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Mad Scientist Chess. Fetch me the Pawn, Igor! (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-24 UTC
Actually I think it is possible in rare cases that creating opponent's pieces are better. I saw somewhere a diagram where if you are allowed to promote a pawn into opponent's pieces you can win; in this game it is a bit different but may still help in some rare case.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2012-10-24 UTC
I suppose you could choose which side the newly animated piece belonged to, but as I noted below discussing attaching pieces to opposing pieces, there isn't really any reason to choose any side other than your own.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-24 UTC
When animating, can you choose who is the owner of the new piece?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2009-12-09 UTC
One question, though: the instructions specifically say that you can attach a move part to an enemy piece, but why would you do that? I can't think of any situation where that would it would be advantageous to do that: it deprives you of a part you could add to one of your pieces, and gives your opponent more options. There's no real impetus to dispose of parts you can't use in this way (even spoilage is preferable, I would think). Was this rule included only to fit the theme, or does it have a real impact on gameplay?
At the moment it just is there for the theme. When I was first designing this game, it still used check, which could, in theory, allow for times when adding a piece to your opponent would cause a stalemate. Unlikely, though.
A variation might be to have grafts remain under the control of the player who added them, regardless of who originally owned the piece. So if black grafted a fers to a white knight, he could move that piece as a fers (but not as a knight), potentially capturing a white piece. What's more mad-sciencey than mind control? Shades of The Other...
Neat idea! V.R. Parton called such pieces 'Knightmares'. I used a version of them in my game Combining Knighmare Chess. Adding them, would, of course, make the game even more complicated, which might be an issue.

Garth Wallace wrote on 2009-12-08 UTCGood ★★★★
Good goofy fun. Also, props for namedropping Girl Genius! ;)

One question, though: the instructions specifically say that you can attach a move part to an enemy piece, but why would you do that? I can't think of any situation where that would it would be advantageous to do that: it deprives you of a part you could add to one of your pieces, and gives your opponent more options. There's no real impetus to dispose of parts you can't use in this way (even spoilage is preferable, I would think). Was this rule included only to fit the theme, or does it have a real impact on gameplay?

A variation might be to have grafts remain under the control of the player who added them, regardless of who originally owned the piece. So if black grafted a fers to a white knight, he could move that piece as a fers (but not as a knight), potentially capturing a white piece. What's more mad-sciencey than mind control? Shades of The Other...

Of course, this ruleset could easily be applied to any of the various capablancoid large-army variants. And what about alfil & dabbabah components, or some way of breaking down bent riders? The potential for new crimes against nature seems limitless!

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-03-17 UTC

You will find that many, many worthy games do not have presets and I think the main explanation for that is the Game Courier PBM is relatively new and nobody has been able to find the time to systematically go through our encyclopedia of chess variants and add them. What ever assistance you can provide in this area will be appreciated. In fact, I'm very grateful to you, Abdul-Rahman, for the work you have already done in creating presets for games that don't have them. I encourage more such work if you can find the time. I myself have a backlog of dozens of games that I've created presets for and haven't yet submitted. There are many more which require more labor than usual because nobody has designed pieces to match those described.

Sometimes a game is easier to create conceptually than it is to implement visually. Many of these games, I'm convinced, have never been playtested at all, even by their inventors. Or if they have, they've quickly been abandoned because of the clumsiness of the visuals. This inventor appears to have used Icehouse pieces to attempt playing his game. For me, visualization is very important and without the ability to visualize standardized sets of uniform pieces, I get lost easily. Sometimes, someone will create presets which use the same sets of pieces defined in different ways for different games. Personally, I find it very, very difficult to play such games because I find it hard to remember how the rules have changed for the same pieces from game to game. Some people have a much easier time adapting to shifting conventions like that.

This particular game would require crabs and barcs (and crab and barc compounds), yet these pieces are only playable together if they are flippable because otherwise, it is too confusing. It is hard to distinguish the crab from the barc unless they are facing the appropriate ways. Lacking the programming ability to change the piece set myself, I've twice put out a request to make the crabs and barcs flippable. When they do become flippable, I will work on making a preset. By the way, this game has something in common with Betza's Overprotection Chess, which also does not yet have a preset but should have one, in my opinion.


Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-03-16 UTCGood ★★★★
How come no-one made a preset for this game ?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-03-24 UTC
The suggestion of using Icehouse pieces seems appropriate - the icehouse being to store the spare parts, presumably!

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
Michael, Yes you can do all that -- that wasn't what I was talking about is piece values. If you have eight pieces of the same type, you can change their movement individually by the method discussed. But. They will have the same numerical value as far as Zillions is concerned, since attribute values don't affect that. Thus, a General-Purpose-Piece with all moves turned on would be valued the same by Zillions as a General-Purpose-Piece with only Barc turned on. And Zillions would happily trade the everthing piece for the Barc piece. Not good play.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
' Another problem (aside from the Graphics issue) with toggling on and off
movement capabilities is if there is only one type of piece with toggles,
Zillions will think them all to have the same piece value. So a Queen of
the Night (RBNN) and a Barc will have the same value. This wouldn't lead
to good play.  '

Maybe I don't understand ZOG as well as I thought.  Don't attributes stick
to individual pieces, and not to piece types?  Can't you give each piece a
whole set of attributes, such as wazir, ferz, barc, crab, doublewazir,
doubleferz, doublebarc, doublecrab?  And each piece gets a unique name. 
Then, when you drop or remove a part, you reset the appropriate
attribute(s).  For example, if you drop a wazir on a piece that is only a
ferz, you turn on the wazir attribute, leaving the ferz attribute alone. 
If you drop a wazir on a piece that is already a wazir, you turn off the
wazir attribute and turn on the doublewazir attribute.  Then, each piece
gets the same moves definition.  Each move block would look something like
(verify wazir?) (leap1 n) (leap1 s) (leap1 e) (leap1 w) and so on for each
of the eight attributes.  That way, a piece would only move according to
whichever attributes were currently on.  Am I missing something?  Of
course, this doesn't solve the problem of pieces changing powers but not
changing appearance.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
Another problem (aside from the Graphics issue) with toggling on and off movement capabilities is if there is only one type of piece with toggles, Zillions will think them all to have the same piece value. So a Queen of the Night (RBNN) and a Barc will have the same value. This wouldn't lead to good play. <p> Another approach that occurs to me that might work is to divide each square into four subsquares. You then use 8 different types of piece: Wazir, Rook, Ferz, Bishop, Crab, Crab-Rider, Barc, Barc-Rider -- and logic like Jianying Ji described so that a group of up to four pieces occupying a big square move together. A second piece of the same type when added would combine to the rider version, a new type of piece would be added to an empty subsquare. It would still be a bit of work, and I'm not sure that Zillions would play it well. <hr> Another game that I realized (after the fact) that this game resembles is Fergus Duniho's <a href='http://duniho.com/fergus/games/mine.html#sentai'>Sentai Chess</a>.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
That makes sence. I'd imagine it to be hard to create visually though.

jianying ji wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
by stacks I mean that one imagines the board to be three dimmensional
so moving a piece is equavalent to moving a piece in each level at the
same time.

so say A5 contains a combination barc-ferz-wazir, the it is represented
as barc at I-A5, ferz at II-A5 and wazir on III-A5. When it moves all 3
pieces move.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
how would that reduce the number of piece types required? you'd still need a different one for each different combonation of pieces in a stack.

jianying ji wrote on 2003-01-19 UTC
actually coding this in zillions probably doesn't need 50 piece types,
instead each piece is represented by a stack of pieces, just as how one
would play it over the table

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2003-01-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Comment withdrawn; I answered my own questions. Reading is wonderful; I should try it more often. :)

Anonymous wrote on 2003-01-18 UTCGood ★★★★
perhaps halfling pieces could be used?
2 Wazirs= Halfling Rook
3 Wazirs= Rook
2 Ferzs= Halfling Bishop
3 Ferzs= Bishop

Carbs and Barcs don't change effect. This will probably just make it even
harder to play though with the added combinations of pieces...

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-01-17 UTC
Something light for a Friday afternoon.

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