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Hexagonal Raumschach

Introduction

Hexagonal Raumschach is a three dimensional analogue of Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, based on the classic 3D variant Raumschach. There are 12 pieces (King, Queen, 2 Rooks, 2 Knights, 3 Bishops and 3 Unicorns) and 15 pawns for each of the 2 players involved, with the 3D board having 5 small 2D hex-shaped board levels (each with a peak width of 7 hexes, and having 37 hexes). This is with the two side's armies set up on 3 levels each, and Glinski's pawn rules (except no initial double-step or en passant capture rule) in effect for the possible pawns movements that are just on a single 2D board. That's with the Unicorns being seemingly superior pieces than in the case of Raumschach, in a way, since I believe a minimum of just three of them would be able to eventually reach every cell on such a 3D Hexagonal board, if empty.

After coming up with the idea for this game, I discovered that many other 3D Hexagonal variants have already been invented, particularly by Charles Gilman. As an aside, I thought about doing a version of Hexagonal Raumschach that was somehow a 3D analogue of McCooey's Hexagonal Chess, as far as its diagonal pawn capturing rules might be applicable, but this seemed at the least awkward when using the sort of small 2D boards that I'm using presently, plus a different 3D board hex colour checkering pattern might be desired in that case.

Note that links for Raumschach and McCooey's Hexagonal Chess are provided in the Notes section, and a link for Glinski's Hexagonal Chess is provided in the Pieces' descriptions section, all further below. A Game Courier preset for play is available.

Setup

Pieces

There are 7 piece types in Hexagonal Raumschach; six of these are named as in standard chess (also as in Glinski's Hexagonal Chess), i.e. King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight & Pawn, and a seventh, exclusively three dimensional moving, type (i.e. Unicorn) is added, to make a total of seven.

For moves by the six piece types that are also used in Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, moves by any of these types which happen to stay on the same two dimensional board level in a game of Hexagonal Raumschach (which is not possible for the Unicorn type) follow the general piece type movement rules for Glinski's Hexagonal Chess. That's except that no initial double step or en passant capture is allowed for pawns (which applies even when moving between levels), and ignoring pawn promotions for now.

Here's a page for Glinski's Hexagonal Chess: Glinski's Hexagonal Chess

For moves between 2D board levels in Hexagonal Raumschach, let's say a piece starts on 2D board cell x at level y (pretending in the present Pieces' description section that the 2D board levels are numbered 1 to 5, rather than labelled A to E). Then what follows (excluding discussion of pawn promotions) are descriptions exclusively for how each of the 7 piece types make moves that go between levels:

When moving to any new level, a Rook arrives at cell x on that destination level, provided the Rook's path is not blocked at some level in between;

A Knight leaping to level y+1 or y-1 ends its move orthogonally 2 cells from cell x at the new level, but this is allowed only if the destination cell is not the same colour as the Knight started on. Alternatively, a Knight may leap, when going between levels, to level y+2 or y-2, ending its move orthogonally 1 cell from cell x at the new level, but again this is allowed only if the destination cell is not the same colour as the Knight started on. Note that a Knight can only move to a maximum of 3 cells on a new destination level;

A Unicorn moving to level y+1 or y-1 ends its move orthogonally 1 cell from cell x at the destination level, but this is allowed only if the destination cell's colour is not the same as the Unicorn started on. In general, for z>1, a Unicorn can move to level y+z or y-z by moving in the same 2D orthogonal direction relative to cell x as it begins moving in for going up or down just one level, finishing z cells orthogonally from cell x at the Unicorn's destination level. Note this is not allowed if the Unicorn's path is blocked at some level in between. Also, a Unicorn notably can only move to a maximum of 3 cells on a new destination level;

A Bishop moves between levels identically to a Unicorn's way of doing so, except a Bishop's destination cell must be on the same colour as the Bishop started on. Hence a Bishop is colour-bound, staying on the same colour regardless of the level that it is on. Note a Bishop can only move to a maximum of 3 cells on a new destination level;

A Queen moves like a Rook, Bishop or Unicorn, even when going between levels. Note a Queen can only move to a maximum of 7 cells on a new destination level;

A King moves like a Queen, but only moving one step at a time. Note a King can only move to a maximum of 7 cells on a new destination level;

A Pawn promotes on any cell on the back row of 7 hexes on the 2D board level that the enemy King starts on, promoting to any piece type in the setup, except for a King. In moving without capturing, and going between levels, a Pawn moves one level closer towards its promotion level, going to cell x at its destination level, but this is allowed only if the destination cell is unoccupied prior to the Pawn's move. A Pawn making an inter-level capturing move makes it on the next level that is closer to its promotion level. On that destination level, it makes its capturing move, forward, as if it were making a normal 2D board Ginski's Hexagonal Chess orthogonal Pawn capturing move; that is, it makes the capture going orthogonally forward, by 6o degrees (either way), from cell x on the Pawn's destination level. As in Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, a Pawn making any capture will not end up on a cell the same colour as the hex it started on.

Rules

There is no castling. Stalemate is a draw, as it is in Raumschach.

Notes

I'd tentatively estimate the piece values for Hexagonal Raumschach to be: P=1; U=2; B=3; R=3; N=4; Q=10, and a K would have a fighting value of 4.5 (noting it can't be traded).

Note that in the setup position, all the pawns are defended more than once, except for the two White pawns on the Af and Bf files (and the two Black pawns on the Df and Ef files), which are defended only once in each case, by a piece. Also, each side's bishops are defended by a unicorn (and vice-versa, by a different bishop), plus note that except for each of the bishops, all of each side's pieces are defended by at least two pieces.

Here's a page for Raumschach: Raumschach

A page for McCooey's Hexagonal Chess: McCooey's Hexagonal Chess



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By Kevin Pacey.
Web page created: 2017-01-09. Web page last updated: 2017-01-09