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Chess 2: The Sequel» Forums » Variants

Subject: Dueling disabled? rss

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cruiser bismark
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I don't like dueling. Is the game still balanced without it?
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David Engle
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It seems to me the game is badly unbalanced with dueling.

The potential loss in a duel of an attacking queen for the Reaper army,
or the loss of an attacking King for the Two Kings army is a
much greater risk than the Classic, Empowered or Nemesis armies typically face when they attack.

So, some of the armies are inherently more disadvantaged by the defenders ability to demand a duel.

 
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David Sirlin
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Well that's false of course. Dueling is part of the game and the armies are balanced with that in mind. It's not like it was added at the end or something. Even if it turns out that the Reaper army is weak, the solution that problem would be to tweak the Reaper rules somehow. To put it another way, if you removed the dueling, balance would be much worse.

Another problem here is that removing the dueling would be a shallower game. One reason is that you'd hope that knowing something about the opponent's thoughts and tendencies should count for something, rather than nothing, but in games of perfect information it kind of counts for nothing. So dueling allows that interesting skill to be tested, rather than not.

Second and more importantly, it goes a very long way in exploding the possibility space of openings to the point that developing opening books becomes extremely hard. So that has the good property of making intuition and adaptation more important than memorizing volumes of book openings.

Third and more important than either of previous two points is that it raises the mechanic raises the skill ceiling a lot (a desirable property in a competitive game), and in a very particular way. Like imagine if we took chess and added a component where you bake a cake in the middle of playing. That also "raises the skill ceiling" because you have to be good at chess and also cake baking, but that's a dumb way to raise it. The best possible way to raise would be to take a skill that is central the game already, and magnify it. The skill of "valuation" is already central to chess. As a rule of thumb, a pawn is worth 1 point, a bishop 3 points, etc, but that's just a generality. Being a good player means knowing the changing values of pieces in different situations. Right now, maybe that bishop is worth more like 3.5 points because of its position. Or 5 points because it's just THAT threatening. If you have a better sense than your opponent about the true value of pieces in particular situations, then the duel mechanic is exactly how you cash in on that advantage. While at first glance it appears to be about a new skill (reading the opponent) that's not usually a thing in chess, it's really more testing your valuation skills, which is a core component of chess.

So...we could offer a mode that didn't have the mechanic, but for the three reasons above it would kind of just be worse. I would considering doing it anyway, but it's kind of sad to lose known-good properties and then on top of that to need to rebalance a bunch of stuff just for that mode. It would be better if people gave it a shot and explored and experienced the good properties of the mechanic, first.
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Benji T
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I've been a big fan since reading the rules, and playing the game several times have made me believe that this is a game for the ages. Yes, the rules could have been better written or formatted, and a more comprehensive FAQ could be done up. But overall, chess 2 is still amazing.

Part of this is due to dueling. Unfortunately for those who don't like dueling, I think it is a big balancing factor. Each army has its strong pieces, and both players are aware of which pieces, and how valuable these pieces are (subjectively at least). So what dueling introduces is the chance for a defender to remove strong pieces. Attackers are at an advantage anyway, winning ties and being able to vall bluffs. Defenders can bait the strong pieces and duel to rid the board of those pieces. It really adds so much: mind games, meta-strategy, bluffing, and a bit more speed by having pieces captured more quickly.

I urge you to simply try the game a few times before deciding if the game is poorly done or if dueling is not for you.

PS. The reaper army is neither stronger nor weaker than others. The reaper may capture almost anywhere, making it crazy strong. Defenders have to pay one stone to initiate a duel, so have to pay more stones on average than attackers. This is balanced by the single reaper that can be captured just like all pieces. So the reaper cannot indiscriminately slaughter. There is never complete balance, but I feel that completely balanced games are a little boring. I enjoy playing using a weaker army and fighting uphill to win.
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Edouard Lorenceau
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daengle wrote:
or the loss of an attacking King for the Two Kings army is a
much greater risk than...

whoawhoawhoa... You can't duel a king! The rules mention (quite funnily) Diplomatic immunity! otherwise, an attack with a warrior king could end in a game over!
 
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JW Weatherman
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You cannot duel a king, any king, period.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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What if:

1 Remove the pawn's ability to initiate a duel when captured.
2 Force every player to always bid 1 during a duel.

This allows a deterministic duel (it really should be named retribution or revenge) and keeps the pawn capture dynamic. And the bid stone resource resource.
 
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