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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-02-26
 By M  Winther. Gastrophete ChessThis item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-02-26
 By M  Winther.. Introducing the Gastrophete, a catapult capable of hurling other pieces over its head (zrf exists).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
M Winther wrote on 2007-02-27 UTC
I have confined myself to conservative variants where I generally only input one new piece into a traditional Western rule context (and a board close to the standard size). But it's up to anyone to use my pieces in newfangled ways. People seem prone to construct very ambitious games that takes hours and hours to learn and to play. /Mats

MHowe wrote on 2007-02-27 UTC
You might want to look into designing a variant that incorporates these pieces into the Dynamo paradigm, which is what they call to mind for me. Dynamo is one of the best of all variants, was played a lot by some very strong players, including members of NOST and AISE, and no longer gets enough attention, in my opinion. As a Dynamo piece, a Gastrophete-family piece would capture by flinging an opposing piece completely off the board.

M Winther wrote on 2007-02-27 UTC
Turret: moves like a queen, slings piece immediately behind itself to the square in front of the Turret's destination.
Belfry: moves like a rook, slings nearest piece behind itself to the square in front of the Belfry's destination.
Oxybeles: moves like a king, slings piece immediately behind itself to the fartest empty square, or the nearest enemy piece.
Mangonel: moves like a king, slings nearest piece behind itself to the fartest empty square, or the nearest enemy piece.
Trebuchet: slides maximally two steps, slings nearest piece behind itself to the square in front of the Trebuchet's destination.
Gastrophete: slides maximally two steps, slings piece immediately behind itself to the square in front of the Gastrophete's destination.

Amazingly, it is possible to implement catapults on the chessboard. These pieces work very well. They certainly belong in this medieval warfare game. See also medieval-castle-siege-weapons.com

As you can see the Oxybeles and Mangonel look very much alike. This is true also of the Trebuchet and Gastrophete. The only difference is whether they sling the nearest piece or sling an adjacent piece. I discovered that the latter type of catapult, contrary to expectation, seems almost as strong as the former. Although the nearest piece slinger has more opportunities of slinging pieces, the adjacent piece slinger can maneuver more easily, while it can avoid slinging pieces when this isn't favourable. This difference seems small but makes these pieces appear quite different.

It is now possible for anyone to implement many more kinds of catapults. My Zillions code isn't trivial, but all you need to do is to modify it a little to create different variations. For instance, it is possible to create a really powerful one that moves like a queen and slings *nearest piece* to the farthest empty square, or the nearest enemy piece. Only modify the code.

This could also be interesting to the short-range project. It is possible to implement a catapult that moves like a king, slings piece immediately behind to the square in front of the catapult's destination. This is a short-range catapult that could be named Short-range Mangonel (aka Mangonel), or Breacher, Slinger, Hurler, Onager, Ballista, etc. It is also possible to create a catapult which cannot hurl to empty squares, but only at enemy pieces. A catapult that hurls behind a screen is also possible (this was also how catapults sometimes were used in reality).
/Mats

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-02-27 UTCGood ★★★★
what's the difference between the turret, belfry, mangonel, oxybeles, gastophette, and trebuchet?

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