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CwDA: the Shatranjian Shooters. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-05-17 UTC

HG, I initially thought the Shooters were too strong. Dropping the Shooters' queen analog to a DWAF should do much to reduce the Shooters' total value.

Question: Are you giving the Shooters' pawns an initial double step? If so, try taking that away for the Shooters and see what that does. That alone might cause a big reduction in Shooter overall value.

Fwiw, the symbology of the pieces 'describes' how they move, and it's at least internally consistent.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-16 UTC

As I feared the Shatranjian Shooters are far too strong. I did some test games now with Fairy-Max, and with black they scored 76% against FIDE (100 games). With white they even scored 85% (50 games). The large white-black difference even suggests that theinitial position is not entirely quiet.

I also  did some tests with individual pieces. The War Elephant is slightly over half a Pawn stronger than a Queen. The Hero is much weaker than a Rook, however; a pair of those were totally annihilated by an army that had Rooks instead. But the Shaman is again much stronger than a Bishop, almost of Rook strength.

This army needs to be seriously weakened to make an acceptable CwDA army.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-09 UTC

I am scanning these pages to see if any quality armies have been proposed that I could add to my 'universal' CwdA diagram, and came across this one. So let me join the discussion, albeit a bit late:

The claim that the lame multi-path pieces are weaker than B4, R4, Q4 in the end-game seems (1) questionable, and (2) not very relevant. Not relevant because when they are overwhelmingly strong in the middle-game, the Shooters will enter the end-game with such a large material advantage that they will still have an easy win. And for the Hero, the ability to jump seems extremely valuable even in the end-game: it can protect a passer from behind, and would still attack the squares in front of it, so that the passer cannot be blocked.

Thus my estimate is that this army is far too strong. What I once did measure is that Q3AD on 8x8 is exactly as strong as a Queen (opening value). But the War Elephant here is even better than this: it can also hop to the third square. Also, a pair of unlike FA is about as strong as two Knights, which makes the FA hardly weaker than a lone Bishop. The ability to reach the 2nd square jumping rather than sliding is apparently worth nearly as much as all the more distant moves together. And the Shaman is so much stronger than that, as it can also reach the 3rd square, in a way that would  require two obstacles to block it..

When I am done with my current tests on lame ski-sliders, I will try the Shatranjian Shooters against FIDE, but my prediction is that they will completely crush it.


Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-30 UTC
Here's an unorthodox (and heretical) suggestion: If in fact, the FIDEs are more powerful, when fending off against the Shatranjian Shooters, maybe they are the ones that should have the knights replaced with moos or maybe wazir / lame dabbabas, to make them more consistent. We'll make our own determinations, perhaps, after we have played a good number of games with them (various permutations)...

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-30 UTC

'I encourage you to make any variant of this you want. We can playtest it along with your updated Hullabaloo.' -- Joe, thank you for your generous offer. Hullabaloo invite sent out this morning. It sounds like the original version of Shatranjian Shooters needs a lot more testing too, so can we play both versions? Thanks for engaging with me directly, sorry for my impatience and jumping to 'shatranj' conclusions.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-05-29 UTC
Darn, dude, 1 for 3! The answers are No; Sure; and whatever you want to call it, feel free, I'm naming-deficient.

No, I don't want to mess with the knights yet for 2 reasons. One is the jumping aspect; the lame pieces for the Shooters are the king and pawns. The shooters all jump. [None of them are straight shooters.] And the knight is the odd shortrange shatranj piece that has survived until today. It doesn't feel right to take the 'quintessential' shatranj shortrange piece out of the shooters. Also, I do think it will make a big difference, swinging the game in favor of the FIDEs. Further, both Abdul-Rahman Sibahi and David Paulowich disagree with my strength assessment; Abdul-Rahman got me to use the Warelephant in place of the Jumping General, and David said he believed he could 'always' win as the FIDEs. The change I advocate[d] to weaken the shooters is to reduce the range of the queen analog from 3 to 2, allowing it only a 1 part move as opposed to the 2 part move of the Warelephant. 

