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1313663486 Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:31
SUBJECT ????
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AUTHOR Anonymous

1313692574 Thu Aug 18, 2011 20:36
SUBJECT greetings
Greetings to all hnefatafl junkies and other intelligent life-forms out there. There are some hnefatafl guidelines and diagrams on my website: [url:trz1ykaz]http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section502917.html[/url:trz1ykaz] with explanations of rules and some strategy - more to follow later. See you across the Board of Destiny... crust
AUTHOR crust

1313733212 Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:53
SUBJECT Re: greetings
Very useful, thank you crust. Some months ago I made a list of different openings and their winning chances (a bit like in chess and keeping the fact in mind that it is not important from which edge the opening starts). I will try to get them out of my old pc, actualize them with the new dates from the tournament and then publish them maybe here. Greetings
AUTHOR Roderich

1313738997 Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:29
SUBJECT Re: greetings
To Roderich That would be great! I noticed during the tournament that you were using a new form of "millar gambit declined" that is, after 1. d1 -d3, e5 - e2 you played 2. g1 - g2 instead of g1 - g3. I can see its advantages... Adam and I have also been experimenting with 2. f2 - i2 as a way of declining the gambit, have you tried that one? I'll have a look if it's in any of the tournament games. crust
AUTHOR crust

1313786689 Fri Aug 19, 2011 22:44
SUBJECT proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Recently I suggested that the players on this website should form an International Hnefatafl Society (working title), and this idea was supported by several other players. Very loosely, this group would aim to promote the game of hnefatafl and bring it to a wider public, while also encouraging the international community of hnefatafl players which already exists thanks to Aage Nielsen’s website. Such a society could also act as a resource for people in related fields such as historical research or re-enactment, who want to know more about hnefatafl. We could present demonstrations or organise tournaments, or put people in touch with those who can. There are several historical festivals such as Spectaculum in Germany ([url:2fsocv2p]http://www.spectaculum.de/[/url:2fsocv2p]) which would welcome someone with some expertise to introduce the game and maybe run a tournament. I did this in Yorkshire, UK, and the hnefatafl was a very popular part of the Viking festival there, and I know Adam has had similar experience in Norway. We could also have an online newsletter, with reports of hnefatafl-related news, game analysis, and of course a “hnefatafl problem” like the chess problems published in newspapers. There are two organisations dedicated to hnefatafl that I know of, the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel (which runs the World Quickplay Hnefatafl Championship) and the Tafl Gild (yahoo discussion group). The FHP did a lot of work testing out various rule-sets before settling on the one we know as “the Fetlar rules”, and started the World Quickplay Championships in 2008. (more info here: [url:2fsocv2p]http://www.fetlar.org/hnefatafl-world-championship[/url:2fsocv2p] ) As you may know, the championship was cancelled this year because of the serious illness of the organiser, Peter Kelly. I wish him a speedy recovery! At this stage, it is not clear how active the other members of the FHP are, but it seems likely that the championship will be back in 2012. The Tafl Gild ([url:2fsocv2p]http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/taflgild/[/url:2fsocv2p]) has recently moved onto Facebook, where I have slightly lost track of it, but I have no doubt it is still out there, with its scholarly debates on the historical aspects of tafl games. It would not be the intention of any society based here to replace any function of either of these two organisations. Indeed, friendly links with both should be sought. This is not any kind of manifesto, however if we do proceed, I think we should have some statement of our aims, and some ideas of how to go about achieving them. At the moment, all I’m asking for is reactions, ideas, suggestions and responses. If there is not enough interest at the moment, or it turns out to be a bad idea for some reason, that’s o.k.! Nobody is going to be upset. Personally, I think the excitement generated by the recent internet tournament, and the incredibly high standard of play on show, are things we can build on. It would be good to keep up the momentum, and see eventually a real renaissance of hnefatafl, a game which does not deserve its present obscurity. I hope that this proposed hnefatafl society will in time come to be recognised as having some sort of official status, for instance, if someone runs a hnefatafl tournament in their home town, they could say it was done under the auspices of the International Hnefatafl Society, with links to similar tournaments in other towns… who knows, we may even get to the stage of having national teams, and a tournament that players would be prepared to travel great distances to participate in. Until that great day, we are lucky to have our internet community at aagenielsen.dk – greetings to you all! Tim Millar a.k.a. "crust"
AUTHOR crust

1313788229 Fri Aug 19, 2011 23:10
SUBJECT Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Hello fellow players. The idea for this thread, as suggested by Aage on the game page forum, is to gather opinions and ultimately vote on what the international tournament rules should be for the 11x11 board. We can set up another for 9x9 to keep things simple. I think we should start by using this thread to air opinions and experiences regarding what makes the most balanced and functional rule set for [i:1dmjwrk0]experienced[/i:1dmjwrk0] players. So if you are new to this site, PLEASE try out the variations yourself first. Playing two games is not enough! After twenty years of playing I am still being surprised by new strategies. Many opinions one reads online about hnefetafl rule reconstruction get bogged down in archeological source arguments. Those arguments are important, but in short, the existing sources are too vague to be sure about the rule details, so unless a glacier melts to reveal a viking rule book, we are stuck with playing the game in its many reconstructed variants and using experience and discussion to decide what seems to work best as an enthralling and complex strategy game. Aage's site has given us that possibility, and it is a goldmine of data. This thread is of course open to thoughts on the original sources, but as the experts haven't come to a solid conclusion our focus should be on quality of reconstructed gameplay. One might fairly ask, why choose one rule set for tournaments if we can't know for sure? Simply because this game is likely to remain a curiosity as long as we can't agree on the rules, much as football matches often descended into chaos prior to the founding of the football association: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Footba ... on#History I look forward to the day we can all sit around a table (no doubt virtual) and draft the official international rules. But before that we need to vote between the variations, and before that, lets have some focused debate. [color=#40BF00:1dmjwrk0]Pole now added! I have included only the basic rule sets from the gaming page. All rule sets assume that all pieces can move any number of squares available to them (not one step at a time), that the throne is passable by all pieces but only the king can stop on it, that the corners are hostile to all pieces, that the king can participate in capture both as anvil and hammer, and that the throne is hostile to the king (e.g. 3 pieces can capture a king next to the throne.) We assume the starting position is with black forming a diamond. All these details will need to be confirmed through a second pole once we have a clear favorite from the basic rule sets [/color:1dmjwrk0]
AUTHOR Adam

1313789916 Fri Aug 19, 2011 23:38
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
I rather like the idea of aping the FA, being that our situation is rather like that of football in the 1800s. What about The NA, The Nefatavl Association (to use the danish spelling for hnefatafl), or IHA, the international hnefatafl association? Association has a more official quality than society. And I agree that we should draft our common goals, and extend friendly links to the Fetlar panel and the Taflgild.
AUTHOR Adam

1313790121 Fri Aug 19, 2011 23:42
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Don't forget, this discussion had already begun on the gamepages original forum, and Aage has condensed much of the players experiences into his notes about the rules. So be sure to read up before posting.
AUTHOR Adam

1313833053 Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:37
SUBJECT Re: greetings
[quote="crust":3ii0xbh3]To Roderich That would be great! I noticed during the tournament that you were using a new form of "millar gambit declined" that is, after 1. d1 -d3, e5 - e2 you played 2. g1 - g2 instead of g1 - g3. I can see its advantages... Adam and I have also been experimenting with 2. f2 - i2 as a way of declining the gambit, have you tried that one? I'll have a look if it's in any of the tournament games. crust[/quote:3ii0xbh3] This 2. f2-i2 I haven't tried it myself, but I've seen it sometimes and it seems to be an alternative. First step of my analisis of more than 50 matches is done so far. I'll post it in response to Adam's posting.
AUTHOR Roderich

1313834368 Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:59
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Hi Adam, here's a first contribution from me. I've analized 54 shetland-fetlar-games from Aage's Homepage (including the tournament games) to find out if this variant is well balanced. Result: The shetland variant is indeed surprisingly well-balanced. We've got 39% wins for black, 17% draws and 44% wins for white. As we can see there is a slight advantage for white, but I think that a variable between 1% and 5% is quite normal, also considering that 54 games is not enough for a definitive conclusion. There is still no winning "formula", even extraordinaryly competent players like Tim or Pedro lose sometimes with their "strong" color against average players with good ideas. The amount of draws increased noticeably with the recent tournament games, this is a phenomenon we will find more often during "important" games : white will always try to keep a chance for draw, that is for an important half point. What I still don't like about white is that it may force a draw without black having a chance to avoid it. For sure it's rare that a player does that two times in tournament, but we should create a rule for or against it, somehow ... any ideas? I'm afraid, I can't upload neither pdf nor docx files here, so if some of you are interested in a preview of my little analisis, I can send it to you per E-Mail. Next step will be to proof if there are types of openings, as in chess, that are more likely to win, or rather which these are. But therefore I need more time and more games to be played! ;) PS: If something can't be understood, just ask again. My English is not as good as it could be!
AUTHOR Roderich

1313836694 Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:38
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
IHA looks and sounds good. I'm agreeing with Tim that the best chance to promote Tafl is in the right atmosphere - medieval markets and similar events. Maybe a Tafl Association also would be a signal for the oversaturated game market to produce some more Tafl games. This is necessary because in Germany for example it's really difficult to get a Tafl board. Without knowing it I bought mine from a clandestine nazi-shop which misuses nordic objects and symbols as usual. I regret that a lot, but it just shows that there is a deficiency. I'm not willing to throw my board away anyway (if "board" is the right word for this thin piece of paperboard), because it's the best one I could get here.
AUTHOR Roderich

1313843273 Sat Aug 20, 2011 14:27
SUBJECT A comment about testing of rules
There is in Lejre in Denmark a "Centre for Historical-Archaeological Research and Communication". Here archaeologists do live experiments like fx. building iron age houses as authentically as possible, families live iron age lives in the houses, and one day a house is burned down and left in ruins for many years, to be excavated after even many more years and compared to real iron age house excavations. The same thing is done at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, building as authentic as possible Viking ships and crossing the North Sea with a hundred men. I think we are doing a bit of the same here with the historical Hnefatafl game. A group of experienced players try out in live games various variations and combinations of game rules known from historical sources, sometimes clearly, sometimes not completely clearly described. If a rule set turns out to work really well in such skilled games, we are on the right track. Whereas rule sets which does not work really well, are probably not valid (but can have been used in "unskilled" games between players of unequal strength). Imagine that when a Viking had some spare time in the evening, he would certainly not turn on the TV like modern man does - he would go visit some neighbours, keep up the good relations so that they'd not kill him but he'd have their friendly support in hard situations, he'd have a good talk, tell and listen to good stories, and they'd have a good game or two of Hnefatafl or other board games for pastime. Now, these people, using this board game for hundreds upon hundreds of years, would not come out with a rules set that doesn't work! Neil N. Peterson [url=http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm:8i5led8e]in his research paper on Hnefatafl from 2001[/url:8i5led8e] gives many good considerations on the Hnefatafl rules. He and a team did a series of test games using various rules variants, but an important source of error was that the test players were not experienced. [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_comments_en.html:8i5led8e]aagenielsen.dk[/url:8i5led8e] also gives some considerations on the Hnefatafl rules.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1313861375 Sat Aug 20, 2011 19:29
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
I am in favor of creating an "International Hnefatafl <Association/Society>". So how do we get this started? There's some support for it already, and there will only be more interest once we have something started.
AUTHOR Beadle

1313879713 Sun Aug 21, 2011 0:35
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Hi Roderich, thanks for getting the ball rolling : ) You are quite right about the draw positions. I am considering opening up a topic about the pros and cons of them. On balance I feel they enrich the game enormously, but as you say there is the potential in a tournament for white to refuse to enter into battle at all with the pictured monstrosity I like to call 'The Skulking King'. Crust and I have discussed it at some length, and I think the most compelling solution, if we agree there is a problem, might be a weighted tournament scoring system. To quote Crust from an email "A way of dealing with it in a tournament situation might be to award 4 points for a win, one for a draw and none for a defeat. (instead of the usual 1, 1/2, 0 system) - a draw would still be better than a defeat, but the temptation to go for a win would be greater." I'll leave it to the mathematicians among us to figure out if that would work in reality.
AUTHOR Adam

1313880309 Sun Aug 21, 2011 0:45
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Roderich":3gxl8z6a] There is still no winning "formula", even extraordinaryly competent players like Tim or Pedro lose sometimes with their "strong" color against average players with good ideas. [/quote:3gxl8z6a] This hits the nail on the head for this rule set quest. In short, there shouldn't be a winning formula. If there is, then all we have is glorified naughts and crosses, which I believe is what happens on the 7x7 board. Keep up the good work Roderich and let us know what you turn up. : )
AUTHOR Adam

1313885097 Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:04
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
The win:4 Draw:1 Lose:0 system sounds good, but perhaps excessive. Rather than a win counting for 4 points, I might set it at 3 points. I might not have any direct experience, but the math makes more sense to me that way, at least. We still want the draw option to have some value. Compared to the 2:1 ratio with the current system, the 3:1 system would make a draw 2/3 as beneficial as it is now. With the 4:1 system, a draw would be 1/2 as beneficial as it is now. That's the math. Choosing between 2:1. 3:1. and 4:1 is all a matter of opinion though. Experienced players will have a better idea of how the balance should work than I do.
AUTHOR Beadle

1313912762 Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:46
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
The idea of giving more points for a win is in my opinion the right way – it motivates the player to take a risk, which is very important, although as student of literature I can't know if Beadle's 3 or your 4 points are the better option. :? Anyway, you know then that you can't barely get a good position point-wise if you don't try to win. And I agree with you, Adam, I like the possibility to force a draw – it contributes a lot to the game's intensity. I think that there's only one problem left: imagine one player who has won all games from a tournament so far and who for reasons of calculations doesn't need points, or rather needs exactly a half point to win the tournament. What will he probably do playing white? He will built a draw fort – "The Skulking King" –. This would bring him on position n. 1 and a very unsatisfied opponent who won't have had a chance. The question seems to be, if we accept that as a "natural" game mechanism (then the winner shouldn't be blamed nor the loser pitied), or if we try to somehow prohibit this. In the attachment you can finally find the announced file that I spoke off. Those 54 fetlar matches are those that I've found in the games archives which I have access to. If you have more noticeable games that should be in that list (there should be a lot since I took a long break from tafl in between), especially the ones between our advanced players, you can give the dates to me in the format of my file. This file is the base of my upcoming "researches" and will be updated regularly. Any suggestions for improvement of my overview are welcome! EDIT: One more thing. I don't know if this is the right place to discuss that, but I really would like to know which are the established opening names and their exact coordinates – whatever starting position – so far (the Millar Gambit does already "exist", doesn't it?). This would make it easier talking about strategy in the future.
AUTHOR Roderich

1313913872 Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:04
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Adam":3vu462qh]there is the potential in a tournament for white to refuse to enter into battle at all with the pictured monstrosity I like to call 'The Skulking King'.[/quote:3vu462qh] thanks Adam for reminding me of this monstrosity - achieved in 2 moves! I notice that it only works as a draw fort if white keeps the King on the throne, and only moves the piece on f5 to e5 and back. If the King moves, the whole position can be taken apart. I agree it's a monstrosity, but it's quite interesting in its own right! I would prefer to discourage this kind of draw-seeking through a points system, rather than through a rule which prohibits it. However, that would only work in a tournament situation, where points are sought. It wouldn't help when playing a single game outside a tournament. Then, you're just relying on the sense of shame which should normally attach to such bad sportsmanship! However, I would not want to discourage that kind of play which happens when white suddenly abandons assaults on the corners, and switches to trying to achieve a draw position - those games can be great, and getting a draw can feel like a kind of victory under those circumstances. We just want to stop white from going for an easy draw straight away. If anyone can think of a RULE which would prevent white just going for a draw straight away, without affecting the formation of draws later on in the game, I'd like to consider it! Naturally, WE are far too honourable to indulge in frivolous draw-seeking, but we might find ourselves up against less scrupulous opponents in future... and this issue has the potential to spoil a tournament if we're not careful. Thanks Roderich for your brilliant work on Fetlar results, if you don't mind I would like to forward your analysis to Peter Kelly in Shetland. It might cheer him up. Hello Beadle really good to have your contribution as well. You are probably right about 4:1:0 being too extreme, I think I used the 3:1:0 points system in Yorkshire, and it worked well, though the players were all relative beginners and maybe didn't suspect they could get a draw so easily (because I didn't tell them..) Possibly if they were all grand masters, they would need more threats to make them behave! crust
AUTHOR crust

1313925506 Sun Aug 21, 2011 13:18
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote:2f60h4fd]Thanks Roderich for your brilliant work on Fetlar results, if you don't mind I would like to forward your analysis to Peter Kelly in Shetland. It might cheer him up.[/quote:2f60h4fd] You all may use it as you want to, especially to cheer someone up! =)
AUTHOR Roderich

1313992080 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:48
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Roderich":348cb7hx]I don't know if this is the right place to discuss that, but I really would like to know which are the established opening names and their exact coordinates – whatever starting position – so far (the Millar Gambit does already "exist", doesn't it?).[/quote:348cb7hx] So far the names are unofficial, the establishment of an international hnefetafl society/association (see Crusts topic which talks about this) would be the first step in setting such names in stone. Names that do pop up are ones that we have used in the forum and game chat, and as seems befitting, the ones that help us stick. Crust and I started using the name Millar Gambit (e.g. white G5 to G2) when crust (real name Tim Millar) started using that opening regularly and we started seriously looking at good responses for black. It lead to the term 'Millar Gambit declined' for one promising response (white G5 to G2 - black E1 to E3), though now that we have a few variations on that we'll need to expand the terminology. Also it looks like white then playing D6 to D4 makes the Millar Gambit declined a fairly bad move. Probably need a new topic to hammer that one out though : ) The draw forts are great fun to name, Tim has had a crack at it on his draw forts page on his website: http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section509308.html Otherwise, if you start finding patterns or spot what looks like the origin of a distinct strategy, feel free so suggest a name for it! I agree they help enormously when playing and discussing. This is a renaissance after all, we are like the first astronomers discovering and naming the moons of Jupiter!
AUTHOR Adam

