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Babylonian Chess

Introduction

This chess variant can be played with a standard chess set and

polyhedral dice (aka RPG dice). Having additional chess pieces

make for a more aesthetically pleasing game. Added variation by

playing with a hexagonal or 3-player chessboard may also be

possible.

Rules

All normal chess rules apply with several exceptions. All pieces

move in the normal manner and special movements like en passant,

castling and promotion are allowed. The main difference is that a

player does not automatically capture an opponent's piece. When a

player advances a piece with the intention to capture an

opponent's piece, both players must roll dice appropriate to their

pieces. The piece with the lower roll gets captured. Tied rolls

results in stalemates.

The dice assignments for the pieces are as follows:

Pawn: 1d4

Knight: 1d6

Bishop: 1d6

Rook: 1d8

Queen: 1d12

King: 1d20

If the advancing piece is captured, the defending piece remains

in place. An exception to this is the King (see below). In

addition, several other differences exists:

1) Players need only declare a checkmate, not a check.

2) Pieces can be moved to expose the King to attack unless

such a move will result in an immediate checkmate.

3) A player who already has a piece that can capture the

opponent's King may, during any of his subsequent turns,

move another piece into a position that threatens the King

and claim an "Assist" attack. In this way, a player's King

may be simultaneously attacked by several pieces which are in

positions to do so. In this case, the dice rolls of the

assisting piece and all the attacking pieces are combined

and compared against that of the King. If the King rolls

higher, all the attacking pieces are captured and the King

has the option to move into any one of their positions, even

if it is more than one square away. If the attackers combined

roll is higher, the King is captured and the game

ends. In the event of a stalemate, the King can choose to

convert the attacking piece with the lowest roll to his color.

4) A checkmate immediately wins the game, no dice rolls need

be made.

5) The game ends when a player captures or checkmates his

opponent's King.

Notes

The introduction of the dice roll element forces players to

weigh between the risks and benefits of trying to capture

enemy pieces. This also means that the best made plan could

be undone by an unlucky roll of the dice. The King, having

a d20 dice roll and having special rules, can be used creatively.

On the whole, the game becomes more unpredictable and exciting

with considerable possibilities for new strategies and

counter-strategies.



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By Muhammad Hidayat.
Web page created: 2009-08-26. Web page last updated: 2012-02-26