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Game Reviews by Erik Lerouge

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4 Kings Quasi-Shatranj. Each side has 4 Kings, all pieces are short range. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Erik Lerouge wrote on 2020-12-13 UTCGood ★★★★

I like very much short-ranges games, even with not very strong pieces, and this game falls into this category. Here the piece set (only of max 2-square range) is logical and works well, and the presence of 4 Kings, of which one must be checkmated (with the consequence of a unstoppable fork on several Kings being a checkmate), is here to help the outcome of the game. However, even with the 4 Kings, the game seems to take a very long time to finish; the two games in this website that had been led to a conclusion took 85 and (for the game that ended with checkmate) more than 110 turns, which seems too much for a game of that type. And I am a little bit sceptical concerning the mating potential: when most pieces have been exchanged, the four Kings can more easily prevent the Pawns to promote.

One solution would have been stronger 2-square range pieces, in a game closer to a short-range version of Sac Chess, with a KNAD being the strongest piece (or at least Centaurs, or KADs). The presence of the KNAD, able to force checkmate without assistance, would obviously make the game faster and more decisive, but in the same time maybe less balanced and tactically interesting. (In Metamachy, the power of the KNAD/Lion is well balanced by powerful long-range pieces.) And I wouldn’t suggest a change in the piece set of this game; it works well as it is, and a like it.

Another idea is making a game with 2 moves per turn. With the same pieces and victory condition, not only this would make the game shorter, but also the attacks more dangerous and less easy to counter (and the possibility of double check with two pieces). This solution seems to me more interesting, while keeping the character and the concept of the game, than to have stronger pieces.


Odin's Rune Chess. A game inspired by Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity, runes, and Nordic Mythology. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Erik Lerouge wrote on 2019-08-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I am currently playing a game of Odin's Rune Chess, and I really like it, as much the rules and gameplay, as the runic theme. The Forest Ox is a terrific piece, maybe too powerful... I like the rather strong Pawns. I generally appreciate modern variants that use non-conventional Pawns, it effectively renews the dynamics of a chess game. And their initial colorboundness isn't a default at all, for me.

I was wondering if Pawn promotion could be integrated in this game - even if it is not necessary since Pawns can go back and the need for new material is less crucial, since the vulnerabiliy of the Kings without moving possibilities makes situations of insufficent material less likely. Promotion possibilities should be limited, since Pawns can reach the last rank in only four moves; for example, they could only promote to previously captured pieces of his own colour; or there could be limitations to the maximum number of pieces of each type present on the board (4 Valkyries, and 4 Forest Oxen, for example - which is already a lot). One can also think of the opportunity to permit the promotion to King (here too, the maximum number must be limited or promotion be only to previously captured Kings). But the game plays already well, I don't think it needs a promotion rule. I was just wondering how promotion could affect the gameplay, and if it could be interessant as a variant.

Edit: my comment about the possibility of promotion wasn't very pertinent. Promotion doesn't make much sense in this game.


Wormhole Chess. When a piece leaves a square, it `folds' together. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Erik Lerouge wrote on 2018-10-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I don't find any information about Pawn promotion in Wormhole Chess. Do Pawns promote on the last square they can reach, whatever the rank (for example if there are no squares anymore vertically in front of the Pawn, beyond the wormhole, nor diagonally where an opponent's piece could land)? Or do they only on the last rank, meaning that if a Pawn can't reach the 8th rank anymore, because of the disappearing of squares, he can't promote anymore?

This comment gives me the opportunity to rate this game as 'excellent'. Really great concept and gameplay. It would be great to have a larger variant of Wormhole Chess, 10x10 or even 12x12.


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