1313997172 Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:12
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Adam":3gnftxqy]there is the potential in a tournament for white to refuse to enter into battle at all with the pictured monstrosity I like to call 'The Skulking King'.[/quote:3gnftxqy] What about white wins: 1-0 black wins: 0-1 draw: 0-0 If the weakest player in a ten player tournament decides to cheat, using "The skulking King", he'll have 9 draws as white and 9 defeats as black. This would with the 1/2-1/2 point system give him a score of 4.5 points. But with a 0-0 point system this strategy would give him 0 points. With a 0-0 point system, the only way to better your score position is to win. The reward for going for a draw when everything else fails, is that you prevent your opponent from earning one point as well.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1313999601 Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:53
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Very interesting list of openings, Roderich created. For identifying and analysing different opening moves and responses to these, would it be an idea to "normalize" the moves to the first quadrant of the board (a1-a6-f6-f1) ? As a hnefatafl board is eight-fold symmetric, fx. the opening moves d1-d3, h1-h3, a4-c4, a8-c8, k4-i4, k8-i8, d11-d9 and h11-h9 are in fact identical.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1314003096 Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:51
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Hagbard":9hz8t6ig]Very interesting list of openings, Roderich created. For identifying and analysing different opening moves and responses to these, would it be an idea to "normalize" the moves to the first quadrant of the board (a1-a6-f6-f1) ? As a hnefatafl board is eight-fold symmetric, fx. the opening moves d1-d3, h1-h3, a4-c4, a8-c8, k4-i4, k8-i8, d11-d9 and h11-h9 are in fact identical.[/quote:9hz8t6ig] Thank you for your suggestion. In fact, I've already normalized them in my way some time ago (I chose h1h3 as standard opening because most of us used it excessively whereas d1d3 for example was really really rare, must be something psychological, I guess ^^). I just wanted to keep the moves for the overview exactly as they were played (the authentic game). Maybe I should just add another column for the normalized moves ... yeah, I think I'm gonna do that! Good idea, your 0-0-draw-system, this is really something to consider! I'm curious about what the other guys will say.
AUTHOR Roderich

1314005695 Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:34
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Thank you for your contributions - keep going! Any bright ideas welcome. In the mean time, here is a bit of blurb about societies/associations/organisations: [i:3beagna1]According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, an association is "an organization of persons having a common interest," whereas a society is "an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs or profession." Societies According to Collier's Encyclopedia, societies are predominantly social in nature. Membership in many secret organizations, for example, depends upon factors such as "military or civic virtues, wealth and status, clan affiliation, outstanding accomplishments, or a particular religious experience." Membership may also be determined by birth or certain rituals. The length of the membership may either be for life, renewed by recurrent contributions or limited to a fixed period of time. Some examples include the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of Moose, American Legion, Phi Beta Kappa and Freemasonry (Masons). Associations Associations are not predominantly social in nature, but like societies, they too determine membership based upon certain criteria such as shared education, training, political affiliation, interests and/or goals. However, membership in associations is never considered a birthright. Some examples of associations include the American Library Association, American Association of Retired Persons, National Endowment for the Arts, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, American Psychological Association, Educational Association of America and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Organizations According to Webster's, an organization is "a body of persons organized for some specific purpose, as a club, union or society." Organizations include both societies and associations, but they can also exist independently. Collier's says that although organizations determine membership based upon shared commonalities, they are usually professional, religious or ethical in nature. Some examples include the United Auto Workers, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Council of the Churches of Christ, League of Women Voters and Girl Scouts of America. Read more: The Difference Between Associations & Societies [/i:3beagna1]| eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_6917027_diffe ... z1VkRTkmPZ I think either "association" or "society" would serve us well, but I tend to agree with adam that "association" has a more serious ring to it, and might be the better option. Greetings all, crust p.s. what the hell is the "Loyal Order of Moose"?
AUTHOR crust

1314020053 Mon Aug 22, 2011 15:34
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Loyal order of moose: [url:2kicre84]https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Loyal_Order_of_Moose[/url:2kicre84] And after actually reading the definitions, I vote "Association".
AUTHOR Beadle

1314021886 Mon Aug 22, 2011 16:04
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
hello tafl heads re: notation I suspect most people play h1 - h3 because they are right-handed: it would be interesting to correlate the data with right-handedness of players... The vikings put the rudder (steerboard) on the right hand side of the ship because they were mostly right-handed, hence the "starboard" side and of course they had to put the left hand side of the ship ("the port side") up against the quayside, so as not to bugger up the steerboard. This is completely irrelevant! Anyway, d1 - d3 just feels odd, because it's a sort of left-handed opening. But it makes sense to normalize notation in this way, and treat the a1 corner as the main reference point. Makes sense to notate Millar gambit as e5 - e2. crust
AUTHOR crust

1314051138 Tue Aug 23, 2011 0:12
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Hagbard":33su74jp]What about white wins: 1-0 black wins: 0-1 draw: 0-0[/quote:33su74jp] [quote="Hagbard":33su74jp]With a 0-0 point system, the only way to better your score position is to win. The reward for going for a draw when everything else fails, is that you prevent your opponent from earning one point as well.[/quote:33su74jp] Bloody hell. Now, that's what I call thinking. How come I never have thoughts like that? I think my brain must be TOO highly trained.... I suggest we run the next 11x11 tournament under this 1/0/0 points system and see if we get fewer draws! Doesn't really affect 9x9 hnefatafl, as draws are pretty rare there (if not non-existent?). All hail to the mighty brain of Hagbard. crust
AUTHOR crust

1314051864 Tue Aug 23, 2011 0:24
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Re: loyal order of moose - has this got anything to do with Rocky and Bullwinkle? Re: loyal order of hnefatafl - Let's adopt "[i:8ep1ue7v]International Hnefatafl Association[/i:8ep1ue7v]" for now. Although if we were called "[i:8ep1ue7v]World Tafl Forum[/i:8ep1ue7v]" our initials would be WTF? I will try and get some proposals together which we can vote on. Fare well crust
AUTHOR crust

1314115242 Tue Aug 23, 2011 18:00
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="crust":gj4l79qt]The vikings put the rudder (steerboard) on the right hand side of the ship because they were mostly right-handed[/quote:gj4l79qt] I appreciate that the vikings would choose to normalize to the board quadrant in the rudder steerboard side! The A1-quadrant is just the mathematician's way -
AUTHOR Hagbard

1314199096 Wed Aug 24, 2011 17:18
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[b:1x6tjjxh]Some considerations in support of details in the Fetlar rules as tournament rules:[/b:1x6tjjxh] [b:1x6tjjxh]Board size 11x11.[/b:1x6tjjxh] An analysis of the latest ten games on the 9x9 board between experienced players (king wins on board edge) gives on the average 31 moves and an average game length 23 minutes (6 white wins, 4 black wins). The three longest games were 59 moves 38 minutes, 41 moves 35 minutes, 39 moves 28 minutes. An analysis of twelve games from the recent tournament on the 11x11 board between experienced players (Fetlar rules) gives on the average 57 moves and an average game length 39 minutes (6 white wins, 4 black wins, 2 draws). The three longest games were 83 moves 83 minutes, 143 moves 67 minutes, 80 moves 67 minutes. As the figures show, the 9x9 game is rather short, about half an hour, while the 11x11 game can take up to slightly more than an hour. Furthermore the 9x9 game lacks important phases which the 11x11 has, fx. there's not enough space to rescue the king with a draw. Also no specific corner fight, as the balance requires the king to be captured from 2 sides and win on the board edge. So the 11x11 board is preferable over the 9x9. Larger boards, 13x13 and 19x19, would much increase the game length for no reason, as the 11x11 game already has a suitable length and a varied game play. [b:1x6tjjxh]Initial ordering white diamond, blacks in line.[/b:1x6tjjxh] On the 11x11 board, white can initially be placed in diamond or cross shape. When the white position is seen as a castle about to be attacked, the diamond shape is natural like the shape of a castle. That the center square is known as "the throne" also indicates the middle of the board as a castle. A cross shape would picture the white team already scattered in the battle field, no castle. Black can initially be placed in a 1-5 formation (a line of five with a group leader), or in a 1-2-3 formation. The latter places the front attacker right next to and in direct contact with the castle, would be an unnatural and unsafe position to await a battle, exposed beforehand to heavy rocks, boiling water etc. The initial ordering used in the Fetlar game shows a natural picture of white team gathered in a castle around their king, and black team surrounding the castle in safe distance. The picture is silence before the storm. [b:1x6tjjxh]Black begins.[/b:1x6tjjxh] The defenders await in their besieged castle, prepared for a hot reception of the attackers. It's natural that the attackers make the first move. [b:1x6tjjxh]Pieces move freely like a chess rook.[/b:1x6tjjxh] [url=http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm:1x6tjjxh]Neil's research paper[/url:1x6tjjxh] elaborates on this being as natural to vikings as a longship rushing from Norway to England in one swift move. [b:1x6tjjxh]King is armed.[/b:1x6tjjxh] Neil's research paper also elaborates on the iron age / viking culture demanding the king to be as good a warrior as any of his men. [b:1x6tjjxh]Capture against king's squares.[/b:1x6tjjxh] Neil's research paper again: this is necessary to prevent blocking of all corners by only eight attackers. That the king's squares are hostile to both white and black is an important feature for the corner fights! [b:1x6tjjxh]No capture of whites against throne when occupied by the king.[/b:1x6tjjxh] If whites are captured against the throne even when occupied by the king, it is tedious to expand the white position without being captured. In that case, first the e6, f5, g6 and f7 have to moved into safety, before d6, f4, h6 and f8 can be moved. [b:1x6tjjxh]King captured from 4 sides.[/b:1x6tjjxh] When the king is captured from 4 sides, the balance requires that he must go all the way to a corner to win. This gives a suitable length of fighting, plus the interesting phase of the corner fight. If the king were to be captured from 2 sides, the balance would require him to win already on the board edge - thus missing the corner fights which add much to the game. [b:1x6tjjxh]King not captured on board edge.[/b:1x6tjjxh] Against opponents like fx. crust and Adam, it turns out to be next to impossible to win as white without this rule. So the rule is necessary in high level games like a tournament. The custodian capture and the defenders 1 : attackers 2 force I don't comment, since this is generally agreed upon. Neil's research paper comments on these aspects. [b:1x6tjjxh]UPDATE September 5th[/b:1x6tjjxh] Now, if such considerations, even if based on available archeological and historical sources plus logics, known culture and common sense, were to result in an unbalanced game in practice, then some modifications of elements of the rules set would have to be found to move the balance. Fortunately "the Fetlar rules set" has turned out to be quite balanced. Latest demonstration of this was the "unofficial tournament" on this site July 26th - August 15th 2011, with 6 white wins, 4 black wins and 2 draws.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1314229770 Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:49
SUBJECT Quiz question
One of these positions is an impregnable draw fort for white, the other is vulnerable to attack and can be demolished. Which is which, and (for extra kudos) why? I hope this one is not too easy for you... Crust
AUTHOR crust

1314300887 Thu Aug 25, 2011 21:34
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Hagbard":1oo10f7w] [b:1oo10f7w]Initial ordering white diamond, blacks in line.[/b:1oo10f7w] The initial ordering used in the Fetlar game shows a natural picture of white team gathered in a castle around their king, and black team surrounding the castle in safe distance. The picture is silence before the storm. [/quote:1oo10f7w] Some very convincing reasoning from Hagbard. Regarding the initial ordering, I would add that any opening position giving either white or black sole presence on the 3rd ranks and files gives a very strong, dare I say absurd opening advantage to that side. Using allegory, an argument could be made for white opening as a sally forth from a besieged castle, though its a pretty thin argument. My feeling is that black opening is the right opening based on our tournament scores being so even.
AUTHOR Adam

1314302202 Thu Aug 25, 2011 21:56
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
WTF. Genius. Laughed Out Loud. While were at it, can we decide how to spell hnefatafl/hnefetafl? For what its worth, the most convincing argument I've heard for the nordic origin of the name is neve (fist) tavle (board) - interestingly table is 'bord' in modern norwegian while board is 'tavle' - go figure). Fistboard. What a great literal translation for a game that is all about punching holes through walls. Quite where the silent 'h' comes from I don't know.
AUTHOR Adam

1314527629 Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:33
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Actually, I'm seriously quite liking "World Tafl Forum" - it's less of a mouthful than "international hnefatafl association" - and I'm imagining a heraldic crest, with a shield bearing 13 white dots arranged in a diamond shape, with axes round it, emblazoned with the letters W.T.F. Could be nice!
AUTHOR crust

1314781357 Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:02
SUBJECT Re: Quiz question
Here is my bid. Position 1: f4 and h6 can be captured. Hereafter no more whites are exposed, provided that the king remains on the throne. White uses f7 to make its compulsory moves. Position 2: The same as before, but f7 is missing so that white cannot do its compulsory moves without destroying the fort. Instead there will be in the continued game a hard fight to complete / prevent a fort. A fort can be completed with two moves: g5-h5 and g6-g4. The position can also in several ways be reduced to the [url=http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section509308_183637.html:2id8cavh]"Royal Citadel"[/url:2id8cavh], fx. e8-e7, e5-d5 and f5-e5. All this black will try to prevent.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1314988851 Fri Sep 2, 2011 20:40
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Roderich":hiox0385]In the attachment you can finally find the announced file that I spoke off. [/quote:hiox0385] @ Roderich, could you explain what the notation in brackets means, i.e. (63 : 00 : 37) or (42 : 08 : 50). All the other stuff I can figure out, but not these bits. Thanks, Adam
AUTHOR Adam

1315030346 Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:12
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Hey Adam, that was just for me to find out the winning chances game by game. It's not really necessary to have this information for every game, but let us suppose that I could archive every important game - in this case we could maybe find out a slow development, for example that white grows stronger accordingly to the competence of the players. That was the only idea about it. @ all guys: By the way, on 5th of september I'll have a more difficult surgery and therefore no access to the internet. I hope that I'll be out of there within 10 days. Just so you know. Greetings
AUTHOR Roderich

1315037089 Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:04
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Best recovery, Roderich! Remember to be nice to the nurses.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1315154702 Sun Sep 4, 2011 18:45
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
@ Roderich: Thanks for the explanation, I get it now. Very good idea. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
AUTHOR Adam

1315257070 Mon Sep 5, 2011 23:11
SUBJECT Re: Quiz question
Very good answer Hagbard! Perfect in every way. I'll have to think of a more difficult conundrum...
AUTHOR crust

1315389948 Wed Sep 7, 2011 12:05
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Adam":2amdv5v7]there is the potential in a tournament for white to refuse to enter into battle at all with the pictured monstrosity I like to call 'The Skulking King'. [/quote:2amdv5v7] Crust and I have done a small draw fort test where white only tries to build a fort, while black attempts to prevent it. Initial results suggest it is surprisingly hard for white if black are determined, though it is challenging for black not to compromise their defensive positions should the king make a break for the corners. This is of course a crucial part of siege warfare, breaking in verses breaking out. Crust and I will continue to experiment to see if white is 100% able to force an opening draw and report back with results.
AUTHOR Adam

1315616889 Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:08
SUBJECT Hnefatafl puzzle
Since Hagbard and Adam were able to crack the last one, try this one for size.... Black to move. Only one move will save black from disaster - which move is it? Use fetlar rules (king must be surrounded on 4 sides and cannot be captured on board edge) I hope you find this puzzle REALLY difficult...! crust
AUTHOR crust

1315653966 Sat Sep 10, 2011 13:26
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
Greetings tafl boffins, OK, so I just realised there are a couple of other solutions, too. Damn, must be getting old. Devising hnefatafl puzzles is harder than I thought! Well, let's see what you come up with, anyway. After a re-think, I make it five solutions in all. I wonder if anyone will get the full set. And I have to contemplate the possibility there may be other solutions I didn't think of. That's the wonder of hnefatafl, there's always a surprise lurking round the corner. Or usually IN the corner! See you in the thunder dome. crust
AUTHOR crust

1315739957 Sun Sep 11, 2011 13:19
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
My move is G4 to I4, as you need a piece on the third file to block I6. This plays out with black being able to defend both lower corners, though it seems easy enough for white to force a draw shimmying back and forth forcing black to defend open corners. Can't see how you'd prevent that. As for the other four, they all involve either blocking I6 or removing it, (h3 or h11 takes I6, though I'd leave h3 where it is, blocking k5 to to I5 looks good, as if the king takes you can block him in. I guess you 5th option is K4 to I4? But that would mean not having the option of taking out the guillotine easily. So, is that the answer? Or is there a way of also preventing the draw shimmy?
AUTHOR Adam

1315820849 Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:47
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
[u:1v2hnq35]THE GUILLOTINE[/u:1v2hnq35] [i:1v2hnq35]Please note: an “x” after a move denotes that a warrior has been captured by that move.[/i:1v2hnq35] Black’s problem is that White has a “guillotine” position – Black can't stop the white warrior on k3 moving to k2 and capturing his man on j2, and he also can't stop the same warrior from moving back to his original square on k3, opening a path for the king, which black [b:1v2hnq35]must[/b:1v2hnq35] block with another warrior if one is available, who will also be killed in his turn. So, Black has no choice but to go on feeding more warriors into this killing machine, while White calmly executes them until there are none left that can get there in time. This is the guillotine! It even has a realistic chopping action. Extremely nasty ... for Black (who often resigns at this point). Good work Adam, you have identified all those solutions to this problem which concern dealing with that troublesome warrior on i6. He is the one who is preventing black from destroying the "guillotine" by moving j2 - k2 x (the "x" denotes that a warrior is captured, in this case, the "executioner" who is operating the guillotine) - if black makes this move before dealing with the warrior on i6 (either by capturing it or blocking it), then white can move the king forward i2 - j2, forcing black to respond with i1 - j1, and then that white piece on i6 sweeps down and captures with i6 - i1 x. And it's all over for black. So, neutralizing i6 is desirable. These are the ways it can be done: h3 – h6 x (not brilliant as it leaves no black warriors on the 3rd rank) h11 – h6 x (best) k5 – i5 (blocking instead of capturing) g4 – i4 (same idea) k4 – i4 (the least good solution, as it makes it difficult or impossible to capture executioner) THe continuation is as follows: .................white k3 – k2 x, black j6 – j2 x, white k2 – k3 black j2 – k2 x, white i2 – j2 black i1 – j1 (still looks o.k. for black!) There is however another approach entirely, and another move you haven't thought of, and I have to confess it is that which I was thinking of when I designed this puzzle (later I realized that taking or blocking i6 would also work). This other move is cunning, and unexpected. It does not involve removing or blocking the warrior on i6. But what is it, you ask? Ah ha, I reply. So, the puzzle is not yet completely solved! crust
AUTHOR crust

