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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-12-19
 By John  Smith. Snowflake Xiang Qi. A better Xiang Hex. (Cells: 140) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-12-20 UTC
Well the update's certainly timely here in Europe. It's a long time since it's been this snowy here!

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-12-11 UTC
I had considered a hexagonal Jetan.

The Flier would have a footprint that spanned a six-cell-sided hexagonal area. Thus the field might need to be twelve-cell-sided to accommodate this piece.

If you maintained the original number of pieces(with only an extra Padwar and Flier to cover the extra diagonal pattern of the hexagonal field), this would leave a very large open area on this field. The opening portion of the game could be tedious.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-11 UTC
It's too bad the board is so hard to make. Perhaps I could play a game with just notation. I'll try to label the board soon.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-11 UTC
This new Soldier somewhat resembles a Panthan. I wonder what a hexagonal Jetan would be like.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-10 UTC
That fixes the problem I described, and it's worth playtesting.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-10 UTC
How about interpreting the Xiang Qi Soldier's movement as orthogonally forward in all 3 directions before it enters the River, with orthogonally sideways movement in all 4 directions added when it enters the River?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-10 UTC

The rules state: “Soldiers move one space straight forward until crossing the River, when they gain the ability to move one space obliquely orthogonally forward.” In Xiang Qi, Pawns on the last rank can still move left or right when they can no longer move forward. By the rule stated here, Pawns (Soldiers) in Snowflake Xiang Qi can move to places where they can no longer reach the opponent's palace. This strikes me as a flaw in the game. Even by the rules of Pawn movement in Xiang Hex, there are positions on the board from which a Pawn would be unable to reach the opponent's palace.


John Smith wrote on 2008-12-10 UTC
As per your suggestion, the variant now plays with 5 Soldiers. This has the bonus of less active Chariots.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-10 UTC
I wasn't bragging about my game. I was trying to make a more natural board for Xiang Qi on a hexagonal field. I'm very sorry if I offended you. I had also included the variant without extra Soldiers.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
Have you considered that with this particular field's shape that the Soldiers may be forced into positions of ineffectiveness. The back rank of this field radiates away from the 'palace', allowing the potential of the Soldiers moving beyond the 'palace' and unable to return.

Of course, this is only a small 'problem'.

This could be corrected by moving the rank forward, either level or higher than the 'palace'. But then you risk bringing the Chariots into a position where they will have quick access to the field. But this could be handled by placing them in a position where there would need to be the development of at least one or two pieces before they could be brought out. Oh, wait, that's what I did in Xiang Hex.

By your own admission, you have not thoroughly play-tested this game. So any claims of superiority are spurious. May I suggest that next time you wish to brag about your creation that you resist the urge to denigrate someone else's.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
One reason for increasing the hexagonal field size by 50% is to increase the potential of the diagonal sliders. But XiangQi only has two particular diagonal movers, and they are restricted to one side of the field, and one type to a specific area. Thus increasing the size of the field does not actually gain any significant advantage for these pieces.

It could be argued that the Horse uses a diagonal in its move. But this is simple a step. Increasing the size of the field will actually reduce its effectiveness. So the only reason to do so would be to slow its opening advance across the field.

But looking at your attempt at a hexagonal XiangQi, I can see several un-necessary elements. That is the right and left section which make up the star pattern of the field. This would eliminate the extra Soldiers. Also the right and left cells from the 'Palace' could be eliminated. The game could actually work well without them, but this would destroy your overall theme.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
The overall space in Xiang Hex is smaller. So, having a smaller Palace is in itself not a 'problem'.

I believe that you are basing your judgement, not on an objective evaluation of the game, but on a mere subjective view.

The dynamics of the hexagonal field are very different from the square field. To expect the same results is not realistic.

The only way there could be a problem would be that it results in some form of triviality or weakness that allows one opponent to exploit to advantage. If both players have the same restriction it is merely a particularity of the game, not a problem.

The honest thing you could say is that this particular game allows the players more room. In fact, more than the XiangQi field. It does not address any particular 'problem' with another game.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
That Palace less space than in Xiang Qi, which is terrible, considering the power of the other pieces.

Did you miss that?

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-12-09 UTC
Exactly what is 'the Palace problem' of Xiang Hex?

Just curious.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
On further analysis, I can now give you some reference points for designing the board with Game Courier. The bottom space of the right leg is n1. Given this, the leftmost space in the river should be a14, the bottom of the left leg should be f5, and the top of the f file should be f18. The topmost rank of the playing area is 18, and the files number 19. So the playing area you need to cut your board out of should measure 19 files by 18 ranks.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC

It can handle larger boards. You just need to know what to do. Your board will need to be cut out of a parallelogram shaped area of hexagonal spaces. Since the hexagons for this board are vertical, this area will consist of files that each begin half a space above the file to its left, like this:

Besides the Code and Board fields I mentioned to you before, you also need to change the value of the Columns field. This tells Game Courier how many columns wide your board will be. Since you're working with vertical hexagons, which naturally align into columns, instead of horizontal hexagons, which naturally align into rows, counting the number of columns needed by your board area is straightforward. Just count the number of vertical files on your board. This is 19.

One thing that makes this board tricky to do is that it is an unusual shape that doesn't include the corners of the area it must be carved out of as part of the board. You might start with a value for Code that includes your board area, then with that in view, you can begin to figure out what to remove. Another idea is to put your graphic image back in your paint program, place hexagons of another color all around it until you have a parallelogram shaped area of hexagons. This will then serve as a guide to what size area you need Game Courier to make and what cells you need to cut out of it to form your board.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
John, I've made and used 12x24 and 15x30 standard rectangular boards made of squares. Try making a standard hex board of diameter 21 and side 10, then 'cutting out' your board. If you can make the large standard hex, then your board shape is doable. If you manage to color it the way you want, let me know how you did it. :-)

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
When I made I tried to make it in Game Courier, it ended up torussed or something.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
The board looks good, but you clearly made it with a paint program, not with Game Courier. I can tell because Game Courier's hexes are borderless, and you didn't give a link to a preset where Game Courier draws the board. The importance of making it with Game Courier is that it will then be a trivial matter for me to modify the Xiang Hex preset to work with it. If I attempted to make it work with your graphic image, it would take me just as much work to do it as it would if I did all the work of making the board with Game Courier myself. In asking you to make the board with Game Courier, there are two things I'm hoping to get out of it. (1) It will spare me the work of doing it myself. (2) It will give you experience using Game Courier to draw boards.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
Fergus, here is the Game Courier board, modified for aesthetic appeal rather than trueness to Xiang Hex' colors:


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-12-04 UTC
This looks interesting, John. If you can make a board for it with Game Courier, I'll modify the preset for Xiang Hex to work with it. I suggest starting with the Xiang Hex preset and changing the values of the code and board fields.

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