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Jeff's Gameblog
Sunday, 25 April 2004

My sister Jenn didn't make it over to the folks place to play games today. Too bad. I really want to play my new chess variant with her.

On the way up to Mom and Dad's place I heard a brief NPR report about the current National Footbal League draft and it struct me that a great game could be built around the mechanics of the draft. Maybe it could be a sci-fi piece in which the imperial bureaucracy open up frontier worlds to exploitation by noble houses. Each player would have differing victory conditions based upon their perceived value of the planets up for bid. After each round dice rolls would be made to indicate whether the perception and the reality met.

Here is one of the more interesting passages so far from The First Air War, 1914-1918 by Lee Kennett:

In a big fight over the Ypres salient in July 1917 there were 37 planes fighting at 8,000 feet, 40 more at 12,000 feet, and another 17 at 17,000 feet--in all, nearly 100 single-seaters." (from page 75)

Posted by jrients at 6:59 PM CDT

Today the whole family is piling into the car and driving up to Pontiac, Illinois to see my folks. I'm hoping my sister will be there to so we can finally get a chance to try SpaceWarp44 or maybe play another game of Carcassonne.

My dad saw my old gaming buddy Gopher yesterday. This comes as no big surprise since Gopher sells my dad all the seed for his farm. (It may sound odd to some that a kid his son grew up with is now doing business with him, but that's life in rural America.) Anyway, I kinda cringed when the whole thing was brought up on the phone yesterday. Mom and dad are aware of the fact that Goph, Dave, and I have had some problems recently but I have no idea what dad might say to Goph about it. I'd still love to get together with the two of them, but I'm not going to be the one to orchestrate it. I've been burned twice in a row now.

Posted by jrients at 6:48 AM CDT
Saturday, 24 April 2004

Today I took another step in the long dark road to grognardery. Inspired by my recent readthrough of Mike Carr's Dawn Patrol, I went to the library and checked out some history books: The First Air War, 1914-1918 by Lee Kennett and The Red Baron, Rochthofen's autobiography.

Posted by jrients at 12:32 PM CDT
And here it is...

The Queen in Enchian Chess is a color-bound leaper. This same piece can be found in the Chess Variants Piececlopedia as the Alibaba.

Hopefully, this really is my final enochian chess graphic.

Posted by jrients at 10:06 AM CDT
Re-reading your source material is a good idea
So I'm not done with graphics for the Enochian Chess essay. I re-read the rules of the game this morning, something I hadn't done in months, and I re-discovered that Queens don't move as orthodox queens, so I'll need a graphic showing their special movement. Also, I realized that my "concourse of queens" graphic depicts an illegal move.

Posted by jrients at 9:48 AM CDT
Last Enochian chess graphic
Now all I have to do is finish the research and write the page.

This fellow is the Black Knight in a traditional Enochian set. I colored him myself. The guidelines for doing so are not complete, so I had to make a few guesses.

Posted by jrients at 8:32 AM CDT
Friday, 23 April 2004
This will probably hose the screen width...

Here's the first draft of an initial array for a chess variant that combines the more interesting features of 3 well-known large board variants: Omega Chess, Tamerlan Chess (a historical variant that has also been called Shatranj Kamil and Shatranj Al-Kabil), and Gothic Chess. Gothic Chess is an improvement upon Capablanca's Chess, which itself is a re-invention of Bird's Chess and/or an older variant by Carrera.

The rules for this variant basically write themselves. The "pawn of X" promotion mechanic comes from Tamerlane and Chaturanga. The other new pieces are directly adopted from Gothic and Omega chess. The only real questions are the castling rules, any special rules regarding the wizards' corner spaces, and the pawn of king promotion. For the latter, the easiest solution would be for the pawn of kings to promote to Men, i.e. non-royal kings. I am also considering using the Prince, which is a similar piece but in this case the prince would also have to be captured or mated to insure victory.

Posted by jrients at 4:12 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 23 April 2004 4:17 PM CDT

So here's a look at the color scheme of a traditional Enochian Chess board:

Doesn't look very helpful as a gameboard, does it?

Posted by jrients at 12:28 PM CDT

Finished up the other seven starting boards for Enochian chess. While working on them I got some ideas for a couple other chess variants:

Tamerlane's Pawns: Orthodox 8x8 board and array, except that each pawn can only promote to one kind of piece. The pawn in front of the queen promotes to a queen, the pawn in front of a knight promotes to a knight, etc. The pawn in front of the king promotes to a prince, which moves and takes like a king. If a prince is in play it must be eliminated before the king can be checked.

Tamerlane's Gothic Omega (working title): Combine Gothic and Omega Chess with Tamerlane-style pawns.

Posted by jrients at 10:29 AM CDT
Good News and Bad News
Good News: My contest entry is up at ChessVariants.com. (I've really got to get my HTML skills up to snuff. The coding on the page is terrible.)

Bad News: Last night I tried working on Zillions file for a modest variant using Crooks instead of Rooks in an otherwise orthodox chess game. I get getting an "out of memory" error, even after a restart. If my computer is virused I'll kick myself for not updating the virus protection.

Posted by jrients at 7:52 AM CDT

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