1315843031 Mon Sep 12, 2011 17:57
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
[quote="crust":2bej6ybs][This other move is cunning, and unexpected.[/quote:2bej6ybs] Ha, very cunning indeed! I figured it out right away after you indicated it was lateral thinking. You can take advantage of putting the king in check to force him to move thus: black b2 h2 white k3 k2x black j6 j2 - king must move, and wherever he goes, black can then k4 k3x closing the corner A much better solution as black have a good chance of boxing him in.
AUTHOR Adam

1315851345 Mon Sep 12, 2011 20:15
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
It is official, you are as cunning as a weasel!! That is exactly the answer I was looking for. If only I had designed the position to eliminate the other possibilities. Anyway, I remember using the technique of attacking the king to force him away from a guillotine - not always possible, but definitely a good idea in this case. b2 was nice and inconspicuous over there, it didn't look like it might rush in and attack like a berserker. Now to come up with another... hmmm. er...
AUTHOR crust

1315852151 Mon Sep 12, 2011 20:29
SUBJECT Notation
I think it might be time to normalise our hnefatafl notation a bit - I've been using and "x" after a move to show that a warrior was captured by that move, and an "xx" if two are captured at the same time, likewise "xxx" for three simultaneous captures (more common than you might think). I don't think it's necessary to state the co-ordinates of the captured piece; shoul be obvious. I suppose the "x" isn't necessary either, but I think it adds clarity. Any views on this? Also, I think the recorded games in future should just start with black's first move and white's first move as first pair of moves in the notation. For instance, 1. d1 - d3, e5 - e2 and so on. It's confusing to have white's first move paired with black's second move, as we do now (because of chess convention of starting with white, which surely doesn't apply here). Not intended as criticism, merely suggestion! crust
AUTHOR crust

1316167965 Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:12
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Warder":1gp9ubgw]Why is play to the edge with the king captured on 4 sides described as "easy"?[/quote:1gp9ubgw] I've got a feeling that the play to edge version mentioned here may not have exactly the same rules as your version Warder. I believe the differences being throne return and king capture participation (allowed in this version, not in yours, I think?). I look forward to trying out you version, a very different game indeed to Fetlar rules. That's really what this is all about, finding versions of Hnefatafl that are well balanced and provide entertaining complex games for players of all abilities. There are no doubt many viable versions on all board sizes, all of which will need to be recognised and named once the Tafl communities are agreed that they function well. Is Ard ri that 7x7 one? I only had a quick look at it once, but it seemed impossible for black not to win given the right move combination (rather like noughts and crosses). Sort of a kids version for trying out the basic principles of Tafl. I look forward to hearing your deconstructions Warder.
AUTHOR Adam

1316168080 Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:14
SUBJECT Re: A comment about testing of rules
[quote="Warder":2pa5akt1]Thanks Adam for suggesting I come to this forum. I am glad to see there are actually people believe what I believe and I am not the only one.[/quote:2pa5akt1] The more the merrier : )
AUTHOR Adam

1316169308 Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:35
SUBJECT Re: Quiz question
post removed by author
AUTHOR Adam

1316183613 Fri Sep 16, 2011 16:33
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
[quote="Warder":3a4fbdlu]Ard Ri. I am at least going to cover/mention it.[/quote:3a4fbdlu] Absolutely. Plus I really do think it is valid as a training game for very young children.
AUTHOR Adam

1316189647 Fri Sep 16, 2011 18:14
SUBJECT Marseille rules
The Marseille rules are the rules shown in [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/HnefataflModern#p/u/10/FNdCGaM9KqI:31p05peb][b:31p05peb]HnefataflModern's demo videos[/b:31p05peb][/url:31p05peb]. This variant has a number of small rule changes: - 9x9 board - unarmed king who wins on any edge square - no special corner squares - throne square is not hostile to anybody, and the king cannot return to the throne - no special attackers' base camp squares - defenders begin [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_webalt.php?lang=en:31p05peb][b:31p05peb]The Marseille rules can be tried out here.[/b:31p05peb][/url:31p05peb] Fill in Name, mark Marseille and invite. [b:31p05peb]Update 30.9.2011:[/b:31p05peb] [b:31p05peb]NB. The "Marseille variant" is renamed into "Rachunek tafl".[/b:31p05peb]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316193090 Fri Sep 16, 2011 19:11
SUBJECT Re: Quiz question
post removed by author
AUTHOR Adam

1316193294 Fri Sep 16, 2011 19:14
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
Thanks Aage for programming this version, and Hnefataflmodern for suggesting it - after four games, I see it has a lot of potential. The weaponless king is going to take a lot of getting used to. I hope we will have a tournament here using these rules!
AUTHOR crust

1316196051 Fri Sep 16, 2011 20:00
SUBJECT forbidding perpetual check and draw positions
post removed by author
AUTHOR Adam

1316196303 Fri Sep 16, 2011 20:05
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
I hate to sound like a stuck record, but does this version or does this version not forbid white to force a draw by perpetual checking?
AUTHOR Adam

1316260376 Sat Sep 17, 2011 13:52
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
Warder, are the listed rule changes above for the Marseille game correct?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316272838 Sat Sep 17, 2011 17:20
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
[quote="Warder":2zdqltdy]I will now try and get players from all sites to "cross-play".[/quote:2zdqltdy] Thanks, good initiative! I wonder about the correspondence format - can't it sometimes be perceived an inconvenient way of playing a game? A tough game will in my experience typically take around 80 moves. With 3 days per correspondence move this makes 80 * 3 days = 8 months to finish one game. Whereas online in real time the same game is typically finished in about one hour.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316288375 Sat Sep 17, 2011 21:39
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
Interesting. We've tried out a few 9x9 Marseille games already. As for the 11x11, would you say that the balance with the same (Marseille) rules is still the same on this larger board as on 9x9?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316331578 Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:39
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
The Marseille can also be tried out on the 11x11 board at [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_webalt.php?lang=en:1wdb8ppm][b:1wdb8ppm]aagenielsen.dk[/b:1wdb8ppm][/url:1wdb8ppm] Mark 11x11 and Marseille and invite. Are your high level friends at dragonheelslair and brainking Americans or are some of them Europeans? (I'm thinking of time zone) I saw your videos, fine work. It's a pity that you're not able to try some games here - a number of European players from Norway, UK, Denmark, Germany would like to try out some Marseille games against you in real time. Our tests of the Marseille suggest so far that it is a rather short game on 9x9, about ten minutes. I had many real time Hnefatafl games against an opponent in Montreal, Canada at late evening Denmark / early evening Montreal. In weekends the time window is even bigger. I also had many real time games against an opponent in Chicago, USA. By the way, what is the exact origin of these "Marseille rules"? I believe that they were gradually created on the dragonheelslair through some period of experimentation, with the Lappish game Tablut as the starting point as described in fx. [url=http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/:1wdb8ppm]Sten Helmfrid[/url:1wdb8ppm] [url=http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm:1wdb8ppm]Neil's Research Home Page[/url:1wdb8ppm] [url=http://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/frame/art_50_99/viking_art84bq.htm:1wdb8ppm]Fotevikens Museum[/url:1wdb8ppm] Is this correct?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316361746 Sun Sep 18, 2011 18:02
SUBJECT Re: Quiz question
I quite agree. As han solo once quipped, boring conversation anyway. I think you and I play board games for very different reasons which are entirely personal, (I often like the games that go on forever) and I thought that difference was fascinating and worth looking at. But I suppose the upshot of it all is simply having more variations of Hnefatafl to make everybody happy. Arg. (I'm also fond of mental gymnastics, its why I play board games!) Anyway I look forward to playing marseille rules. Maybe I'll be an instant convert and the problem will evaporate.
AUTHOR Adam

1316413406 Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:23
SUBJECT About the draw concept
May 11th 2010 crust emailed me an explanation of the draw concept in the Hnefatafl Fetlar rules, which I'd like to share on the forum: [quote:ovv9o6ve]... white may as well try to break out and seize control of a corner, and then go for a draw if that fails, and black manages to complete the encirclement. The interesting part comes when black realises that white has started to do this, and must work out how to stop it - often black will have to risk exposing a corner in order to prevent white from achieving the draw position. If that happens, white may have another chance at a win. So white is using the threat of a draw to disturb black's position, and thus create chances for a win. ... I don't see anything wrong in using the threat of a draw in the mid-game to get some leverage over black, especially after black has completed the encirclement - I mean, what else is there for white to do, apart from waiting to die? [/quote:ovv9o6ve]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316434815 Mon Sep 19, 2011 14:20
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
Concerning the works of Linnaeus, Murray and Bell and their treatment of the Lappish tafl game Tablut, it is thoroughly dealt with in [url=http://www.heroicage.org/issues/13/ashton.php:2r5aj7of][b:2r5aj7of]John C. Ashton's article in the magazine The Heroic Age, 2010.[/b:2r5aj7of][/url:2r5aj7of] Ashton may go one bridge too far with the conclusions about the predecessor Hnefatafl, but the analysis of Tablut is very plausible.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316546231 Tue Sep 20, 2011 21:17
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
The "Marseille" rules have in real been in use at least since 2002 on brainking, which is a Czech site. I wonder how they came up with precisely those rules? According to Murray the king is armed, and Bell does not write that the king is weaponless. Both Murray and Bell writes that the king can reenter the throne. And Linnaeus has Muscovite base camps forbidden to the Swedes and the king, and the king armed. So where did brainking find these rules?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316614610 Wed Sep 21, 2011 16:16
SUBJECT Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
[quote="Hagbard":w9c29hby]According to Murray the king is armed, and Bell does not write that the king is weaponless. Both Murray and Bell writes that the king can reenter the throne. And Linnaeus has Muscovite base camps forbidden to the Swedes and the king, and the king armed.[/quote:w9c29hby] The following to clarify. I'll here describe the path Carolus Linnaeus 1732 -> J. E. Smith 1811 -> H. J. R. Murray 1951 -> R. C. Bell 1960 -> Filip Rachunek 2002. [b:w9c29hby]Linnaeus diary 1732.[/b:w9c29hby] [b:w9c29hby]1.[/b:w9c29hby] Arx regia. Konokis Lappon., cui nullus succedere potest. Transl.: Royal Citadel (or throne). Called Konokis in Lapp, no one is allowed to enter here. Could mean "no one else than the king", or could be "the king included" which would mean no reenter. [b:w9c29hby]O.[/b:w9c29hby] Vacua loca occupare cuique licitum, item Regi, idem valet de locis characterisatis praeter arcem. Transl.: Empty spaces can be occupied by any piece legally, including the King in addition to the throne. From the description of the board set up. Base camps are not legal areas. Looks like the king can reenter the throne. Linnaeus then gives many examples of moves which will be legal in course of the game, all example moves happen outside the base camps. Rule 3 and 4 explains that the king wins if he reaches any parameter square outside the base camps. [b:w9c29hby]9.[/b:w9c29hby] Si qvis hostem 1 inter 2 sibi hostes collocare posit, est occisus et ejici debet, item Rex. Transl.: If 1 piece finds itself trapped between 2 enemies, it is captured and must be removed from the board, including the King. King is captured by 2 men like any other piece. If the king is included in the term "enemy", he would participate in the captures. Whereas if general reference to pieces does not include the king, he would not (as above where possibly rule O. indicates that "no one" in rule 1. does not include the king?) Linnaeus then explains the exception that it takes 4 or 3 men to capture the king on the throne or next to the throne. [b:w9c29hby]14.[/b:w9c29hby] Arx potest intercludere, aeque ac trio, ut si miles in 2 et hostis in 3 est, occidat. Transl.: The citadel can block, just as a third piece would, so that if a soldier is in 2 and an enemy in 3, he is killed. The throne square (and base camps?) are hostile. Potest - can: could be that it is only hostile to Swedes when empty. [b:w9c29hby]1811 Smith[/b:w9c29hby] translates the Linnaus diary into English and introduces errors in the translation. [b:w9c29hby]Murray 1951.[/b:w9c29hby] bases his reconstruction of Tablut on the Smith translation. Murray introduced the escape of the king to any square on the periphery, and that the king must always be captured by 4 men, 3 men next to the throne. The king can reenter the throne. The king participates in captures. The throne is not hostile to anybody. Swedes move first. I could not find the original Murray text on the internet, but this site claims to cite the book: [url=http://pages.cs.brandeis.edu/~storer/JimPuzzles/GAMES/Tablut/Tablut.pdf:w9c29hby][b:w9c29hby]http://pages.cs.brandeis.edu/~storer/JimPuzzles/GAMES/Tablut/Tablut.pdf[/b:w9c29hby][/url:w9c29hby] [b:w9c29hby]Bell 1960.[/b:w9c29hby] Bell's description of Tablut rules is identical to Murray. The original Bell text is available on the internet. [b:w9c29hby]Filip Rachunek 2002.[/b:w9c29hby] Filip Rachunek from the Czech Republic explains that his parents bought a Slovak book of ancient board games around 1982. Rumor has it that the book is the above mentioned R.C.Bell, "Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations", 1960. 2002 Rachunek created a board game web site and [url=http://brainking.com/en/GameRules?tp=19:w9c29hby][b:w9c29hby]introduced these modifications of his own to the Murray/Bell Tablut rules:[/b:w9c29hby][/url:w9c29hby] - the king is weaponless - the king cannot return to the throne A rather large community has since then played tafl by these rules on the Rachunek site.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316635127 Wed Sep 21, 2011 21:58
SUBJECT Re: Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
[quote="Warder":3s9w780b][quote:3s9w780b]the king can never be captured by 3 sides and the throne since he could always move to the throne on his next move to avoid capture.[/quote:3s9w780b][/quote:3s9w780b] No because he's finished. As a warrior does not move on in a third direction when he's captured from 2 sides even when the route is free, because he's finished. This is not my invention; the museums have it this way. Good to hear about this fine level of tafl activity!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1316636673 Wed Sep 21, 2011 22:24
SUBJECT Re: Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
[quote="Warder":uy0gs3kx][quote:uy0gs3kx]If the king can be captured by three men and the throne, then he MUST not be able to reenter it. If the king may reenter the throne, then it is NOT POSSIBLE to capture him with 3 men against it.[/quote:uy0gs3kx][/quote:uy0gs3kx] @ Warder: But surely one could just as easily attack the rules you yourself play by and are insisting are correct with exactly the same logic by adjusting your own sentence thus: "If the king can be captured by three men and the throne, then he MUST not be able [b:uy0gs3kx]to cross it[/b:uy0gs3kx]. If the king [b:uy0gs3kx]may cross the throne[/b:uy0gs3kx], then it is NOT POSSIBLE to capture him with 3 men against it. (unless of course a soldier is blocking the exit on the other side of the throne.)" Can't have it both ways. to quote your throne rule directly from your post: 4. Throne rule: The throne/castle is off limits to all pieces including the king once the king has left the throne. (And pieces cannot be captured against the throne (only the king if also surrounded on the remaining three sides), but [b:uy0gs3kx]any piece[/b:uy0gs3kx] can move THROUGH the throne (just cannot land on it)). I suppose this is why some variants forbid pieces even to move across the throne.
AUTHOR Adam

1316637664 Wed Sep 21, 2011 22:41
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
[quote="Warder":3c6yvay2] Click on the link, then click on the image of page 78 and 79 (it is two images from the top right of the screen). Again, these are images of the actual pages in the book. The complete rules for Tablut are on these two pages (78 and 79). [/quote:3c6yvay2] Thanks for the link, as it was an apparently random selection of pages one is unable to read pages 76,77, but the game board description seems to have begun on those pages. I don't suppose anyone here can tell us what those pages say? The rules are certainly present on pages 78,79, but the board description might be important?
AUTHOR Adam

1316723965 Thu Sep 22, 2011 22:39
SUBJECT Re: Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
[quote="Warder":1jtal4x1]Good points. Would you agree the throne rule is just ancillary then and not needed? Not sure what the purpose is. Now I think the rules would be better without it in my opinion.[/quote:1jtal4x1] It would certainly do away with the 3 man king capture. That only exists because if it didn't, the king could just stand next to the throne and never be captured, and black couldn't prevent white from doing this. The same would apply even if the king couldn't return to the throne. As to what the purpose is, we'd have to ask the Saami people of 1732. It may well be that this game plays better with the throne square not being special in any way. The concern with any 'primary source rule' removal is that we may throw out the baby with the bathwater. If we get to the point where the game we end up with ignores even the clearly stated known rules, then we've got a new game. And that's fine, but lets not pretend that they are 'the RIGHT rules', and more than any other set can fairly be called 'the WRONG rules'. They are just different variants.
AUTHOR Adam

