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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-11-15
 Author: Peter  Aronson. Inventor: Peter  Aronson and David  Howe. Rococo. A clear, aggressive Ultima variant on a 10x10 ring board. (10x10, Cells: 100) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A cool variant that may take some time to be at ease with, but it looks worth it.

George Duke wrote on 2016-10-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Robert Abbott was inventor of Ultima in the 1960s. Abbott commented 13 years ago on Rococo:


Rococo is my single preferred CV whether Orthodox style or Track Two Heterodox style like Rococo. It themes every piece moving like Queen but capturing differently. Contrary to Abbott, the border squares substantially make the game, because different pieces and Rococo Pawns react differently with those "half-squares" variously accessible according to the piece-types divergent Rules. "Divergent" is carefully picked to describe because all Rococo pieces are divergent in the CV sense that they move and capture differently. But then Abbott has a narrow specialty having invented several (not a lot) of great game rules and secondly made challenging mazes. He admits here and there he does not play games, CV or not, very much himself. He seems to have just chanced on 2 or 3 great Rules sets in card game Eleusis and CV Ultima. Or maybe Ultima gets attention because it was one of the first modern ones in between Parton and Boyer and just prior to Betza. There is not much follow-up insight on Abbott's part, where for instance most revisions of his suggestion worsen the great original. Abbott never really delved into CVs and does not consider Ultima even to be one like we do, but just using Chess equipment in his words.

However, over-all we have played Abbott's great Eleusis quite a bit more than Aronson and Howe's Rococo, no comparison really. Eleusis, so thanks aplenty to Robert for countless hours at Eleusis.

Julian wrote on 2015-05-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The strength order probably goes like this:
Immobilizer - 9 points
Advancer - 8 points
Chameleon - 6 points
Long Leaper - 5 points
Archer - 5 points
Withdrawer - 3.5 points (resistant to the Immobilizer)
Swapper - 2.5 points
Withdrawer - 2.5 points (not resistant)
Pawn - 1 point

Georg Spengler wrote on 2015-03-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
That was quick! Thanks!

 Great game!

Todor Tchervenkov wrote on 2006-07-22 UTCGood ★★★★
Hi! I was exploring Rococo's ZRF, I found many divergences between what I
was expected to be correct and what does Zillions do.
Now I have many questions to any one concerned with Rococo:
1) wether the Chameleon could swap with the Swapper, jumping over any Long
2) wether the Chameleon could swap and capture any Withdrawer or
3) wether a Pawn that's already on the 9th rank could promote by moving
sidewards (it's clear it could not go to the 10th rank);
4) wether a piece on the outer ring could 'commit suicide' (i.e. - does
this count as capturing?).

I will appreciate having authors' opinion.

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous wrote on 2004-04-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-02-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Michael: I have had the idea of trying some Optima pieces for Ultima, too, although it seemed natural the first try with the FIDE-Queen, due the fact that all the pieces in Ultima move as the Queen. The Advancer looks fine in conjunction with the Queen (really good, you can essay), but I disagree with the presence of Withdrawer, it is a weak piece that is difficult to manage for attack (or defense!) purposes. I´m not enterely disconform with the Coordinator, it is a weak piece, but it adds some interesting possibilities to tactics. If you can suggest sustitutes to Withdrawer and Coordinator, or to the combination Queen-Advancer, I can test them in the context of the game. The idea is a game that preserves ULTIMA´s essence, but with a rich, relatively clear, nice and beautiful game play, usually the primary good ideas are not enough, one can be only convinced (perhaps never at all, due the self-criticism that acts as an impulse of human beings, looking always for better things) after some careful play-testing. We are trying to offer alternatives for a consolidated game with peculiar fans, We have did some things that I think are good, but it is ever a hard work redefining a game looking for improvements, because it is not easy stablish clearly the colective criteria, and what things are the things that the majorities really want.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Peter, I have played a few quick games against Zillions. I´m greatly surprised of the Archer, it fits perfectly in the game and it adds new nice alternatives. i like it. As suspected, Birds are much more powerful than needed for the game, for this reason I prefer undoubtely the Rococo-Archer, more than the Bird-Archer and more than the original Rococo, this piece adds a lot to the game. It was not clear why two Long-Leapers in Rococo. With the Archer, one Long-Leaper is enough, and it is not necessary answer why. About Ultima, it looks fine with the Queen and the Advancer, but due the power of Queen the game play is notoriously different than in Ultima, I like it. I have not tried the Leo or the weak Leo yet, I´ll try to make a primitive code in the next days, and see what happens.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2004-01-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Yes, Rococo and Ultima should both thrive, somewhat as the open standard
and as the closed standard of the same kind of game. That open or closed -
strategic - character derives from the Pincer Pawns in Ultima and from the
edge squares and Cannon Pawns in Rococo.
Where I disagree is about tactics, that is, the officers. I would enrol
one Coordinator, one Swapper, one Withdrawer, one Advancer, one Long
Leaper, one Immobilizer and one Chameleon in both games. I don't see what
makes the Advancer, the Coordinator or the Long Leaper worthwhile only in
Ultima or only in Rococo. Indeed, I find the lack of either frustrating.
(Should one or two new pieces - not pieces capturing by replacement -
prove valuable in a future Ultima-Rococo spin-off, I would also call for
adding them.)
As for evaluation, well, I would reverse George's values for the Advancer
and the Long-Leaper and also for the Swapper and the Chameleon.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-01-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The game is excellent as it is -in its three variants-, and Ultima is, certainly, an extraordinary game too. These games are enterely different in the game play, and both are nice, each one with its own characteristics. No changes to any of them!.

George Duke wrote on 2004-01-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The edge squares are essential for all the pieces since each can be swapped
there, or end there in capturing, if only from another edge square.  The
Long Leaper is a more natural piece than say a Cannon, and 
in Rococo exceeded in value by two other pieces. My estimates:
Immobilizer 10, Advancer 8, LL 7, Swapper 5, Chameleon 4, Withdrawer 3,
Cannon Pawn 2. A Triangulator, as described, or Coordinator for that
matter would not fit in well with this mix of pieces.
CVP has about 2000 games the last time I checked, somewhat fewer than
David Pritchard's Encyclopedia.  Of course, there is substantial overlap,
such as Ultima.

Robert Abbott wrote on 2004-01-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
As the inventor of Ultima, I'd like to say that Rococo looks great to me. I haven't actually played it because, well, I'm getting too old to play perfect-information, non-chance games (they take too much brains and energy). But that shouldn't stop me from making a suggestion: I think you should get rid of the Long-Leapers. That would do away with the need for the border of extra squares. You could replace the two Long-Leapers with two 'Triangulators,' a different type of Coordinator. A Triangulator moves orthogonally, and at the end of its move, it captures any enemy piece that is on an intersection of diagonal lines that run through both Triangulators. Because they can easily make captures on the opponent's side of the board, they would make better attack pieces than the old Coordinator in Ultima. If one Triangulator is captured, the other Triangulator wouldn't have much to do, but it could hang around in case a Cannon Pawn is promoted to a Triangulator.

Brady wrote on 2002-06-05 UTCGood ★★★★

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