Hexagonal Chess with 169 hexes

C'escacs is a Capablanca's variant of the Glinski's Hexagonal Chess.

Updates in progress

Years have passed, and after many games played some aspects have been considered to modify them. Some modifications are already decided as necessary, and some are still in the testing phase; in my mind all of them contribute to a more balanced game.

  • The movement of the pawns:

    • The movement of more than one hex of the pawns from the starting position is limited to the advance in vertical forward (by the row of the pawn); movements in 60º of more than one square are no longer allowed.

      The modification is justified because these movements are very unnatural and very strangely useful.

      Observe that this modification of the rule eliminates some cases of in passant captures and the full specific case of the in passant capture of the scornful pawn, which both, but the last the most, introduce an unnecessary complexity.

    • The triple movement of a pawn from their initial positions are not allowed from the central hex position, since this movement would place it in the central square of the board.

      Actually white, since they start the game, can take anyway the central hex of the board with its central pawn, but this way two moves are required, allowing more alternatives to black.

      This limitation is very similar to the one imposed on Dave McCooey's hexagonal chess, but in C'escacs it even makes more sense.

    • (Under consideration) The pawns will be able to perform double movements forward throughout the board (only in the vertical direction), reserving the option of triple movement to the starting hexes.

      You must keep in mind that the capture rules will apply whenever the user makes a double movement, and of course also for possible triple movements from the starting hexes.

      This rule supposes a great change, but it is considered because the length of the board turns the pawns into pieces excessively slow and there is a tendency to participate little in the game; It has not yet been decided because we have not done enough games to ensure that the change is beneficial, but in my mind I think that it introduces an improvement.

  • The Almogavars:

    (Under consideration) It is proposed to modify the movement in the following way:

    • In the same way as the pawns, they will have different movements of the capture movements:

      • Capture moves: The 6 hexes diagonally contiguous (capture diagonally, like the bishop, but only to the diagonally immediate hex).
      • Movements (without capture): The 6 adjacent hexes orthogonally; for the movement in vertical forward (through its file) has the option of advancing two hexes, just as the pawn has. In addition, you can also move an hex in both directions of the diagonally horizontal (its diagonal rank), which are the only two movements in which you share the movement with capture and without capture. That is, in total 8 directions to move, and one of such has an option of a double move, as pawns.
      • Since it can perform movements of 2 hexes (forward) the en passant capture is applied; the almogávar can do en passant captures of pawns and almogavars, and it can be en passant captured by pawns and almogavars.
      • By symmetry with pawns, the rule of the scornful pawn is also applied, both when an almogavar is in front of a pawn, and when it is in front of another almogavar; such an almovagar stil had 3 moves (from its 9 possible moves) avoiding the capture from the opponent front pawn or almogavar.
      • 4 almogávares would be incorporated (instead of 2), going on to occupy the second line of pawns, thus moving the horses to positions that are currently not occupied by any piece, in front of the queen and the king. This change of disposition is, in effect, a great change, and also means that there would be 2 pawns not defended in their initial position, those that correspond to the files of the pegasus.
      • (Additional proposal in consideration) It has also been proposed that vertical backward movement allow double movement, symmetrically as it is allowed for forward movement; One of the reasons to be wary of this possibility is that this would mean incorporating en passant captures for backward movements.

    Justification for this change in the Almogavars

    Actually, this piece already evolved in its beginnings; then it was a slow and excessively powerful piece. It was the contribution of Dave McCooey that led to correct a piece that did not fit properly.

    The movement of the almogávares is still not satisfactory as it appears in the rules, especially for its movement "in jump" of two squares that also can perform orthogonally in 60º which confuse any chess player.

    We can think that the idea is that of a symmetrical pawn, which has backward movements, and can also capture and be moved diagonally by the horizontal (the diagonal rank). The double forward movement by the file would not be symmetrical, and for this reason there is a suggestion to incorporate the double movement also backwards.

    Making the Almogavar have some similarity with the pawns introduces greater balance in the game, since the number of pawns is very small for the size of the board, with the additional drawback that in the hexagonal board the pawns do not form as compact barriers as in orthodox chess.

Additional material

  • Value of the pieces

    Pieces heuristic assigned values, indicative

  • Final Analysis By Dave McCooey

  • Rates of play with a chess clock

  • Build the set of pieces

    If we start from an orthodox chess set an additional Bishop and extra Pawn are required. We also need to build two Almogavars, two Pegasus and a Dragon.

    • For Almogavars I have used two pawns cut and attached together in a way that they gain some altitude and a penny (1 cent) at the top pasted with permanent glue for distinguish them.
    • For Pegasus I have used the obvious solution of taking a Bishop and a Knight, cut and paste.
    • For the Dragon is also the obvious solution to take a Rook and a Knight, cut and paste.

    In total I used three sets of orthodox chess ... though it remained only a horse and you'll need two if you want to build the Lions from this piece, but as I said Lions are neither necessary nor desirable, at least in the first matches, but if you insist on building them, with all the leftover pieces and some imagination sure you can seek some other solution.

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