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Optima. Large variant influenced by Robert Abbott's Ultima.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Robert Price wrote on 2003-05-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I've been wondering about a large Ultima-type variant for some time.  I
hadn't hit upon the idea of incorporating shielding attributes against
the various types of capture.  I also haven't seen such a bewildering
menagerie of fairy pieces in a good while.  It must have taken weeks to
code all those pieces in Zillions!

The graphics are great.  Now, if only I could design a system of
interlocking components to play Optima in person...  well, there's always
Lego blocks.  :)

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2003-05-06 UTCGood ★★★★
I can´t see OPTIMA as a game, intead of this it is a FACTORY for a family
of games. The game play vary dramatically with each combination of pieces.
Some selections leads to very good OPTIMA sub-games, games were you can
see ART in the game play, but with a lot of startups and piece selections,
I can´t be so generous. Many pieces are so strong that tactics is
extremely difficult, and the ends are straightforward after some path
walked on the game. I prefer  9x9 with 5 major pieces per band, and some
combinations of initial pieces and start-ups produce usual beautiful
games, that doesn´t seem to be the case with some others...
(please, excuseme if David and you are not the same person. I have now the
right information...)

good7972 wrote on 2002-12-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
i've only played with 9 of the available pieces but i am quite impressed. this game will keep me busy for years to come.

M. Howe wrote on 2002-12-16 UTC
I have one email Optima game going and it has been interesting so far. I'm looking for others who would like to play the 9x9 version (9 pawns, 9 guards, 5 pieces per player) by email. And if not Optima, I'm open to other suggestions!

M. Howe wrote on 2002-12-09 UTC
Joseph is correct about the Fortress.  It is described incorrectly in the
readme file and therefore on the webpage.  It's my error, not David's.  It
captures ALL adjacent units, not just orthogonally adjacent ones, after
capturing a non-inert unit.  Also, There's now a 9x9 version of the game
with only King plus four pieces per player -- a much easier way to get
into the game without having to learn a lot of rules.

Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2002-12-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
One small mistake on this page: when a fortress captures a non-inert piece,
ALL adjacent enemy pieces are captured, not just those orthogonally
adjacent. (I assume this is an error in the description, not in the ZRF;
the Fortress's counterpart, the Shaman, is correctly listed as capturing
all adjacent pieces.)

Now that we got that out of the way, I'd like to give a quick warning to
those who dare play this WONDERFUL game: it can be a brain buster! The
back rank pieces are very strong, and keeping track of them all is not
easy. A set of 9 pieces is preselected in the ZRF (18 for the unequal
armies version); I recommend you get used to those 9 before you play with
a different set of pieces. (By the way, those strong pieces do NOT make
the game too tactical, thanks to the pawns and guards standing in the way.
I'm sure that any combination of 9 bank rank pieces will lead to a good

Have fun folks! Don't go crazy (it's too late for me, by the way :-D)

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-12-09 UTC
Hmmm.  This could be a banner year for big games.  :)  I'll download the
ZRF and put it in the queue with some of the 84 spaces games.  What I see,
I like.

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