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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Basic Knightmare Chess Endings #6: The Heir 02/03/2018

20180203_205836-1-1The game-changing cards in Knightmare Chess come with maximum card values of 10. I have a feeling Heir* from the Knightmare 2 set is worth more than 10.

The defensive power of Heir is incalculable, because an heir’s presence allows you to ignore check

If I played a game of Knightmare Chess with a deck limit of n*10 points, I’d consider a deck of n Heirs, and perhaps expect to be accused of exploiting overpowered cards.

The offensive power of Heir is excellent. We generally consider the king’s mobility equal to a knight’s mobility — both pieces move in straight lines (if you don’t see knight moves as straight lines, learn that) of eight directions, but the king is limited to one square, while the knight  moves two squares distant but only to opposite-colored squares (twice the range, half the square color).

However, the heir’s compact movement improves on both the knight and the bishop for close fighting. The knight can be attacked from any square around it, while the bishop can be biffed from the adjacent opposite-colored squares.
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In other words, the standard minor pieces are vulnerable at closest range, but the heir is rock solid. In fact, the heir’s mobility makes it possible to checkmate the enemy king with king plus heir. Usually, the minimum amount of force needed to checkmate the king is knight-plus-bishop (they cover each other’s weakness):

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But the heir  is as good as a queen for checkmate.
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The checkmating procedure is ridiculously simple: Draw a five-square corner around the enemy king, and every time the enemy king moves, redraw the cornering pattern accordingly.
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I don’t have to find another symbol to stand for the heir, since their abilities are exactly the same — they are both kings, and are  both heirs.
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1. Kee2 Kd5 2. Kc2 Ke5 3. Kc3 Kd5 4. Kf3 Ke5 5. Kc4 Kf5 6. Kd5 Kf6  7. Kf4 Kg6 8. Ke6  Kg7 9. Kg5 Kf8 10. Kg6 Kg8  11. Kef7+ Kh8 12. Kfg7#

Relative power of the pieces
Queen: 9 pawns
Royal knight: 7
Amazon: 7
Princess: 6
Paladin: 6
Rook: 5
Bishop: 3
Knight: usually a little less than the bishop
Heir: Mobility equal to the knight, but its real value— like the king — can’t be numbered.
Central pawns: maybe a bit more than 1
Wing pawns: about 1
*Card text: Play this card when your king’s starting square is unoccupied. Place another king on that square. You can now leave one of your kings in check, or even let your opponent capture it You lose the game only when your last king is checkmate.

Categories Knightmare Chess

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