The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Marseillais Chess, our featured variant for February, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Paul Leno.

Gridlock Chapter 2

Sho Gun holding a Star

Here I introduce one of the future Power Pieces of the games. You won’t be needing him in the Ruins but it would be good to familiarize with his talents. He is the Freedom Pawns General and has a working cannon. Figure a. represents the usual Gridlock Divisional Pawns movement. Always one angular for the kill or capture. Only difference here is Sho Gun has a cannon to do his dirty work for him. For each Big Star you hold with on the board, every time it’s your turn Sho Gun can fire off a shot. Make yourself familiar with my pieces and the shields some of them carry because the only defense against Sho Gun is shield rotation and you do that each time it’s your turn according to the stars you hold . This type of move is a castle function and is in addition to movement of a piece.

Lil Medusa

. This concept is simple whatever is in check by the Lil Medusa Pawn is froze. It can't move, it s pinned and its field of influence is suspended.. In order to free the piece you will have to block the line of check with something you don't need as much, or take it out from a distance outside its field for instance a Colt could sweep in form outside the Medusa’s freezing range. Hint two Medusas cancel each other out. This pawn can eliminate or capture, ride all the toys and cast its special field of influence through any piece it’s riding with possession of the Crystal of course. Also when an opposing piece comes in contact with the Medusa’s field, it’s own field is neutralized by the Medusa. This is another way of shutting down armor.

Lil Medusa casting a spell

Here I describe some of the different ways Medusa can cast its field of influence through the pieces it’s riding a. here we have the Lil Medusa casting the frozen influence from the Center Serve Bishop b. See how Medusa works through the Colt to make the footprint frozen c. Check out what spaces are frozen off the Forrest Rook. These are not continuous fields they only freeze the first in line. The first man to be in the way is pinned those behind him can move. I will show you in another briefing board how to capture the Crystal. You must have this in order to make power level transfers. In addition to the fields above Medusa is most effective close to the ground, he doesn’t have the range to work from to many sublevels up. Each main floor has five sublevels if you count the ceiling which most likely will lead to another main floor but I digress and am just trying to confuse you (is it working )?

The Pawn of a Different Color

The Converter is another one of those pieces I need you to just think about for a while. His home is in cyber space and I think you will know why after you see what his Field of Influence can do. He converts the pieces within his field to his team’s colors. In cyber space you could say he’s your own personal recruiter. When you own a Crystal you can transfer the Converter’s field like a beacon in the Knight get it? He enjoys all the rides in the kingdom. His range for effectiveness is so limited when he’s on his own; you really do need to keep him budied up with something. The Converter will make his Debut in the Level called Gridlock Rebuilt First Portal. For now the Converter will wait on the bench with all the other Power Pieces. You only need a couple of Power Pieces for the Ruins and then as you progress through the various stages of the series., I’ll keep introducing Power Pieces so you won’t be bored ever.

Chop Chop Chop

This guard’s job is to move like a Queen but sting like a King. He’ll always be used to shut things down. People are going to have to find a way to shut him down. Anything can kill him. He can’t armor up but he can hide behind it. He’s going to get in the way of a lot of best laid plans I bet. Gridlock’s Guard can ride everything but the colts. He’s not a Queens Guard but he’s the next best thing. He can use his field just like the Medusa to shut down armor and break up the Queens Guards Chain Gangs. This by the way is another one of those future Power Pieces that your not going to need right away but I want the concepts to be familiar to you when he comes out in Gridlock’ Return. This is also where Patience and her cast of Titans also come on board.

Chop Chop Chop

This Guard’s Field of Influence neutralizes all fields, you would have to move the man or block the Guards Field to turn the man back on again. I’m not going to always give you the answers but a clue here is one way to shut Gridlock’s Guard’s field down is to use the Medusas or simply pick him off because he’s not armored., or lock up two Gridlock Guards. Do remember that Gridlock’s Guard does not freeze men it simply neutralizes their fields. Another reason to tease you with the future Power Pieces now is so you have almost all the briefing boards in one spot, Trust me the Ruins introduces enough to explore.

