Fidchess, A Stonehenge Abstract Strategy Game by Rich Hutnik
Fidchess is an attempt to create a chess-like game for Stonehenge, using just the original parts in the Stonehenge game. Its name comes from the Celtic game Fidchell, which has been called “Celtic Chess”. Fidchess has little to do with Fidchell, except that they are both abstract strategy games. The name of the piece are derived from Celtic numbers, except for "Rigant", which means "Lord" in proto-Celtic.
Number of players: 2
Object of the game: To either capture an opponent's druid or all 10 of the opponent's disks that are used to make up pieces in the game.
Equipment: Stonehenge board (outer track). Outer track is four spaces wide (combining day and night spaces as one space) and 30 spaces round, using spaces 1-8 only.
10 green disks and 10 yellow disks
1 green and 1 yellow figure (Rigants)
Setup: On outer track of Stonehenge board:
yo yo go go D
yd yo go gd C
1 2 7 8 B
yt yo go gt
yr yo go gr A
XX is a space on board (XX=a number from 1-8).
go – Has a green Oin piece on it.
yo – Has a yellow Oin piece on it.
gd – Has a green Duo piece on it.
yd – Has a yellow Duo piece on it.
gt – Has a green Teth piece on it.
yt – Has a yellow Teth piece on it.
gp – Has a green Peth piece on it.
yp – Has a yellow Peth piece on it.
gr – Has a green Rigant piece on it.
yr – Has a yellow Rigant piece on it.
A-D on above diagram is to help with notation purposes only and are not part of the board.
Playing the Game
* Players alternate turns moving one of their pieces one at a time, until one player has won or both player agree the game is a draw. There are two types of moves, regular moves, and deconstruct moves. In regular moves, a piece moves according to its regular movement. In a deconstruct move, one or more pieces in a single space of a player move out from a single space, to an adjacent unoccupied space, leaving behind at least an Oin.
* Types of pieces and how they move:
Rigant: It is the figure belonging to the player of its color.
How it moves: It moves in straight line vertically or horizontally into either an unoccupied space or a space occupied by an opponent, capturing the piece(s) there.
Oin: A single disk.
How it moves: It moves like a Rigant. Piece also can move two spaces horizontally and then one space vertically, or move two spaces vertically and then one space horizontally (like a chess knight). While moving two and then 1 space, an Oin may move through pieces of either player. An Oin may move on top of a friendly piece, in order to create a new piece. An Oin that moves on top of an Oin creates a Duo. An Oin that moves on top of a Duo creates a Teth. An Oin that moves on top of a Teth creates a Peth. An Oin may not move on top of a friendly Peth.
Duo: Two disks of a player stacked on top of each other in a space.
How it moves: It moves an unlimited number of spaces vertically or horizontally in a straight line (like a chess rook). An Duo may move on top of a friendly piece, in order to create a new piece. A Duo may An Duo that moves on top of an Oin creates a Teth. A Duo may move on top of a Duo to create a Peth. A Duo may not move on top of a friendly Teth or a Peth.
Teth: Three disks of a player stacked on top of each other in a space.
How it moves: It moves like either an Oin or a Duo during its turn. An Teth may move on top of a friendly piece, in order to create a new piece. An Teth that moves on top of an Oin creates a Peth. A Teth may not move on top of a friendly Duo, a Peth, or Teth.
Peth: Four disks of a player stacked on top of each other in a space.
How it moves: It moves like a Teth. A Peth can also move 1 space diagonally. A Peth may not move on top of another one of its pieces.
Several other rules regarding movement:
A deconstruct move consists of one or more pieces of a player in a space moving into an adjacent vertical or horizontally adjacent unoccupied space. All pieces part of the deconstruct move all move simultaneously into adjacent empty space. Two to four pieces may appear from a deconstruct move (five if the optional piece Quen performs in a deconstruct move). An Oin may not perform a deconstruct move. An Duo may deconstruct into two Oins (One left in the space of the Duo). A Teth may deconstruct into a three Oins, or an Oin and a Duo (either the Oin or Duo in the space of the original Teth piece). A Peth may deconstruct into four Oins, two Oins and a Duo, two Duos, or a Teth and an Oin. As with all deconstruct moves, at least one piece must be left behind in the space of the original Peth piece.
If an Oin piece lands in an opponent's back row (row 1 or 8) its owner may promote it (optional) to a Duo (player puts one of their disks not on the board onto the Oin piece to make it a Duo), if there are any remaining disks left. For example, if the yellow player moves an Oin onto a space in the 8 column (any A-D space, see above) they may turn the Oin into a Duo if there are captured Oins left. The green player, conversely, can turn an Oin into a Duo if they have any Oins left, if they move an Oin onto space in column 1 (any A-D space, see above). These Oins come from pieces their opponent captured.
Any piece in the last row of an opponent may not perform a deconstruct move.
If a player moves one of their pieces onto a space with one or more than one of their opponent's disks in them, the player captures ALL the disks of that player. Moving a piece onto an opponent's Rigant, or the last disk(s) of an opponent, wins the game.
When the rules above say a Oin, Duo or Teth may move on top of another piece (to create a new piece), this does NOT include that player's Rigant piece.
Variant Rules (may be used separately or together):
* Rigant may move on top of an Oin (to make it a Duo), Duo (to make it a Teth) or a Teth (to make it a Peth). If Quen piece is used, then a Peth may become a Quen if the Rigant is stacked with it. A piece may deconstruct with an Rigant as part of it.
* Quen piece: A stack of 5 disks.
How it moves: It moves like a Peth, but also may move 1-3 spaces diagonally. An Oin and Peth together create a Quen. A Duo and Teth together create Quen. A Quen may not stack with any other pieces. Like all other pieces, a Quen may not break off a Oin in the back row of an opponent, while it is in the back row of an opponent (this is done to restrict it from creating a Duo). A Quen can deconstruct into a combination of 2-5 other pieces (Oin, Duo, Teth, Peth) so long as least one piece is left in the original space of the original Quen. A Quen follows the same rules of deconstruct as all other pieces that can deconstruct.
Ending the Game
Once a player has either captured their opponent's druid or eliminated their opponent's Oins, Duos, Peths, or Teths (and Quens in Quen variant) from the board, they win the game.
Rich Hutnik is a regular on Board Game Geek, contributing far too many Geeklists to that website. He has also created numerous games for Stonehenge.
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