Conflict Chess

by Derick Green
From Variant Chess, Volume 3, Issue 25, Autumn 1997, page 96.
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These are the rules to a chess variant that I hope may appeal to both chess players and board wargamers. There are many compromises but I feel that Conflict Chess manages to retain the spirit of both chess and board wargames. A chessboard and pieces are set up as in standard chess. Two six-sided dice will also be needed.

  1. Movement. All pieces move as in standard chess, with two exceptions:
    (a) Pawns have the option to move one square diagonally forward without capture.
    (b) The King moves the same as the Queen in standard chess and there is no castling.
    The Kings and Queens are 'Leaders' while the Rooks, Knights and Bishops are 'Officers'. There is no check or checkmate since the aim is to remove the opponent`s Leaders, i.e. the King and Queen and any promoted Officers (see rule 4 below).
    For a Pawn to be able to move it must be within four squares of an Officer or Leader. For an Officer to move it must be within four squares of a Leader. These conditions apply from the start of the move. (David Pritchard notes that the loss of one Leader may severely limit officer movement - this is intentional.)

  2. Terrain. At the start of the game four coins are placed in squares e4, f4, c5 and d5. These squares are now Terrain squares.

    Pieces may move onto but not through terrain squares. Knights may not jump over terrain squares. Line pieces may move freely along the diagonal a1-h8.

  3. Combat. Each piece has a combat strength which is also used in defence: Pawn 1, Knight and Bishop 2, King and Queen 3. The Rook if attacked uses the combat strength of the strongest attacking piece. When supporting an attack, the Rook uses the combat strength of the strongest friendly piece. A Rook attacking alone counts 2.
    For an attack to take place a piece must have moved into the attacking position that turn. To perform an attack, a piece or pieces must be able to make a legal move to the square occupied by the defending piece. Any number of pieces may combine their combat strengths into a single attack. If the defending piece occupies a terrain square its combat strength is doubled.
    Attacker and defender roll a six-sided die and add their respective combat strengths. The highest total wins. In the event of a tie the defender wins. The odds are always in favour of the attacker.
    If the attacker wins, the defending piece is removed from play and one of the attackers must be moved into the now vacant square. (Or in other words, the capture is permitted. It is additional to the move already made.)
    If the defender wins, the defender may move one of the attacking pieces back to its starting position. In the case of Pawns, Rooks or Knights, the choice of replacement square is that of the victor, but must be a legal placement, i.e. white knights on either b1 or g1, rooks on a1 or h1, pawns on the second rank within the triangle of diagonals from the capture square. If there is no legal vacant square the piece is removed from play.

  4. Promotion. Upon reaching the opponent`s back rank, a Pawn promotes to an Officer and an Officer promotes to a Leader.

Example Game

The following is a short game score. This is not offered as an example of good play but rather as a (colourful! - Ed.) example of general gameplay.

White Derick Green - Black Matthew Brown

1. d4 e6 2. Bf4 Bc5 3. Ka5 (K + P versus B: K = 3, P = 1, B = 2, doubled because of terrain square. White die roll 5 for a total of 9. Black die roll 3 for a total of 7. So Pd4Bc5.) Na6 4. c5-b6 a diagonal Pawn move (B + P versus Pc7. White total 7. Black total 3. So Pb6Pc7.) f6 (blocking the chance of an attack on the Queen by B in addition to P). 5.c7-b8R (R versus B. White Rook 2 + die roll 3 = 5. Black Bishop 2 + die roll 2 = 4, so Rb8Bc8) Qc7 (K + Q + R versus R. Black K3 + Q3 + R3 + die roll of 6 = 15. White R3 + die roll of 1 = 4. So Ra8Rc8).

6. Kb6 (K + B versus Q. White 9. Black 7. So Kb6Qc7) Kd8 (K + R + N versus K. Black 9. White 9. So K-e8. Black K is returned home.) 7. Kd8 (K versus K. White 6. Black 4. So Kd8Ke8). 1-0.

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