Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Albert Lee.

OctaChess

OctaChess is a variant of Chess with Different Armies.

There are a total of eight armies in OctaChess, which includes four armies inspired by the classics (Chess, Shogi, Xiangqi, Janggi) and four modern armies with old and new fairy chess pieces. Besides the King and Pawns, none of the armies have pieces that can move exactly like a piece from another army in OctaChess.

The eight armies in OctaChess are designed to be of about equal strength. A spreadsheet comparing the different strengths calculated from Zillions of Games is attached in the Notes section below.

Setup

Every army in OctaChess has King and Pawns, plus pieces equivalent to the Queen, Bishop, Knight, and Rook pieces in Orthodox Chess (or Queen Chess). The pieces for each OctaChess army are arranged in the same way as their equivalents in Queen Chess. The pieces and their moveset for each army in OctaChess are described below.

Pieces

Queen Chess

 

Rook

Moves as the Rook in Orthodox Chess - Slides any number of squares orthogonally.

 

Knight

Moves as the Knight in Orthodox Chess - Jumps two squares forward, then one square sideways in an L-shape.

 

Bishop

Moves as the Bishop in Orthodox Chess - Slides any number of squares diagonally.

 

Queen

Moves as the Queen in Orthodox Chess - Slides any number of squares orthogonally or diagonally.

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess - Moves one square forward in any direction.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess - Moves on square forward and captures one square diagonally forward, can slide two squares in first move and capture en passant.

 

Cannon Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from Xiangqi.)

 

 

Cannon-General

Moves any number of squares orthogonally, and can capture by sliding or jumping over a piece (Rook+Cannon).

 

Horse-General

Moves one square orthogonally, or one square orthogonally, then one square diagonally outward (Xiangqi Horse+General).

 

Elephant-General

Slides up to two squares diagonally, or moves one square orthogonally (Elephant+Advisor+General).

 

Advisor-General

Moves one square diagonally or one square orthogonally without capturing.

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Dragon Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from Shogi.)

 

 

Dragon King

Slides any number of squares orthogonally, or one square diagonally.

 

Silver Knight

Moves one square diagonally, one square orthogonally forward, or leaps two squares forward in an ‘L’ shape (Silver General+Shogi Knight).

 

Gold General

Moves one square orthogonally, or one square diagonally forward.

 

Dragon Lance

Slides any number of squares diagonally, any number of squares orthogonally forward, or one square orthogonally sideways and backward (Dragon Horse+Lance).

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Stallion Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from Janggi.)

 

 

Palace Guard

Slides any number of squares orthogonally, one square diagonally, or leaps over a piece exactly one square diagonally (Chariot+Advisor+Janggi Cannon diagonal move in the Palace).

 

Stallion

Moves one square orthogonally, then one or two squares diagonally forward (Janggi Elephant+Janggi Horse).

 

Cannon

Can only move by leaping over any piece (similar to the Janggi Cannon but it can leap over another Cannon piece).

 

Palace Chariot

Slides any number of squares orthogonally, and up to two squares diagonally (Chariot+Janggi Chariot diagonal move in the Palace). 

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Chimera Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from Chimera Chess.)

 

 

Flying Jester

Moves one square orthogonally like a Wazir, captures any number of squares orthogonally.

 

Chimera

Leaps two squares orthogonally, diagonally, or in a orthogonal-diagonal sequence in an ‘L’ shape (Knight+Alfil+Dabbabah).

 

Sage

Moves one square in any direction.

 

Grand Chimera

Leaps two squares in any direction like the Chimera, moves one square orthogonally without capturing, and captures one square diagonally (Knight+Alfil+Dabbabah+Pawn that can act sideways and backward).

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Dark Knight Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from the Dark Horde variant of Kingsmen.)

 

 

Void

Slides up to two squares orthogonally or diagonally.

 

Serpent

Moves one square orthogonally, or leaps two squares orthogonally (Wazir+Dabbabah). 

 

Sorcerer

Moves one square diagonally, or leaps two squares diagonally (Ferz+Alfil).

 

Knightmare

Leaps like a Knight up to three consecutive 'L' shapes in the same direction, moves one square orthogonally without capturing, or captures one square diagonally (Nightrider+Pawn that can act sideways and backward).

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Plato Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is derived from Platonic Chess.)

 

 

Icosahedron

Slides up to four squares orthogonally or leaps two squares diagonally like an Alfil.

 

Dodecahedron

Leaps two squares in an `L` shape or two squares orthogonally (Knight+Dabbabah). 

 

Octahedron

Slides up to two squares diagonally.

 

2-Cube-Tetra

Slides up to six squares forward, one square sideways and backward, or two squares diagonally.

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

 

Noble Chess

(Note: This OctaChess army is inspired by the royal promoted pieces in Kingsmen.)

 

 

Coronet Rook

Moves one square in any direction, can capture any number of squares orthogonally.

 

Crowned Knight

Moves one square in any direction, or leaps two squares in an ‘L’ shape.

 

Coronet Bishop

Moves one square in any direction, can capture any number of squares diagonally.

 

Coronet Pawn

Moves one square orthogonally without capturing, or captures by leaping one or two squares diagonally.

 

King

Moves as the King in Orthodox Chess.

 

Pawn

Moves as the Pawn in Orthodox Chess.

Rules

The King can castle with the Rook equivalent as in Orthodox Chess.

The Pawn can promote to a Queen, Bishop, Knight, or Rook equivalent upon reaching the last rank.

The en Passant rule is the same for all chess armies in OctaChess.

Notes

Each chess variant in OctaChess is designed to be of about equal strength to the Orthodox Chess army. The strength of the pieces is calculated using Zillions of Games. Details of the calculation can be found in the attached spreadsheet below (zip file).

OctaChess Strength Calculations

[Note: A Zillions of Games file comprising of mirror matches (same army for both sides) in OctaChess is included for those who wish to explore how changing the moveset of the pieces in the eight armies affect their calculated strengths.]

Play with Zillions of Games

Click the link below to download Zillions of Games files (zipped) where you can play the eight armies in OctaChess against each other. The classic armies are Chess, Cannon Chess, Dragon Chess, and Stallion Chess. The modern armies are Chimera Chess, Dark Knight Chess, Plato Chess, and Noble Chess.

OctaChess

(Note: There are a total of 64 different matchups between the eight OctaChess armies, including mirror matches. Hence, each matchup in the attached Zillions of Games files is given a code that represents a square in an 8x8 chessboard.)



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 Albert Lee.

Last revised by Albert Lee.


Web page created: 2021-11-23. Web page last updated: 2023-11-15