I also intended the shooters pawns be shatranj pawns, with no initial double step. There's another balancing mechanism that doesn't require losing the knight's leap. If anything, to reduce the FIDEs, I might just make the FIDE knights lame, and make the game sliders vs leapers. I think that would be an interesting variant... 

But the key point is that all those answers given say 'I'. 'I don't want to' - so what? What do you want to do? Who owns those pieces? Certainly not me. I designed them, and copyrighted the piece descriptions and games they're in here and there, but I've always encouraged other people to help themselves to whatever they want. [All I'd like is acknowledgement ;-)] If you steal my idea and make your fortune, just donate generously to my local Widows and Orphans Fund. [Btw, I'm an orphan :-D] I encourage you to make any variant of this you want. We can playtest it along with your updated Hullabaloo. Heh, just add it to the thousand other games I've got going, mostly with you. Enjoy.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-29 UTC
No, Joe, I'm looking for straightforward answers to my straightforward questions. But what was I expecting? They are not, after all Shatranjian (Straight) Shooters. To the extent that you did enter into the merits of the actual discussion at hand (which I think at bottom is: Would the strength of the Shatranjian Shooters Army achieve greater balance if the knights were substituted for something slightly weaker?), I am perplexed: Are ponies really all that complicated? Instead of moos, you could have a mao on one side, a moa on the other, if you don't want to have moos. These are the specific questions I asked that have been left unanswered by you:

'Could we perhaps replace the knight in Shatranjian Shooters with it? Or would it have to be a separate variant? (If so, what should I call it?)'

Based on your response, I presume the answer is 'No' to the first, 'Please do not' to the second and 'Don't bother' to the parenthetical.

If so, I simply go back to this: 'Unlike other CDA, there is no attempt here to replace the FIDE knight and that disappoints me a bit and has long been a concern of mine.'

And I will likely decide to rate this game 'Average' or 'Good' rather than 'Excellent'


Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-05-29 UTC
I guess that means you're looking for the long answer. [You asked for it!]

I see the knights as complex pieces already. In The ShortRange Project, I specifically looked at a range of knight-type pieces, including what I called the pony, a piece that first moves like a wazir or a ferz, then either stops or continues on as a lame knight, stepping outward this time as ferz or wazir, the opposite of the first move. Analogous to the lame knights [mao, moa, and moo], there are 3 ponies also, complementing the knight-wazir, the knight-ferz, and the knight-guard [centaur]. 

This is 9 knightlike pieces [not counting the plain old knight itself] all moving over the same few squares in the same ways with different movement rules. This is pretty much complex enough for me. I really do at least try to design very simple, straightforward, easy pieces and games. Once I got into longer than 2-square-ranged pieces, I did ignore the knight, keeping it for a range 2 piece. The nightrider is enough long range knight for me, and I don't favor that piece, even in Pocket Mutation. ;-) And I can't follow the moves of twisted nightrider pieces, like the rose. How do you calculate even 2-3 turns into the game with pieces like that?

Truthfully, I don't really ignore it, but rather use other pieces to simulate and supplant the knight, especially at longer ranges. In Lemurian, the knight was replaced with a bent DW piece, the hero. In Barroom, the knights exist as very weak skirmishers on that overpowered field where even the king can leap. But in that game, the other non-royal pieces all partake of the essence of the knight's move, and 2 of 3 can move to the knight's squares in 1 turn, with a clear path. Even a couple names of the other pieces, the flexible knight and the twisted knight [bent DW and AF 2-step riders] indicate this. 

Like I say, I see the knight as a compound piece, and I really tend strongly to build my complex pieces out of simple, straight-moving pieces, because the moves are easier to visualize - for me, anyhow. I like to keep things simple and easy. I have enough trouble making playable games with simple and easy. Complex is far more difficult. Lol, I do want to be able to play my games with people other than myself; how many people play even my simple games? I suppose if I stuck to knights and bishops, rooks and queens, and boards smaller than the table they're placed on, I'd get more players, but where's the fun in that?

