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This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2009-05-28
 By Jeremy Gabriel Good. Hullabaloo. Fusion, fission game with drops, giant conglomerations and two types of activation.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-06-04 UTC
I replaced 'unfortunate restrictions on drops' section with 'fun with drops' [I forgot to take out the negatives when I first revised this section, but have corrected it since] section since i think the essence of what makes this game fun is its liquidity.

In the works: Mini Hullabaloo, Minor Hullabaloo and Greater Hullabaloo....

It's playable but a rule preventing one from dropping a piece and then being able to move it is probably a *fortunate* restriction on drops. Hate to be so capricious and ad hoc with my rule-making but this rule is giving me more pain than pleasure at this moment.


Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-29 UTC
Joe, thank you for all the valuable feedback and interesting speculation as to future ideas. I have now updated the rules to turn this into a double move variant, while preserving the ability of a Precious Commoner to be checked twice and also preserving its ability to move out of check by the end of its turn rather than the beginning. Perhaps as a double move variant, it will not be as difficult to stave off the giant, fearsome linear sliders? Since these 'bombs' must be continually activated by the Precious Commoner in order to act within enemy territory, the wider ranging short-range pieces (how else to say it?) should do a good job of defending. I think now that I've reduced the number of moves per turn, the short-range pieces should be on a more even par since the conglomerates won't be able to form and move in one and the same turn as easily. Please try it out with me.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-05-29 UTC
When we were playing, Jeremy, it seemed to me, on first consideration, that you were over-reaching, trying to do too much at once [I know, I know - me, of all people, is saying that, hard to believe.] Cutting back on the number of moves per turn could help control the game, but it is possible that you are trying to play on too many levels at once to use everything you are trying to use. I found Chieftain Chess worked so much better than Fortress Chess because it was so much simpler and more direct. What's the minimum way to represent the levels you really want to represent? 

The feature that bothered me, of everything in the game, is the ability to form an 'infinite slider', a large piece that acts as a missile. In the games we played, that missile seemed pretty unstoppable; we hadn't found a real missile defense. I tried, by pushing individual pieces out as 'skirmishers' in front of my 'main body' of pieces, but found that tactic was not adequate in the game. Without any defense, powerful short range pieces are sitting ducks for cheap sliders.

Still, as I'm thinking about it now, I suspect that for what you want to do, you possibly haven't gone far enough. 

Consider a board where every location may contain more than space for a piece to occupy. Positions could hold powers, piece augmentations, parts of larger pieces, all of which may be assembled on the spot, or maybe at a different, special location. Players would start out with identity markers to place on the board. These markers could hold some varying numbers of parts together to make up the chess pieces. The markers would be colored glue of varied amounts/stickiness, able to hold a greater or lesser piece together, nothing more. The pieces are what move and capture. The markers are merely placed on the board, in a square, on a particular piece part, say. Then the colored piece may move to another square, where it might pick up another part. You might have 3 parts/square, with different squares having different parts. Once a part is picked up, it's gone. Just one idea from near where you're looking. Enjoy. ;-)

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-27 UTC
Thought I'd share some recent reflections on Hullabaloo, as it has been occupying my thoughts lately.

So far, this game is my favorite variant that I've designed. However it remains relatively untested. Based merely on experience so far, the game is a colossal failure as the longest game played has only been six moves long and then I'm not sure whether my opponent ever understood how to play it (that game implemented the suggestion I made in my previous comment of allowing just two moves per player per turn after the initial one move).

It is in part an homage to the whole shatranjian set of unique pieces Joe Joyce invented and shows how they 'evolve' to become more powerful and uses every stage of them as they developed from Great to Linear to Grand to Lemurian to Atlantean Barroom (referring to the Shatranj games where Joe Joyce short range pieces took on greater powers.

It also implements another mostly original contribution of Joe Joyce's in having pieces that are activated by other pieces (in this case there is just one activator, but in some of Joe's games, there are multiple activators).

But it's unique also in that it allows linear sliders to counterattack in a competitive way with the powerful short range pieces. It does not however involve allowing these linear sliders to evolve, the way their short term counterparts do. This morning, the thought occurs to me to allow rooks to combine into reapers, bishops into harvesters, queens into combines.

Hullabaloo is unique also in the fact that it confines very powerful pieces to a small board. Yet it seems to work, seems to be really fun. I think I have an invite for this game out there if anyone wants to test it with me? That would bring me joy! Joe, you and I have a game of this going and I'd be pleased to continue that with you, but also would love to play one using the new 1-2-2-2... move rule I plan to introduce.

I will be revising the rules shortly to specify just two moves per player. This makes the game a lot easier, and I think, more fun to play. Perhaps the four moves per player is possible for advanced Hullabaloo players or perhaps it's just not something that can be played, but even so, it can feel tedious to have to enter the annotation for multiple moves as you are playing. Perhaps we will get a version of GAME Courier that allows us to move multiple pieces and not just one? That would be fun!

Even though this is a posted game, I consider it still to be a work in progress. I'd like to know what would happen if I added my 'Time Travel Chessgi' rules to this game. Seems like it might work out well.

Joe Joyce doesn't have games where he allows knights to evolve the way his other short range pieces evolve. With Nachtmahr and Quintessential Chess and Quinquereme, Knappen's done some excellent work in dividing knights and (k)nightriders into components. Betza has done it also with his crab-rider and barc-rider (and also with his Weakest Chess, in a sense). In my variant Tonight I implement full-scale Shatranjian evolved knights just to get a feeling for what they might be like.

One problem with using knights in some of the ways Knappen suggestsis that it's a bit hard to get a good grasp on their direction and a good visual representation of that directionality is also hard to create. I would like to be able to design pieces that make Nachtmahr and Weakest Chess more playable but that hasn't been easy for me.

Since a knight can be seen as a piece that moves as wazir then ferz or ferz then wazir, I might try to add in an option to have wazir and ferz combine alternately into a knight (instead of just a guard) and then attempt a set of evolutions for them as I've already done for wazir, ferz and knight (eventually leading up to the pieces I have in Tonight). This attempt to add in the knight component could force a reevaluation of the evolution of all the pieces in this game.


Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-12 UTC
My latest thinking is that even four moves per turn are too many, that maybe just one or two per turn would be best! Maybe just Balanced Marseillais rules even (rather than the more liberal checking / checkmate rules adopted here). The problem with more than two moves is that I fear it will be one big slaughter from move two on, with giant linear slider exchanges dominating.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-11 UTC
I have simplified the rules quite a bit, changed the initial setup, and lessened the number of moves per turn...after a little bit of playtesting with Joe Joyce found the initially submitted game to be a bit unworkable. Thanks, Joe, for the good advice and playtesting. Hope to explore this further with you (and hopefully others). I submitted a Greater Hullabaloo but deleted it after feeling uncomfortable with the tedious process of tracing routes of the linear rider macro-pieces on the larger board.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-06-29 UTC
I don't quite understand the rules. If a sample game was provided it would be nice.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-06-29 UTC
Joe Joyce and I just inaugurated play of this variant with a game. I had foolishly submitted without playtesting so great was my excitement that the rush to publication impulse took over. After beating me (after a fashion), Joe commented, 'very bizarre - needs a bit of work...we should try some more moves before doing anything.' Thanks for trying out my game with me, Joe. Looking forward to future explorations of it with you, and to play this with any and all who might wish to try it out.

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