Thursday, August 26, 2004

Chess & Rockets

Now that I got my first session as a Savage Worlds GM under my belt it's time to turn to other matters. Thanks to the online Starmada Starship Construction Assistant, I've been able to whip up my first fleet (the Devil Suns) for the as-yet-to-be-named Starmada campaign. (I think perhaps we should call it something like "History of Modern Space Warfare, Volume 2", adopting the conceit that these encounters are detailed in a textbook on notable space battles. I say Volume 2 because I imagine that Volume 1 would contain accounts of battles involving smaller and technologically cruder vessels from the earliest days of the militarization of space.) I've also started work on my second fleet, the Extragalactic Invaders. The Devils Suns were easy compared to the EI, who have so many nifty gadgets to choose from that you can't fit them all on one ship. I look forward to getting all the fleets put together, maybe doing some background write-ups, and then actually playing.

Meanwhile, I need to get cracking on the chess variants again. Among other things, I'd really like to get my ideas for Gygaxian Chess and Draconian submitted to The Chess Variants Pages. The last few weeks have also seen the publication of articles on two new variants that I find particularly interesting: Kristensen's Game, an attempt to "fix" orthodox chess dating from 1948, and Mainzer Schach, a new variant from talented inventor Jorg Knappen. I also need to cast my second round vote for the 44-Squares Contest. Right now I'm leaning toward Erech Schatz's Oblong Chess 44, a nice pseudo-historical variant and David Jagger's PiRaTeKnIcS (a.k.a. Triadic Chess), which I think makes a significant contribution to the field of chess variants. Whatever you call it, I think Jagger's game will go on to influence many future variant designs.

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