You are on the backup site for Any posts, moves, or other changes you make here will not be permanent, because the pages and database from the main site will be backed up here every midnight EST. Additionally, things may not be working right, because this site is also a testbed for newer system software. So, if you are not here to test, develop, or merely read this site, you may want to change .org to .com in the navigation bar and go to the main site.

The Chess Variant Pages

[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
Armies of Faith 1: The Dawn of Civilisation. The first in of a series of 3d variants themed on various religions of history. (9x9x3, Cells: 243) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-04-05 UTC
After much thought I now believe that I can make a major concession. I
recall how much stick I got for clinging on to Ibis for the 8:1 leaper
when problematists use it for the 5:1 one. Perhaps it is because both
pieces are simple symmetric oblique leapers and confusion is a real
possibility. I have devised a series of renamings that will eliminate my
usage of Ibis - but first I must remove the piece from this variant.
	Now replacing it with another piece and naming that Ibis would not
help as it would preserve the conflict, so that means having no piece
called Ibis at all, in either this variant or Man and Beast. The ancient
Egyptians did have frog-headed and lion-headed deities, but as those tended
to be minor I decided to remove the Ibis without replacement and give both
kinds of army the same number of pieces. To make up for the blockability
of the Falcon and Jackal I will give the reduced Egyptian army the first
move. I have decided to make a virtue of necessity and redesign the board
without considering the needs of the Ibis piece. This also gives me the
opportunity to (a) simplfy the board and remove concavities and (b)
distance it further from Falcon Chess by having no dimension exceeding 9.
	I will keep everyone informed over the next few days as I progress
through the changes, starting here.

George Duke wrote on 2010-11-11 UTC
Armies of Faith are different armies throughout the series. ''Different armies'' refers to a class of cvs after the idea of Betza CDA from 1977 to have equal-matched different forces two or more sides. Here are Mesopotanian army and Egyptian army different-forced. There are piece-types common to both, Egypt-specific pieces, and Mesopotamia-specific pieces. The intention would be for the total values about equal Egypt, Mesopotamia. Only the four stay the same in the later time-line also of Armies Faith including the stops after this ''Dawn of Civilisation'': Rook, King, Knight, Pawn. There is not exact correspondence to the 2^6 chess(es) out of India still played because the Faith cvs are 3-D, and there was hardly 3-D to speak of in the real world before 100-year-old Raumschach.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2009-06-21 UTC
Clarification of George Duke's comment: the Guru appears on the next page in the series, on a hex-level board where (like the similarly triangulating Nintu in this game) it can move only between levels.

George Duke wrote on 2009-06-20 UTC
Actually of course, thanks to the 7,1 and 4,1 legs respectively, Namel and Guru are unbound by level.

George Duke wrote on 2009-06-19 UTC
Anu from M&B3 Ungulates gets used here. Anu is triangulating leaper. What does that mean? First, Anu is compound of Antelope and Namel. Antelope is regular 4,3 leaper, in the same line as my multi-path Scorpion. Namel is 7,1 leaper. Why connect those two? Because SOLLs are respectively 25 and 50. They are duals, and therefore triangulate, and so a natural pair. Triangulate here means make two Antelope jumps and then take a Namu jump right back where you started, if so occasioned. It's visualisable and far more usable than random compounds of leapers, and helps develop tight and right piece-type inter-connectivity throughout. Guru from the same M&B3 is here too. Guru is Giraffe + Gimel, who are 4,1 and 5,3. SOLLs 17 and 34. Get it? Get it right. There is no added difficulty with the 3-D aspect because they are stuck on their levels, the Anu and the Guru. No problem.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-07-12 UTC

All right, here's another way to look at it. If this helps I might include it in the description.

Start of with an 8x8x3 board (e.g. Chess3, Millennium 3d Chess, Nardeshir, Petersen's 3d Space Chess, (Bodlaender's) Space Chess, Strato Chess). That has no concavities so pieces can move within it subject only to intervening pieces blocking Jackals and Rooks. To the top and bottom levels are added an extra 36-cell rim enlarging them to 10x10. The extra cells, marked in purple, have access only to/from/via cells on their own levels.

The 'via' means that the Falcon can uniquely make a step on the level FROM a purple cell FOLLOWED, or TO a purple cell PRECEDED, by two steps between black and/or white cells on different levels.