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-28 UTC
Joe, evasion of questions noted.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-05-28 UTC
Jeremy, you've asked about my non-use of knights as a base unit to evolve other pieces from. The short answer is that the knight is already a complex piece, and I only design simple pieces and games. ;-) Joe

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-28 UTC
Seem to recall somebody used this piece fairly recently. I know Joe Joyce was the first to point it out to me.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-28 UTC
The piece I describe (lame knight) belongs to the same class of pieces as the Falcon pieces: GW Duke, did you give this piece a name? If not, what would you want to call it? BTW, thanks for your references to delayed attack and promotion.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-27 UTC
Unlike other CDA, there is no attempt here to replace the FIDE knight and that disappoints me a bit and has long been a concern of mine.

How would the inventors feel about an implementation of this game with a lame ferz-wazir double mover for the Shatranjian Shooters side?

It would have to execute both parts of its move each time it moved (i.e., both wazir and ferz) and could only make the second move outwards.

So it could access knight spaces in two different ways, but only in a lame way.

Something that looked maybe like this

If we want to be piece design purists (which can be time-consuming), we could try to add a couple of features to indicate that it isn't the piece that can move to the guard spaces as well as the knight spaces.

Thus it would be weaker than the FIDE Knight, but if the Shatranjian Shooters are more powerful than FIDE, as Joe Joyce contends, perhaps it would be good to have a slightly weaker knight to offset the advantage.

Any objections?

If not: Could we perhaps replace the knight in Shatranjian Shooters with it? Or would it have to be a separate variant? (If so, what should I call it?)

Generally speaking, the contest here is between lame (non-jumping) linear pieces and pieces that jump, but the linear army (FIDE) has a piece that jumps so perhaps the jumping army (Shatranjian Shooters) can have a piece that does not.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-05-16 UTC
I believe the shooters are more powerful than the fides, which is why I made the Grand CwDA version, in which the shooters get the 2-square minister and high priestess, and the fides get the standard archbishop [BN] and chancellor [RN]. I feel this evens the game a little, as much by increasing board size as by the additional power pieces for fide. 
For some interesting if sometimes unbalanced presets, I've put some illustrative 'short range vs FIDE' CwDA and GCwDA games in the CV wiki. It's a rant done entirely in games rather than words.
If you want to see an excellent game that showcases some other shortrange pieces, let me suggest David's Opulent Lemurian Shatranj.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-05-07 UTC
In fact, the WarElephant, the Hero and the Shaman are much more powerful than the Q4, R4, and B4. Mainly because they're not hindered by pieces on the way (unless there are two pieces.) The total of these pieces, in the hands of an expert player, might even be more than the FIDEs.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-05-07 UTCGood ★★★★

Several years ago Peter Hatch posted a series of armies intended to match the Grand Chess ('Human') Army on the 10x10 board. His Dwarven Army uses Cannons and War Machines, plus a variety of shortrange pieces. These include the Free Padwar [F2zF2] and the Guard [FW], which are also used in my recent Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. His Giant Army takes the bold step of replacing the 10 Pawns with 4 Alibabas. His two armies have some pieces in common with JETAN (Martian Chess), invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs ninety years ago.


David Paulowich wrote on 2007-05-07 UTC

Well, Joe and I have been debating his 'disappearing Rooks' for a long time now. Truth be told, I have a bad habit of designing chess variants with only one Rook per side.

I am going to make two assumptions here which will cause serious problems with this project: [1] your 'linear inclusive compounds' are no more powerful than the classic shortrange pieces Q4, R4, B4 in the endgame and [2] Q4, R4, B4 are worth no more than 75 percent of Q, R, B. NOTE: as Joe has remarked elsewhere, shortrange pieces actually seem to work better on 100 squares than 64 squares, perhaps because there is a larger central area to deploy them in. Taking the Fabulous FIDEs against the Shatranjian Shooters, I would set up a 'hedgehog position' and trade off my Knights and Bishops. My opponent would probably want to trade off my Bishops, anyway. My patient maneuvering should eventually be rewarded by a won endgame.


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