Shogi WDA: Alquerque army
I wanted to make CWDA analogue for Shogi. And wished to make one army with pieces, based on Korean chess. In place of gold general, i would use the palace guard, working as if palace were expanded to the whole board. When i decided that all army's specific pieces could use same principles, not necessary being based on Korean chess. I will accept suggestions for changing movement of pieces to make more balanced game. Perhaps, change range of movement (possibly different in different directions), or make some moves leaping, or vice versa - make leaping moves non-leaping. The only thing, i would prefer to not change, is the principle of changing movement, depending on board position. And the fact that all pieces are more or less based on Shogi counterpants. This army, of course, can be played against itself, as well as against standart Shogi army, and, possibly, against other Shogi WDA armies, that will be invented later. There are also two possible variants of drop rules.
For this army board is considered as marked as in Alquerque and Fanorona (or as if diagonal lines of palaces from Korean chess would spread to the whole board), with central space being crossed with diagonal line. Another way to describe it is to checker board, as in western chess, considering that central square is black. All spaces are connected orthogonally, but only black spaces are connected diagonally (in text below they will shortly be named "connected"). Army's specific pieces can make their orthogonal moves from any spaces, but diagonal moves - only from connected spaces. Pawns and king are normal, expect that pawn promotes to this army's counterpant of gold general. Thus, king is only piece, wich can use diagonal moves on any square. Optionally king can be replaced with specific royal piece, described below. Also, instead of specific horse and lance player may use normal ones (keeping new generals, rook and bishop). Gold general is as guard in Korean chess: always can move 1 square orthogonally (W), on connected squares can also move diagonally (WF). It's the only piece, for wich i almost have no doubts that it's balanced with standart Shogi counterpant. It steps one square, and it's average number of possible moves is same as normal gold general's. All pieces, that promotes to gold general in standart Shogi, promotes to this counterpant in this army. Counterpants of rook and bishop don't promote. I wished to make their average power same, as average power of standart rook and bishop, taking in account the potential of promotion. Rook's orthogonal move is standart - any number of steps without leaping (R). On connected squares it can also make single diagonal step (RF). Bishop's counterpant moves orthogonally one or two steps without leaping, and don't have normal bishop move (R2). On connected squares it gets normal bishop move (R2B). Silver general's regular move is one square forward (fW), as for pawn (but, of course, it don't have pawn's special limitations on drops). On connected squares in can step on square diagonally or LEAP two squares diagonally (FAfW). Note that sometimes it's promotion is obligatory - when it moves to non-connected squares of last rank (and it may not be dropped on these squares). Also note that it's unable to enter non-connected squares of first rank (but can move from them - from opening position or after drop). Horse is also somewhat based on Korean (Chinese) chess (as was noted above, it can be optionally replaced with standart Shogi horse). Unlike Japanese horse, it's moves can be blocked, but sometimes it have more than two possible moves. On non-connected it first steps orthogonally forward, and when must step diagonally forward (resulting same destination squares as for Japanese horse, but movement is blockable, as for Chinese/Korean horse). On connected squares it first steps one square diagonally forward, and when must step one orthogonally forward or sideways (4 possible destination squares). Non-connected: Connected: ------- ------- --x-x-- --x-x-- ---!--- -x!-!x- ---H--- ---H--- ------- ------- Special thanks for Fanorona Chess for inspiring me for this piece. Note that it's not obliged to promote on connected squares of 8th rank. Lance's regular move is one or two steps without leaping orthogonally forward (fR2). On connected squares it can also move diagonally forward up to two steps without leaping (fR2fB2). Besides normal lance, another optional replacement for it is piece, similar to Korean pawn (without Shogi pawn's drop limitations, of course). It moves one square orthogonally forward or sideways (fsW), and, on connected squares, also can move one square diagonally forward (fsWfF). Note that it's not obliged to promote on last rank because of sideways moves. Also note that it don't lose possible moves after promotion. It will be pity if i'll find out that it's stronger than lance, but well, i'll remove it from possible variants. But i have no regret of possible changing of the lance, described above (perhaps, diagonally-forward moves should be limited to only one square?). Highly optional specific king. It's normal move is one square orthogonally (W). On connected squares can step one one or LEAP two squares diagonally (WFA). As normal shogi king, it have all moves of both gold and silver generals.
There are two possible drop rules. 1) Pieces converts to their counterpants of army, they are currently in. With this rule, game can be played with standart Shogi set (and rook and bishop of Alquerque army need promotion kanji, despite that they don't promote in this army). 2) Pieces don't convert to their counterpants after being captured. Note that pawns of different armies are different, because they have different promotion forms. But, regardless on kind of pawns, it's still not allowed to have more than one in one file, and checkmating the opposing king with it's drop. In this case game must be played with two distinctive Shogi sets. It could be more balanced, because in middle game players will have highly mixed armies.
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By Daniil Frolov.
Web page created: 2014-02-07. Web page last updated: 2014-02-07