1316724821 Thu Sep 22, 2011 22:53
SUBJECT Re: Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
[quote="Warder":35dkudip]the king can never be captured by 3 sides and the throne since he could always move to the throne on his next move to avoid capture.[/quote:35dkudip] [quote="Hagbard":35dkudip]No because he's finished. As a warrior does not move on in a third direction when he's captured from 2 sides even when the route is free, because he's finished. This is not my invention; the museums have it this way.[/quote:35dkudip] [quote="Warder":35dkudip]Actually, I don't understand this reasoning. If the king was surrounded on three sides on E5, he is not captured, that is so even according to Linneaus! So why can't the king move to a safe square when surrounded on three sides on F5?[/quote:35dkudip] Hagbard is not talking about the king on E5, The king is next to the throne. (e.g E4) His point I believe is that it is logically acceptable to kill the king with three men + throne square, even though, had the king survived the attack, he could have moved onto or across the throne as a legal move. He can't move because the rule says he is dead when the third soldier steps in to complete the capture pattern with the throne square as a soldier. Just as your rule about forbidding perpetual check states that the king is dead, even though he could continue a perfectly legal move were it not for forbidding perpetual check. Its the same logic. Again, you can't have it both ways.
AUTHOR Adam

1316725971 Thu Sep 22, 2011 23:12
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
[quote="Warder":10v4brbn]5. No corner escape[/quote:10v4brbn] Apologies for this long post, but this is important for this website: I am very fond of corner hnefatafl, and while I don't agree with Warders strategic reasons for disliking the variation (primarily as hnefetaflman comments on our youtube clips, and in his own videos promoting 9x9 edge tafl) he has given me pause for thought, and I do notice a glaring absence of corner board markings on the archeological remains, with the exception of the brundub board, and the Ockelbo rock carving. It occurs to me corner tafl and edge tafl were perhaps both played? Corner tafl may even be an entirely modern invention as Warder suggests, but that's no argument against corner hnefetafl, [b:10v4brbn][i:10v4brbn]if[/i:10v4brbn][/b:10v4brbn] you are going to do away with special thrones and impenetrable muscovite basecamps (which I myself don't like either) in Tablut . Once again, [i:10v4brbn]you can't have it both ways[/i:10v4brbn]. [i:10v4brbn]Either [/i:10v4brbn]we follow the sources, [i:10v4brbn]or we accept on an equal footing[/i:10v4brbn] all new variations that play well and balanced between experienced players ([i:10v4brbn]even if[/i:10v4brbn] a variation seems boringly long to some, to others it has entertaining and varied end games). Ipfan says: "If the king can go along the [illegible] line, that side wins the game" or as he said in 16th century welsh: "Os dowaid un gwrh(eill) (?) amynd rwng dau nideos niwed osgall y brenin fynd ar hyd yllin(ell) . . . enillodd y ty hwnw y chwarau." If anyone can cross check this translation that would be good. I've written to the National library of Wales about it, they hold the original document. And I agree, that sounds like a clumsy way of saying, if you get to the edge, you win. This is where Warder and I disagree. [quote="Warder":10v4brbn]Helmfrid ruined a game whose rules were ALREADY AGREED UPON and playable to begin with.[/quote:10v4brbn] I would put it like this: Helmfrid [b:10v4brbn]stumbled upon a new game by making changes to [/b:10v4brbn]a game whose rules were ALREADY AGREED UPON and playable to begin with. [i:10v4brbn]At worst [/i:10v4brbn]corner tafl is another fun version (not so fun for correspondence chess!) that is no more or less valid than any other modern version that ignores the original sources to any degree. Warder's argument would be fair enough, if edge tafl really was 'ruined', but its wasn't, its alive and well and unharmed. Why can't the two games coexist if people enjoy them AND they function? As Warder said himself [quote="Warder":10v4brbn]you have to try and FORGET EVERYTHING you know about playing to the corner with an armed king. Approach this version as a brand new abstract strategy game with its own unique strategy. And please give it some time. It took me almost 30 games before I started to deepen my understanding of the game.[/quote:10v4brbn] I totally agree. These two versions are VERY different games, each with their own merits. And i've given corner tafl 20 years of playing, and its still throwing surprises at me, but I agree, you have to enjoy a long end game to like it. I just don't see the need to be so hostile towards a variant that so many people enjoy playing. Promote Marseille for its merits by all means, but do you really need to try and destroy corner tafl in the processs? Corner tafl will wither and die if people find it unplayable or unenjoyable. Isn't that enough?
AUTHOR Adam

1316727418 Thu Sep 22, 2011 23:36
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
The draw fort is a possible consequence of the Fetlar rules as they stand. How black decides to respond to the threat of a draw is entirely personal, but in a tournament situation, the loss of a win point could make all the difference for Black. Creating a need to win, and not get a draw, leading to the risk being worthwhile. As a draw in the game may lead to a loss in the tournament. Knowing this from the start ups the stakes, and makes draw positions capable of leverage. Can black force a draw? They can certainly cause them, but I've looked carefully at your reasoning Warder, and I think you are right, black cannot be said to be the one forcing the draw, though they can accept the draw if they see they cannot capture the king. I think that's ok in a game where each side has entirely different goals. And I think all tafl players agree that a complete game is two games played once as white, and once as black. Of course that argument could also be used to institute absurdly unbalanced games as viable variations, so I see I am on very thin ice here. However, myself and others enjoy these draw threats so much that I can't help defending them. Also, our tournament results were as close to 50% black white wins as makes no odds. And not so many of those were draws (though they made their presence felt)
AUTHOR Adam

1316763887 Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:44
SUBJECT Re: Internationally agreed 11x11 tournament rules - poll
Anyway, there is a good basis for the Fetlar rules, as this is the rule set you meet everywhere in the Anglican world, with just a tiny modification - the Fetlar edge rule, which we've also found to be very useful.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1317287839 Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:17
SUBJECT hnefatafl and the quest for balance
It's a strange thing, if you think about it. We have chosen one of the very few board games which features complete asymmetry, both in the aims of the two players, and in the size of their forces. Then we spend the whole time trying to find the most evenly balanced variation! Well, of course an unbalanced game is not going to be all that much fun to play, nor is one that always ends in a draw. But we persist because it is precisely this asymmetry which makes the Tafl family of games so intriguing. There's been a lot of discussion on this forum about which version is the most balanced (not all of it as good-humoured as it might have been). We have these statistics to go on: Fetlar rules: win for white 44 %, black 39 %, draw 17 % (source: Roderich's analysis of our tournament here) Rachunek or Marseille rules: white 58.26%, black 39.17%, draw 2.56% (source: Brainking.com [url:25toqw63]http://brainking.com/en/GameRules?tp=19&fwa=ShowGame!g=5357760[/url:25toqw63] ) This evidence suggests that Fetlar is better balanced in terms of the winning chances of the two players, though Rachunek has far fewer draws. So, some questions follow. Will our quest for balance in hnefatafl eventually lead to a situation where every game is a draw? Is it worth giving up some of the fairness in order to reduce the number of draws? Or should the "drawishness" of hnefatafl be something we can actually embrace, even celebrate ? (Ok, I admit it, I love draw forts!) Is there some combination of the game variables we haven't tried yet still out there waiting to be found, a game with perfect balance and few draws? Or are we going to have to accept imperfection, and adopt whichever version we like better, based on personal preference?
AUTHOR crust

1317296966 Thu Sep 29, 2011 13:49
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
we should look at all the Fetlar stats, not just tournament, excluding the few draw fort tests, as the brainking stats must include inexperienced players games. Just to be fair and above board.
AUTHOR Adam

1317297437 Thu Sep 29, 2011 13:57
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
regarding draw positions, I stand by my view that draw positions are an interesting upshot of the rules and board set up. I find the perpetual check threat in rachunek 9x9 problematic, though it seems in practice that even half decent players go for the win, and any kings side weak enough to want to force the draw might well be weak enough to beat anyway. Some games will inevitably end up with the edge shuffling ending, but black should have sorted their position better. If that's impossible against even a poor player, I say bin the variant, or by all means forbid the perpetual check if people are still fond of playing this version.
AUTHOR Adam

1317391565 Fri Sep 30, 2011 16:06
SUBJECT Re: Marseille rules
This tafl variant turned out to go further back than the dragonheelslair site in Marseille, France, which was set up February 2011. The same variant is used since 2002 on the brainking site, which was set up in the Czech Republic by Filip Rachunek. Since Rachunek appears to have formed the variant by modifying the "Tablut rules" given by R.C.Bell in "Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations", the variant is instead referred to as [i:sjm39it9]Rachunek tafl[/i:sjm39it9].
AUTHOR Hagbard

1317422237 Sat Oct 1, 2011 0:37
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
I agree the tournament may not be a fair sample of games, as all the participants were non-beginners. I'm sure however that the complete catalogue of fetlar games contains some useless stuff too, as many games were test games or incomplete - so some editing may be needed. We might for example rule out games that ended in a time-out, on the grounds that this may well have been caused by a glitch or something else unrelated to the game. Just a thought.
AUTHOR crust

1317460464 Sat Oct 1, 2011 11:14
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":uaxzobri]It's a strange thing, if you think about it. We have chosen one of the very few board games which features complete asymmetry, both in the aims of the two players, and in the size of their forces. Then we spend the whole time trying to find the most evenly balanced variation! Well, of course an unbalanced game is not going to be all that much fun to play, nor is one that always ends in a draw. But we persist because it is precisely this asymmetry which makes the Tafl family of games so intriguing.[/quote:uaxzobri] Very interesting approach! [quote="crust":uaxzobri]We have these statistics to go on: Fetlar rules: win for white 44 %, black 39 %, draw 17 % (source: Roderich's analysis of our tournament here)[/quote:uaxzobri] I've done some statistics on the Fetlar games including all games, both with experienced players and beginners. The full list of Fetlar games 2011-01-05 - 2011-09-08 has 105 real games, i.e. excluding test games and incomplete games. The count shows: 52 white wins (defenders) = 50% 37 black wins (attackers) = 35% 16 draws = 15% This result is remarkably close to the statistics from our Fetlar tournament. Furthermore the count rejects any claim that the attackers should always win by the Fetlar rules! [i:uaxzobri]On the contrary, it is the defenders that win much more often![/i:uaxzobri]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1317572761 Sun Oct 2, 2011 18:26
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Hagbard":lyodovah]This result is remarkably close to the statistics from our Fetlar tournament. [/i][/quote:lyodovah] It struck me how close it is to the rachunek figures. We have more draws as one might expect, but not overly high considering how much attention we have focused on the draw forts. Meanwhile I'm getting the hang of the rachunek 9x9. I feel its a simpler game than 11x11 fetlar, though I have a feeling getting good at rachuneck will have large payoffs in ones fetlar game.
AUTHOR Adam

1318087416 Sat Oct 8, 2011 17:23
SUBJECT Comparison between real time and correspond. game formats
I've now been a member of two correspondence game format sites for 21 days. Even when constantly having 15-20 ongoing games on each site and drawing quickly every time at my turn, for both sites in total only 22 games were completed in these 21 days, about one completed game per day. To that the offered Hnefatafl game is of a rather short type; in the 22 games each player did in total 239 moves, in average 11 moves per player per game.[i:100ju49r] In summary about 10 moves per player per day.[/i:100ju49r] To compare, [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/index_nef2.html:100ju49r]on the present real time game format site[/url:100ju49r] I the latest 21 active days had 62 completed games, about three completed games per day. To that the most used Hnefatafl games here are of a type which lasts in average about 40 moves per player per game. [i:100ju49r]In summary about 50-100 moves per player per day.[/i:100ju49r] So the efficiency of the real time game format seems to be about 5-10 times higher than that of the correspondence format.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1318183176 Sun Oct 9, 2011 19:59
SUBJECT Berserk Hnefatafl
A new Hnefatafl variant: [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_origin_en.html#regler:a1u28bt6][b:a1u28bt6]Berserk Hnefatafl.[/b:a1u28bt6][/url:a1u28bt6]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320328520 Thu Nov 3, 2011 14:55
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":1v6c41rs] But we persist because it is precisely this asymmetry which makes the Tafl family of games so intriguing.[/quote:1v6c41rs] Asymmetry & balance is a complicated feature of the tafl game. With chess, two extremely inexperienced players and two extremely experienced players can use exactly the same board, pieces and rules and get to the same result: the stronger player wins. With tafl however, it is not so. Beginners might find the one side easier while skilled players with the same board, pieces and rules might contrarily find the opposite side easier. Therefore we in this circle have been more focused on identifying well working rules variants for the skilled players. [quote="crust":1v6c41rs]Is there some combination of the game variables we haven't tried yet still out there waiting to be found[/quote:1v6c41rs] There have been some test games with these rule combinations: 11x11 board, 2 side king capture, king wins on edge. 9x9 board, 2 side king capture, king wins in corner. 9x9 board, 2 side king capture, king wins on edge. 9x9 board, all pieces move only one square per move. These test games did not catch enough interest to continue with the variants, but surely there are still combinations waiting to be found. [i:1v6c41rs]As for the Berserk Hnefatafl suggestion, alas no serious test games have yet been played to find out if the rules are hopeless or if they really might work. I await in suspense this to be sorted out.[/i:1v6c41rs]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320418088 Fri Nov 4, 2011 15:48
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
I'm really looking forward to try out the berserk variant (my berserker rage is already growing *gr*), although the ability to "jump over" seems to be a bit strange at first sight. Another idea about the balance matter (yet far away from a historical view on the rules): If the tournament variant (fetlar) isn't completely balanced (I hope that at least we come to a point where we can say something like that), there are some modifications to try out. I might not be the first one to mention it in this forum, but what about the passing of the throne. What if, i. e., only one color can pass the throne, what if none or only the king? Could a slight disbalance (until maybe 5 %) be corrected that way? Greetings guys!
AUTHOR Roderich

1320418688 Fri Nov 4, 2011 15:58
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
However, it was an excellent idea to add the correspondence game format to your site, I really appreciate that!
AUTHOR Roderich

1320419918 Fri Nov 4, 2011 16:18
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
[quote="Adam":32gssvxl]While were at it, can we decide how to spell hnefatafl/hnefetafl? For what its worth, the most convincing argument I've heard for the nordic origin of the name is neve (fist) tavle (board) - interestingly table is 'bord' in modern norwegian while board is 'tavle' - go figure). Fistboard. What a great literal translation for a game that is all about punching holes through walls. Quite where the silent 'h' comes from I don't know.[/quote:32gssvxl] To come back to that point: So you would prefer nevetavle? In Germany the most "popular" variant is hnefatafl for sure.
AUTHOR Roderich

1320425535 Fri Nov 4, 2011 17:52
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
[quote="Roderich":cxi17y3t]In Germany the most "popular" variant is hnefatafl for sure.[/quote:cxi17y3t] In Denmark I know that by 1993 the game was called hnefatafl. But in recent years the museum shops changed the name on their boxes to "Nefatavl". I suspect they invented this new, more ordinary spelling more to favour their sales in the shops than for any professional reason.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320426174 Fri Nov 4, 2011 18:02
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
[quote="Roderich":8nttu76b]However, it was an excellent idea to add the correspondence game format to your site, I really appreciate that![/quote:8nttu76b] You are the first user to try out the new feature in a real game!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320430003 Fri Nov 4, 2011 19:06
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Would be very helpful to have a ethymological analysis of the word by an expert in nordic languages (which I am not). I sometimes wonder why the 'h' at the beginning ... are there nordic languages who do actually pronounce that consonant in any way? As long as we don't know it better, I would propose to keep "Hnefatafl", if our nordic friends agree, who should have the best feeling for old germanic words.
AUTHOR Roderich

1320430158 Fri Nov 4, 2011 19:09
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
Awesome!!! :)
AUTHOR Roderich

1320588413 Sun Nov 6, 2011 15:06
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
[quote="Roderich":1gne7vph]Would be very helpful to have a ethymological analysis of the word[/quote:1gne7vph] [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafl_games:1gne7vph]The Wikipedia article on Tafl games[/url:1gne7vph] has in its notes: [quote:1gne7vph]6. Helmfrid 2005, p.1, discusses this etymology, elements of which are confirmed by Zoëga 1910, "hnefa"/"-tafl"/"hnefi". 7. Murray 1951, p.60, says "hnefi (meaning doubtful, but used of the king-piece)", while Helmfrid 2005, p.1, notes that hnefa is the genitive form of Icelandic hnefi (fist), but concedes "it is often translated as king."[/quote:1gne7vph] To elaborate a bit on the word - "Hnefatafl" is of course Old Norse, the language of the Vikings, and the word is still recognizable to a modern Danish ear. Updated to modern Danish the word would become "Nævetavl". Hnefatafl is composed of two words hnefa and tafl. [b:1gne7vph]Hnefa.[/b:1gne7vph] The Glossary of Modern Danish tells that the word "næve" is of Old Norse origin "hnefi" which means a clenched fist. Today "næve" is always used in terms connected with strength. Icelandic is today the language most closely connected to Old Norse. In Icelandic the word for fist should still be "hnefi". The Icelandic grammar is also very unchanged since Old Norse. The Icelandic genitiv inflexional endings are Genitiv singularis -s Genitiv pluralis -a I found an article about Old Norse grammar which also mentions the genitiv pluralis -a. [i:1gne7vph][b:1gne7vph]So the exact meaning of the word "hnefatafl" would seem to be "the board game of clenched fists".[/b:1gne7vph][/i:1gne7vph] Of course war is not fought with clenched fists alone. The term could be a designation of the mental atmosphere? If an army of Vikings met on battle field with their fists clenched, they probably brought a lot more with them that their fists... Many sources translate hnefa into the name for the king piece, which is thus supposed to be called "the fist", and so hnefatafl would by this roundabout translate into "King's table". But as said, hnefa is not singularis but pluralis. Could be that the name in real has not so much the tone of "the noble board game of the king" but more the tone of "the board game of a hell of a fight with clenched fists"...! [b:1gne7vph]Tafl.[/b:1gne7vph] Tafl origins in the Latin word tabula (English: table). Old Danish has the word Tavl-Bord, Old Norse taflbord (literally table-table), which has the meanings - game board for board games - table for board games or dice games - name for the game itself The word is found in many old Danish folk songs, as in the line "Listen, you good young swain, play tavlebord with me!" Note the close similarity of the word tavlebord to the Welsh tafl game Tawl-bwrdd. [quote="Roderich":1gne7vph]I sometimes wonder why the 'h' at the beginning ... are there nordic languages who do actually pronounce that consonant in any way?[/quote:1gne7vph] As for the starting letter h in hnefatafl, I can't say about the other Nordic languages, but Jutlandic Danish dialects do pronounce the h in the beginning of very many words, even if standard modern Danish does not. So the h was very probably pronounced by the Vikings. Like Roderich, I also prefer the good old, original word Hnefatafl more than modern commercial adaptations like "nefatavl".
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320599588 Sun Nov 6, 2011 18:13
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Roderich":htny2ts1]what about the passing of the throne[/quote:htny2ts1] Greeting Roderich! Nice to hear you are back. It seems to me that all rule adjustments are essentially about dialing in king strength. A throne square blocking black pieces for example would certainly add frustration to that sides attempts in king blocking. If its needed. Personally I find Fetlar works beautifully as it is. Though lets keep an eye on the statistics and strategy arms races between white and black. I have been completely tied up this last few months with testing claims that 9x9 rachuneck is a well balanced and superior game to Fetlar. My conclusions after playing as 'xonn' on dragonheelslair and brainking, are that it does indeed seem like an elegant and well balanced game. As for its superiority over fetlar, after about 40+ games I have to admit I don't particularly enjoy it, while I still love playing Fetlar after 20 years. I find rachuneck plays like demanding but not particularly rewarding puzzle. As Hagbard has pointed out in conversation, the pieces have no character. The pieces don't really come alive like they do in Fetlar, where patterns on the board effortlessly bring to mind vivid images of attack, counter attack, ruse, subterfuge, noble and foolhardy sacrifice, and with a slippery king whose power makes the attackers tremble. Conversely the weaponless king and 9x9 board edge escape feels to me like playing a tricky game of naughts and crosses. And tricky it is. There are a couple of high rated players I am having real trouble beating, so by no means have I fully understood the game's dynamic. But I don't enjoy playing it even when I win. Whereas I enjoy fetlar from start to finish even when I lose. I look forward to returning to the fetlar fold.
AUTHOR Adam

