The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search





Hex Frontofhouse

Introduction

The idea behind this page came to me very recently, and seemed so good that I decided to fast-track it and postpone the page that I was already working on. It follows on from Frontofhouse, in which Shogi's physical pieces on a FIDE board represent the FIDE array (complete with FIDE moves). Unlike in FIDE Chess Pawns are promoted only to Stewards, and on either rank of the enemy camp, and players can reintroduce pieces captured from the enemy but restricted to their forward moves only. These in turn can be promoted back to their symmetric form in the enemy camp.

Here I apply this principle to the arrays of the most established hex games. One difference is that with three aside of one piece Shogi's physical Bishop is also used (which it is not in FIDE-board Frontofhouse), but interchangeably with Silvers. Another is allowing promotion only where position necessitates it, as each player's camp had no logical relation with another's promotion zone. A less rigorous inventor might simply use links to the basic hex games and say "whatever the forward version of the piece is, it comes back as that." This is not a satisfactory approach for several reasons. Firstly, Wellisch hex Chess currently has no rules page. Secondly, even if such a page existed Wellisch, Glinski, and McCooey used the same piece names for differently-moving pieces and I prefer using distinct names. Thirdly, I intended referring to forward-only pieces as defined based on length of moves in my Man and Beast series of piece articles, so it made no sense to call a piece a "Queen" if its forward-only version is not a "Princess". For all these reasons I follow the Man and Beast convention for symmetric pieces as well, displaying arrays from scratch with images consistent with this terminology. I also throw in a variant based on the basic version of my own Trios hex Chess, whose array diagram is already based on Man and Beast names but is repeated here for completeness' sake. I decided against including the Aurochs version as it would require an extra piece type for which the Shogi set had no flippable representation. I ruled out other games with extra pieces such as Haynie's hexagonal Chess for the same reason.

The next question was how many moves counted as "forward" on hex boards. On the one hand Frontofhouse, with its Shogi influence, uses the familiar Helm with only the most forward of all moves, and my Mitregi analogue Hex Horngi extrapolates from the narrow definition of the Helm to use the Senhelm, Horn, and Saltire. All move in only the two most forward of their symmetric counterparts' directions. On the other hand Fergus Duniho's Hex Shogi has a four-direction Ultrasenhelm with oblique leaps either side of each forward orthogonal. Likewise the Wellisch-style version of my Hexgi uses a three-direction Supersaltire. In the end I decided to keep it simple with the former approach, as pieces are meant to be reintroduced as only a modest addition to the existing army until and unless they are promoted to something more substantial. This again mitigates against a game with an Aurochs, as so few cells would be suited to placing a piece with only the two most forward moves of that piece.

Conversely I had to consider how to promote divergent pieces. The Broker was a simple matter of promotion to Waiter. The way that these names were extrapolated from Pawn and Steward makes this the one example not reflecting the connection between the two pieces. The Migrant was a different matter. I considered promoting it to a Minion, adding remaining orthogonals in the same alternating way, but rejected this as I decided to view capturing and noncapturing moves separately. I concluded that each should be extended to all six orthogonals to give a full Wazir.

Setup

2-player forms of the game are shown below. 3-player ones can be deduced by moving one army round by 60° and adding a third in the obvious gap.

Wellisch-style Frontofhouse

Glinski-style Frontofhouse

McCooey-style Frontofhouse

Trios-style Frontofhouse

Pieces

The ROOK is the only array piece - and the WING the only returning piece - common to all variants. It is unchanged from square-board Frontofhouse save for the Rook having 6 directions rather than 4 and, in the Wellisch case only, the Wing having 2 rather than 1. As in square-board Frontofhouse, it is represented by Shogi's promoted and unpromoted Wing. Other pieces are:
Wellisch-style pieceOther-styles piecerepresented by
The GENERAL moves one step along any orthogonal, like a Wazir, but unlike the latter piece and like the FIDE and Shogi King it must be kept out of check. The GRANDDUKE moves one step along any orthogonal or hex diagonal and must be kept out of Check. It is the G/McC analogue to the FIDE and Shogi King, under whose page its hex move may be found. King
The VICEREINE moves any distance through empty intermediate cells along any orthogonal, or one step along any hex diagonal. It returns as a VIRAGO, which is the same but restricted to the two forward orthogonals and straight forward hex diagonal. The DUCHESS moves any distance through empty intermediate cells along any orthogonal or hex diagonal. It is the G/McC analogue to the FIDE Queen, under whose page its hex move may be found. It returns as a COUNTESS, which is the same but restricted to the straight forward orthogonal and the two forward hex diagonals. Rook*
The VICEROY moves one step along any hex diagonal. It returns as a SALTIRE, which is the same but restricted to the straight forward hex diagonal. The UNICORN moves any distance through empty intermediate cells along any hex diagonal. It is the G/McC analogue to the FIDE and Shogi Bishop, under whose page its hex move may be found. It returns as a HORN, which is the same but restricted to the two forward hex diagonals. Bishop* and Silver*
The SENNIGHT makes any root-7 hex leap. It is the G/McC analogue to the FIDE Knight, under whose page its move may be found. It returns as a SENHELM, which is the same but restricted to the two most forward leaps. Helm*
The POINT moves one step along either forward orthogonal. It is promotable to a WAZIR, which moves one step alongg any orthogonal.
The MIGRANT differs from the Point in capturing along the two half-forward orthogonals. It is promotable to a WAZIR, which moves one step along any direction, with or without capturing.
The BROKER differs from the Point in capturing along either forward hex diagonal. It is the McCooey analogue to the FIDE Pawn, under whose page its move may be found. It is promoted to a WAITER, which moves one step along any orthogonal, except when capturing which it does along any hex diagonal.
Point*
* promoted for symmetric piece, unpromoted for forward-only piece

Rules

In 2-player variants play alternates between players starting with White. In 3-player variants it rotates anticlockwise in the order Red, Yellow, Blue.

Double-step initial noncapturing moves are inherited from non-Frontofhouse variants, but extended to moves starting with the same piece reintroduced in any part of the camp. There is no Castling

A player capturing an enemy piece can reintroduce it into their own army - restricted to forward directions (unpromoted-side up) - in place of a normal move. They cannot be placed on a square where promotion is required.

A forward-only piece reaching a cell whence it has no further move in unpromoted form must immediately be promoted to its symmetric form.

In 2-player subvariants Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as usual. In 3-player ones a player is Checkmated when their General or Grandduke is threatened by the player about to move. That player's pieces are removed from the game and the game continues with the Checkmating player's move. The player delivering the second Checkmate wins.



This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.


By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2009-10-09. Web page last updated: 2016-03-10