The restriction on access to purple cells also offers refuge there from the Jackal and Nintu, which cannot, for the other pieces, which can. So the Falcon can take refuge from a Nintu there, where as it might be threatened by one on the other cells of the same level.

You ask what about Dicemate? Well what indeed?? I am not aware of anyone having previously mentioned it on this page.

The idea that I would 'worry' about 'overuse' of any piece I named is missing the point. I take pride in those pieces and am happy for anyone else to use them.

George Duke wrote on 2007-07-08 UTC
Please state what are dimensions of AOF now, honestly not knowing. Then one can tell in what respect it violates USP5690334. Gilman's first sentence 'at least one 10x10 plane...Ibis' should have been thought out before publishing T-shaped board 11x10x3 3-player. Also 'botched piece' Crocodile, which was good, should have been worked out before, since Gilman wanted approval for Falcon. AOC dishonors Falcon because AOC has not much merit and because Gilman's over-all average is nothing special, except in proliferation, about 6.0 or 6.5 (projected) out of 10 points (with, sure, number of '7' and '8' among 155 games), were we to continue evaluating more of Gilman CVs, as done June 2007 with Irwell. This time we appreciate Gilman's tone and pointwise rejoinder (ignored this Comment)and also take him at his word in earlier Comment never to use again Falcon. Say too not to worry much about overuse of Sow/Boar. Contratulations Gilman on AltOrth novelty. Still two questions: what about Dice-Mate, and what are dimensions of AOC, for the record?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-07-08 UTC

at least one 10x10 plane is needed to get the most from the Ibis. Once that's in place, the Falcon can by its very nature move on that plane exactly as it can in Falcon Chess 100. Restricting it to, say, confine it to 8x8x3 would be a restriction not intrinsic to the board, strip the piece of its advantages over leapers in this variant, and above all be a breach of the patent by tampering with the piece as defined.

As to whether the board as a whole is merely an extended 10x8 or 10x10 board I would point out the following major characterists:

(1) 3 dimensional, so that Falcons can also leave or enter a 10x10 level;

(2) 4 players, with camps in corners of levels;

(3) different armies, only one of which even has the Falcon;

(4) No Bishops, Queen, or pieces of any kind with all or part of Bishop move.

My redesign brought this variant a lot more in keeping with the rest of the series, as well as eliminating obstacles to playability. For these reasons I would be extremely reluctant to redesign it again unless absolutely necessary. The hex-prism geometry planned for AOF2 was never an option as it would rule out the Nintu.

On the whole I find Mr. Duke's attitude to his piece strange. Personally I'd be delighted and flattered to see, for example, my Sow and Boar pieces used under those names in someone else's variant. If the choice is between using his Falcon and calling some other piece a Falcon, surely he'd prefer the former. Otherwise the patent has the effect only of marginalising his Falcon, which cannot be the intention. He should also note that although patents empower patentees to take action, they do not oblige them to do so.

Finally it is not true that this page 'undergoes continual revision'. I have made only three changes to the page since posting it. One was rewriting the Falcon defintion to eradicate unfortunate language and show my goodwill, which I promptly marked as an update. The second was the complete redesign of the board including removal of a botched piece, which I tried to mark as an update but was prevented by problems in the update mechanism. The third was a slight amendment to my reason for using the Camel, to reflect a decision to use it more widely in the series.

George Duke wrote on 2007-07-05 UTC
The weird T-shaped board did not infringe USP5690334. 8x10 and larger infringes if having all, or almost all, the piece-types. If wanting to use Falcon, Joe, use Antoine's Fourriere's Bifocal Chess as model acceptable mostly because only 8x8. USP5690334 extends rights to what Peter Aronson(but not lawyers, hey I am mathematician too and no lawyer) calls 'supersets' and also to other 'equivalent' coverage. Abdul-Rahman Sibahi has approval for any number of FC Presets from his Comment recently at Falcon Chess. Exception to 8x8 is his Energizer F-Chess, yet okay for Preset, because of having every piece of 8x10 being covered by patent(doctrine of equivalents). Aronson still has approval for Complete Permutation Chess, viewable outside CVPage only. Intricate subject appropriate for Falcon Chess, not this offensive, design-on-the-fly AOF chameleonic pseudo-experiment. I do not really consider AOF an 'invention', but instead Gilman technique to take hand in other good work by whatever he feels like cooking up from day to day. We have used the noun a 'Gilman', meaning an obscurity, and everyone understands. Now arises the verb 'to Gilman', namely, to try expropriating with mis-attribution or without recognition of anyone else's proprietary right or merit. (The 'inventive step', why I for my part rated it 'Below Average' once, in original AOF was precisely the T-shaped board and the Crocodile both now oddly disappeared.)

