The Chess Variant Pages

Abecedarian Big Chess (ABChess)
Army Building

ABChess Home Page
Pieces: A-F
Pieces: G-M
Pieces: N-S
Pieces: T-Z
Rules and Stuff

How Do I Build My Army?

In addition to the King and 11 Yeomen, each player gets a customized army. There are four rules for building that army:

  1. Each player buys exactly 10 more pieces.
  2. These 10 pieces must have a total cost of 90 points or less.
  3. A player cannot buy more than two copies of the same piece.
  4. Kings and Yeomen cannot be bought.

The 10 pieces bought by each player will start in the 10 vacant squares on that player's back rank. Each player should write down the pieces they are buying and their starting squares without first seeing the other's choices. As an alternative, players can alternate turns (White first) buying a piece and putting it on the board. Care must be taken to stay under the spending limit when playing this way.

What Can I Buy?

The 26 available pieces fall into nine groups:

  • Pure riders, which slide as far as they want along an unobstructed line:
  • Pure leapers, which jump like a classic Knight from one space to another:
  • Pure steppers, which move one space in one or more directions:
  • Combined riders:
  • Combined leapers:
  • Hybrid rider/leapers:
  • Hybrid rider/steppers:
  • Divergent pieces, which move differently when capturing:
  • Weird pieces:
    • Gryphon (19), which starts with a diagonal step followed by an optional orthogonal slide.
    • Immobilizer (18), which can't capture, but freezes adjacent enemies in place.

List of Pieces by Price

20 -- Varan
19 -- Gryphon
18 -- Immobilizer
17 -- Queen
16 -- Unicorn
15 -- Marshal
14 -- Teleporter
12 -- Archbishop
11 -- Rook
10 -- Eagle, Pao
09 -- Nightrider, Wildebeest
08 -- Fad, Xebec
07 -- Bishop, Lion
06 -- Dragon, Jugyo
05 -- Horse, Suizo
04 -- Camel, Zebra
03 -- Overtaker

Back to Setup | On to Pieces A-F

Written by Glenn Overby II.
WWW page created: November 5, 2002.