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The Discs Of Chess

Some pieces carry weapons
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
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In this chess variant, the setup is just like regular chess, but each player also gets five "weapons", represented by coins or checkers, to place under some of the pieces before the game begins. For example, the player may opt to give the weapons to both knights, the queen, and two pawns.

A weapon allows a piece to kill an opposing piece that is within its normal attacking range, but WITHOUT actually moving to that square. This has major implications as far as pieces guarding other pieces is concerned, since even a guarded piece can be killed from afar. (Once a weapon is "thrown", it is removed from play.) New strategies such as interposing low-value pieces and setting up side counterattacks will become more dominant.

The King cannot use a weapon. It would make checkmating too difficult if this were allowed.

To physically indicate the use of a weapon, remove the coin from under the attacking piece and gently tap the opponent's piece with it while making a "Pffff" sound. Then remove both from the board.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SPECIFICS: The normal rules of chess apply, with the following additions regarding weapons:

-- A player's turn consists of either moving a piece or throwing a weapon, but not both. A piece carrying a weapon can still move and capture normally.

-- A weapon has the same range as the piece currently carrying it. For example, a bishop can use a weapon to kill an opposing piece on any uninterrupted diagonal path away from it. A pawn's weapon can kill an enemy diagonally ahead of it. Once a weapon is used, it is removed from play.

-- If an enemy piece is killed from afar, the piece is removed from the board, but any weapon it was carrying stays there. This weapon can then be picked up by the next piece (of either color) who lands on it.

-- If an enemy piece holding a weapon is captured (in the normal chess way, by moving onto it), the capturer gains possession of the weapon.

-- A piece can carry more than one weapon, but can throw only one at a time.

-- When a piece moves, it has the option to leave its weapon(s) behind. This can allow the transfer of the weapon to a different piece. But of course, should an enemy land on the weapon first, the enemy will take possession of it.

-- The King cannot use weapons, but he is allowed to pick them up and carry them.

-- A loose weapon on the board is not an obstacle; any piece can jump over it.

-- It is legal, though probably not useful, to throw a weapon to a vacant square. In this case, the weapon is removed from play and the turn ends. This allows a player to essentially pass his turn.

Thanks, and enjoy. If you try this game, let me know how it goes!

phundug, Jul 28 2012

Apropos http://files.sharen...-s580x193-54114.jpg
From the comic strip Perry Bible Fellowship [ytk, Jul 30 2012]

[link]






       [+]
FlyingToaster, Jul 28 2012
  

       This would potentially make the knights the deadliest pieces on the board, as they and they alone could 'kill' a target blocked by other pieces.
Alterother, Jul 28 2012
  

       which they can already do anyways.
FlyingToaster, Jul 28 2012
  

       Yes, but not without moving.
Alterother, Jul 28 2012
  

       The knight is no more deadlier with a weapon than other pieces with weapons, than the usual comparison without weapons.
FlyingToaster, Jul 28 2012
  

       Well, I dunno from chess, but it seems that since use of the weapon disc conforms to the movement restrictions of the piece carrying it, every other piece must risk exposure in some way in order to use it; 'direct line of sight', if you will. The knight, which normally would also risk exposure by physically moving to the capture point, would be able to sit behind the cover of other pieces and snipe at the enemy without moving into the open. But, since I am a very poor chess player, it's entirely possible that I'm missing some crucial detail here.
Alterother, Jul 28 2012
  

       This would severely unbalance the game in favor of White. White would simply put a weapon (or more than one weapon) on the queen, and move 1. e4… 2. Qh5, at which point Black is just a move away from checkmate. Black's only defenses against this involves sacrificing a knight, bishop, or queen (as well as giving up the right to castle and exposing the king), or playing the pawns very defensively without developing any other pieces. Either way, Black's pieces remain largely undeveloped while White gains dominance of the center of the board. And since this variant would tend to have the player in the dominant position remain dominant, as pieces can attack without giving up a position of control or putting themselves in danger, Black would be almost guaranteed to lose (barring a blunder by White). [-]   

