MLP Chess 4.0: The Savannah
The Savannah Setup
Initial setup
Vital statistics
Players 2
Ranks 8
Files 6
Levels 1
Total squares 48
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Mulpfimica 4.0: The Savannah is surprisingly the second Pony-related chess variant. It is my first small-board composition, and it involves the events of this episode.


Savannah Trailer

CV art

This is a small board, measuring 6 files by 8 ranks. Again, perfectly normal board.


In this case, it is an unequal-army game, with different sides having different pieces.

Chief (C)Edit

The chief is a royal piece, again unable to step into any square that is threatened. It moves one square diagonally (Ferz).

Mayor (M)Edit

The Mayor is a royal piece. It moves one square orthogonally.

Even though it's not colorbound and is the complement to the Ferz, it is worth slightly less in fighting power to the Chief. This is because it has only one path from a2 to a4, whereas the Chief has two. This is balanced by making Apploosa able to promote to the stronger pieces, and of course, the first move advantage.

Catapult (C)Edit

The Catapult moves without capturing as a Dabbabahrider limited to two squares (from a1 to a3, and if that one's empty then a5) and captures as a Chinese Cannon would (i.e. like a Rook, but must jump across an arbitrary piece to do so.)

This piece is weak as Rooks go; estimated value at $3.50.

There is no risk of confusion with the Chief because they belong to different sides; however, if you want to be thorough then the letter A would be used for the Catapult.

Warrior (W)Edit

The Warrior moves as a Fibnif, the narrow moves of a Knight (those that move it one file left or right) and the Ferz. It is worth exactly as much as a Knight, though due to the narrowness of this board, perhaps slightly more; however, there aren't many wide pieces in this game to compare it to, though, which makes it rather a moot point.

Rampager (R)Edit

The Rampager is a rampaging piece, thus the name. Its full name would be the Rampaging Short Rook.

Rampager 6-fork

Here the power of the Rampaging move is seen: the RSR in the middle is forking all six White pieces.

The RSR rides one, two, or three squares orthogonally. On any of these squares it can capture an enemy piece, allowing it to capture three pieces simultaneously if lined up right! One can do a null rampage: a rampage that captures nothing.

It has two flavors, the Blind RSR and the Cautious RSR. Players may choose between either pre-game.

  • The BRSR doesn't care if the pieces are friendly or enemy. It just runs over them all, until it reaches its destination.
  • The CRSR immediately stops immediately before a friendly piece.

If you rampage and capture, then you may not rampage and capture again in your next move (you can still rampage and not capture).

An extremely powerful piece, it should be worth as much as a Rook, even with its limited range.

Buffalo (B)Edit

The Buffalo is a Halfling piece. It moves like a Rook, except only half as far as it would on an empty board. A better treatise on halfings can be seen here.

In other words, a Buffalo is a Rook that moves half the way to the edge of the board, rounded up. For instance, a Buffalo on c1 can move to b1 west, c5 north, and e1 east.

Dragon (D)Edit

The Dragon rides as a Bishop or steps as a Wazir, one square orthogonally. This piece is also known as the Dragon Horse in Shogi, thus the name.

It appears in this game mainly as a surrogate Queen-piece, and not actually part of the episode.

Pawn (P)Edit

The Pawn is modified this time, allowing it to move one square in any forward direction. Thus, if it was on c2, it can move to b3, c3 and d3. Because of this added power, it no longer has the double-move option, and with that en-passant's a non-issue as well.

On reaching the eighth rank, it may promote to any piece that was in the game.


This is a table of pieces. The "availability" column shows which side has a piece: A = Apploosans; N = Natives.

Piece Symbol Move Value Availability
Chief C \F & royal* $1,000,000.00 N
Mayor M \W & royal* $1,000,000.00 A
Catapult C or A mDD2cpR* $3.50 A
Warrior W fbNF* $3.00 A
Rampager R rpg({1,2,3}×4dO)* $4.80 N
Buffalo B hhR* $2.50 N
Dragon D BF* $4.30 AN
Pawn P fFfW* $1.50 AN
Piece setup
  1. Mayor: d1
  2. Catapult: a1, f1
  3. Warrior: b1, e1
  4. Dragon: c1
  5. Pawn: a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2
  1. Chief: d1
  2. Rampager: a8, f8
  3. Buffalo: b8, e8
  4. Dragon: c8
  5. Pawn: a8, b8, c8, d8, e8, f8

Words in gold indicate a royal piece. · View Template Page


Rule Zero applies, with the following exceptions:

  • Castling is completely disabled. (This is the only exception.)


The Rampager must be held back at all costs for White, because it's a devastating piece in the middlegame when things are crowded. Black should carry it out when it has good enough support everywhere.

Forget about pawn chains: these pawns allow for much more action-y games, which ruin the power of the Rampager much.

The Dragon is an important piece on both sides, and again should be held on to for as long as possible. Why? Because a) it's the only rider in the game and b) both sides have it, allowing for equal exchanges.

The differing Kings mean different tactics for both sides. It's easy enough to corner and mate both weak Royals, though.




MLPC*s, in chronological order
MLP Chess
MLP Chess 4.0: The Savannah
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MLP Chess 3.0