Shatranj With Different Armies
We've heard of Chess With Different Armies, we've heard of Shatranj, so let's combine them! Like in the original Chess with Different Armies, I've made 3 new armies to go with the original for 4 in total.
I was inspired by Raplh Betza's page on the crab: In any game where the Ferz appears as a piece by itself, we should be able to substitute the Crab with interesting results. (Shatranj with different armies?)
Pieces belonging to all factions
King: Moves 1 space orthogonally or diagonally. Vulnerable to check and the bare king rule.
Funny notation: FW, assigned letter: K
Pawn: Moves passively 1 space orthogonally forwards. Captures 1 space diagonally forwards. On reaching the 8th rank, promotes to the piece that started on the d file (highlighted in italics). Unlike in regular chess, this type of pawn cannot make an initial double advance or use the en passant rule.
Funny notation: mfWcfF, assigned letter: none
The Orderly Originals
The original Shatranj army, terrible Alfils and all!
Rook: Moves any number of spaces orthogonally.
Funny notation: R, assigned letter: R
Knight: Moves exactly 2 spaces orthogonally and 1 additional space perpendicular to the first part of the move. Can jump over other pieces, but can't stop partway through its move.
Funny notation: N, assigned letter: N
Alfil: Moves exactly 2 spaces diagonally, can jump.
Funny notation: A, assigned letter: A
Ferz: Moves 1 space diagonally.
Funny notation: F, assigned letter: F
The Japanese Jostlers
A Shogi based army. Every piece except the pawn comes from Shogi, and they're even arranged in mostly the same order!
Lance: Goes orthogonally forwards as far as it likes. On reaching the 7th rank, it may promote to a gold general. On reaching the 8th rank, it must promote to a gold general.
Funny notation: fR, assigned letter: L
Dragon horse: Can move any number of spaces diagonally, or 1 space othogonally.
Funny notation: BW, assigned letter: D
Silver general: Can move 1 space diagonally, or 1 space orthogonally forwards. Unlike in Shogi, these silver generals cannot promote.
Funny notation: FfW, assigned letter: S
Gold general: Can move 1 space orthogonally, or 1 space diagonally forwards.
Funny notation: WfF, assigned letter: G
The Posh Protectors
An army based on the upper class.
Berolina pawn: Moves passively 1 square diagonally forwards. Captures 1 square orthogonally forwards. On reaching the 8th rank, promotes to a crown prince. Cannot do an initial double advance, much like the regular pawns.
Funny notation: mfFcfW, assigned letter: P
Ring: Moves as a knight, or exactly 2 spaces orthogonally.
Funny notation: ND, assigned letter: O
Bishop: Moves any number of spaces diagonally.
Funny notation: B, assigned letter: B
Wazir: Moves 1 space orthogonally.
Funny notation: W, assigned letter: W
Crown prince: Moves 1 space orthogonally or diagonally. If there is a crown prince on the board, the king is immune from check and can be captured. If the king and all other crown princes (if there are any) are captured, the last crown prince immediately becomes the new king and becomes vulnerable to check and checkmate.
Funny notation: FW, assigned letter: K
The Amphibian Attackers
An army themed around the dichotomy of land and water.
Toad: Moves 1 space diagonally or exactly 3 spaces orthogonally.
Funny notation: FH, assigned letter: T
Kirin: Moves 1 space diagonally or exactly 2 spaces orthogonally.
Funny notation: FD, assigned letter: I
Drunk elephant: Moves 1 space diagonally or orthogonally, but not orthogonally backwards.
Funny notation: FflrW, assigned letter: E
Crab: Moves 2 spaces forwards and 1 space to the side, or 1 space backwards and 2 spaces to the side.
Funny notation: ffNbsN, assigned letter: C
The rules are the same as in Shatranj. The rule differences between Shatranj with Different Armies and regular chess are:
- The abilities of the back rank pieces change depending on which army is chosen, as shown above in the "Setup" section.
- Pawns, including Berolina Pawns, cannot make an initial double advance or use the en passant rule.
- There is no castling.
- White Pawns arriving at the last rank always promote to the piece that started on d1.
- Black pawns arriving at the last rank always promote to the piece that started on d8.
- Note that the above rule does not apply to Berolina Pawns, which always promote to Crown Princes instead.
- If a player has at least 2 Kings or Crown Princes, they are immune from check and checkmate, and may only lose by timeout or resignation.
- The above rule stops applying immedately when only one King or Crown Prince remains, so the move that captures the penultimate King may come with check.
- Stalemate counts as a loss for the player who cannot move.
- Bare King counts as a win, provided that your King cannot be bared on the very next move. (See below.)
- Two bare Kings (see above) count as a draw.
Like in Chess with Different Armies, the choice of armies may be made by negotiation, by assignment (assigned by the tournament rules or the tournament director), by random choice, or by secret/simultaneous choice, or using any other method so long as the players agree to it beforehand.
Each piece has a different assigned letter, so there is no need to change any move notation conventions from regular chess.
Estimated piece values
For reference, I am measuring values in quater pawns, such that a FIDE pawn is worth 4.
Pawn: 2(x8) (it's a lot weaker than the FIDE pawn because it can't promote to a Queen)
Alfil: 3(x2), tied for the weakest piece in the game
Dragon horse: 21(x2), the strongest piece in the game
Silver general: 8(x2)
Gold general: 9(x1)
Berolina pawn: 3(x2), tied for the weakest piece in the game
Crown prince: 14(x0), but priceless if the king is lost
Bishop: 13(x2), +2 pair bonus
Kirin: 10(x2), +2 pair bonus
Drunk elephant: 11(x2)
The Japanese Jostlers are slightly weaker than the Orderly Originals and the Posh Protectors are slightly stronger, but this is compensated by the value of their pawn promotions.
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By Andrew L Smith.
Last revised by Fergus Duniho.
Web page created: 2021-09-29. Web page last updated: 2022-05-27