Today I met up with an old friend from college (emosnail
) who has probably circumnavigated the globe half a dozen times since I last saw him in person. We had lunch, a stroll around Whole Earth Festival, some pleasant conversation, and a crazy game of Martian Chess. Good times.
In other board game news, serendipity17
and I picked up a copy of Carcassonne from Bizarro World, and we also tried an extremely strange chess variant called Ultima or Baroque Chess
Kings move and capture in the conventional manner. Pawns move like rooks and capture by flanking. Everything else moves like queens and captures in a bizarre way that seems utterly nonsensical at first.
I managed to make some progress towards checkmate but then we realized that my king had moved into a rather unusual sort of check several turns ago without realizing it, and decided to call it a draw.
Apparently Ultima also inspired Penultima
, a three-or-more player variant in which one or more participants (the "spectator(s)") write their own secret rules for how the various pieces are allowed to move before the game begins. The two actual players then attempt moves and ask the spectator(s) whether each move is allowed, attempting to deduce by elimination what the rules really are.
This seems ripe for conversion into a Looney Pyramids
game--set up small, medium, and large pieces as for Pikemen
, perhaps mark one of the larges as a king so checkmate can still be the goal (or use a point system as in Pikemen or Martian Chess
), and try to determine the rules of movement for each size piece as written by the spectator(s).
Many Looney Pyramid games have names beginning with Z, so this ought to be called Zenultimate--particularly appropriate, as the general theme reminds me very much of Zendo