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Author Topic: Tocharian Chess  (Read 787 times)

FearfulJesuit

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Tocharian Chess
« on: August 24, 2012, 08:59:40 am »

This is a board game I'm trying to design, which is so named because it is neither chess (though it's not unlike it) nor does it have anything to do with the Tocharians. However, it's a cool name, and that's a good enough reason for me.

At present, the plan is to play it on a square board with 15 squares along each side. Six of these squares are special; we'll get back to them.

There are only four kinds of pieces.

Infantry act like kings in chess; they can move one square in any of the 8 directions, and capture anything on that square.

Archers get a moving turn and a shooting turn. During the moving turn, they can move into any vacant adjacent square in 8 directions; it cannot be occupied. During the shooting turn, they can capture any adjacent (8 directions) piece, but don't move into that square. They may do these moves in either order, allowing them to engage in hit-and-run tactics.

Horsemen are like infantry, but faster. They can move twice- not necessarily in a straight line- and may capture like an infantry piece on one of these moves.

Generals can move three squares a turn, but can't use any of them to capture. They also get a shooting move that can happen anywhere during their run. Each player will get two generals.

Now, here's where the fun starts. There are no king pieces, so you could lose both your generals and still win. There are, however, camps. There are six of these: four in the corners and two on the sides of the board, in the very center, between where the two players begin.

You own the two camps on your side, though not the ones in the middle. To win, you need to capture both your opponent's camps while still being in control of your own. To do this, you need to move one of your pieces onto that camp. That's not too incredibly hard, but take note: you can't *keep* a piece on a camp to defend it; once it moves on it gets a free ticket to one tile off the camp. So, to capture your opponent's camps, you need to also be able to kill anything in the vicinity. Generals (but not horsemen), however, may move *through* unoccupied camps (which will capture them).

Camps can also be used to spawn extra units. When the game starts, each player has 4 points. You win extra points in two ways: by capturing opposing pieces or sacrificing your own. Capturing an opposing piece will give you 1 point for an infantry, 2 for an archer or horseman, and 8 for a general. To sacrifice a piece, you move it onto a camp (either your own or one of the neutral ones in the middle). You will get 1 point for a sacrificed infantry, 2 for a sacrificed archer or horseman, and a dozen for a sacrificed general (though as we'll see, you might not want to do that).

Points can be used to buy extra units. It costs two points for an extra infantry and four for an extra archer or horseman. You can't buy extra generals, so you should only sacrifice them when (for example) they're backed in a corner and you could really use some extra units. The point system rewards you for capturing lots of units, but it also gives a bonus to strategic retreats; by sacrificing units that you'd otherwise lose you deny your opponent points and get something for your troubles. However, since you get half as many points for a sacrificed unit as it costs to buy it, it's not a sustainable long-term practice.

A bought unit can be spawned in any neutral camp, or any camp you own, provided that camp has a free space adjacent to it (the spawned unit gets a free move off the camp). Each player starts with four free points, allowing them to spawn a free horseman/archer or a couple of infantry, whichever they prefer.

If you can capture your opponent's camps while still hanging onto your own, you win the game.

So, I suppose the only questions I have are:

-Do I have enough generals? Is two per player enough?
-Is the points system balanced enough to work?
-Is the board too big or too small, and related to that...
-What sort of starting setup should I use? I need to make the players use one where each of their own camps has a blank space bordering it, for spawning purposes, but beyond that I really don't have any idea how many of each piece they should have or where those pieces should begin the game.
-And, since it's a bigger board than chess, would allowing players to move two of their pieces per turn instead of one be a good idea? Right now the basic idea is that the turn starts with a spawning stage- the player spawns as many pieces as they want to, up to as many camps as they have access to spawning to (you cannot capture the camps in the center, but you can spawn with 'em, and you can also spawn with any camp you've captured, but not any camp you've lost), provided there's a free space next to the camp, which the units immediately move onto. Then the players actually move, and then finally, they sacrifice as many units as they want to, with the proviso that you can sacrifice one unit per camp per turn.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 09:03:06 am by dhokarena56 »
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Heron TSG

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Re: Tocharian Chess
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 10:17:54 am »

This seems fairly balanced to me, but moving two or three pieces per turn would really help speed things up.
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alfie275

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Re: Tocharian Chess
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 11:26:23 am »


A bought unit can be spawned in any neutral camp, or any camp you own, provided that camp has a free space adjacent to it (the spawned unit gets a free move off the camp). Each player starts with four free points, allowing them to spawn a free horseman/archer or a couple of infantry, whichever they prefer.


So a player ought to just spawn stuff on the neutral camps to capture them instead of moving there?
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FearfulJesuit

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Re: Tocharian Chess
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 12:21:33 pm »


A bought unit can be spawned in any neutral camp, or any camp you own, provided that camp has a free space adjacent to it (the spawned unit gets a free move off the camp). Each player starts with four free points, allowing them to spawn a free horseman/archer or a couple of infantry, whichever they prefer.


So a player ought to just spawn stuff on the neutral camps to capture them instead of moving there?

I may have to change that...you can't capture neutral camps, and maybe your first two spawns must be in your camps?
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