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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-12-13
 By Gary K. Gifford. Catapults of Troy. Large variant with a river, catapults, archers, and trojan horses! (8x11, Cells: 88) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Simon Jepps wrote on 2018-09-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
  • "May someone make in effort to describe his/her's appeal to this game?"

It's just brilliant! I had an idea once for a piece called "The Lovers". It was basically a figurine of a man and woman holding each other, but which could separate and thus have two pieces distributed about instead.

"Catapults Of Troy" reminds me of this, specifically the Trojan Horse, with its ability to deploy Archers.

Whilst this game is not Classically orientated, there are good things to come from designing pieces such as these, which are two abilities combined as one.

Nice work. ;)

Simon Jepps wrote on 2018-09-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

It truly is amazing how many exquisitely different and unique Chess variants have been invented.

I personally always prefer something more closely resembling the Classical concept, for example Modern Chess and so forth, but am astounded by the dedication given by people like yourself to the intricate details of playability, in what would seem an almost bizarre game in comparison.

Well done!

Anthony Viens wrote on 2018-09-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is one of my favorite variants on the site!  Very well done.  I like the concept of the river as a barrier, but you didn't stop with that as a gimmick.  You also made the piece types work with the river!  There is an archer to shoot over the water, the ram could be too powerful but the river hampers it's deployment, and a catapult to toss pieces....great job.

Now, there are a few things I would do different (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, I may design a derivative) but there is only one thing I think is not designed very well.

Why do you have 5 ranks on each half of the board?  Xiang Qi also has 5, but the pawns start on the fourth rank.  Catapults of Troy's pawns start on the second rank, and don't have an initial double (or triple) step.  I would venture to say this makes pawn development very very slow.  

Which would be fine, except I see absolutely no benefit from it.  The river already has a huge damper on pawn development/attacks, so even if you wanted to limit pawn interaction in the game it's already redundant.  Not to mention, slowing the game (particularly the opening) down for no actual change doesn't seem like a good idea.
It slows down getting the bridge builder into position, it slows down getting the Trojan Horse into the also makes developing the bishops really awkward....Honestly, it makes everything except the catapult sadly out of position.  I'm afraid the opening of Catapults of Troy would devolve into catapulting most of your pieces close to the river just to save 30 turns of development.
Frankly, I think there is so much empty space eliminating only one rank from each side would still play almost the same.  Slightly shorter opening, sure, but nothing else. 
Again, all this would be OK, except I see no benefit at all.  Just an unnecessarily stretched opening.

Am I missing something?  Please inform me, if so.
(Maybe you like a long opening!  That's OK.)

I would allow pawn double step and eliminate one rank per side, personally.  I think that would speed up the opening tremendously and lose nothing--maybe lower the importance of the Catapult a little bit, but at the moment Catapults look too central to moving pieces.

All that being said, this is STILL an excellent game.   I can handle an unnecessarily long opening, so long as the rest of it is great!  One of the best on the website!

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-07-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This cool chess variant is at least to some extent ground-breaking. Though I initially had trouble grasping the large number of rules (which almost makes this variant more like a wargame), the effort was worth it now that I have at least some inkling of how the game's strategies might work in practice.

abraham gray wrote on 2015-07-17 UTCGood ★★★★
This is my favorite chess variant so far.  Thank you for designing it.

Claudio Martins Jaguaribe wrote on 2010-05-27 UTCGood ★★★★
I liked the board and lots of things in the pieces. The good came because some reasons:

i- The assymmetric arrange of the pieces, lots of 'lone' pieces;
ii- The cartoonish ability to the BB to 'pull the rug from the feet of the enemy';
iii- The idea of a 'heavy' piece like the TJ jumping the river, he should slide like a half-sissa (using only the foward diagonals).

Some questions:

1- The rook also does not cross the river, right?
2- Can the A jump over the river? After all, only him and the TJ leaps;
3- Shouldn't be better, if the bridges belong  a number to a side, instead of a commom pool? And, so, could be destroyed by the BB.
4- How far a C can throw a piece?

Good things:

a- I loved the TJ leaving A behind, it's a great idea, could be evem more A in a larger board;
b- The catapult its also a great piece, even without a river;
c-The R is also a great piece, mostly because it is too strong, but can be used only once and it's gone.


Anonymous wrote on 2010-03-17 UTCGood ★★★★
Can archers capture by replacement?

Vitya Makov wrote on 2010-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Few clarifications from Gary:

1) Troy Horse can leave an Archer on a bridge square.
2) Ram can shoot from Catapult. After this Ram must be removed from the board, Catapult must remain on the board.

Very interesting game of Catapults: 


George Duke wrote on 2008-06-09 UTCPoor ★
[Rating Poor to average out the one little Rating it had of Excellent in the very first of fully 22 Comments; everyone else apparently thought not to Rate] Certainly nice artistry in pictorials. Really about 4.5 out of 10 points, Average. Catapults of Troy saves itself from being another sorry entry by both that artwork and the Problem(s) thoughtfully added. Otherwise, as a game, it is the sort of overwrought and over-complicated Rules-set hardly worth constant publication, once so many such are available to peruse. Extremely few would be interested in convolutions like Catapults of Troy, even among Chess-aware intelligent public; yet it is understandable among Chess Variant artists, who care not about wide play of their games and want chiefly to increase their portfolios. Actually, Gifford seems past that stage and we should not expect many new CVs from him. So we can now start to analyse Gifford's work as retrospective, as we have started, for example, with Gilman's, still active, and Betza's. I never felt safe opportunity to Rate Gifford's Average, and Good in certain cases for their over-all presentation, for fear of lampooning by ''prolificist'' addicts. The ''inner circle'' would not consider its mindset of ''quantity over quality'' as intimidating and intolerant of dissent. It falls beyond their comprehension. But really that period is gone, since most CVP readers become aware at last of the untenability of unlimited Rules sets without full evaluation and unintended consequences from ignorance of priority.

Ed wrote on 2003-12-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This looks like a very interesting variant.  I sure hope that someone can
ZRFolate it!

In the Mate-in-2 problem, is it not possible in response to both moves 1
and 2 that the king could mount the catapult?  Or should one assume that
there is a rule that forbids mounting a catapult to escape check?

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