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4 Kings Quasi-Shatranj. Each side has 4 Kings, all pieces are short range. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2020-12-14 UTC

Thanks for the rating, erik. One thing editor Joe Joyce told me long ago is that Shatranj-like games are typically not short in terms of number of moves, so I didn't feel too unhappy that this CV is typically going to result in long games. However, after one game with Joe, he noted this CV may lack 'clarity' in terms of being able to calculate ahead. It's another CV where I invented it mostly by following a set theme, rather than being sure it's a world-beater. As I told Joe, I think the pieces in the setup do have something of a can-of-worms-puzzle aspect to them. :)


Erik Lerouge wrote on 2020-12-13 UTCGood ★★★★

I like very much short-ranges games, even with not very strong pieces, and this game falls into this category. Here the piece set (only of max 2-square range) is logical and works well, and the presence of 4 Kings, of which one must be checkmated (with the consequence of a unstoppable fork on several Kings being a checkmate), is here to help the outcome of the game. However, even with the 4 Kings, the game seems to take a very long time to finish; the two games in this website that had been led to a conclusion took 85 and (for the game that ended with checkmate) more than 110 turns, which seems too much for a game of that type. And I am a little bit sceptical concerning the mating potential: when most pieces have been exchanged, the four Kings can more easily prevent the Pawns to promote.

One solution would have been stronger 2-square range pieces, in a game closer to a short-range version of Sac Chess, with a KNAD being the strongest piece (or at least Centaurs, or KADs). The presence of the KNAD, able to force checkmate without assistance, would obviously make the game faster and more decisive, but in the same time maybe less balanced and tactically interesting. (In Metamachy, the power of the KNAD/Lion is well balanced by powerful long-range pieces.) And I wouldn’t suggest a change in the piece set of this game; it works well as it is, and a like it.

Another idea is making a game with 2 moves per turn. With the same pieces and victory condition, not only this would make the game shorter, but also the attacks more dangerous and less easy to counter (and the possibility of double check with two pieces). This solution seems to me more interesting, while keeping the character and the concept of the game, than to have stronger pieces.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2017-01-28 UTC

I've made corrections to my piece value estimates for some of this game's piece types; I've also made corrections for some of the piece values I gave in my Carrousel Chess game page, and in my 4*Chess (four dimensional chess) game page (and in pages for a couple of 4D spinoff games that I subsequently invented) I rather downgraded the value(s) I gave to Balloon pieces, to take into account their forms of binding better, IMHO.


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