are ten (originally) types, I have not counted it!.

💡📝Mason Green wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 08:48 PM UTC:
Roberto, regarding what you said about the game being too complicated--I
would have had only one 'pawn' type, except for the fact that this is a
'10' game, and removing any more pieces will destroy one of the many
facets of '10' that I've integrated here. Perhaps I'll simplify the
game later (with perhaps a 6-rung ladder) for the 45-square competition if
there's enough interest from other CVPhiles.

By the way, Michael, my friend has said that he thinks Legend Chess (the
first one) could be a contender for the recognized variants. I'm not
nearly as optimistic, but I think it's pretty neat myself. It has a lot
of historical (think Chaturanga) elements, and it's been playtested
zillions of times, with very satisfying results. I'll have to get his
permission, of course, but I'll let you know. 

It actually is quite simple compared to the second game (which we made
almost for fun, it's way too complex for most people).

And Charles, where did the names for the 3D pieces originate? Just

Roberto Lavieri wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 02:45 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Well, I have tried a brief test using hand-made paper pieces in a 10x10 board. My impression is that the game is playable, although complicated and, definitely, different. There is not great clarity in the game, at least this is my impression, and it is possible there are too many pieces, I would simplify it. Instead of 1´s. 2´s, etc, I would use only one kind of 'Pawns', perhaps two, but not more, Merchant and Craftsman seeem to be sufficient. Burakumin is not a bad piece, it is interesting in the game, but it is the need of refine a bit the rules of movement, re-thinking the piece once the author make some tests until convinced about what he really wants to see and feel in the game play. This game needs some mastery to be played in a good manner, but it is not necessarily a bad characteristic, it is only a characteristic of the game, being different and relatively complex. Someone can try to code a ZRF, me included, once clarified enterely the game in base of the author´s entire satisfaction with it, but there are some complexities in the implementation, as I can see.

Charles Gilman wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 08:34 AM UTC:
Further to Jared McComb's comment (click 'all comments') some of these
pieces have also appeared, under different names and with more Shogi-like
promotion rules, in my variant Mitregi
( Your
Merchant and my Point are alternative renamings for Shogi's Foot
likewise your (and many other people's!) Lance and my Wing for Shogi's
Fragrant Chariot. Both are promotable to (standard Shogi) Gold General in
Mitregi as in Shogi. The diagonal equivalents in Mitregi are the Cross
Mitre, and are promotable to (standard Shogi except not further
Silver General. The Wing and Mitre also appear along with the triagonal
Horn in my Tunnelshogi
(, the
three names representing attributes of the symmetric linepieces.
	As a matter of general interest my own suggested usages of some of the
names here are for 3d pieces. In my piece article Punning by Numbers
Ninja is the symmetric 2:2:1 leaper, Samurai is Knight+Ninja, and
is Camel+Ninja. In When Beasts Collide
(, Shogun is
compound of three 3d leapers. Gavin Smith's 3d variant Prince uses
Merchant for Unicorn.

💡📝Mason Green wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 02:23 AM UTC:
Well Michael...

Not all games would suit your taste, then. The game of Stratego, despite
its name, does not fulfill what you define as 'strategic'. In that game,
you don't know ANYTHING about your opponent's pieces. So you can't see
'several plies into the game tree!' But I still like to play that game a
lot. Same with any game that depends on luck/dice, such as Chaturanga for 4

Not all games are strategic like that, you know. Many games that truly
measure intelligence are games that require you to live with what you've
been dealt (as by the dice), to see how well you've recovered from a
blow, even if that blow was something you didn't expect. And besides,
Ladder Shogi is nothing compared to Stratego! In Ladder Shogi, you can at
least see, with full clarity, exactly what moves your opponent can
execute, as long as you pay attention to the Dragon and Cricket. Besides,
there are many possible combinations which involve
nonvalue-capturing-value or value-capturing-nonvalue that don't suffer
from this 'problem'.

And one final thing...I and a friend of mine have created a game (two
games, actually) called 'Legend Chess'. They're played on 16*16 and
18*18 boards, respectively. Those games (especially the second) have SO
many different things that can be done each turn that 'seeing several
plies into the game tree' is null and void. And both of us like to play
those I must be doing something right.


💡📝Mason Green wrote on Mon, Mar 7, 2005 12:01 AM UTC:
Michael, what you said about discouraging exchanges really makes sense. However, I disagree with your view that this is a bad thing. In orthodox chess and in shogi, exchanges happen a lot. Ladder Shogi is a lot different in that for the non-value pieces at least, exchanges aren't as common. The very reason why I added the non-capturing Dragon and Cricket was to enable the use of sneaky tactics. It's very easy to 'not see' a potential opponent's move where a 5-7 type piece, which is next to a Cricket, first takes an enemy piece and then escapes to a not-guarded square. Exchanges won't happen as often, this is sure. But just because the game has fewer exchanges doesn't mean that it's necessarily worse, it's just <i>different</i>. Many other games I know of discourage exchanges, and that isn't necessarily wrong. This game just happens to value sneak tactics more.

💡📝Mason Green wrote on Sun, Mar 6, 2005 11:27 PM UTC:
OK, I'm changing the opening array. Now, for white, it's:

1 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1 1
N H L 5 D C 5 L H N
    7 6 K A 6 7

Where K is king, A is kappa, N is ninja, and H is horse. The setup will
also be closer to orthochess in the revision--there will be line symmetry,
not point symmetry.

I decided to put the Dragon and Cricket out in front to speed up the
beginning of the game (the previous setup was really slow since you can't
use the 'speedy' pieces at the beginning.) The kappa is further back
since you don't need it right away. It's primarily a defense piece,
unlike the Ultima-style immobilizer.

Early development of Ninjas is also a lot easier now. They're more
powerful than lances and good pieces to use at the start. However, with
the new setup it seems likely that most of the viable opening moves
involve the Dragon and Cricket.

Please tell me what you think of the new setup. Notice that the burakumin
is gone--and with it, half of the time involved in learning the game. You
also start with Silver, Gold, and Platinum generals now, which should
heighten the excitement.


💡📝Mason Green wrote on Sun, Mar 6, 2005 06:04 PM UTC:
I'm listening closely to what you all say about the Burakumin and the
starting array. The initial version of the game was created in only a few
days, somewhat hastily. The reason why I did that is I wanted to see what
people thought. Keep making suggestions, because I'm going to submit a
final version later, and I promise it will be a lot better.

I think that the Burakumin is a nice piece idea, but I'm probably going
to remove it. The game is as crowded as possible right now, especially
with the drop rule, which just crowds up everything. Thank you for all
your suggestions.


Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sun, Mar 6, 2005 12:16 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
It seems to be interesting. I have a question: Can the Burakumin CAPTURE a
piece ending on a square adjacent to other piece? . If not, I don`t
understand well the other untouchability rule. This is the most strange
piece in this game, and it is the need of some clarification about it. I
wonder if the game play is better or not with this piece in scene, some
tests are needed, but, by now, I like the fundamental ideas behind this
game, as the promotion rules.

Jared McComb wrote on Sun, Mar 6, 2005 02:16 AM UTC:
I would just like to point out that I had used Platinum Generals in my previous game, Dai-Ryu Shogi. That being said, I think it is wonderful that someone else likes the concept (and even the name) enough to use them, regardless of whether they independently created them. I hope to try this game soon, preferably via ZoG.

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