       Incidentally, this is the same as allowing a piece to move twice under certain circumstances—once to capture, and then again to move back to its original space. This means that pieces could essentially “protect” themselves, allowing them to threaten or capture without putting themselves at risk. Placing a piece so as to block the king from check would be essentially a sacrifice, and would end up with the king in check again anyway, because the king would be unable to protect the piece that is blocking check. It also means that pieces that are blocking check couldn't be pinned so long as they had a weapon. This idea undermines several key strategy aspects of the game that devolve from the mandatory one move per turn tempo. Put that way, it may be a little clearer why it wouldn't really work.
ytk, Jul 29 2012
  

       Interesting [ytk]. I wonder if there's a way to balance the exaggerated advantage White has. Give white one fewer weapon? Allow Black, but not White, to have an armed King?
phundug, Jul 29 2012
  

       ... Air strikes ... ?
8th of 7, Jul 29 2012
  

       I think if you're going to introduce offensive weapons, there must be defensive "weapons" also (shield, armour, a "keep"...) to maintain balance.
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 29 2012
  

       Perhaps the weapons would start with the King to mitigate White's advantage by a few moves.
FlyingToaster, Jul 30 2012
  

       The discs should be concealed, and only revealed (by upturning the piece) when the piece is captured. Showing its concealed disc makes it invulnerable and the attacking piece instead dies.
pocmloc, Jul 30 2012
  

       ^ which uses up the weapon.
FlyingToaster, Jul 30 2012
  

       Thus making combinatorial game theorists everywhere squirm, by changing chess from a perfect information game to an imperfect information game.
ytk, Jul 30 2012
  

       1. e4, Nf6
2. Qh5, N-->h5 (Knight shoots h5).
...and now you are playing as white against a standard Alekhine's Defense but you are down a Queen. Good luck with that.

I don't think the problem lies in a Black vs White direction but rather in a Pieces vs Pawns one. The poor little pawns will be shot down in droves if they are no longer able to rely on support from their friends to deter attack by the big boys. + though. Could be interesting.
DrBob, Jul 30 2012
  

       We could also try making the King invulnerable to weapons; thus he has to be checkmated the "normal" way.
phundug, Jul 30 2012
  

       "Knight one you are cleared for immediate departure"   

       The voice carried a good deal more emotion than Cindy intended. James hadn't hidden the ring well enough. As she dispatched her not-yet-fiance into the heat and danger of battle she clenched her fist tightly around her rosary.   

       James didn't notice.   

       With a typical depth of focus he was running down his checklist. Flaps, stabilizers, weapons.   

       It was to be the end of a long battle and his unlit cigar smelled damn good through the layers of combat suit. "Not 'til the fat lady sings" but he was cocky-confident about this one. The briefing showed how this strike against Queen White would open the way for the Bishop's men to march across the landscape and take the "good" king's castle. The war would be over. The devil would die.
Voice, Jul 30 2012
  

       1. e4, Nf6 2. Qf3   

       The only move black has to save the knight now is Ng8 (back to its starting position), thereby costing Black two tempos at the beginning of the game. And even so, White could then play Q-->f7, opening up a critical hole, allowing Q-->f8 to shoot the bishop, or Bd3 to threaten mate. Black basically hits the ground running from White's weapons, and a good player could likely continually force Black into positions where he was unable to even use his weapons, rendering them useless.   

       //We could also try making the King invulnerable to weapons; thus he has to be checkmated the "normal" way.//   

       This wouldn't change anything, as the King would be invulnerable to weapons anyway. That is, there's no legal position where the King could be attacked by a weapon that wouldn't already be check.
ytk, Jul 30 2012
  

       2. ... g6 3. Q-->Nf6, Bg7   

       You're a Knight up but now there is a threat of B-->b2 and Ba1. Block with 4. Nc3 and there is B-->c3 which brings us back to material parity, block the diagonal with the pawn by 4.c3 and your development is not looking quite so good and I think either d7 followed by bringing out the other bishop, or Nc6 look good for black because he will have his pieces out ahead of the pawns whilst your pieces are cowering behind their pawns and can't get a good shot in. The only piece you've got out front is the Queen and she's out of bullets! Also, I've just realised, Bf6 at some point allows the bishop to pick up the fallen Knight's weapon, should it have one, thereby allowing total domination of the h8-a1 diagonal.
DrBob, Jul 30 2012
  

       Maybe all the weapons should start out in the Rooks (which look like armories or gun towers anyway). This would force both players to develop pieces more before the weapons come into play.
phundug, Jul 30 2012
  
      
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