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Single Combat Chess

Introduction

It's always seemed strange to me that all

chess pieces have the same capturing power.  All attacks on an enemy piece are

immediately successful – the feeble pawn has no difficulty in destroying the

mighty queen.  Single combat chess sets out to redress this.

Setup

As in FIDE Chess.

Pieces

As in FIDE Chess.

Rules

As for FIDE Chess, with the following exceptions:

1. The aim of the game is to kill (i.e. capture) the enemy king. Check and checkmate do not exist (for reasons that will become clear below). A checkmate position does not end the game.

2. The king may move into what would have been check. He may also stay in check.

3. The king may castle from, into and through “check”.

4. When a piece moves to take another piece, the two must fight for control of the square. The attacking player rolls a die according to a table based on the relative strengths of the two pieces. If s/he rolls the minimum needed then the attacking piece wins. If not, then the combat is lost.

5. The losing piece is automatically destroyed and removed from the board, and the victor takes possession of the square.

6. The two kings may engage in single combat (and hence may move adjacent to each other).

7. If you are stalemated (unlikely), you pass your turn.

Sample Tables

Eight-sided die

This works out particularly neatly, and is based on the pieces being placed in rank order.

Q

R

B, N, K

P

Q to beat:

5

4

3

2

R to beat:

6

5

4

3

B,N,K to beat:

7

6

5

4

P to beat:

8

7

6

5


Six-sided die

If you don’t have an eight-sided die. Also based on rank order, but not quite so precise.

Q

R

B, N, K

P

Q to beat:

4

3

2

2

R to beat:

5

4

3

2

B,N,K to beat:

6

5

4

3

P to beat:

6

5

4

4

Ten-sided die

Based on the traditional values assigned to the pieces (Q = 9; R = 5; B, N, K = 3; P = 1)

Q

R

B, N, K

P

Q to beat:

6

4

3

2

R to beat:

7

6

4

2

B,N,K to beat:

8

7

6

3

P to beat:

10

9

8

6

Percentile die (two different-coloured ten-siders – one colour for tens and one colour for ones. Double zero is 100)

Also based on traditional piece values.

Q

R

B, N, K

P

Q to beat:

51

37

26

11

R to beat:

65

51

38

18

B,N,K to beat:

76

63

51

26

P to beat:

91

84

76

51

Notes

The original inspiration for this game is the live Chess game in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and the live Jetan game in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Chessmen of Mars. 

Further inspiration came from the old PC game Archon.  More recently, there have been other variants based on the same concept – in particular RPG Chess, Hitpoint Chess and Cancellation Rules.

I haven’t actually played the game, but it strikes me that it might end up as a queen rampage.

I have reduced combat to a single die roll in the hope that someone might be able to programme this game in Zillions (it’s beyond me).

Brett Ward – 3 May 2008



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By Brett Ward.
Web page created: 2008-05-25. Web page last updated: 2008-05-25