Comments/Ratings for a Single Item
Actually, I think Forth is a excellent program language, and I like Forth. I do think there are some problems with Axiom, for one thing you have to write your own evaluation function even if you don't want to. And Axiom also requires some Zillions code to be written as well. Also it has many problems that it has just because Zillions has these problems also. For example, you have to make picture for each piece and the board, for each game you have to do that (with Z_GenImg library you don't have to do that though). And some things just can't be done in Zillions even with a external engine. In addition, neither Zillions nor Axiom is free software.
But, I am working on a new program, called Moxia ('Moxia' is a anagram of 'Axiom'), which is free software (free as in speech, and also as in you don't have to pay), standalone (doesn't require Zillions or Axiom to run), cross-platform (XUL-runner based), and more things. Such as making stacks of multiple pieces on the same cell, not requiring icons of pieces (text-based coding can be used), fix some bugs present in Zillions (such as having multiple partial moves to the same location), and various other things. Moxia is also Forth based.
I think the issue is that a stack-based language is what a linguist calls an 'Object Subject Verb' (OSV) language, which are extremely rare in human languages. Languages are usually 'Subject Verb Object' (SVO) languages (English; Spanish; 'a = 2' in programming languages), which is what most programming languages use. Function calls emulate the form of 'Verb Subject Object' (VSO, such as Irish; 'f(a,2)' in programming languages) languages, however, as it turns out.
So, yeah, I think Axiom might get more users if it used a more common language than Forth.
Edit: Looking at it a little more, it's nice to finally see a Zillions implementation of Tanbo, which Axiom made possible. I don't see any Chess variants, however.
Fergus, have you tried the Axiom Development Kit created by Greg Schmidt for Zillions? He was able to get my game Thrall to play much better with this game-playing plug-in engine. I've decided that rather than 'tweaking' the common ZRF, that I might utilize this tool to improve the play of a few games. Some day, I might find the time to give it go. But I find myself distracted by other things at the moment. If you try it out, let me know how it performs.
On first reading about this game last night, my response was similar to George Duke's. I was incredulously wondering if Larry had never heard of Chessgi and Crazyhouse. It seemed impossible, because these are well-known games, and I remember Larry from the early days of Zillions-of-Games. As it turns out, he has heard of them, and this game is different from them both. Unlike George, I will not give a game a poor rating for being very similar to another well-known game, because a game should be judged on its quality, not its originality. As for the latter, this is the first Chess/Shogi hybrid I've seen with the rule that a player can have no more than eight Pawns on the board at a time. This is arguably an improvement over Chessgi and Crazyhouse. I am considering introducing this rule to my game Shatranji, which is more like Shogi than Chessgi is, because it uses weaker pieces. This rule makes the game more like Shogi, whose restrictions on Pawn drops has the consequence of not letting a player have more than nine Pawns on the board. It can also make it easier for Zillions-of-Games to play the game, because it limits the search tree it has to deal with. (However, this advantage has not been taken advantage of in the ZRF. I easily beat Zillions-of-Games at Mad Queen Shogi, then, using the same settings, I got trounced at a game of Chessgi. My Chessgi and Crazyhouse ZRFs are optimized in a way that pares down the search tree as much as possible, and I would recommend that Larry use them as models for a new Mad Queen Shogi ZRF.) Anyway, I have a couple suggestions for this page. (1) Separate the discussion of the mechanics of play from the rules. Placing white pieces on checkers is a very good idea that can work just as well for Chessgi and Crazyhouse, but it is unnecessary for computer play, for which piece graphics are available as needed. (2) Mention the game's relation to Chessgi and Crazyhouse and highlight the differences between them. This will aid in understanding of the rules, and it will eliminate responses like George and I had upon reading about this game. Also, if you believe that the differences make this a better game, speak up about that.
I have posted the implementation to Zillions. It should be up by next Saturday. If anyone wishes an advance copy, just send me an email.
It's interesting that Duke is calling this variant 'bunko', whereas he considers the 'falcon' to be a piece with a 'novel move', while it is hardly more than a walking 'Bison'. But I fear this must make me look terribly 'uneducated' in gwduke's eyes.
Chessgi does not restrict the Pawns to eight for each player, and it also allows for the promoted Pawn to remain so when captured. So it is not the same game. And please, George Duke, if you intend to continue your rant, I ask that you not continue selecting the 'Poor' rating. This is contrary to the democratic process, and is essentially multi-voting. The community already knows that you do not approve of this game. So further posts along this line are un-necessary and redundant.
I am well aware that there have been other proposed games which combine the Mad Queen variant with Shogi. If this game exactly copies any such, I will gladly forgo its publication. Since both players begin with White pieces, which are only differentiated by their presence on a Red or Black Checker, the turn order can start with either player. Thus '...the first player being the one with the King to the right of the Queen'. As to 'Players could opt...', this applies to allowing both Kings to begin on the same side of their Queen, either right or left. This form of setup adds a definitely different dynamic to the opening, middle and endgame. And 'Players can decide' applies to the restriction of dropping a Pawn for checkmate. Since there are obviously an insufficient number of example games to evaluate this particular condition, players might wish to omit this restriction.
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