1320600747 Sun Nov 6, 2011 18:32
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Agreed, lets stick with Hnefatafl. The reason I flagged it up was 1: its often written hnefetafl online, and I wanted to sort that one out. 2. Norwegians that I introduce the game to have a real problem with the H. And it always gets in the way of explaining the game, which struck me as odd as its a language where they should understand what it means. However, as a native englishman, I am happy to go along with our native scandinavian Hagbard on this one. very interesting and entertaining etymology by the way. Viva Hnefatafl!
AUTHOR Adam

1320601196 Sun Nov 6, 2011 18:39
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
As I mentioned in another post, I have been long absent from the online gaming site, as I have been immersed in the 9x9 rachuneck tafl on two correspondence sites brainking and dragonsheels. Several good things have come of this. One, is that dragonsheels is now offering Fetlar rules thanks to crusts efforts, and there is now a tournament there. Do come and join in. The fetlar meme is spreading. Lets show them a good game at its best. Another is that while I began hating the correspondence format, I have found it much easier to fit games into even the most hectic of days. Now that my experimenting with rachuneck is pretty much over, I intend to be playing live more again as before, which I do prefer when I can find the time, though supplemented with some correspondence.
AUTHOR Adam

1320697206 Mon Nov 7, 2011 21:20
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
I always thought the "hnefa" bit was a reference to knucklebones (really sheep's ankle bones) which look like human knuckles (hence the fist reference). These knucklebones would have been very common objects in a viking village, and were used in games for thousands of years (e.g. ancient greek [i:1lqldpma]astragaloi[/i:1lqldpma]); they can be used as dice or as simple gaming pieces. This might also explain some of the confusion about use of dice in hnefatafl. The references in the sagas seem to be tantalisingly ambiguous. By the way, "Noggin the nog" spells it "hnefetafl". Silly Nog! [url:1lqldpma]http://www.smallfilms.co.uk/noggin/hnefetafl.htm[/url:1lqldpma] Good to see Roderich back! crust
AUTHOR crust

1320711060 Tue Nov 8, 2011 1:11
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
[quote="Adam":28yznogn]dragonsheels is now offering Fetlar rules thanks to crusts efforts[/quote:28yznogn] Well, Thibaut (Dragonheels) did all the work, I just offered encouragement! (and a set of rules). crust
AUTHOR crust

1320748812 Tue Nov 8, 2011 11:40
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Adam":1ra0kbpx] I still love playing Fetlar after 20 years. I find rachuneck plays like demanding but not particularly rewarding puzzle.[/quote:1ra0kbpx] In agreement with this. I'm glad to have been introduced to this "Rachunek" form of tafl, and it does seem balanced and interesting enough to be worth playing. But it's somehow a bit dead... I think it must be the weaponless king. Also the fact that the throne is not hostile, kind of deadens the board. It would be interesting to try out Adam's idea of naval rachunek tafl, where the king represents an unarmed capital ship, and the "throne" is just an ordinary square, with no special features (apart from the fact that the "king" just happens to start on that square). It might go down well with MaC and his colleagues in the German Navy (anyone heard from him recently?) On second thoughts, "go down well" is not a good phrase with ships... as in: "My great grandfather designed an unsinkable ship...and it went down really well!" Maybe Aage could one day program this version...? with a blue board and little ship-icons...? Picture is of a home-made "breakthru" set (tafl-type game). [quote="Roderich":1ra0kbpx]I'm really looking forward to try out the berserk variant (my berserker rage is already growing *gr*), [/quote:1ra0kbpx] Me too - I am chewing the top of my shield in anticipation. Can't seem to get it to work at the moment though. Grr crust
AUTHOR crust

1320759817 Tue Nov 8, 2011 14:43
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":32gt0b3u]It would be interesting to try out Adam's idea of naval rachunek tafl, where the king represents an unarmed capital ship, and the "throne" is just an ordinary square, with no special features (apart from the fact that the "king" just happens to start on that square). [/quote:32gt0b3u] Yeh, I'm ready to help test this idea, a variant that could be called "Sea battle tafl"? Maybe we could discuss a few issues beforehand to save work. The game crust outlines, is identical to Rachunek on an 11x11 board. Only difference is the center square being an ordinary square. This is a small difference and would probably have as little influence on the game as would a small wave on the sea surface, I think. Our experience with Rachunek 11x11 is that the number of attackers are overwhelming to the defenders, who therefore loose. If the Sea battle tafl is to be played on an 9x9 board, it is again Rachunek with the small difference of the center square. We know that Rachunek 9x9 as a game works well; we also know, I think, that Rachunek 9x9 is a rather complicated game. Adam considers the Sea battle tafl to be used at an exhibition in Norway, targeted at young children and on a 7x7 or 9x9 board with very large squares. It could of course be that the Rachunek rules would still be a fun game for children, even if we may find it complicated. If the Sea battle tafl is actually Rachunek tafl, it's not so much needed to program it as a new variant. However, the detail of the unarmed capital ship bothers me. This is a Viking fleet. If the capital ship is a royal ship, it is of terrible power, largest ship on sea and manned with the king's best men, his hird. Here is one of them, manned with 100 men, the wreck was found on the bottom of Roskilde Fjord, Denmark: [url=http://www.museumsskibe.dk/havhingsten.html:32gt0b3u][b:32gt0b3u]The Sea Stallion of Glendalough[/b:32gt0b3u][/url:32gt0b3u] If the capital ship is a chieftain's ship, it's also the most powerful ship in the fleet. If we suppose this powerful capital ship is by all means armed, can sink enemy ships and must be surrounded from 4 sides to be captured, it will easily reach the board edge, escaping into the horizons. What to do about the balance then? Ships' movements could be limited to one square per move. This is a known tafl rule from small tafl boards. Or movements could be 1-3 squares per move. Or maybe only the especially well built capital ship can move 1-3 squares per move. Something like this? - But, I believe that the variant, which Adam is looking for for the exhibition, is precisely the Rachunek which crust outlines above, and that it will work well for the purpose. [quote="crust":32gt0b3u]Can't seem to get it to work at the moment though.[/quote:32gt0b3u] - I had live play Berserk test games against some opponents, and currently a correspondence Berserk game against Roderich. [i:32gt0b3u]However, Roderich had to shift to the Firefox browser as Explorer did not work with this software.[/i:32gt0b3u]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1320871499 Wed Nov 9, 2011 21:44
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Hagbard":2asmzgko] If the capital ship is a chieftain's ship, it's also the most powerful ship in the fleet. [/i][/quote:2asmzgko] Quite right, I imagine it as perhaps a small merchant ship carry something of value, defended by a fleet of war ships. The idea of an any type of defenseless ship in viking times is probably absurd though.
AUTHOR Adam

1320921841 Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:44
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
There's a paradox in the idea of a piece (king or capital ship, whatever) which has no offensive capability at all, but twice the defensive capability of an ordinary piece (because it must be attacked on 4 sides instead of 2). I can't think of a real-life situation which reflects this. Unless, if we're talking about ships, the attackers are trying to [u:2cvdmqz7]capture[/u:2cvdmqz7] the capital ship, rather than destroy it, and this requires 4 ships to immobilise and capture it, whereas they only need 2 to destroy an enemy warship. I think that makes sense... :x So the capital ship is a spanish galleon stuffed with gold (but with no cannons), and the attackers are pirates. Arr!
AUTHOR crust

1321035136 Fri Nov 11, 2011 19:12
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
thats exactly the sort of thing. Its still daft, but its a bit like when police cars box in a speeding motorist on a motorway. They could just shoot the driver, but they box them in and then decelerate them to a stop. Hmmm, JUST like a viking sea battle. (the last sentence was sarcastic).
AUTHOR Adam

1321083437 Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:37
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Adam":2zsd8kim]Quite right, I imagine it as perhaps a small merchant ship carry something of value, defended by a fleet of war ships.[/quote:2zsd8kim] Seen from that point of view, it does make a lot of sense! There were a number of types of ships, some were war ships (long, slim, fast, full of warriors), others were cargo ships (shorter, broader, slower, heavy, full of goods). Your picture of a fleet of valuable cargo ships (here only one), protected by an escort fleet of war ships, could indeed depict a real situation at sea. The cargo transport is then attacked by an enemy fleet of war ships, the attackers' goal being to seize the cargo ship intact. All involved war ships, both defending and attacking, being ordinary size, not royal, chieftain's or anything that special. On the bottom of Roskilde Fjord five Viking ships were found, which included both types - war ships of different sizes and cargo ships of different sizes: [b:2zsd8kim][url:2zsd8kim]http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/exhibitions/the-boat-collection/[/url:2zsd8kim][/b:2zsd8kim]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321089611 Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:20
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Hagbard":203k3kmh]Seen from that point of view, it does make a lot of sense![/quote:203k3kmh] - and more sense, too, than the Rachunek scenery with a weaponless king. At sea there's the valuable, weak cargo ship. But which excuse could be used for a defenseless piece on land? The only one that comes to my mind is this: the Rachunek king is not present at all, but it's his defenseless wife and children, whom his loyal hird struggle to bring into safety.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321368426 Tue Nov 15, 2011 15:47
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
Crust missed the Fetlar edge rule in the Berserk game, so it is added. All Fetlar rules are integrated in the Berserk. If white looses the knight, which can easily happen, and black looses the chieftains, it is all pure Fetlar (except that the king can still jump to and from the king's squares, and except for the berserk moves).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321370380 Tue Nov 15, 2011 16:19
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
The Sea Battle Tafl is implemented: identical to Rachunek 9x9 except for the center square not being special, and the attackers begin like in Fetlar.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321384029 Tue Nov 15, 2011 20:07
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
Beyond, it seems to me that the berserk variant is in some way a totally different kind of hnefatafl. It's the fact that white has only one knight whose position isn't exchangeable. This means it's no longer the same from where both colours start on the board! And yet there's no realistic chance for white to force a draw, it must mobilise its knight as soon as possible (or as profitable as possible) to break free – wouldn't everything else be unwise?. I would love it if the historic sources would have given us one knight on BOTH flanks, this would be more tafl-like as we know it. The game's full of surprising moments and intriguing options, however.
AUTHOR Roderich

1321386637 Tue Nov 15, 2011 20:50
SUBJECT International Hnefatafl Society
Heilsa y'all! Aluric from The Tafl Gild here. I've enjoyed your online tafl games for years~just wish you had a 'hostile base camps' option in your ruleset. :ugeek: I would be %110 in favor of an international organization. I would love to see recorded games from all variants on the tafl theme, played by all rulesets. I'm working on a book titled Taflbok, which will include rules and strategy/tactics tips for games on the 7x7, 9x9, 11x11 and 19x19 boards. Aluric Snead http://www.facebook.com/groups/139877156090703/
AUTHOR Aluric

1321387591 Tue Nov 15, 2011 21:06
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
I would vote strongly for 'Organization'. 'organizations determine membership based upon shared commonalities, they are usually professional, religious or ethical in nature' The Tafl Gild regards tafl is a touchstone to the 'folkway'~the heritage and traditions of pre-Conversion Northern Europe. We are NOT a religious group, though many of our members are 'heathen'. We do promote ethical values, whatever your theological persuasion, much like the Freemsons. Our 'ashlar' is the tafl borð. And the spelling is easy: 't-a-f-l'. lol Aluric
AUTHOR Aluric

1321393906 Tue Nov 15, 2011 22:51
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
After a few hundred games, we settled on escape to the corner, 4 liberties for an armed king, & hostile base camps. The final tweak was making the hostile squares (including the center after the king has left it) UNCROSSABLE, as well as hostile to both sides, including the king. Draws are practically unheard of. Aluric
AUTHOR Aluric

1321402376 Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:12
SUBJECT Tafl Gild~Norse Illuminati?
In Old Iceland, England and Wales, the goðar were as much lawyers & politicians as priests. I have semi-jokingly postualated the mythical Elder Tafl Gild as a kind of heathen Second Foundation. It is like finding a hypothetical needle in a highly corrupt, censored, nearly destroyed *record* of a haystack that *may have* existed a millennium ago. In my mythos, The Elder Tafl Gild and Rune Gild were the unofficial senate and congress in Scandinavia, pre Christian 'Conversion'~a gentle phrasing of a horrific process. Runes were the study of the few and deicated. Tafl was played by EVERYBODY, young and old, rich & poor. It was semi-obligatory among the jarls and war band leaders, as Jarl Rognvald Kali's boast demonstrates: "I can play at Tafl, Nine skills I know, Rarely forget I the runes, I know of books and smithing, I know how to slide on skis, Shoot and row, well enough; Each of two arts I know, Harp-playing and speaking poetry." For better or worse, they are stuck with me as Magister Ludi. I/we have been playing 'pick up sticks' with obscure notes, references and riddles for precisely a decade. http://www.heathennation.net/the-tafl-gild.html Aluric mTm Tafl Gild Drighten http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25vtmmur ... ure=relmfu
AUTHOR Aluric

1321403626 Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:33
SUBJECT Link:Tafl Gild
http://www.heathennation.net/the-tafl-gild.html
AUTHOR Aluric

1321448687 Wed Nov 16, 2011 14:04
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[quote="Roderich":3e2f1k76]I would love it if the historic sources would have given us one knight on BOTH flanks[/quote:3e2f1k76] The historic source on this is [b:3e2f1k76]the set of Hnefatafl game pieces in the Bergen Museum[/b:3e2f1k76] [i:3e2f1k76](Foto: Bergen Museum)[/i:3e2f1k76]: [img:3e2f1k76]http://aagenielsen.dk/bergenmuseumhnefatafl.jpg[/img:3e2f1k76] When you take a close look at the defenders, you'll discover one the them has a nail hole in the top (besides the king). [i:3e2f1k76]Not more than one piece;[/i:3e2f1k76] something was mounted there, some top decoration. Another defender has an unregular hollow on the side near the top, but this looks much more like a cast fault. By the way also the king seems to have a nail hole in the top, larger than the first one, like some even larger decoration was mounted on top of this piece. On the four attacking commanders a top decoration is preserved; on rest of the attackers: no sign of such. Apparently the manufactoring approach of this glass artist consistently was to mount tops with the use of nail holes. So, no sign of the defenders having more than one officer piece besides the king. In return this one piece should be expected to have some abilities which are nasty to the attackers. [b:3e2f1k76]The historic sources on the game rules[/b:3e2f1k76], I've suggested for this set of pieces, are the Fetlar game, which is in itself a distillation of all known historic tafl games, plus all descriptions of other known games of the Latrunculi family found in R.C. Bell: "Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations". All the game piece move patterns known from these games were transferred and integrated in the suggested Berserk rules by, if I may be so bold, "educated guesses" (which is very different from pure guessing...). Noone rule was introduced which is not already known from one of these games. The suggested move pattern for the knight does make this piece nasty to the attackers; the only piece on board killing enemies all alone, with no help from comrades or king's squares. The move pattern looks like the behaviour of a warrior on horseback - the knight jumping over enemies with his horse and killing them off. After a number of test games with the suggested rules, it seems impossible for the defenders to build a draw fort with any commanders alive, and it also seems impossible for the attackers to seal off the corners with the knight still alive. By the way, while I think "the knight" is a suitable name for the king's officer, probably a better name could be found for the attacker commanders. Commanders, chieftains, hersir. The commander is probably the head of one Viking war ship with crew and warriors. I wonder what their real name was in Viking Age? [b:3e2f1k76]Update December 27th 2011[/b:3e2f1k76] Note that none of the four attacker commanders' top decorations have fallen off, whereas both defending officers' decorations are missing, left only the empty nail holes. This suggests that "the king"'s and "the knight"'s decorations [i:3e2f1k76]were both larger and thus easier broken off[/i:3e2f1k76] - could maybe be some sort of a crown on top of the king, and who knows if "the knight" might've had some sort of a horse head decoration on top - ?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321599727 Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:02
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":xgnpvzwn]Maybe Aage could one day program this version...?[/quote:xgnpvzwn] - Did anyone ever try the Sea Battle Tafl? It's on the games list.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321627345 Fri Nov 18, 2011 15:42
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
Sea Battle Tafl (Navytafl) could be the simplest form we have tried - it just has NO complications! As such, it could be a good way to start people off, who have never played any tafls before. Assuming of course that it turns out to be playable! Thanks Aage for making it available to try out. Hello Aluric, good to have your input. I like the sound of your taflbok book. You didn't say whether your version was 9x9 or 11x11, and whether it has a name. In fact, I would like to hear what names you have for any versions you know, and if you have tried what we call Fetlar and Rachunek :D
AUTHOR crust

