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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-02-24
 By Fergus  Duniho. Storm the Ivory Tower. A Smess adaptation of Chinese Chess. (9x10, Cells: 90) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is a great extension of the Smess idea!

John Smith wrote on 2008-11-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
How about instead of having the Ninnies capture two squares, you give them the ability to move 90 degrees to the arrows on their current square? It would prevent them from getting trapped in the Fortresses. Other than the additional moves for the Ninnies and Fuddy-Duddies, this is an excellent Xiang Qi-like variant.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-03-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Hats off to Fergus for creating this game. It plays like a super-charged version of Chinese Chess. Quite dynamic and exciting. I encourage those who haven't tried it to do so. Previous knowledge of Chinese Chess is not essential, but is helpful. And if you do play this game, a word of advise, carefully read the rules regarding the Pawn and Elephant (Ninny and Fuddy-Duddy) because the enhancements that each obtains upon crossing the river are important to remember.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-12-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I had thought that I had previously rated this game. But after reviewing
all the comments here, I discovered otherwise.

I remember when a friend of mine dragged out a Smess game and tortured me
with it.  I was a fan from that day.

So when this XiangQi extrapolation of Smess appeared I was definitely
intrigued.  I suspected that the dynamics of each of these games would not
mesh well.  And the early version did have a few minor problems. This could
be the reason that I did not post an evaluation.

Now that the game has gotten a facelift, I took another look.

What can I say but 'Wow!'  Very nicely done.  The overall play of the
game appears to be quite nice. The various pieces interact very well with
the pattern of directions.  Now East Asians can enjoy the Smess

Here's a question: Is the name 'Smess' derived from 'It's a mess'?

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-12-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice graphics, indeed. Perhaps both the Smess and the recolored options could be provided.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2005-12-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Excellent again! Michael's tan board is very good. Much like my physical board for 'All the King's Men.' Very easy on the eyes. Fergus's Chinese pieces look good on this board. I am curious as to what Michael's pieces look like and will ask for a copy via e-mail, unless there are plans to display that scenario here. I greatly appreciate the time and effort Michael and Fergus have put into this project. In regard to the 'New Coke' hype idea... I can say, 'Nonsense.' We are talking about game design here. Two very different boards and very different piece sets as an attempt to please players with different tastes. The fact that this gives a great new game publicity is an added benefit. Anyone not liking the STIT comments, of course, can skip them. But I think they have lead (or are leading to) to a very worthwhile conclusion. I look forward to seeing the game logs for STIT. Best regards to all. And thanks again... very much.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2005-12-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Outstanding! Great job Fergus! Now this board, a coloration of Michael's submission is a true work of art, fit for framing. Thank you very much Fergus for creating this version. And thank you Michael for designing the original. When it has complimentary pieces to go with it I'm fired up to play!

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2005-12-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have a black and white version of the board here:

- Sam

Anonymous wrote on 2005-12-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Actually, I like the colorful board and pieces. The theme wouldn't make sense without them.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2005-12-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The change to the squares to keep Ninnies out of the Ivory Tower is a great improvement on previous arrangements, particularly as it echoes a practical consequence of Xiang Qi rules. Seeing this updated soon after A. Black posted his Color Square Shogi makes an interesting contrast in ways to generalize directions.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-09-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This looks really good, Fergus. You've blended these two games such that they look as if they were meant to be blended!

One question: is a Yahoo allowed to move back to its starting square when the arrows allow for it, making a null move?

A comment about the 'Korean' Clodhopper -- following the analogy with the Korean Cannon, they should not be allowed to capture other Clodhoppers.

About the exit moves. I can see very easily how you ended up with them, and I for one like the forced exit rule, since it should make the game more decisive. An alternate approach if you did want to forbid them the tower in the first place would be to shade the arrows pointing into the tower, and add a rule that Ninnys and Yahoos may not follow a shaded arrow on their side of the board.

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