I invented chess! Playtesters needed!

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Garner, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    So, I've come up with an idea for a chess-like game. Its still in a very early beta stage, but if anyone would like to test it out a bit with some friends, please let me know and I'll send you a word file with the concept, rules and the board.
  2. OmKranti Yogi Wench

    What if you've not played acctual chess. Would it be dificult to learn?
  3. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    Mine should be a great deal easier, there's only four types of pieces, and they all move fairly similarly.

    I'm still tooling with the piece counts and the slightly more complicated rules, but I should have a test version ready by Sunday evening
  4. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Sign me up. I'd love to try it.
  5. drunkymonkey New Member

    Has Chess even came out of beta mode yet? I thought they were too many bugs with that game...
  6. Dane New Member

    Sign me up to, sounds good. And anything that can engage my brother in a mildly thought provoking state must be worth it.
  7. QuothTheRaven New Member

    I will try it.
  8. Splang New Member

    I'll try it too. It sounds like fun
  9. redneck New Member

    Sounds like a fun time. I'd love to join.
  10. Andalusian New Member

    I like chess. I would love to volunteer.
  11. Hansi New Member

    I'm up for trying it out. Just send me a PM.
  12. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    Hey Hansi!

    Welcome to the board?

    Should we reconise you from the old place? Or did you find us another way?

  13. Tephlon Active Member

    I'd like to try it. Maybe I can get my GF interested in playing. (She liked chess, but we don't really have the time) Otherwise I'll play against one of you guys online :)
  14. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    Heh, if anyone actually wants to code this into an online applet, that'd be cool.

    I should have a playable beta ready in an hour or two. Just need to juggle a few more things and then retype it so it's coherent.
  15. Tephlon Active Member

    I meant more like correspondance-chess (Greatly improved in speed since e-mail) You both have the rules, as long as it's not dependant on "secrets" or "dice" you can just tell the other your moves.
  16. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    mm. might need to number the board, tho. It's a hex grid, so it's not immediately as user friendly as normal correspondance chess would be.

    I've got a draft of the rules ready for anyone who wants to give them a look over. Either hit me up on AIM or MSN, or pm me your email address if you want me to send you the file that way.
  17. Tephlon Active Member

    Got it. Looks interesting. I need to read through them carefully.

    Would you be interested in some designs for gamepieces?
  18. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    I'm actually probably going to ask Buzzfloyd to do a few for that, or one of her sisters to do some small clay pieces (they've got their own kiln and everything!), but hell, i'd love it if people could come up with their own designs too!
  19. Tephlon Active Member

    That's very cool. I was thinking of flat cardboard pieces on a hexagonal base. Clay figures are way cooler than that.

    I have a small question about the playingfield. You want it by e-mail or can I just ask here?
  20. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    eh, go ahead and ask here, saves me the trouble of mucking about with hotmail
  21. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    Cynical Youth says that the two games he's tried so far tended to result in archer stand offs, and the attacker won in both games.

    Anyone noticing anything similar? as for the archers, I'm wondering if reducing their range to 2 hexes OR increasing the cavalry's range to 3 might change the dynamic?
  22. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    deployment... i didn't set anything out in the rules for this, but i'd assumed people would just delpoy their pieces independantly of each other. Cynical and his brother used a screne to hide what they were doing from each other. That sounds like the perfect solution, but if anyone would like to try setting their pieces down openly, in turn, i'd be interested in hearing what results you get.

    i'd say the defender should get first placement.
  23. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    if archers shoot, that is your move for a turn. just a clarification.

    if anyone would like to experiment with each side taking two moves in a turn, please let me know what you come up with.
  24. Tephlon Active Member

    Okay, I read through the rules.
    Haven't played. Did set up a game by myself.
    I'm not surprised that archers are almost invincible, they're almost untouchable.. The only way to get to them is with cavalry, which you will almost certainly lose. (Set up Cavalry at 4 hexes, next turn move 2 hexes (Not attacking Infantry as that gives 1 damage), get shot once, kill archer, get killed by 2nd archer that was covering first one.... )

    Edit: Archer can escape by moving 1 hex back when opponent is positioning Cavalry, then letting Cavalry attack, move back one hex and shoot (1 damage), all the while being out of range.

    I'd say range of 2 and/or maybe "move OR shoot"
    Infantry doesn't have a chance against them in any way. In chess a pawn can at least take down the tower.