1321692958 Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:55
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":2reuzsw3]Sea Battle Tafl (Navytafl) could be the simplest form we have tried - it just has NO complications! As such, it could be a good way to start people off, who have never played any tafls before. Assuming of course that it turns out to be playable![/quote:2reuzsw3] I'm confident that the Sea Battle is playable - it's so close to Rachunek, which is, and just this little bit even simpler in rules.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1321694019 Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:13
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Aluric":3e73wepd]After a few hundred games, we settled on escape to the corner, 4 liberties for an armed king, & hostile base camps. The final tweak was making the hostile squares (including the center after the king has left it) UNCROSSABLE, as well as hostile to both sides, including the king. Draws are practically unheard of.[/quote:3e73wepd] Do you have a link to the rules of this tafl? Sounds like you are not far from the [url=http://www.heroicage.org/issues/13/ashton.php:3e73wepd]Ashton deduction[/url:3e73wepd], except that you go to the corners, and capture the king from 4 sides? Also not so far from the [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/tablut_rules_english.html:3e73wepd]Swedish tablut[/url:3e73wepd]. What is meant by "4 liberties" - is it an expression for the king being captured from 4 sides?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1323468685 Fri Dec 9, 2011 23:11
SUBJECT Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Greetings everyone, I have long been somewhat fascinated by Tablut and Hnefatafl, and in the last days I started thinking about starting playing the game, which led to the question of which rules to learn to play by. And as a consequence I started reading about the documented rules of Tablut, as described by Linnaeus. Most of you know the discovery by Ashton ([url:2s14a7jp]http://blog.gametime24x7.com/blog/file.axd?file=Tablut+Summary-Longer.pdf[/url:2s14a7jp]), that translation errors led to the use of the four men capture rule for the king, and that two men capture is the rule described by Linnaeus except for on or next to the citadell/throne. This impressed me, but when reading the article further, I was not convinced by some conclusions he reached regarding other rules, specifically regarding the base camps. Because of this, I decided to have a go myself at translating the rules, and see where I ended up. With no real knowledge of Latin, armed with only "Google translate" and previous translations as a reference, this perhaps is foolhardy ;) , but I think I have reached some interesting conclusions, that I discuss below. When almost finished, I also discovered that Nicolas Cartier seems to have reached similar conclusions. His analysis is available on this site, but only in French, which I do not know ([url:2s14a7jp]http://aagenielsen.dk/Cartier-IterLapponicum.pdf[/url:2s14a7jp]), although the derived rules are also available in English ([url:2s14a7jp]http://aagenielsen.dk/TablutrulesbyCartier.pdf[/url:2s14a7jp]). My basic approach is my belief that Linnaeus actually knew and understood the game he is describing. I think this is clear from the detailed nuances, for instance in the rules describing capture of the king; these are not mere observations of play, but rules stated in the form of examples. In other words, Linnaeus knew the game (or at least had an informant who did), and did his best to describe it in a clear and complete fashion. Anyway, here are my translations and discussions of the paragraphs of Linnaeus Tablut where I disagree with Ashton. I have taken the Latin text from Ashton, since I do not have access to a scan of the manuscript. [quote:2s14a7jp] [quote:2s14a7jp]O. Vacua loca occupare cuique licitum, item Regi, idem valet de locis characterisatis praeter arcem.[/quote:2s14a7jp] O. Empty squares may be occupied legally, also of the king. Also allowed are the marked [with numbers] squares, except for the castle.[/quote:2s14a7jp] This paragraph is used by Ashton to support the concept of restricted "base camps", but I think the translation should be as above. If the Moscovite starting areas were restricted, Linnaeus would have written that explicitly in the section describing them, as he did for the center square. Linnaeus only explicitly calls the center square [i:2s14a7jp]arx[/i:2s14a7jp], and always use the singular form. I see no support in extending the concept to the Moscovite starting areas as Ashton does. The rules as written by Linnaeus does not give any special properties to these areas. [quote:2s14a7jp] [quote:2s14a7jp]4. Si Rex tali modo exit, est praelium fiuitum.[/quote:2s14a7jp] 4. If the king exits in such a way, the battle is ended. [/quote:2s14a7jp] This translation is straight forward, but Ashton inserts an extra reference forbidding exiting over the base camps here. Ashton makes a big deal of the fact that all exit examples take place away from the Moscovite base camp, but I think this is an artifact of the labeling. Linnaeus started by drawing the game board, then described the game setup, adding the numerical labels. When he got to describing the rules, he could not use the Moscovite starting areas in examples in an exact way, since all these squares were labeled with a 4! [quote:2s14a7jp] [quote:2s14a7jp]12. Rege capto vel intercluso finitur bellum et victor retinet svecos, devictus muscovitas et ludus incipiatur.[/quote:2s14a7jp] 12. If the king is captured or escapes, the war is finished, and the victor takes the Swedes, the loser the Moscovites, and the game begins anew. [/quote:2s14a7jp] This rule is interesting, and I have not seen any satisfying translation before. I think it is a rule for match play, or other extended sessions. What this tells us is that in a match (or a money game) the winner will play the Swedes in the next game. I think this shows that the players knew that that side is stronger, since the winner is rewarded with this side. The effect is that in a long enough session the best player will definitely have the most won games, since even if starting as Moscovite, he will win sooner or later, and then get to play the Swedes, where he will have the double advantage of having the stronger side, and being the stronger player. [quote:2s14a7jp] [quote:2s14a7jp]14. Arx potest intercludere, aeque ac trio, ut si miles in 2 et hostis in 3 est, occidat.[/quote:2s14a7jp] 14. The castle can block [movement], as well as act as a third piece [in capture], such that if a soldier is in 2 and an enemy in 3, the soldier is killed. [/quote:2s14a7jp] I think this rule explicitly says that pieces cannot cross the castle, and also that it can assist in capture. Well, long rambling first post, but I had to write it down. As I said above, Nicolas Cartier reached similar conclusions, but since his thoughts are only available in French, I thought I better write this down before I forget it. In the English rules from N. Cartier the king can not reenter the castle after leaving it. I am not sure about this. On one hand no exception for the king is mentioned in the rules (if one do not interpret the paragraph labeled O. to mean this), on the other hand calling the square "the kings castle", or "throne" in Sami would seem weird if the king was not allowed there. I believe the rules from Linnaeus are not clear on this as they stand, but I am prepared to be convince otherwise. :) So that's that. I am no closer to deciding on what rule set to learn to play, but perhaps I learned something else instead.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1323524595 Sat Dec 10, 2011 14:43
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="conanlibrarian":2rw2obz0] This rule is interesting, and I have not seen any satisfying translation before. I think it is a rule for match play, or other extended sessions. What this tells us is that in a match (or a money game) the winner will play the Swedes in the next game. I think this shows that the players knew that that side is stronger, since the winner is rewarded with this side. The effect is that in a long enough session the best player will definitely have the most won games, since even if starting as Moscovite, he will win sooner or later, and then get to play the Swedes, where he will have the double advantage of having the stronger side, and being the stronger player. [/quote:2rw2obz0] Very interesting post. My latin knowledge extends to Romanes eunt domus, people call romans they go the house. http://latin-dictionary.co.uk/latin-phr ... in-lesson/ So while I can't vouch for your translations, they are very interesting. The blocked base camps have never made sense to me. If you have the knowledge, might you post a fresh latin translation for everyone to look at in english? If anyone has access to the original latin text, please post it up a for conanlibrarian. I'm interested also in the winner plays the kings side rule. It does indicate an accepted game imbalance. Though I would have assumed the opposite, that the loser is playing the stronger side in a bid to balance the game and handicap the stronger player. Otherwise how are players going to improve their game? In our experience of playing on this site, the only way to ensure a 100% balanced game is for a game to consist of two games, one as each colour, though the consensus is that the Fetlar rules and rachuneck rule sets offer very even tafl games. Hope to see a full translation soon! Good work : ) Adam
AUTHOR Adam

1323529094 Sat Dec 10, 2011 15:58
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
I actually do not know much/any Latin either... :) As I said, I used Google translate (it works for Latin), plus occasional use of word lists, plus common sense. So my translation is not necessarily any better, and I hesitated to publish it completely - getting Nicolas Cartiers article in English would probably be better. But I have attached my translation anyway, it is heavily indebted to Ashton and also to Cartier. It is meant to be a literal (but not word for word, of course) translation of the rules, and I try to keep interpretations to a minimum. If someone does know Latin, please comment on the translations. Regarding the translation of paragraph 12, I have the feeling that Linnaeus use Swedish/Germanic grammar here, and uses Latin words as a code. A word for word translation into English more or less give my suggested meaning, while most other translations of this rules doesn't really mean anything. :) I do not know if it is a good rule or not, though. ;)
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1323529921 Sat Dec 10, 2011 16:12
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="Adam":2yi8jvg4][quote="conanlibrarian":2yi8jvg4]If anyone has access to the original latin text, please post it up a for conanlibrarian.[/quote:2yi8jvg4][/quote:2yi8jvg4] There was a discussion on Brainking in 2005 on the matter; this note should give the full Latin text: [b:2yi8jvg4][url:2yi8jvg4]http://brainking.com/dk/Board?bc=18&ngi=259250[/url:2yi8jvg4][/b:2yi8jvg4] - I just discovered that conanlibrarian has it also.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1323773614 Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:53
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
To clarify my position - the problem with Ashton's article is that he mixes the translation with the interpretation of the rules. This is most clear in the paragraph labeled O, where you do not need to know any Latin to see that he inserted information - Just compare the word counts - but also in case of Law 4, and some other cases, where he again inserted words to support his interpretations. I think it is a pity that he took this approach, instead of clearly indicating what is translation, and what is interpretation. As I said, my translation is perhaps not better (Ashton wrote that he had his translation checked professionally), but it is available - the basic translation (without interpretation) of Ashton is not available at all. In the PDF of my translation, I have also included some extra words (as interpretation), but they are all in square brackets. For those who know French, Nicolas Cartier's translation is probably the best way to go, I only read it with Google translate, and read the final interpreted rules, that are available in English. It seems that the rules of Cartier are the closest to Linnaeus original writing published to date. Anyone know of a place where you can play online according to these rules, or something similar (escape to edge, king can capture, king is captured as normal piece)?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1323863952 Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:59
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="conanlibrarian":7kmba2bh]the problem with Ashton's article is that he mixes the translation with the interpretation of the rules.[/quote:7kmba2bh] To be fair, Ashton originally wrote a very thorugh article 18 pages long with all intermediate calculations included. But The Heroic Age magazine forced him to shorten it down heavily. [quote="conanlibrarian":7kmba2bh]It seems that the rules of Cartier are the closest to Linnaeus original writing published to date. Anyone know of a place where you can play online according to these rules, or something similar (escape to edge, king can capture, king is captured as normal piece)?[/quote:7kmba2bh] Cartier's article on Tablut is very interesting - Cartier has the advantage of a native language (French) close to Latin. The Cartier Tablut rules will be implemented here as an experiment, but maybe not till after New Year.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1324045841 Fri Dec 16, 2011 15:30
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Am I right in thinking that we now have three playable tafl forms all claiming to be the correct interpretation of Linnaeus? [i:2u9m7coi]Swedish[/i:2u9m7coi], [i:2u9m7coi]Rachunek[/i:2u9m7coi] and [i:2u9m7coi]Cartier[/i:2u9m7coi]. Maybe we should be calling them Linnaeus A, B and C. They are a diverse lot - hard to believe they all come from accidents of translation. Just about the only things they have in common are the 9 x 9 board size, escape to the edge and custodial capture. Well done Hagbard on the programming. The Cartier is really nice. Oo la la! crust
AUTHOR crust

1324062299 Fri Dec 16, 2011 20:04
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="crust":24twsvnh]Am I right in thinking that we now have three playable tafl forms all claiming to be the correct interpretation of Linnaeus?[/quote:24twsvnh] - Four! There's also the Ashton interpretation. Not implemented as live play yet, but can be played against the computer from this page: [url:24twsvnh]http://aagenielsen.dk/tablut_online.html[/url:24twsvnh]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1324159686 Sat Dec 17, 2011 23:08
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Okay - I have just come across a fifth. That's right, folks, Linnaeus version 5. It's escape to the corner, with an unarmed king, and hostile corners, throne and board edge. Here is the link: [url:85n5o1en]http://www.yourturnmyturn.com/rules/tablut.php[/url:85n5o1en] Thanks to "matematician" on Dragonheelslair who directed me to it. This website says "Several rules are known for this board game, yourturnmyturn.com chose to play with a variant that has equal winning chances for all players" - I don't believe this. Surely black will win almost all the time?
AUTHOR crust

1324206003 Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:00
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Strictly speaking, I'd call the yourturnmyturn variant "Tafl" and not "Tablut", because yourturnmyturn is not seriously based on the Linnaeus diary. Linnaeus gives two clear examples of winning moves which are both non-winning in the yourturnmyturn. Likewise I'd call the Rachunek variant used on Brainking and Dragonheelslair also "Tafl" and not "Tablut", because Linnaeus describes the king to be captured from two sides when away from center, where Rachunek always requires capture from four sides. I know that the two-side-capture rule somehow was lost in a certain early English translation, but at some point the Brainking community actually did have a lenghty discussion on the original Linnaeus text and yet sticked to the four-side-capture rule. A strange case is the "Swedish Tablut" rules given by the Swedish museums; here they are from the Foteviken Museum in Scone, Sweden: [url:2zqzw2hx]http://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/art_50_99/viking_art84b.htm[/url:2zqzw2hx] One should expect Swedish museums to be the first authority on Tablut, and yet they too ignore the two-side-capture rule of the king described by Linnaeus.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1324245348 Sun Dec 18, 2011 22:55
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Well, in a way you could say that [i:2izp6lh2]all[/i:2izp6lh2] modern tafl games are variants on the Linnaeus rules, and we have Murray to thank that we even know what kind of game Hnefatafl was. The only other known rules (Robert ap Ifan - please correct me if some other tafl rules source exist) are very terse, and not really possible to understand without knowing the Linnaeus description. It is interesting that this second source agrees with the Cartier translation; it also describes a game with two sided king capture, and (probably) escape to the edge.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1327232214 Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:36
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Greetings all! This post is about draws in fetlar hnefatafl. It repeats some things already discussed - apologies for that. Just summarizing my thoughts on the subject. Thanks to Chuck Ward for setting me off again. Basically, white can in fact create a draw position in 2 moves, and there seems little black can do about it. This is what Adam calls "The Monstrosity". [attachment=0:vj5cqjy4]mmonstrsity.JPG[/attachment:vj5cqjy4] How to get a draw fort in 2 moves. Black can pick off h6 and f8 but it makes no difference. White must only move the e6 piece after this – moving the king would expose g6 and f7 to capture. But can black prevent the formation of this position, by blocking the second move? e.g 1: h1 – h3, e5 – e4. 2: d1 – d5? This can be captured, but it disrupts the position a little. Possible continuation: 2: …e4 – d4x. 3: e1 – e4? I had a whole series of games like this with Adam, to test out the idea, and I think the jury’s still out. We accidentally invented a new game in the process – you could call it “draw hnefatafl” – whoever plays white has to go for a draw at the earliest possible opportunity. If white gets a draw, white wins. Sometimes white got a draw, sometimes not. Sometimes black lost so many men trying to stop the draw fort that white could easily win properly, that is, by getting the king to the corner. Anyway, even though the draw fort was sometimes stopped, neither of us could confidently assert that it could always be stopped – too many variables in the moves and responses. However, it's possible that these early draws can be stopped by black offensive countermeasures. Another way is using points. In a tournament you can award zero points for a draw, zero for a defeat and one point for a win, so a player could not win a tournament by always playing for draws as white, against another player who risked losing in order to get an occasional win. A player with six draws would have zero points, but a player with 1 win and 5 defeats would have 1 point. A draw would still be worth fighting for though, because at least you'd be depriving the other player of a point too. I think this is an excellent idea for tournaments. However, outside of a tournament situation, (e.g. when playing a single game) it’s no help. Another possible solution is to ban centre forts, while still allowing edge forts. Then you preserve the kind of game which flips from one mode (attacking the corners) to another mode (forming a draw-fort) and back, which I think adds a fascinating dimension to the game, but you would avoid the possibility of an early centre-fort draw such as the "monstrosity". I don't know practically how this would work, after all, white may form a centre fort "accidentally" while retreating towards the centre - would black then claim an instant win, or demand that white makes an alternative move? I see problems there. Perhaps the rules would have to be amended to say that black wins after 2 move repetitions if during those repetitions the white king is on the throne square, or moving to and from the throne square. There's probably a more logical way of putting it, but it sounds rather inelegant. It's not a step I would take gladly, because I have had several good games featuring battles in the centre, where one player is trying to create a centre fort and the other is trying to stop it. But maybe it is a necessary adjustment, especially if we begin to find that early draws happen a lot, though actually at the moment they're pretty rare. I would say most players at some stage discover this possibility of an early draw, try it out, and quickly realise it spoils the game, so they stop doing it. The fetlar rules give white a fair chance of winning (and black too of course), but I suppose there's the chance that a weak player who knows he is up against a stronger player might be tempted to score a draw rather than play to win. So, in conclusion, I'm not even sure if this is a real problem, or an imaginary one. (Sorry for wasting your time!) If it is real, I think there are solutions to it. I should also have mentioned Berserk Hnefatafl, which addresses the same problem in a brilliantly creative way. Another solution is to play Rachunek Tafl, or any of the 9x9 variants where draw forts don't occur. That will suit some players, but not others. I'd love to know what the Vikings did about this (assuming their rules were anything like ours...) I suspect a good old-fashioned axe in the head might have sorted it out.
AUTHOR crust