Tonk and the Queens Guard

This is the Second Armored Division. Tonk is the biggest of the Queens Guard and moves like a Queen. The other Queens Guards all have rank according to their size. The Queens Guard III moves three spaces any direction. The four s, fives, sixes and sevens move according to their rank unless holdings on Tonk’s Power Grid is higher we will discuss the Power grid holdings in a later section. I call this the second Armored Division because it’s larger and more cumbersome to move because of the way the armor is activated as compared to the Armored Pawn. The only way for the Queens Guard to activate its Field, which in this case is the armor, is staying linked to the Queens guard collective. There are a couple of ways to do this. First let’s talk about the Queens Guard Collective and just who belongs to it. It’s called the Queens Guard so let’s make her President and Tonk Vice President. With this in mind we have to keep the Queens Guard connected to either the Queen or Tonk.

Tonk’s Chambers

I would like to mention here what all the pieces represent on the bottom of these two Briefing Boards, simple assault is what they represent and they pose no threat to amour not even the bomb can damage activated armor. I am sure I’m missing a few examples up above but I think you’ll get it the first time you try to take an eleven year olds Armored Rook by Simple Assault. I’ve shown you the First and Second Armored Divisions and we haven’t begun to explore Gridlock’s Archives. The Queen is carrying Tink, Tank is up in arms and missing in action and Tonk is still seated. Back to Gridlock basics, at the top of the board you’ll note an assembly of the Guard. They are forming a simple Tonk’s Chamber, by being all connected through their checking fields (their armor is activated). Always remember the teams or units of Queens Guards have to be linked to the Queen or Tonk. They can be linked through each other or linked to the collective through the Crystal but do not need the Crystal.

Queens Guards Mobility

The only rides the Queens Guards don’t use are the Colts, Bearing Cross and Center Serve. They do ride the pieces above and are able to use the Crystal to armor up the pieces they ride as long as they stay connected to the collective. What I’m going to do with these Briefing Boards is dive right into sub levels and Footstools. Footstools are important because of the way 3D chess pieces operate. Bishops climb diagonally, Queens climb vertically, horizontally and diagonal. So since the Queens Guards are limited range Queens, they have the most versatility in climbing and eliminating. We will use the Queens Guard as the first example of using a Footstool. Think of it as a step up and you have to line up the step to match your way of moving. A Bishop would line the Forrest Rook up to match his diagonal movements. Would it help if I told you that all your Gridlock pieces are surrounded by an invisible cubicle space?

Invisible Sublevels

When a Knight works in 3D space it can move up one, two and over one. This is how a Knight or Colt launches a man onto the top of a Castle Rook. Putting a Forrest Rook next to a Castle Rook is another Footstool for a man.. Lets talk about who actually occupies what sublevels. We start with the Knight and rider. They both occupy ground space. The smallest of the Rooks called the Forrest Rook has a riding space on top of him, whoever occupies this space is on the second sublevel and has to obey the 3D laws of movement for mounting, dismounting or climbing over as in the use of a Footstool. Let’s say you wanted to project a man from off the back of the Knight, which is first sublevel onto the top of a Forrest Rook, which is second sublevel. The Knight would be two spaces away.

Top Views

These next few boards will start to show what symbols we will be using to represent top views. We will need to look down on Gridlock from this angle from time to time in order to completely understand sublevels and the way pieces move through them. Above bottom right we see a favorable combo a Queens Guard Five riding Peg. I am showing the different ways the Guard could get off from the Pegasus

Note in this scene he is staying on the ground level. The one rider above has a all these places to land plus the sublevels. The Pegasus can project or bring him to the ground level for now. Those wings aren’t just for show. I hope this Queens Guard lands where another of the Queens Guards staff can activate his armor. Things are getting sticky. Time to move your colony out; One Class B Colony Rook can carry four

Colony Cuts

I’ve got one thing to say here (you know that’s not true) meet the Class B.Colony Rook. Think of it as a tree with branches and leaves that occupy those pesky invisible sublevel squares that hang out in Gridlock Space. The Colony Rook as a chess piece occupies the ground level center square of its location and the branches hang out one space up and over. It has four simple leaves for now. This way the colony rook can carry a four-man division that is occupying second sub level cubicles. If you’ve never played 3D Chess before don’t worry. The GridlockGames will be a challenge. We at Fly By Knight Publications will make sure you get your wings. This game has a research group made up of ten and eleven year olds that can’t get enough of the games and are playing with Power Pieces and squares reserved for future versions already. I’m just trying to motivate you. Is it working?

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