What are the board dimensions?
The board may be anywhere from 2x2 to 64x64. Most levels have a board in the range of 6x6 to 12x15.
What is the objective of the game?
The objective is to capture (not necessarily checkmate!) all enemy kings, or capture all enemy pieces. Different armies will specify which objective will defeat them. Also note, your army has its own defeat condition too! By the way, an army may have two or more kings.
Is checkmate or stalemate any different?
Yes. In Scenario Chess, you have to actually capture the king. Therefore, there’s no checkmate and stalemate. In Scenario Chess, it’s perfectly legal to place a king in check (or leave it in check). If all possible moves result in a player's king in check, the player still has to move.
What happens to an army when it loses its last king?
There are five possible outcomes. Nothing may happen, the army may disappear, the army may convert to the capturing army, the army may turn to stone, or the army may die and turn into inert but capturable corpses.
Each player has its own On-King-Death action, which can be seen in the Details Display (F3) beside “OKD”. When OKD is set to nothing, this lets a king be just another chess piece. Remember that an army may have multiple kings, and the OKD action only triggers when the last king of an army dies.
Is there any castling or en passant?
No, neither. The setup positions are too abstract for those special moves of normal chess.
Are there any new special moves?
Self-capture may be enabled, which allows a piece to capture another piece from the same army. This is intended for emergencies where a piece really needs to move to an occuppied square. However, as of version 1.04, no level has self-capturing enabled for any army.
Ally-capture may also be enabled or disabled for any given army. Of course, this is not recommended unless there’s no alternative.
Is pawn promotion any different?
Yes, it can be. Sometimes promotion pieces are restricted, so for example you could only choose a knight or bishop. Sometimes you will have the choice to promote to a king! Sometimes you will have a choice to stay a pawn. Any combination of the six pieces enabled or disabled is possible.
Where are pawn promotion squares?
They’re marked with 5-pointed stars. Sometimes a level will not have any, despite having pawns on the board. Note, promotion squares of different players may coincide on the same square, in which case the colors will blend. You can turn on or off the visibility of any player's promotion squares in the Details Display (F3).
How do pawns move?
Pawns have two distinct ranges, the range of its first move, and the range for all of its subsequent moves. In normal chess, the ranges are 2 and 1 respectively. In Scenario Chess, the ranges can be any number from 1 to 63.
In addition, pawns have move directions and attack directions. In normal chess, the move direction (for white) is straight up and the attack directions (for white) are up-right and up-left. In Scenario Chess, the move directions and attack directions may be any combination of the eight directions.
Typically, armies will be confined to either normal pawn movement or 4-way pawns, which can move in any orthoganal direction, but only capture in any diagonal direction.
How do knights move?
Knights move normally, but may be able to take one step in an orthogonal or diagonal direction (but cannot capture this way). This is called a Commutable Knight, and was implemented for symmetry with the Commutable Bishop.
To see if an army has this special rule enabled, go to the Details Display (F3) and look for “NC”.
How do bishops move?
Bishops move normally, but may be able to take one step in any orthogonal direction (but cannot capture this way). This is called a Commutable Bishop, and was implemented to allow bishops not to be confined to half the board (light or dark squares).
To see if an army has this special rule enabled, go to the Details Display (F3) and look for “BC”.
How do rooks move?
Rooks move normally, but may be able to take one step in any diagonal direction (but cannot capture this way). This is called a Commutable Rook, and was implemented for symmetry with the Commutable Bishop.
To see if an army has this special rule enabled, go to the Details Display (F3) and look for “RC”.
How do queens move?
Queens move normally.
How do kings move?
Kings move normally, except it is legal to place or leave a king in check. Instead of checkmate, you have to actually capture the king.
How do I cross rivers?
Look for bridges. Drawbridges are toggled by switches, which have a dotted line around their square. Hover your mouse over the switch to see a highlight over which bridge it controls. Move a piece onto the switch to active it.
But if a piece is on the bridge when it rises, the piece will fall off! The piece will be captured this way.
Note, diagonally moving pieces may not need a bridge if there's a catty-corner riverbank. Any two free squares, if diagonally adjacent, are connected and traversible by diagonally moving pieces even if there's a small bit of water between them (unless fences block the way).
In the future, there will be turnbridges, warps, and boats.
What are fences?
Fences are thin walls, so to speak. They do not take up space on a square, so a piece can still be placed on the square. But they block movement to or from that square in a particular direction.
What are gates?
Gates are fences that can be toggled passable and impassible. They usually take the form of a metal gate raising or lowering, or some kind of turnpike.
Gates are not yet implemented fully.
What are turnbridges?
Turnbridges are bridges that are only passable in limited directions. In other words, the turnbridge has walls (fences). The turnbridge is rotated with switches.
Turnbridges are not yet implemented.
What are warps?
Warps are squares that allow teleportation to another warp of the same color. A piece has to land on the warp to use it. Warps may be unpowered and unusable until toggled on by a switch.
Warps are not yet implemented.
What are boats?
Boats are platforms on water that can be moved in any direction, so long as there is room on the water to hold it. All pieces on the boat will move with it. Control of a boat defers to any player who has a piece on the boat during his or her turn, regardless of any other pieces that may be on the boat. Boats may have fences around some or all of its edges.
Boats are not yet implemented.