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-05 UTC
George, I must ask *why* '[c]hanging the board to a superset of '10x10 board' (into 3d)we think now violates USPatent5690334(and other foreign) by legal doctrine of equivalents'? The patent is your patent on Falcon Chess, and I can understand Charles' use of the Falcon piece without appropriate permission is a violation of your patent. However, the wording of your first sentence, quoted above in its entirety, indicates that the board violates your exclusive patent rights. Please clarify this. Thank you.

George Duke wrote on 2007-07-05 UTCPoor ★
Changing the board to a superset of '10x10 board' (into 3d)we think now violates USPatent5690334(and other foreign) by legal doctrine of equivalents. I previously requested Gilman email me to tailor series appropriately. The solution is to remove Falcon from Armies of Faith or brief e-mail discussion. I assume removal should be no problem because in original text of AOF, a paragraph now deleted Gilman asks for approval, or without it he said he would simply use Falcon-Hunter, or something else. Who can remember when AOF text undergoes continual revision.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-07-04 UTC
There is a bug in 'Update Index Information' that prevents any changes
EXCEPT modification date and modification text. Trying anything more
generates a duplication error message. In any case, the exact date of
invention is not an file that can be entered in that section.
	As to whether the date IS wrong for the redesigned variant, that is an
interesting question for which I would welcome the thoughts of a wider
range of readers. The use of 3 dimensions, theme, and basic choice of
pieces are the same, but applied in a hopefully easier-to-understand way.
Having been criticised so roundly and soundly for the T-shaped board,
Crocodile, and difficult Pawn rules I felt the need to, no, not invalidate
the comments but respect them and respond by removing these features. I
even included notes about it being changed to put comments in context.
	For the rest, yes, I would be delighted for an editor to find some way of
updating the 11 to 10, 222 to 264, and 3 (players) to 4.

George Duke wrote on 2007-07-03 UTC
Commenters Strong, Joyce, Winther, Trenholme etc., look what Charles Gilman has been up to. Totally revising Armies of Faith in situ to different game, thereby invalidating our Comments as if so much scrap paper. No T-shaped board anymore, no Crocodile, no 11-dimension...(Right now above it says '11x10x3', but just wait a while) And date of invention 5.June.2007 is falsely unchanged. The pieces are now put in place and a skim-read shows comprehensibility that was not there before, but cannot the man see the presumption or offense as to which variate is it?

George Duke wrote on 2007-06-14 UTC
Win by noncheckmate (worth its own development) occurs when Pawn, however many, moves to a promotion-compulsory cube whilst its army's already having their full complement. In other words, Pawn x cannot move farther. 'Crocibised', 'Pawn-Forces', 'Piece Surfeit' --this Win by Noncheckmate figuratively. A fortiori, it defeats at once all other extant Armies in alternate win condition. Gilman's own 'The last player not checkmated wins', innocuous enough, is case thus of being either incomplete or redundant, a peculiar but logical dichotomy forced on the reader (not to say player when it's a Gilman) to select to tell what is meant. (Object of the game here is comparatively rather clear part of AOF write-up)

George Duke wrote on 2007-06-12 UTC
Gilman's last remark, or question, is posturing nonsense because in this particular write-up, Gilman number 149 or 150, unlike most others, there is no starting array to look at (that's the point), no complete delineation of what each differing Army consists of. I cannot even tell how many Pawns there were. He points to slight error in our Comment about Bishop, because there are none here, I realize, but it states that a few piece-moves (Knight, Crocodile) depend on Bishop's being defined. Sure the usual root-2, through edge, but common dis-service to reader of not stepping carefully through Rules is deliberate, not amateurish obscurantism.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-06-12 UTC
Nothing in this variant was intended spitefully, and everything that unwittingly caused offence has, I hope, been removed. Did anyone actually have any trouble understanding which Bishop and which Knight moves the Crocodile of this variant has? If so I will happily try to clarify further.

