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Abstract Strategy games with Variable Movement rules
Martin Grider
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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What do I mean by variable movement? Well, if the same piece can move in different ways, depending on some factor, or multiple factors. This is not well defined, I suppose. UPDATE: Perhaps a better distinction -- if the piece's movement changes during the game by some method controlled by the player. So the rules of movement for a specific piece can, themselves, be influenced by the player.

Feel free to add games, and (if necessary) we can debate whether they qualify!

I suppose I should also qualify: What is meant by Abstract Strategy? Well, I'm leaving the definition here loose as well. I guess I don't really care about the "Abstract Strategy" nature so much as whether the game is strategic in some way, and also it is won or lost by piece movement on a grid of some kind.
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1. Board Game: PerSiVic [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Martin Grider
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Minneapolis
Minnesota
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This is the game that I stumbled onto that caused me to start this list. Quite interesting movement rules, I think.
 
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2. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:185]
Martin Grider
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Love the idea of this game (though I have yet to play it myself). Each piece may move according to cards that you cycle through in the course of the game. The card you play will go to your opponent next turn, and vice versa.
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3. Board Game: Essentia [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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A chess variant in which all pieces are identical, but have various traditional chess moves determined by the type of terrain on the square they currently occupy.
 
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4. Board Game: Cannon [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:5162]
Russ Williams
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Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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A single piece can move in one of the 3 forward directions (straight ahead or diagonally ahead). 3 pieces in a line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) can move together one space in either direction along the line.

Cf. Epaminondas, Dameo, and various other with this kind of mechanism.
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5. Board Game: Octi [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:3760]
Martin Grider
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Minneapolis
Minnesota
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From the BGG description:

Quote:
On each move players decide whether to bring in new pieces, upgrade their existing pieces, or move a piece.


It's the upgrading of existing pieces that changes the piece movement (and qualifies the game for this list).
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6. Board Game: All The King's Men [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:11825]
Mil Myman
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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AKA All the King's Men

The directions the pieces can move is dependent on the square they are on.
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7. Board Game: The Duke [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:429]
Martin Grider
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This only just qualifies, I guess, since each pieces has only one (boolean) variable that determines its movement. But it is still quite an interesting movement mechanic.
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8. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:423] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Mil Myman
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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Obviously, but not applying to all pieces.

Pawns move differently depending on whether they are capturing, and also depending on whether they are on the second rank.

Kings and Rooks have the option to castle in one circumstance, but not in others.
 
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9. Board Game: Terrace [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:3825]
Mil Myman
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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All pieces move the same way, but move differently depending on whether they are capturing or not.
 
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10. Board Game: Proteus [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:4775]
Martin Grider
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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In Proteus, you move one of your die-shaped-pieces according to the kind of chess piece that is shown on its top, then you rotate another piece to change its movement style for subsequent turns.
 
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11. Board Game: Cheaoss [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Stephen Tavener
United Kingdom
London
England
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The combination of colour of piece + colour of square defines movement
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12. Board Game: Gess [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Stephen Tavener
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England
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For some definition of 'piece'
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13. Board Game: Chase [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3781]
Robert Rossney
United States
San Francisco
California [CA]
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The piece are dice that indicate how far they may move. But they're never rolled. Rather, you may transfer pips from one die to an adjacent die, or split a high-value die into two dice (whose values sum to the original value) by moving it into the central space.
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14. Board Game: Pikemen [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:6649]
David Gibbs
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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A piece can move only in the direction it is pointed -- but at the end of a move, it can be pointed in any direction. Or, it can be pointed upwards, in which case it can't move, but defends.
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15. Board Game: Kamisado [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1163]
Paolo Vigo
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16. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:204]
col_w
United Kingdom
Poole
Dorset
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If using the mosquito expansion, the mosquito's movement can change turn by turn - it can move the same was as any other piece it's touching.
 
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17. Board Game: Checkers [Average Rating:4.86 Overall Rank:16396]
Chris Schumann
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Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Pieces can move and jump backward after reaching the far edge of the board.

Does move vs. jump also count?
 
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18. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1097]
Chris Schumann
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Saint Paul
Minnesota
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Most pieces can get promoted in the last three rows of the board, changing how they move.

Captured pieces always return in their non-promoted state.
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19. Board Game: Tricolor [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Dieter Stein
Germany
Freising
Bayern
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Pieces gain "strength" from being stacked and by the color factor of the hex they stand on.
 
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20. Board Game: Ayanu [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:8826]
Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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Each piece consists of a body, determining range, and a head, determining direction. After each move, the active piece must change heads with another piece.

Great game, by the way.
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21. Board Game: Tacticum [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
Abraham Gray
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It plays a lot like Petteia, with custodial capture. But pieces in formations get new movement and defensive powers. Form a column of three pieces, and they can march straight ahead and capture by replacement. A 2x2 block of pieces moves slower, but cannot be captured via custodial capture.
 
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22. Board Game: DiceWar: Roots of Mali [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:9803] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Daniel Theuerkaufer
Germany
Freiburg
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I found your list when browsing for "abstract" GeekLists. So here is debating whether DiceWar: Roots of Mali or its predecessor DiceWar: Light of Dragons qualify for variable movement rules. In both games players have 6 different characters. Basic movement isn't variable because it is always 1 space horizontally or vertically. Some creatures instead move 1 space diagonally. However, some creatures have special abilities that allow them do move differently when a certain condition is met.

Example: the SHADOW RUNNER from Roots of Mali. Standard movement as for any other creature is 1 space horizontally or vertically. Its special ability allows the SHADOW RUNNER to move through an own adjacent shadow runner. Thus he can move 2 spaces when he is adjacent to another own Shadow Runner. A condition that can be created by the player. The Shadow Runner may also move out of the board sideways, and back in on the other side. He may then make 2 2nd move.

Does that qualify for variable movement rules?
 
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