Discovery of an alternative Tenjiku Shogi piece
- Two months ago, my wife (who is Chinese, and doesn't read kana),
showed me an article about Tenjiku Shogi. We have finally managed to
finish translating it.
It describes an alternative piece, which could be used instead of the
Iron Generals, called the Battering Ram.
A Battering Ram can move one square sideways, or one square
forwards. It also has a special ramming move.
The ramming move works like this:
The piece is moved vertically up the board across empty squares until
it encounters an enemy piece (if the file is empty until the end of
the board, or the first non-empty square is a friendly piece, then it
may not ram).
The number of empty squares between the initial square occupied by the
Battering RAM and the square occupied by the first enemy piece is the
value of the momentum of the Battering Ram. It must now proceed to
dissipate all the momentum it has acquired. it does this by continuing
to move forward.
Each enemy piece it encounters consumes two points of momentum. The
Battering Ram enters the square of the enemy piece, which is removed
from the game.
Each empty square the Battering Ram enters consumes one point of
If a Battering Ram encounters an enemy piece when it has only one
point of momentum left, it shatters. The Battering Ram is removed from
the game, and the enemy piece is unaffected.
If a Battering Ram reaches the end of the board without consuming all
its momentum, it is removed from the game (note that it is legal to
commit suicide by ramming on an empty file, or where the first piece
encountered is friendly).
If a Battering Ram encounters a friendly piece when it has any
unconsumed momentum left, both the Battering Ram and the friendly
piece are removed from the game.
Battering Rams have an elementary form of fire-proofing (they are
covered in hides) which enables them to penetrate through the fiery
zone of a Fire Demon. However, upon entering the Fire Demon's square,
the Battering Ram is consumed by the flames, and both it and the Fire
Demon are removed from the game.
Note that a King or Crown Prince is treated as just another piece, so
a Battering Ram can be used to try to finish the game early.
After a ramming move, a Battering Ram may not move again in any way
(except by an enemy piece capturing it) for the number of moves equal
to the momentum that it built up.
A Battering Ram promotes to a Vertical Mover. Promotion is of course
compulsory if it ends its move intact on the final rank.
- This new piece seems quite interesting, exotic and unusual, which may
explain its inclusion in Tenjiku.
I have a couple of questions:
1) Does the author of the article state the origin of this piece?
Does he/she represent it as being of the same antiquity as Tenjiku,
or is it a more modern invention?
2) This piece promotes to a Vertical Mover, however the Iron General
(which it replaces) promotes to a Vertical Soldier, and the Silver
General also promotes to a Vertical Mover. Is this correct?
3) Does the Battering Ram consume momentum with the first piece it
captures during a ramming move? If the answer is yes then this would
lead to the result that it could not take a piece exactly two squares
forward, as it would have only one point of momentum and would
shatter as it attempted to take this piece.
4) You state that promotion is compulsory if it ends its move intact
on the first rank. However I understand that the rule in Shogi was
that promotion was only compulsory if failure to promote meant that
it could make no other move. For the Battering Ram on the last rank
it would still have an orthogonal sideways move. (Of course it would
always be more rational to promote this piece at the last rank.)
5) If a ramming move leaves the piece in the promotion-zone, can it
escape the rule about not moving again for a number of turns equal to
its momentum by promoting at the end of its move? EG if a Ram
acquires 4 points of momentum during its ramming move, and promotes
on completion of that move, must the promoted piece wait for its four
moves, or can it move immediately?
>>>>> "Colin" == Colin Paul Adams <colin@...> writes:Colin> Two months ago, my wife (who is Chinese, and doesn't read
Colin> kana), showed me an article about Tenjiku Shogi. We have
Colin> finally managed to finish translating it.
I'm surprised that no-one noticed the date of this email of mine.
Subtract 2 months and you might understand a bit more about the
Does anyone have any high-quality images (preferably vector graphics)
of Chu Shogi pieces?