1327262033 Sun Jan 22, 2012 20:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
In my opinion the draw-fort is an intriguing phase of the 11x11 Hnefatafl game; this goes for the Fetlar variant and also for the Scandinavian Museums game where the draw-forts option is even more needed, as the king's side is very weak in this variant. Also in my opinion it's important to keep the threat of any draw-fort, both center, edge and anywhere-else. After a serious attempt by the defenders to reach the corners, the defenders are often so scattered on the board, that precisely the center fort formation turns out to be a struggling race between defenders and obstructing attackers. In other situations, the threat of a center fort lure or force a number of attackers away from their carefully chosen positions near corners and edges - far away to the center - which can very quickly turn the situation into a new and greater threat to black to simply loose the game. So the center fort is important. On the other hand, to avoid "The Monstrosity" two-moves-game black has to occupy the d5 square after the white opening move e5e4. It would be a forced move (if black doesn't do this, the game has ended), and I think that it's a rather unnatural start for any board game that already the second move of one side is a forced move; it limits the variety of game openings. [quote="crust":1482z6om]... if we begin to find that early draws happen a lot, though actually at the moment they're pretty rare. I would say most players at some stage discover this possibility of an early draw, try it out, and quickly realise it spoils the game, so they stop doing it.[/quote:1482z6om] This is also my experience. "The Monstrosity" two-moves-game is foul play, neither fun nor interesting for neither defenders nor attackers. It's the equivalent of a ball game where one player first thing and on purpose kicks the ball off the field out of sight never to be found again. If an opponent would do this against myself too often, he wouldn't easily find me at the board a next time ("axe in the head"!). To ensure that tricks like this bring no reward at tournaments, 0-0 points should always be given for the draws. Outside of a tournament situation, (e.g. when playing a single game) there's no reason for spoiling a game like that. If it were a problem (which I experience it isn't), ratings calculations could be altered so that draws result in no change of rating. However, in serious games, a fort is often achieved only after a hard and cunning struggle, plenty earning the rating reward. On this site a beginner against an experienced player can earn as much as 16 rating points on a draw. This is just my opinion.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1327527434 Wed Jan 25, 2012 22:37
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Ah, draws - my least favorite feature. I am no chess player (I prefer backgammon) so for me the concept is pretty alien, and I [i:2yy3k83w]assume[/i:2yy3k83w] the same was true for historical players of Tafl games. A situation like perpetual threats, or a draw fort, would simply mean that the game has not yet ended, and an opponent forcing such a situation to continue would be accused of "game avoidance". I believe that the draw is a modern feature that has been imported from chess, without reflecting on if it is a good fit to the game. It is my understanding that [i:2yy3k83w]corner[/i:2yy3k83w] Tafl requires the threat of draws (at least on 11*11) since otherwise it is too easy for the attackers to block all corners. But i believe that all sizes of edge Tafl are playable without draws; this is in my opinion yet a reason to assume that edge Tafl represent the historical game. Here are some thoughts on how to formulate rules on how to handle game avoidance situations: Since it at first glance seems that only the the defender side can perform game avoidance, one idea would be to simply reformulate the winning conditions: The defenders win if the king reach the edge, in all other situations (i.e. Encircled draw fort, repeated threats that is repeatedly blocked, etc.) the attackers win. But, for edge Tafl with two sided king capture in the following situation (illustrated below on a 6x6 board) the attackers can make perpetual threats by moving D3D4 and D4D3 repeatedly. Without the two defenders on F3 and F4, the moves are even forced for both players! [code:2yy3k83w] Attackers: x Defenders: o King: @ Defender to move A B C D E F 6 x 6 5 x 5 4 x o 4 3 x @ x o 3 2 x 2 1 x 1 A B C D E F [/code:2yy3k83w] So, my suggested rules to avoid most draws would be: [list:2yy3k83w] 1. It is not allowed to agree to draw a game. 2. If one side has no legal move, he forfeits his turn, and the other side plays again. 3a. If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. (from Cartier) 3b. If no offensive player can be determined (due to mutual symmetric threats, or that no direct threats are made), the game is a draw at the forth repetition. 4. If the position of the pieces of one player is repeated three times, and that player have not captured any opponents in this time, the player must find an alternative move. (forbids "draw forts") [/list:u:2yy3k83w] My guess is that with rules such as these, the number of draws would be very low. Regarding rules 3a and 3b, the question is if threats should only include direct game ending threats, or if threat of piece loss should also be counted. It would have to be tested to see what works best in practice. I think that something like these rules would be very playable for edge Tafl. For corner tafl, all bets are off...
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1327838757 Sun Jan 29, 2012 13:05
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Hagbard and conanlibrarian for your interesting responses! Conanlibrarian's rules would get rid of draws and draw forts altogether - I think that would be too drastic. After all, draw forts are fascinating in their own right, and make hnefatafl (fetlar version) into a real siege game. When both players know about the draw fort possibilities, including how many men needed and how many edge squares or which centre squares are required, you get some really subtle and nuanced play. I'd like to preserve that, in Fetlar rules at least. It's early draws I'm worried about - in other words, centre forts formed before attempts are made on the periphery, or instead of attacking the corners. But I'm feeling re-assured now: the concept of "foul play" outlined by Hagbard should be enough of a deterrent in a friendly match, and in tournaments the zero-point draw would be an equally strong deterrent. So it should not be a major problem. In edge tafl, draw by repetition is more common (where only one defender can stop the king,and is forced to copy the king's moves to block him) - though it does occur in Fetlar rules too. I believe that on brainking and dragonheelslair where there is a 9x9 edge tafl they have a rule that if white repeats same move 3 times, white loses the game instantly (which is the same as saying, white is forced to make an alternative move).
AUTHOR crust

1327868621 Sun Jan 29, 2012 21:23
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Yes, from what I have read, draws are an accepted feature in the Fetlar rules (I guess a good enough reason for me not to play it ;)), so my suggestion was more for edge tafl. I suspect that 11x11 edge tafl is as "susceptible" as Fetlar to draw forts (any experience from 11x11 Rachunek?). It would be interesting to try 11x11 edge tafl with 2 sided king capture, preferably keeping it "draw free" from the start.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1327873200 Sun Jan 29, 2012 22:40
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Well done to conanlibrarian for figuring out a situation where the attackers are forcing a draw. I've been turning that one over in my head for some time without luck, but feeling sure it was possible! My conclusion though was that such situations would be so absurdly unlikely as not to be worth considering. Which led me to further conclude that fetlar rules, hitherto balanced in my mind, rather favour the kings side in that they can force a draw so easily. And while I sympathise with all that's been said here, I have had a number of cracking games cut short over on dragonsheels. I've adjusted my play to work harder at preventing draws, but the point is that if black plays a strong opening game white scurries back into his hole without making a serious attempt at escaping. This leads to black having to over extend in order to start picking of kings men as early as possible, which in turn leads to white gaining more escape opportunities. On the face of it, it sounds like more dynamic excitement on the tafl board. But look deeper, and what you have is the kings side gaining advantage through potential early draw threat, forcing black to play dangerously right from the start. Which is fine, if we like our draw forts (and I do), but it suggests to me black needs some help to restore the balance. Or the king needs handicapping further. This would also potentially satisfy the perpetual check problem. Again, I like the challenge as black trying to prevent these situations appearing, but as this puts such a pressure on black, some kind of king handicap might be in order. All the talk of this not happening in tournament situations and being good sports doesn't really convince me as playing as xonn i've run into several early draws on dragonheels in tournaments perhaps because its rewarded with .5 points. So, my feeling is we either implement a rule that forbids repetition, or we find a way of restoring the balance. I get the feeling two sided capture would be too drastic. Though many of the draw situations would evapourate. Help!
AUTHOR Adam

1327934828 Mon Jan 30, 2012 15:47
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="Roderich":3k2q72n2](20 Aug 2011) Hi Adam, here's a first contribution from me. I've analized 54 shetland-fetlar-games from Aage's Homepage (including the tournament games) to find out if this variant is well balanced. Result: The shetland variant is indeed surprisingly well-balanced. We've got 39% wins for black, 17% draws and 44% wins for white.[/quote:3k2q72n2] I've done a new calculation of the Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 balance based on the by now rather large statistical material collected from our games here. If the calculation is limited to only cover the latest year (365 days), [i:3k2q72n2]292 Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 games were completed by 195 different players[/i:3k2q72n2]. The calculation is further limited to [i:3k2q72n2]fairly experienced players[/i:3k2q72n2] by these rules: A player is included only if - he has completed tafl games against at least 3 different opponents. A Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 game is included only if - the couple of players has completed a full match, i.e. each player has played against the other as both defender and attacker. - when the same couple of players has done several games, only the latest one is included. This method leaves 36 games completed by 11 different players: Adam Hagbard 0-1, Adam crust 0-1, Adam Roderich 0.5-0.5, Adam Jonas 0.5-0.5, Adam Hugues 1-0, Roderich Hagbard 1-0, Roderich crust 0-1, Roderich remi 1-0, Roderich Adam 0-1, Roderich Jonas 1-0, crust Hagbard 0.5-0.5, crust Pedro 1-0, crust MaC 1-0, crust Roderich 0-1, crust Jonas 1-0, crust Adam 0-1, crust chuck ward 1-0, Jonas Hagbard 0-1, Jonas crust 0-1, Jonas Roderich 1-0, Jonas Adam 0.5-0.5, Hugues Hagbard 1-0, Hugues Adam 0-1, Evans chuck ward 0-1, Pedro crust 1-0, Hagbard Hugues 1-0, Hagbard crust 1-0, Hagbard Roderich 0.5-0.5, Hagbard Jonas 1-0, Hagbard Adam 0-1, Hagbard chuck ward 1-0, remi Roderich 0-1, MaC crust 0.5-0.5, chuck ward Hagbard 0-1, chuck ward crust 0-1, chuck ward Evans 1-0 [b:3k2q72n2]The count shows for Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11: 16 white wins (defenders) = 44% 14 black wins (attackers) = 39% 6 draws = 17%[/b:3k2q72n2] - the same result as Roderich's analysis above!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1327941512 Mon Jan 30, 2012 17:38
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
That's brilliant - we may (occasionally) have our concerns over draws etc, but on the subject of [u:2tby90u3]balance[/u:2tby90u3], I think Fetlar has passed the test with flying colours. I'll take the liberty if you don't mind of forwarding your post to Peter Kelly. Thanks Hagbard for your work on this, and Roderich too. On another note I am trying out [i:2tby90u3]ard ri[/i:2tby90u3] and [i:2tby90u3]brandubh[/i:2tby90u3] on dragonheelslair, and finding both of them horribly unbalanced in favour of black. Haven't quite made up my mind about what they call "hnefatafl A" (king escapes to the edge), but I suspect it may be slightly unbalanced also in favour of black.
AUTHOR crust

1327959416 Mon Jan 30, 2012 22:36
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":3l4ghjn6]I have had a number of cracking games cut short over on dragonsheels. I've adjusted my play to work harder at preventing draws, but the point is that if black plays a strong opening game white scurries back into his hole without making a serious attempt at escaping. This leads to black having to over extend in order to start picking of kings men as early as possible, which in turn leads to white gaining more escape opportunities. On the face of it, it sounds like more dynamic excitement on the tafl board. But look deeper, and what you have is the kings side gaining advantage through potential early draw threat, forcing black to play dangerously right from the start. Which is fine, if we like our draw forts (and I do), but it suggests to me black needs some help to restore the balance. Or the king needs handicapping further. This would also potentially satisfy the perpetual check problem. Again, I like the challenge as black trying to prevent these situations appearing, but as this puts such a pressure on black, some kind of king handicap might be in order. All the talk of this not happening in tournament situations and being good sports doesn't really convince me as playing as xonn i've run into several early draws on dragonheels in tournaments perhaps because its rewarded with .5 points. So, my feeling is we either implement a rule that forbids repetition, or we find a way of restoring the balance.[/quote:3l4ghjn6] I think that Adam with this reasoning in a clear way proves that the draw option when abused will inevitably spoil a good game. [quote="crust":3l4ghjn6]I don't see anything wrong in using the threat of a draw in the mid-game to get some leverage over black, especially after black has completed the encirclement - I mean, what else is there for white to do, apart from waiting to die?[/quote:3l4ghjn6] On the other hand, a complete lack of a draw option will no less spoil a good game. That white is completely encircled halfway through a game is a very usual situation, but it will still take the other half a game to cautiously enough complete the capture, even when the outcome is the certain white loss, without the draw opportunity. The draw-fort is no issue on the 9x9 board, because in these variants the simplest center fort is w w w w e k throne w w w w built from all 8 white pieces, presumably in practise an impossible task. (w=white, k=king, e=empty) [quote="conanlibrarian":3l4ghjn6]I suspect that 11x11 edge tafl is as "susceptible" as Fetlar to draw forts (any experience from 11x11 Rachunek?).[/quote:3l4ghjn6] In the 11x11 Rachunek game, the simplest center fort is also the one shown above, using 8 of the 12 white pieces. Building it would require six moves, and most possibly be difficult to do undisturbed. [b:3l4ghjn6]Now to the 11x11 Hnefatafl variants (Fetlar and Scandinavian Museums).[/b:3l4ghjn6] It's not easy to differentiate between "good" and "bad" forts. The two-moves-game Monstrosity fort is of course a bad fort, that's easy. But what if white moves around at random for some time, all the time sticking close to a draw-fort position, only to after a suitable long time close the game with a fort? How could any game rule draw the line between "good" and "bad"? If some rule is to be added or modified, concerning the draw-forts, it should be a simple one. Like "When the king reaches a corner square, white wins"; that simple. I think a solution is to be found in the fort shown above. Why is it possible to abuse the draw-fort in Fetlar, but probably not in the 11x11 Rachunek? I'd say that it's because it's fairly easy to build the center fort in Fetlar - just takes 5 pieces. Whereas the fort above takes 8 pieces out of 12. And what makes these two variants differ? - of course that the king in Fetlar is allowed to return to the throne, thus making the simple fort possible, whereas in Rachunek he cannot return to the throne, thus making the center fort complicated. In fact, as the throne in Fetlar is hostile, the above Rachunek fort can't be used in that form and the simplest Fetlar center fort would be e w w th w e k w w w w w (w=white, k=king, e=empty, th=throne), still using 8 white pieces out of 12, good luck with that. [i:3l4ghjn6]Therefore I'd suggest that we try and add the rule to Fetlar that the king cannot return to the throne once he left it. Oh and one more thing: if the king never leaves his throne, he looses. That will take care of the two-moves Monstrosity game![/i:3l4ghjn6] With this addition maybe 0.5 point can again safely be given for the well deserved draw without risk of abuse.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1327967892 Tue Jan 31, 2012 0:58
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Once again the brain of Hagbard serves up a smorgasbord... that is a brilliant idea. I would certainly support that rule-change, as it would get rid of the early draw-fort problem altogether. What do you think, Adam and conanlibrarian? Just to be clear, the idea is to add to the Fetlar rules the rule that the king cannot re-enter the throne square, having left it. Also there must be a rule that the king must leave the throne - perhaps within a certain number of moves? We therefore lose the centre draw-forts, but preserve edge-forts. A price worth paying, to remove a nagging problem with the fetlar game. I think we may be on the verge of solving this!
AUTHOR crust

