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This page is written by the game's inventor, Andrew L Smith.

The Custom Crushers

This army was inspired by Daniel Zacharias's comment on 12 Augmenters Chess: "I like the idea of defining pieces by how many parts they can be built from".

Unlike other Chess with Different Armies teams, this army can be customised at the start of the game, with pieces being defined by how many parts they can use to move, rather than their inherent movement capabilities.



This army's unique feature is that the pieces are made using 17 parts of 12 types.

Corps: Cannot move on its own and contains 3 parts.

Division: Cannot move on its own and contains 2 parts.

Thrishop: Moves as a regular chess Bishop and contains 3 parts.

The 17 parts used to make the Custom Crushers' pieces are:

Piece Name Assigned Letter Betza Notation Quantity
Queen line Leapers
Wazir W W 2
Ferz F F 2
Dabbabah D D 2
Alfil A A 2
Threeleaper H H 0*
Copper General G fKbW 1
Half Knights
Narrow Half Knight N ffNbbN 1
Wide Half Knight M fsNbsN 1
Crab C ffNbsN 1
Barc V fsNbbN 1
Partial Rooks
Lance L fR 2
Side Mover S lrR 2
Coward O bR 0*

*Can only be obtained through pawn promotion.

Pieces gain the movement abilities of all the parts they contain. For example, a division with a Ferz and a Wazir would move as a non-royal King, while a division with a Crab and a Barc would move as a regular chess Knight.


The rules are the same as Chess with Different Armies with the following exceptions:

Immediately before making the first move, the 17 parts must be placed on the pieces. Note that this means black builds their army after white's first move. In short time controls, players using the Custom Crushers should be given a minute to make their army before their clock starts ticking. When making an army, each piece's movement capabilities should be specified using the assigned letters. An example for how to notate making an army is shown below:

1. a=AMS b=FL c=WF d=BLSC f=WD g=AV h=DGN XFf3

Each of the 17 parts must be used exactly once, and no two pieces may share more than one augmenter (for example: if the thrishop is a BLSC, the other lance and side-mover can't go on the same piece)

The above rule does not apply to promoted pawns, which take any 3 parts when promoting to corps or thrishop and any 2 parts when promoting to division.

Since, in this army, two copies of the same piece will move differently, the non-pawn non-king pieces of this army should use a text notation of X then the file they started on (for example XA for the corps that started on the a file). Promoted pawns (that promote to Custom Crushers pieces) should be notated XI, XJ, etc. where the letter indicates the order in which they were promoted in (though when they promote the assigned letters should be used to clarify what the pawn promoted to, for example a1=BLSO for promotion to Queen).


The Threeleaper and Grasshopper from the original 12 Augmenters Chess are absent here. This is because the combinations of Lance+Grasshopper and Alfil+Threeleaper can force a piece trade on move 2 when playing as white by delivering a fork.

Amusingly, this is similar to Betza's original concept of a "fantasy league" army, albeit with the bug of different pieces working well or poorly with each-other turned into a feature. You have no-one to blame but yourself if you make a badly co-ordinated army!

Of the parts, 6 are colourbound, 6 are colour switching and 5 can reach both colours at the same time. Be warned that the narrow and wide half knights, dabbabahs, alfils, threeleapers and all partial rooks can't reach every rank and file alone. Making sure all of your pieces can reach every space on the board (or having a good reason as to why they can't) is crucial for making a strong army.

Making the a-corps a FAD to exploit the "move 3 spaces when castling queenside with a colourbound piece" rule, although clever, is ill advised because making a colourbound corps hurts the army by more than 1 tempi in most cases.

Assuming the pieces are made sensibly using the Setup Strategies laid out in 12 Augmenters Chess, the Divisions should be identical in strength to Knights and slightly weaker than paired Bishops, the Corps slightly stronger than Rooks, and the Thrishop the same strength as a Queen. An example of a sensible army was presented in the "Rules" secion above when showing how to notate army creation.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Andrew L Smith.

Last revised by Andrew L Smith.

Web page created: 2022-08-14. Web page last updated: 2023-02-05