George Duke wrote on 2007-06-12 UTC
Chess-Different-Armies type 3-player chess, 3d, 10x11x3 = 330 cells. No erudition in theme but adequate puffery to peak interest. Each team 1K, 4N, 4R, 4 Camels...(incomplete) tapering off to incomprehensibility. Enormous disrespect for reader, no reaching across with clarity in terms like 'root-3', 'root-2', when 'vertex' and 'edge' suffice. 'Triagonal' recalls pedantically its expatiated 100 Comments yr 2003. Redundancies: Occidental King 'must be kept out of check'; three times we are told there is one(1)King per army. Calculating the 'nearest army' for Pawn move is where AOF crashes not only because complications inhibit strategy but also 'nearest' would usually entail two other armies equidistant, whatever the set-up. Forgive Gilman's overreaching since 3p-3d is problematical, generating these poor ideas, or cheap excuse just to plug in such admired themed ones as Ibis(1,8) narcissistically or Falcon (three-square multi-path) spitefully, bad choices for 3d. Ibis' only four, or nine, cubes to move might work on stretched board but this 330 3-deep? Sin omission: no explication of Bishop Root-2 or Root-3? Over years Gilman may often aspire to mock-style of equally-incoherent Gridlock, never matching that one's wit and energy. Sin commission: over-use of leapers like Anu(2d 4,3 or 2d 7,1) etc. Crocodile is a self-described 'cheat' piece, tailor-made differently in each domain, in order to paper over unbalanced design among armies. Yet AOF is less a CV than recapitulation of Gilman's favourite obsessive nomenclature. And please take Gilman's AOF as first approximation, rough-edged, only to be subjected later to a 'refinement'; an awkward position, as Greg Strong says, to be spammed from within, or below.

Greg Strong wrote on 2007-06-08 UTC
Thanks - I agree 100%.  You have done what an inventor should do.  I have been somewhat less diligent with my games, but at least I only have a few.
To answer your question, it is easy to add support for Camel + Bishop to ChessV, and I will do so.  I *really* need to release an update soon.  I have fixed a few critical bugs and added some major performance enhancements.  I just keep holding off hoping to make a 100% bug-free implementation, and that just never seems to happen :)

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-06-07 UTC
Gentlemen, this conversation is interesting and valuable, one that should be continued; but at this point it has nothing to do with Charles' game. Could we move it, either to 'Play this Game!?', which was established to continue it, or another of your choosing? I, for one, am fascinated by it, but in fairness to Charles and the people who read his work, I think changing the venue would be appropriate.
Thank you. Joe

M Winther wrote on 2007-06-07 UTC
Sam, I, for one, never cease updating my zrf:s, adding variants, changing the rules, etc. This is only announced on the Zillions site. When it comes to analysis of the strategical properties, opening analysis, etc., then one must keep in mind that this is much more demanding than inventing a chess variant. Inventing the standard chess array is much easier than analysing the fundamentals of the Caro-Kann opening. This might explain much of the focusing on inventing variants rather than developing variants.

One example of focusing on a particular chess variant is Maura's Modern Chess. This was clearly a misguided attempt at establishing a new form of chess. It would have been better if he had invented several variants and chosen the best instead of continuing the development of a poor one. It's a waste of time if one devotes a lot of energy to a particular variant and it has no chance of becoming popular.

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2007-06-06 UTC
You know, I encourage inventors to make game courier presets, zrf files, ChessV save game files, or some other form of making it actually possible to play their games; that this will encourage people to play his games.

I need to say that, in general, a lot of Chess Variant inventors are more interested in quanity than quality. When we moved the server, no one seemed to care that a number of variants were lost; I had to recover a number of variants from my own personal 2002 backup. In many cases, the inventors of the variants had lost thier .zrf file when making the variant.

I mean, we have thousands of variants here, yet I don't see people doing any play testing or trying to develop an opening stratefy for their variant. Instead, they move on to their next chess variant invention, leaving a variant with little or no testing, no real sense of strategy, and certaintly no opening library.

I have, I think, posted all of one chess variant invention here. I did a lot of work with the variant; in addition to countless Zillions games, I also played (and usually lost) a number of game courier games and even started to develop an opening library. I wish other inventors would care for their inventions as much, instead of making a new invention, maybe making a .zrf and a game courier preset, playing a couple of games, then walking off to invent their next game.

My next invention is one based on a board with both triangles and squares, and is based on ideas I have had since 1994. I may have a complete game by the 2007, or maybe not.

In the meantime, I will continue to play Schoolbook chess.