    Now the quick notes I had (Slightly rambling):

    - The range of the Archers: “Within 3 hexes”, does that count the hex the Archer is on? As the "water" is 3 hexes, I guess it's 3 beyond the one you're on.
    - Attack strength of Attacking King? (I suppose 1, but not mentioned in rules) (Nitpick)
    - If Infantry attacks, do they sustain damage like Cavalry? (Don’t think so, but not stated)
    - Damage sticks? Or: once damaged, pieces stay damaged? Or is damage reset per turn? (Defending King resets every turn)*
    - Killing the Defending King: I can do that with just 3 Archers if I’m thinking right. As long as I have them all in range, they should accumulate… (Every archer is “covered” by another one) ?
    - “Attacking”, except for the Archers, is done by moving your piece to the hex occupied by an opponent, like in chess, right? (Not stated)(Nitpick)

    - A clearer board, with the zones for the defenders and attackers clearly marked. (I had to read 2 times before I got it, even with the board printed out.)
    (My notes had this: [i:8da20f04c0]The playing field is not equal for both sides (One side has a whole extra row of Hextiles.) Is there a reason there? Are the defenders on the "big" side (Holding their ground)?
    Hmm just reread it. Okay, defenders on the “small” part. Not clear at first glance..[/i:8da20f04c0])
    - A little table like this: (looked better in word... :))

    Piece (# of pieces) - Attack/Defence - Mobility - Special skills
    King [Attacking] (1) - A1/D1 - M3 -
    King [Defending] (1) - A1/D3 - M0 - Damage resets every turn
    Infantry (8 ) - A1/D1 - M1 -
    Archer (6) - A1/D1 - M1 - Range:3 - Can “move and shoot” or “shoot”
    Cavalry (2) - A1/D2 - M2 - Sustains 1 damage when attacking Infantry / Can move “through” pieces

    * If damage “sticks”, you could have the piece move back to baseline to “heal”. (Only applies to Cavalry)

    Edit: Readability/Layout
  25. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    i wrote the rules to be as brief and concise as possible, which I know has left some gaps. nitpicking is fine, that's what a good playtester should do!

    now, before I get to your questions and suggestions, tephlon, I've got another report from Cynical to go through:

    1) 2 hex range for the archers resulted in a stalemate, and turned it into a cavalry dominated game.
    2) adding two units to move each turn as well as 2 hex range for archers seemed to give the game a lot more life. it raised the question of can two units attack simultaneously, and if so what would the effect be. I'd say if you're moving two units in a turn, they move sequentially, not simultaneously.
    3) the defending king should not be placed in a corner, not without adjusting some other rules first. also, the defending king cannot defend himself. he is immobile to the point of not being able to attack an adjacent enemy piece.
    4) cynical and his brother experimented by opening up the bottle neck in the board and found that it created a much more dynamic game and gave the infantry a lot more play. I want to look at that more later myself.

    Now, onto tephlon's post...
  26. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    Archer range would not count the hex they are on. at the edge of the obstructed squares (water, wall, whatever), they would be able to shoot to the edge, but not at a unit on the other edge. - my original idea for the board would feature only a two square (i hadn't thought of hex grids at the time) obstruction so the archers could, in theory, attack from beyond that. the barrier was widened but the archer range didn't change. that was probably a big mistake on my part.

    Attack strength of the attacking king is indeed 1, as i didn't say otherwise. i'd assumed that the Defender's cavalry would either not survive that far, or have suffered at least one hit by the time they reached the king. we could look at saying it does two hits. if the cavalry dominate too much with a 2 hex range, then that might be necessary.
    Infantry would not suffer damage on attacks. Cavalry would only suffer damage if attacking a stationary infantry. Attacking infantry that had moved on the preceeding turn would not harm the cavalry.

    Damage sticks for cavalry. the rules as written require the defending king to be threatened by three separate 'hits' in a single turn. so, six archers, three infantry or cavalry, or any fair combination of the three. if we change that, to say damage sticks for the defending king, then the king needs to be able to defend himself.

    Archers have to work in pairs. That wouldn't normally be an issue except when attacking the king, but if we play with two moves per turn, then it's very important. if archer A and archer B threaten enemy 1, and archer B and archer C threaten enemy 2, only one of them can be attacked as archer B cannot shoot both of them in the same turn. as for attacking the king, it's safe to view it in terms of fractions. each archer inflicts 0.5 hits, with the total rounded down.

    Attacking, except for archers, is indeed done by moving your piece to the hex occupied by an opponent. *if* the defending king were allowed to defend himself, he would not have to move into the occupied hex.

    as for your suggestions, I wasn't happy with my phrasing for the zones, but I was in a hurry. The board is deliberately uneven, partially out of the nature of using a hex grid arrangement, but also because I wanted the defenders to have tighter quarters. think of it as a seige, if you sally forth and take the fight to the beseiger, you've got an open field battle. if you wait for them to come to you, then it's a tight fit.

    the table might be useful, but (this is a limitation of the text formatting!) it might also be quite confusing to some people. I can see what you've got in mind there, though, and it looks good...

