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Tengu Dai Shogi. Turbo version of Dai Shogi, with some Dai Dai Shogi pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-10-13 UTC

I've been working on implementing this game in Ai Ai, and have realised that there is an error in the write-up here: the Knight does not promote to Gold General in Tengu Dai Shogi, it promotes to a new piece which moves as a Chess Knight or as a Gold General. The text description and diagram are visible under the 桂馬:けいま heading on the original Japanese page.


Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-03-08 UTC

OK, I see. Thank you for the explanation. I don't think he is right about the Left/Right Chariots in Maka Dai Dai Shogi, though; These seem well placed. You can move them quickly away from the edge they start, by moving them forward a lot, and then diagonally back. Or, to say it differently: with only their sliding moves they would be able to access (on an empty board) nearly the entire board, except for a small triangle in the corner of their own camp just behind them. Had they started near the other edge, their sliding moves could only access the triangle above their diagonal move (less than half the board, as they start significantly above the main diagonal), and to access the area under the diagonal they would be dependent on their backward step (which would pretty much take forever on such a large board). You see the same pattern for the Quails in Tori Shogi.

Yep, that all sounds reasonable. I really don't have any strong feelings either way, just thought it was useful to relay what he said. Since his comments confirm that these piece placements are purely an aesthetic choice, which the inventor's open to changing anyway, maybe it's worth adding a swap of the White Tiger/Blue Dragon as a suggested variant?


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-03-07 UTC

OK, I see. Thank you for the explanation. I don't think he is right about the Left/Right Chariots in Maka Dai Dai Shogi, though; These seem well placed. You can move them quickly away from the edge they start, by moving them forward a lot, and then diagonally back. Or, to say it differently: with only their sliding moves they would be able to access (on an empty board) nearly the entire board, except for a small triangle in the corner of their own camp just behind them. Had they started near the other edge, their sliding moves could only access the triangle above their diagonal move (less than half the board, as they start significantly above the main diagonal), and to access the area under the diagonal they would be dependent on their backward step (which would pretty much take forever on such a large board). You see the same pattern for the Quails in Tori Shogi.

The case of White Tiger / Blue Dragon is entirely different. Their placement in Dai Dai allows the unidirectional diagonal slide to be aimed at the center through the horizontal or vertical bidirectional slide. Swap them, and their diagonal moves hit the edge. This would be especially hard to undo for the White Tiger, which can only distance itself from that edge in steps of 2.


Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-03-07 UTC

The start location of the White Tiger and Blue Dragon is a bit surprising, as their diagonal slides aim towards the board edge rather than towards the center. In Dai Dai Shogi this is the other way around: the Blue Dragon starts on the left.

In one of the comments below the Japanese blog post where this game originated, the inventor states that he deliberately put those pieces in those awkward positions. His reasoning is that we see a similar tendency in Maka Dai Dai Shogi, where the Left and Right Chariots are also positioned awkwardly with their diagonal slides heading toward the edge of the board. He also cites Chu Shogi, where the steppers are stuck on the back line despite being most useful at the front. He believes that placing those pieces awkwardly in the other variants was intentional, so he placed the White Tiger and Blue Dragon similarly (and also the Vermillion Sparrow and Turtle-Snake).

He also says he accepts this might not be correct, and in a later comment says he feels the pieces can be changed around as appropriate, so I think he wouldn't mind if players tried swapping those pieces over.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-16 UTC

I just published this, because the missing tiles were added, the external graphics were replaced.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-09 UTC

Just a reminder that this page still needs some work. The Tiles piece set is incomplete in the interactive diagram, and this page has some external images on it.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-04-26 UTC

Indeed it was not obvious that the names can be clicked, and Fergus has already addressed that point in the text he added. The Interactive Diagram has a feature where it automatically creates a list of piece names (not to be confused with the piece table that normally is hidden directly below it) and the squares they are on somewhere in the article text (a 'satellite', for which you just have to provide an empty HTML list somewhere in your text with a certain 'id'), and such lists will then always be headed by the notice (highlighted with light-blue background) that you can click on the names. (E.g. see here.) But I did not use that here, as for games like this the list would become very long, and could not be kept in view together with the diagram. Which makes the clicking feature a bit useless, or at least very cumbersome. So I hand-formatted the list to surround the diagram. But I forgot to put the notice with it.

Auto-generating a table of text descriptions (as another optional satellite) might be possible in the future. But for games with as many pieces as this, I think it is really detrimental. It just swamps the reader with (mostly redundant) low-density information, making it hard to find the pieces about which something interesting can be said. Of course the table could be hidden initially.

But in earlier discussions the issue came up that people might have disabled JavaScript in their browser, and that in this case we still want to show them the essential information. Hidden tables are no good when there is no way to open those, and tables that are generated on the fly would not be there at all. The latter is a second reason not to use the auto-generated list of pieces in an article; I uploaded a screenshot of the diagramm as it is initially generated as a static PNG image between <noscript> tags, to insure that in any case people would see the mnemonics, in addition to the surrounding list of piece names.


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-04-26 UTC

That paragraph was definitely helpful.  I had known, but had forgotton, that you could click on the piece names and get a move diagram, which is a very nice feature.  One last nit-pick - would it be possible to display the piece names styled as hyper-links so that it is even more visually obvious that something will happen when you click on them?


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-25 UTC

Since the interactive diagram provides individual movement diagrams for each piece, I will waive the requirement to include written descriptions for all the pieces. Since the availability of these diagrams wasn't obvious at first, and since the random reader may not know what Betza notation is, I have added a paragraph to the top of the Setup section giving some explanation and instructions for that section. You were mentioning earlier about building into the interactive diagrams some kind of translation from Betza notation to text descriptions, and that could prove helpful in general.


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-04-25 UTC

There is not a shred of hope that someone not capable of reading the mnemonic symbols would be able to play this game.

On this I agree. I think you've done a great job creating the mnemonic graphics to make these huge shogi games accessible, at least theoretically. Whether anyone has sufficient time and patience is another question, but I suppose given the lockdowns ...


H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-04-25 UTC

The tiles button is not an automatic asset of the diagram, but just added JavaScript embedded in the HTML page, to run the diagram script again with other settings. I can easily hide it, but I would prefer to create the missing images. Problem here is that many of those will have to be 2-kanji tiles. E.g. Flying Dragon has the problem that both its kanji are in use by more common pieces (Flying Chariot = Rook and Dragon King). I am not sure it is a good idea to mix 1-kanji and 2-kanji symbols, so perhaps I have to redo them all, and make a complete 2-kanji set for (Maka) Dait Dai Shogi.

As to text descriptions, it appear that we are of different opinion on that subject. I would say these should be avoided at all cost, or you would get horrible articles like those in Wikipedia. The text unambiguously describes how to read the range in the 8 directions from the mnemonic piece symbols, and even people with JavaScript disabled get to see a board image with these mnemonic symbols. If there are people that do not know how to interpret the symbols, they read the text, and they would know. If they cannot understand that text, they would certainly not be able to understand a text that describes an individual piece. There is not a shred of hope that someone not capable of reading the mnemonic symbols would be able to play this game.


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-04-25 UTC

Clicking on the 'Tiles' view, some pieces disappear (presumably no tiles for some of them.)  Is it possible to remove the Tile option from this interactive diagram?


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-25 UTC

It's fine to use Betza notation, piece images that function as move diagrams, and an interactive diagram. These can all be helpful for those who understand or use them. But it is still important to provide text descriptions of how the pieces move. It's good that you have provided text descriptions for some of the pieces, but the others need some description, even if it is kept brief.


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