Again, this is not against any particular people but against an entire community who makes too many games and seems to care too little for each game they invent.

I wonder how hard it would be to add camel + bishop pieces to ChessV's 8x10 board?

- Sam

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-06-06 UTC
It was perhaps remiss of me to use 'lame', certainly without prefixing it
with 'minimally'. I have updated the text to avoid any suggestion of
being pejorative, particularly as I intended the use of this Falcon in
homage to its inventor and chose it in preference to other pieces for
which the name has been used. This is my first use of the piece and I will
know what to say should I ever use it again. Mention of the Bison is
retained for a link to the Piececlopedia and because some readers will
know the Bison better.
	Whether I am the 'most prolific' is doubtful. It may be true in the
sense of fastest current posting rate, but I suspect that the contributors
with the largest total variants remain much the same ones as when I
tentatively submitted my first variant. Several updates posted since I was
told how to register them have also boosted my presence in 'What's New'.
Now that I am no longer such a newcomer I will try to reduce the frequency
of my postings.
	Perhaps I should add that I am also quite prolific in rejecting variants.
Be grateful to have been spared Morgana (shared-King variant designed for
the stillborn 45-square contest, rnqnr/ppppp/5/5/2K2/5/5/PPPPP/RNQNR),
SucChession (Pawnless variant with one more of each piece below King,
rqkqr/bbrbb/nnnnn/5/5/5/NNNNN/BBRBB/RQKQR), Plantation Chess (every so
often Pawns disappear back to behind the lines,
Extravagant Chess (a nondescript large variant,
Ecumenical Battschach (3d variant with numerous compound pieces), and
Highland Cathedral (inordinately large variant on a star-shaped hex
	As to playability, my 'theme-heavy' variants are never just a matter of
'randomly' putting in pieces. It is true that they start by picking
pieces based on their names, but I do then put consideration into the
implication of their moves. Where I invent a brand new piece I try to give
it a move that helps gameplay as well as relating to the name. See what
I've added to notes. Note also that my 3 levels are the bare minimum to
give the Jackal its 'samewise' move as well as its 'contrariwise' one,
and its inability to reach the middle level is fair enough for a piece type
which is not one of the standard four.
	Funally, I am always open to any ideas that will improve any of my

M Winther wrote on 2007-06-06 UTC
Well, 'civilisation' is the chiefly British variant of 'civilization', so it's ok. Generally, I do appreciate the ideas behind minimal and medial chess variants. Also, variants with large boards using simple short-range pieces are practicable because moves can be made fast. In such war-games no particular  move changes the situation much. It is rather the movement of groups of pieces that matters, that is, these games are rather territorial. But it's debatable if this should be labelled chess.

However, complicated large-board variants like this is a special phenomenon. None of them is practicable, especially not those that are three-dimensional. It seems like they aren't designed to be practiced. So I think the motif behind these creations must be either artistic or spiritual. Possibly they are mandala (mandorla) expressions. In the east, like in Tibet, monks and ascetics create complicated mandala paintings as expressions of spiritual wholeness. This could be a modern form of alchemy, where different ingredients (piece types) are put together in a cauldron (the board), which corresponds to the retort of the alchemist. I wrote something about this concept in the following link, under the 'Game Alchemy' heading.

Greg Strong wrote on 2007-06-06 UTCBelowAverage ★★
I rate this below average, not because of any reference to the Falcon, but because it is just another random, untested game.  Charles Gilman posts games more than some people change their underwear.  And many of his 'games' have dozens of built-in variants.  He may well have the title of most prolific inventor at this point, but it doesn't mean anything when most of the games have never been played even once.  He doesn't even bother to make a Game Courier preset or Zillions-Of-Games ZRF.  It is not difficult to spew out random crap.  And this game is proved to be even more of a spur-of-the-moment invention by the fact that Charles Gilman, who prides himself on clever English usage in the naming of his games and pieces, can't even spell 'Civilization' correctly in the title.

Charles, please stop spaming this site with your random ideas.  This should be a forum for ideas that have some thought and playtesting behind them.  If you are determined to post hundreds and hundreds of variants, may I suggest that you buy your own web space in which to do it.

David Howe wrote on 2007-06-06 UTC
John William Brown uses the term 'lame' in his book Meta-Chess (page 12-20), which was published in 1997. It also appears in our Glossary of Chess Variant Terms:

25 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.