    I just need to see if the actual stats are worth keeping like that!

    Thanks for your input, Tephlon!

    also a big thanks to Cynical Youth and his brother!
  27. Cynical_Youth New Member

    No problem, it was fun. :)

    If there are any other variations you'd like me to try, list them here, PM me or AIM me. We should be able to play a few more games tomorrow.
  28. Tephlon Active Member

    This is what I meant:
    LINK because pictures don't seem to work... Mal?

    Edit: Fixed link. I was tired yesterday... :)
    Edit: Ah, The extension of the file was .GIF instead of .gif ... That's why it didn't work at first.

    Here's the table:
  29. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    link don't work, Tephlon
  30. Tephlon Active Member

    Okay, played 2 games against myself last night. One with he archers having a range of 2.

    Fun, although my opponent sucked :)

    Anyway, I still think the Archers with a range of 3 are too powerful. At one point I had the standoff between the archers, which the defenders lost because they had to move first. They just picked of anything that moved into their range.

    With a range of 2 I thought the game was a lot more dynamic. I didn't finish the game (5AM...) but it looked like the Cavalry did a lot more damage.

    One thing that I think needs to be cleared up in the rules is the "3 hits" on the king. If I can only do one move, then I can never do 3 hits in one turn. If it's "Potential hits" (Like check-mate, where the game can end if any potential move the king makes would kill him) then you could argue you could manage a kill with 3 archers. (If 3 Archers all have the King in range, Archer 1 has backup from Ar2 and Ar3, Ar2 has backup from Ar1 and Ar3 and Ar3 has backup from Ar1 and Ar2....)

    What might be interesting is something like in regular chess, where the pawn's first move can be 2 squares. Like an "Initial rush". Just like in regular chess, you'd need to keep track of that, but unlike regular chess, GarnerChess™ pieces can move every way they want and can be placed anywhere (Within the zones) so that might get confusing.
    (I write what pops up in my head, I end up contradicting myself, but I think I come up with valid points. Let's call it brainstorming... :))

    Anyway, I went ahead and did a mockup of a playingfield and simple gamepieces. For clarity sake the gamepieces have their stats displayed.

    [color=blue:ab88ff81e4]Board with added monster[/color:ab88ff81e4]

    [color=blue:ab88ff81e4]Simple gamepieces[/color:ab88ff81e4] (I went for a travelchess kinda feel :))

    Edit: Hmm, the stats on the pieces are almost unreadable because of the jpg compression. Grr.

    Maljonic: Is there any way to make the links more obvious? Either a different colour (Not this dark blue) or underlined?
    Edit: Well, I changed the link colour to Blue instead of Dark Blue (By hand/code)
  31. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    I think I already addressed the rule about the defending king, and about archers.

    to kill the defending king, you must attack him while he is in "check" from two other sources.

    three archers would only be 1.5 sources, a distinct and separate pair of archers is required for any given 'hit'. to put it another way, an archer can only back up one other archer. they only work in matched pairs.

    i'd intended to keep things simple for this game, so i didn't want to look at special movement rules like a pawn's first move being two squares in real chess. if anyone wants to give it a try though, it might give infantry some more importance.

    i like the mock up pieces and board. thanks for taking the time to do that, Tephlon!
  32. Tephlon Active Member

    I was playing devils advocate with the archers/king rule. :evil:
    Stated as above this it's a lot clearer.

    As for the mockup board, It was my pleasure... :)

    PS: Did you see the table? I got it to work. 3 posts back
  33. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    oh, yes, sorry i forgot to mention that.

    as i said, i don't know how useful some people will find it, but it's a well laid out table that covers all the information.

    folks who're used to wargames and whatnot should definately be right at home with it.
  34. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Did some more playtesting. Fiddled with the infantry.

    The amount of infantry doesn't really matter. Their only role is as support. They are useless against archers, even with reduced range and two moves a turn. They only come into play in the endgame and it is more a matter of swapping pieces then.
  35. QuothTheRaven New Member

    From what i gathered from the rules and from here, there are to players: the attacker and the defender. What if, the two players switched off at some point.
  36. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    what do you mean? took turns as attacker and defender? or halfway through a game suddenly started playing the other side?

    cause, if it's the first one, there's no reason why you can't. when playing chess, we used to hold a white and black pawn in separate (random) hands and hold them behind our backs. the other person would pick a hand, and play whichever side he chose.

    if you would rather play one side and your opponent would rather play the other, then don't even bother with it and just play what you want to...

    honestly i'm not sure what the confusion is there.
  37. Hsing Moderator

    I love testing games, but having not much free time at my hands I don't want to make false promises. I'd like to sign up for later though, late autumn, when I've got my daily routine... should that ever happen....

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