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San Guo Yan Yi Qi» Forums » Variants

Subject: Chess Mahjong for 3 players rss

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Petyr E
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It's based on Shanghai Chess Mahjong rules that I posted here.

Take 1 piece of Yellow Cannon away, all remaining 52 pieces turn face down and shuffle, then build 13 towers each 4 pieces high.

Decide who will be a dealer and from where piece drawing will start. (With dice, for example.)

Each player starting from the dealer takes 1 piece clockwise (i.e. if one tower finished, pick another piece from the next tower clockwise), and finally the dealer takes 5th piece in his hand. Then if he has not won from the very beginning (Heavenly Blessing), he must discard one of pieces. Then the second player counterclockwise picks a piece - either from the discard or from the tower, and if he does not win, he discards one of his pieces etc. The game goal is to make one 3-piece set and one pair. A set may be a chow (3 pieces in a row), or a pung (3 identical pieces) or a kong (4 identical pieces). What I mean in details:

- chow: either Cannon-Knight-Rook or Minister-Assistant-General in one color;
- pung: 3 Pawns in one color or 3 Yellow Rooks;
- kong: 4 Pawns in one color (a player takes another piece from the tower clockwise as a replacement);
- pair: 2 same pieces in one color; also any 2 Generals count as a special pair.

If a player needs a piece just discarded, he calls: "Chow!" - or "Pung!" - shows 2 other pieces which form a set declared and adds the discarded piece to them. And discards 5th piece from his hand. Each call may break game flow, and move goes counterclockwise from the player who revealed the set. And yes, chows here may be called not in player's turn (not like in usual mahjong). Of course, only the latest discard is allowed to take for a melded set.

"Ready hand": when a player need only 1 piece to declare victory, he may say: "Ready hand!" - and gain 1 pt for it if he wins. But the hand freezes since this declaration, and the player must draw from the tower openly: he draws a piece and immediately opens it, and if it fits, he declares victory (hu).

If there are no pieces left and no one won, the game is drawn, no points gained nor spent, and the dealer does not change.

Examples - see in the post I linked in the beginning. Here are other examples:

#5: I have 2 Green Pawns and 2 Red Pawns, it's a ready hand and it waits either for 1 Red Pawn or 1 Green Pawn.

#6: I have Green General and Black Cannon-Knight-Rook chow. I wait for another one General to make a special pair and win.

#7: I have 2 Black Rooks and 2 Yellow Rooks. I wait for the last Yellow Rook to win.

When a player wins, he counts his points:
- victory - 1 pt
- last tile from the tower - 1 pt
- dealer - 1 pt
- ready hand declared - 1 pt
- self-drawn - 2 pts
- 3 pawns in one color and 2 pawns in another color - 2 pts
- Generals pair - 2 pts
- one color - 3 pts (not 2 because it's harder than with usual chess set)
- all pawns in one color - 5 pts
- Earthly Blessing - 6 pts (non-dealer winning with the first draw; not with the first discard)
- Heavenly Blessing - 8 pts (dealer wins immediately, without discards)
- consecutive dealings - 4 pts for 3rd dealing in a row, 6 pts for 4th dealing in a row, 8 pts for 5th dealing etc.

No points absorb, so all pawns in one color are 7 pts actually, Heavenly Blessing worth 9 pts (this + dealer) etc.

If a player wins by self draw, all other players pay him the value of his hand. If a player won from other player's discard, then only that player pays value of winner's hand to the winner. (Just like in Taiwanese mahjong.) If a player discards piece that is needed all other players to win, he pays for all hands, but he becomes the dealer in the next hand. Otherwise the winner is the new dealer. If the game is drawn, dealer does not change.

And now I'd like to offer some additions for this 4-colored version.

Declaring kongs: there can be a concealed kong (all 4 Pawns came into player's hand; player declares: "Kong!" - all 4 Pawns put aside, and a replacement is taken), a big melded kong (one player has a concealed pung of Pawns, then another player discards a 4th Pawn, and then the player with pung calls: "Kong!" - reveals 3 Pawns and adds 4th to them, then a replacement is taken) or a small melded kong (one player has a melded pung of Pawns, then he takes 4th Pawn from the tower, calls: "Kong!" - and puts 4th Pawn to the pung, and then a replacement is taken; this kong may be robbed). Points for kongs: 1 for melded, 2 for concealed, 1 for robbing a kong, 1 for winning on a replacement for a kong. A kong may be robbed for a pair in a ready hand, evidently.

2 points for "All Rooks": the pung of Yellow Rooks and a pair of Rooks of another color.

"Top officers": player has a chow of Minister-Assistant-General and a pair of Ministers or Assistants or Generals. Counts 3 points.

"Lower officers": player has a chow of Cannon-Knight-Rook and a pair of Cannons or Knights or Rooks. Counts 2 points.

"Great Council": if a player gathers in his hand all 4 Generals, he wins immediately with 5 points (2 points more if self-drawn).

"Battle to the Bloody End": after first winning, all other players continue playing, like in Sichuan mahjong (Sichuan Bloody Rules). So the first winner closes his hand and marks from where he's won (from the tower or from another player), and the game continues counterclockwise. It may finish in 2 ways: a) only 1 player loses; b) 2 and more players lose. With case a everything is simple, just count all hands and take into account how they were taken: victory from another player is paid by that player only, victory by self draw is paid by all players who were playing at that moment (players already won do not pay). With case b it's a bit more complex: if one player has a ready hand and the other player has not, then the other player pays cost of that ready hand (1 for "ready hand" and maybe for other fans, like "one color").

Joker: remove one Yellow Rook and take Yellow Cannon instead - this Yellow Cannon is a Joker now, it may replace any piece in a set, but not in a pair. It may not be a General for the "Great Council" though.

Not only 3 players may play: it's also good for 4 players.

Please ask me if something is not clear or balanced.
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