1327997489 Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:11
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":10apbm5c]Also there must be a rule that the king must leave the throne - perhaps within a certain number of moves?[/quote:10apbm5c] Maybe it's enough to state that a draw is not accepted with the king on his throne.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328031741 Tue Jan 31, 2012 18:42
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
I'm sorry, crust, it looks like the reasoning above was a bit too fast. I did some test games as white against the computer and was able to lure it with a Monstreus center fort without re-entering the throne, i.e. I built the center fort first thing start of the game, using many moves and all 12 white pieces, and although the computer plays rather aggressively it didn't stop it. Before any decision about a rules change, maybe crust and Adam should try a new test series with the new rule, where white tries to immediately build a center fort and black stops it.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328046298 Tue Jan 31, 2012 22:44
SUBJECT Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[img:2kwry694]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort.png[/img:2kwry694] The center fort in the diagram is quite easy to do against the computer. Since white built the fort immediately without any fighting, it's also easy for black to completely encircle the construction as no black pieces are lost. If the real goal in the game for the king is to [i:2kwry694]escape to the periphery of the board[/i:2kwry694], this diagram intuitively looks like a white loss. [i:2kwry694]Maybe the "early draw" case could be eliminated by defining the winning conditions of the Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 this way:[/i:2kwry694] [b:2kwry694]White wins[/b:2kwry694] - if the king reaches a corner [b:2kwry694]Black wins[/b:2kwry694] - if the king is captured - if all the white pieces are completely encirled by black (but an edge fort cannot be completely encircled and is a draw) - if white cannot move any piece [b:2kwry694]Draw[/b:2kwry694] - if none of the above situations can be achieved - perpetual check - if agreed upon by the players These rules do not forbid some forts and others not. But if black hasn't enough pieces to encircle white, then I suppose that black can't seal off the corners neither, and so white wins instead of building a fort. This is why the center fort disappears. Also the encirclement rule correlates to the Fetlar edge rule: The Fetlar edge rule states that the king cannot be captured on the edge; and neither then can the white pieces be encircled on the edge. Which preserves the edge fort option. In the real battle which is modeled by the game, all white pieces in the diagram are dead; besieged and starved out. Maybe some would say no, white achieved a postponement and waits for help from the outside. But in the universe of the game, all pieces in the universe are those that you see on the board. No imaginary pieces outside the board and no help... - Come to think of it, the edge fort could count as an escape and a white win. Would this go too far? It relates to game universe logics: No starved king, and he escaped out of reach of black. He is alive and moves; I suppose that it must be the king who can move and not any white piece; also possibly he must move on the edge line to win, otherwise it's a draw. (On a corner square he even escaped to a degree that he must not prove his health by moving). It would keep the balance: center forts turn into black wins and edge forts turn into white wins - and the early draw disappears in the process... (From Helmfrid, the 1587 manuscript by Robert ap Ifan has a partially unreadable sentence about escape of the king in the Welsh tafl game tawl-bwrdd: "If the king can go along the ---line that side wins the game". [i:2kwry694]- Does this describe an edge fort with a moving king?[/i:2kwry694]) With the suggested encirclement rule, a white draw fort cannot exist within a black encirclement. The long game phase where black after encirclement moves in and slowly strangles the white side can therefore be canceled, as the justification for this phase was the race for a center fort. Without a center fort option, white lost the moment the encirclement was completed. [quote="crust":2kwry694]... white may as well try to break out and seize control of a corner, and then go for a draw [a center fort] if that fails, and black manages to complete the encirclement. The interesting part comes when black realises that white has started to do this, and must work out how to stop it - often black will have to risk exposing a corner in order to prevent white from achieving the draw position. If that happens, white may have another chance at a win. So white is using the threat of a draw to disturb black's position, and thus create chances for a win.[/quote:2kwry694] Without a center fort option, the edge fort becomes even more important and takes over the function of the center fort threat. When black has sealed off the corners, it's usually only a formality to complete the encirclement. The only white chance in this phase is then the edge fort - an even more efficient threat if a completed edge fort means a white win. [img:2kwry694]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort2.png[/img:2kwry694] White is not completely encircled and this would actually be a draw with a center fort?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328183615 Thu Feb 2, 2012 12:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Hagbard for your interesting research. You're right, we're not quite there yet.... I got this position in 5 moves: [attachment=2:37ukr0ft]double monstrosity.JPG[/attachment:37ukr0ft]You could call it a "double monstrosity" as it is just two monstrosities back-to-back. The proposed rule that the King must leave the throne and may not return would not make any difference - white would still have an early draw. Actually matematician had this position in a game against me on dragonheelslair. So: I agree that making the throne non-re-enterable does not rule out early draws through centre fort building. It rules out the monstrosity, but not the double monstrosity. The "encirclement" idea seems quite good. Your idea is that black wins if all white pieces are encircled by blacks, all linked together with no gaps, like this: [attachment=1:37ukr0ft]black win by encirclement.JPG[/attachment:37ukr0ft]Presumably black would declare a win as soon as the encirclement was achieved. That would certainly seem to deal with centre forts, but still allow for edge forts and garbos. (a garbo is an edge fort which does not contain the king, like this: [attachment=0:37ukr0ft]garbo3.JPG[/attachment:37ukr0ft]This will need testing in real games, I hope I can arrange something with Adam soon. The other idea of calling an edge fort a win for white is quite radical. The addition of this rule would help to compensate white for the loss of the centre fort draw option. I like it, but it also needs some testing. If we were to adopt both rule changes (black wins by encirclement, white wins by edge fort) I think we have a new variant on our hands - It's different enough from fetlar to warrant its own name. How do you like "Copenhagen Hnefatafl"? Sounds a bit like quantum physics... Copenhagen Rules: Same as Fetlar, with two additions: 1: black wins by full encirclement 2: white wins by constructing an edge fort Forget about making the throne non-re-enterable, or forcing the king to move away from the throne - not necessary. Your second diagram would indeed be a draw. Centre fort with edge half-tower. I'm up for some serious testing. Can you program the copenhagen rules, Hagbard? Then we can get to work on it. A real pity we can't meet up in the pub...
AUTHOR crust

1328198720 Thu Feb 2, 2012 17:05
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":3fvlp6t1]The proposed rule that the King must leave the throne and may not return would not make any difference - white would still have an early draw.[/quote:3fvlp6t1] The throne modification idea is off; I think that crust's 5-moves Double Monstrosity game example is a fine proof of that. [quote="crust":3fvlp6t1]How do you like "Copenhagen Hnefatafl"? Sounds a bit like quantum physics...[/quote:3fvlp6t1] I can go with that; "Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11". [b:3fvlp6t1]More on the edge forts.[/b:3fvlp6t1] The simplest edge fort would be: [img:3fvlp6t1]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort1.png[/img:3fvlp6t1] The king is on the edge all right and cannot be captured, but the situation is very close to "just reach the edge and win", which I believe is established to be too easy for an armed, powerful capture-from-4-sides king. So this should be a draw as in Fetlar. A distinguishing characteristic of this "fort" is that the king cannot move. To rule out this kind of "fort" it could be [i:3fvlp6t1]a requirement for a white win that the king can move[/i:3fvlp6t1]. The next simplest edge fort would be the classic: [img:3fvlp6t1]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort6.png[/img:3fvlp6t1] The king is on the edge and can move back and forth on the edge, untouchable by black.[i:3fvlp6t1] I'd suggest that this is promoted to be a white win.[/i:3fvlp6t1] ("If the king can go along the ---line that side wins the game"). Other edge forts could be: [img:3fvlp6t1]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort5.png[/img:3fvlp6t1] King cannot move. [img:3fvlp6t1]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort4.png[/img:3fvlp6t1] King not on edge. I'd suggest those to remain draws as in Fetlar. The edge fort thing is an experiment. The White Win edge fort would give white the option to attack and win on the whole periphery - corners and edge lines; and if the attack fails, white could win at least a draw. Perhaps such attacks can disturb black's work sealing off corners. Though I'm not sure of the real importance of the threat; I believe we experienced that it's in fact very difficult to build an edge fort. [quote="crust":3fvlp6t1]Can you program the copenhagen rules, Hagbard? Then we can get to work on it. A real pity we can't meet up in the pub...[/quote:3fvlp6t1] There could for now be a Copenhagen test button, in real the same as Fetlar, but pressing the button means that you agree to give up / offer draw after the Copenhagen test rules.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328354407 Sat Feb 4, 2012 12:20
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Not to forget that there is the very simple alternative solution to the "early draw problem" that white always looses if he doesn't win, so that any game where white doesn't reach a corner is a white loss (one of the suggestions by conanlibrarian above). Not that it would change the balance radically. Roderich's analysis 2011.08.20 and mine 2012.01.30 both gave 44% white wins, 39% black wins and 17% draws. With all draws turned into black wins this would become 44% white wins and 56% black wins. But many nuances of the game would be lost with it, and I think that the feinschmeckers would note the lack.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328370587 Sat Feb 4, 2012 16:49
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Hagbard, now I know what the German for "connoisseur" is. There is no English word for it, we use the french one. I am a hnefatafl feinschmecker, and I would definitely note the lack! Copenhagen rules should be enough to punish barbaric behaviour on the hnefatafl board, such as uncouth draw-seeking by white, or relentless strangling by black. The idea of calling all draws [i:3uu1clnx]wins for black [/i:3uu1clnx]is not attractive, although it does have an impressive simplicity. I note that it already exists for the case of perpetual check in rachunek tafl.
AUTHOR crust

1328391233 Sat Feb 4, 2012 22:33
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Well done gentlemen. Lots of hard thinking going on here. I am up for testing the copenhagen interpretation, where the king can appear to both win and draw simultaneously. It sounds like a lot of fun. Before we know it we'll have sappers quantum tunneling through the draw fort walls. (berserk does this already of course!) My concern is that white is in fact getting yet another form of leverage over black. I find the bunker particularly easy to form in games, its the easiest to prepare for while pretending to do something else, and is quite hard to prevent unless you keep the board edge busy as black. So that is the additional pressure placed on black right from the start. But then if all white draws are given to black as wins, the game is thrown out of balance the other way it seems. Not that I would advocate that course personally. Edge forts seem to be a good way forward. They make sense as they bring to mind forging a connection to the outside world of reinforcements and supplies which can perpetuate a siege. I'm not convinced that two men pinned to the board edge with the king stuck in the middle in a centre for counts as an edge fort. I would say an edge fort has to have the king as a part of it, otherwise your king is surrounded. One could argue though that if you can build an edge fort with regular soldiers, and have your king on the board edge elsewhere, that this would count as kings edge fort. But its stretching the point rather. So a kings edge fort where the king is able to move within the fort counts as a white win? We'll try it. I feel that it should just be a draw as white does not need more leverage but less. But lets give it a go as it sounds so interesting. I would like to suggest testing it with forbidden perpetual check. Certainly if white can win with an edge fort. But rather than saying that white loses in a perpetual check situation, we simply say white HAS to play a different move after 3 repeats. That rule definitely makes blacks job easier, which is why I would then happily go along with the mobile-king edge fort win. Sounds like a cracking good game.
AUTHOR Adam

1328444685 Sun Feb 5, 2012 13:24
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":17a42bqu]I am up for testing the copenhagen interpretation, where the king can appear to both win and draw simultaneously. It sounds like a lot of fun. Before we know it we'll have sappers quantum tunneling through the draw fort walls.[/quote:17a42bqu] We have Hnefatafl players very well informed in quantum physics here! [quote="Adam":17a42bqu]My concern is that white is in fact getting yet another form of leverage over black. I find the bunker particularly easy to form in games, its the easiest to prepare for while pretending to do something else, and is quite hard to prevent unless you keep the board edge busy as black.[/quote:17a42bqu] I'm in the end game of an instructive Copenhagen test game with crust right now. It turned out that the opening and middle game remained pure Fetlar, unaffected by the two rule additions, except that now the center draw-fort option is off. There did not seem to be space for a fort at the edges until the end game where black has only 16 pieces left, 12 of which are blocking the corners and 4 left to fight white. White is left with king and 5 men. Even then it doesn't appear to be easy to create this fort, and even more difficult when the king should end up inside and moving. Although I think that a stronger player would manage to do it. [quote="Adam":17a42bqu]Edge forts seem to be a good way forward. They make sense as they bring to mind forging a connection to the outside world of reinforcements and supplies which can perpetuate a siege.[/quote:17a42bqu] White pieces on the board edge bring to my mind that they do connect to the surrounding terrain of the board. And so can be imagined to enter that terrain, circumvent and re-enter the board from another direction, killing blacks and breaking the barrier from outside, and so the game is not definitely over yet but a draw. I guess this is actually also the idea behind the edge fort win; the king is connected to the surrounding terrain, running and cannot be captured, so he escaped. [b:17a42bqu]The games archive contains[/b:17a42bqu] in all 383 Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 games since 2010.12.23, of which only 29 are draws. Some of the "draw games" are test games or abandoned games because of applet deadlock or some other reason and are ignored. [i:17a42bqu]Left are 15 draw games. With the suggested Copenhagen rules, 8 would remain draws and the rest turn into 1 white win and 6 black wins. This seems to be but a small change and a modest price for voiding all early draws.[/i:17a42bqu] It's interesting that these draw games give examples of about all draw types. crust / Hagbard. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 91 moves, 2012-01-23 19:07:05 (correspondence) draw Hagbard / Angle. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 79 moves, 2012-01-11 12:31:18 (live play) draw chuck ward / Hagbard. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 27 moves, 2012-01-05 22:25:04 (correspondence) draw Center fort. Would be encircled and turned into a black win. Adam / crust. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 100 moves, 2011-08-31 23:09:46 (live play) draw [i:17a42bqu]Fine example of a garbo fort.[/i:17a42bqu] Would still be a draw. Roderich (tourn.) / crust (tourn.). Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 132 moves, 2011-08-15 20:31:09 (live play) draw Draw by agreement. Would still be a draw. Adam (tourn.) / Roderich (tourn.). Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 36 moves, 2011-08-14 21:39:16 (live play) draw Perpetual check. Would still be a draw. Hagbard (tourn.) / Roderich (tourn.). Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 50 moves, 2011-08-12 17:53:15 (live play) draw Center fort. Would be encircled and turned into a black win. Repoupoune / Roderich. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 43 moves, 2011-08-11 20:28:59 (live play) draw Perpetual check. Would still be a draw. Adam (tourn.) / Jonas (tourn.). Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 74 moves, 2011-08-04 22:09:58 (live play) draw [i:17a42bqu]Edge fort with moving king. Would be turned into a white win.[/i:17a42bqu] Jonas (tourn.) / Adam (tourn.). Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 44 moves, 2011-08-04 21:48:31 (live play) draw cosinus / Hjalte. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 62 moves, 2011-07-15 21:56:44 (live play) draw Center fort. Would be encircled and turned into a black win. Hagbard / sea slug. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 43 moves, 2011-05-13 20:44:36 (live play) draw Perpetual check. Would still be a draw. Pedro / crust. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 64 moves, 2011-02-13 16:26:26 (live play) draw [i:17a42bqu]Edge fort with non-moving king![/i:17a42bqu] Would still be a draw. Hugues / MaC. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 73 moves, 2011-02-06 16:08:27 (live play) draw Hugues / crust. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 31 moves, 2011-01-27 20:24:08 (live play) draw Perpetual check. Would still be a draw. [b:17a42bqu]A recent analysis on the Fetlar balance gave[/b:17a42bqu] (2012.01.30) [quote="Hagbard":17a42bqu]The count shows for Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11: 16 white wins (defenders) = 44% 14 black wins (attackers) = 39% 6 draws = 17%[/quote:17a42bqu] Copenhagen rules used on those 6 draws give: Adam Roderich 0.5-0.5 Perpetual check. Would still be a draw. Adam Jonas 0.5-0.5 Edge fort with moving king. Would be turned into a white win. crust Hagbard 0.5-0.5 Jonas Adam 0.5-0.5 Hagbard Roderich 0.5-0.5 Center fort. Would be encircled and turned into a black win. MaC crust 0.5-0.5 Draw by agreement. Would still be a draw. which changes the 6 draws into 2 draws, 1 white win and 3 black wins [b:17a42bqu]resulting in a balance for Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 of 17 white wins (defenders) = 47% 17 black wins (attackers) = 47% 2 draws = 6%[/b:17a42bqu]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328468245 Sun Feb 5, 2012 19:57
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
The edge fort is so rare, found in only 1 out of 383 games in the games archive, that it doesn't make much difference whether this is counted as a white win or a draw. So in that sense a win-rule is superfluous. It could however in the rare cases distinguish the real master, who thus has the option to turn the draw into a win. [img:1f12d7xn]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort7_r.png[/img:1f12d7xn] In the diagram, black clings to the corners with only 12 men left and edges are all open, while white rules the whole board with king and 6 men. Wouldn't it be fair for black to loose this one? [b:1f12d7xn]Update 2012.2.5[/b:1f12d7xn] It would take a paragraph in the rules to explain that this particular case in 1 out of 383 games (a moving king inside an edge fort) is different than other forts. Not worth it. The master would've won the game in the diagram long before the shown situation.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328480530 Sun Feb 5, 2012 23:22
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Very interesting stuff Hagbard. Thanks for taking the time to write all that up. I feel like i've used edge fort bunkers a lot, maybe i've tried to use them lots, to little avail! I'm liking the new stats very much. 47% vs 47%. And if we made perpetual check into a forced play away move for those forcing the repetition, those games would presumably play on to interesting finishes. Possibly favouring black, but who knows? I hear what you are saying about the edge fort being an end game fort. You are quite right, its a last ditch effort for white, it can require fewest men, and as you say white needs black to have developed away from the edges to makes a shot at it. Even so, with it being potentially a winning position, white may reasonably aim for that position from the start, while perhaps feigning a corner attack which requires attention and preventative measures from black, dividing his forces. However balance is restored as while white is gaining a new way to win (mobile king edge fort), Black is gaining a new way to win (totally surrounding white players away from the board edge.) forcing the king to make a break for it. Further thought on the logic behind allowing and disallowing certain forts leads me to suggest the following refinement: White win draw fort: Any draw fort that has contact with the board edge and a mobile king contained in its structure, the king having contact with the board edge. i.e. white has built a safe, defended escape route from the board, which would still be impenetrable with the king having escaped. Or more elegantly: If the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for black to capture him, white wins the game. Black win draw fort: Any fort not connected to the board edge which is entirely surrounded by black pieces such that only movement within the fort is possible for white. I suggest this includes centre forts where the king is trapped at a board edge. The logic being, if he is dead inside that fort, he is dead out of it too. The assumption being that the centre fort is captured. If we remove those pieces, the king could then be forced away from the board edge and captured. Draw draw forts. (now there is a phrase one doesn't come across every day) A draw fort connected to a board edge where the king is not mobile, including a king trapped elsewhere on the board edge (Garbo). The logic for allowing the Garbo, is that while the king is apparently vulnerable, we are agreeing that the edge fort is not captureable, so the king is safe to wait it out. And with the addition that any repeat move that involves a checking move may not be repeated more than 3 times, at which point the checking player must make a different move. Might as well tidy up this lose end while we are at it, even if in the stats this kind of draw is rare. Its created schisms on other sites, and I've dealt these draws out and been on the receiving end, and neither is very satisfactory. Neither player feels like they've done a good enough job, hence the draw. But as the onus is on white, it should really be disallowed. Assuming you guys think these suggestions sensible, I leave it to Hagbard with his Occam's razor to make this into a rule set that a beginner could comprehend, and not just us feinschmeckers.
AUTHOR Adam

1328481650 Sun Feb 5, 2012 23:40
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":1kkn3utf]The edge fort is so rare, found in only 1 out of 383 games in the games archive, that it doesn't make much difference whether this is counted as a white win or a draw. So in that sense a win-rule is superfluous.[/quote:1kkn3utf] disagree with that, once its a win, its going to form a part of whites arsenal. And while it may not appear in the stats as a draw position, fear of the bunker, the simplest of forts and an edge fort, has leveraged many a black player into some unwanted panicky moves. Fear of the bunker as a winning position would amplify this effect on black. [quote="Hagbard":1kkn3utf]In the diagram, black clings to the corners with only 12 men left, while white rules the whole board with king and 6 men. Wouldn't it be fair for black to loose this one?[/quote:1kkn3utf] Yes, but only if white can build the fort. End games like this are the nail biters demanding elegant economic play from black. [quote="Hagbard":1kkn3utf]It would take a paragraph in the rules to explain that this particular case in 1 out of 383 games (a moving king inside an edge fort) is different than other forts. Not worth it. The master would've won the game in the diagram long before the shown situation.[/quote:1kkn3utf] I really think it is worth it. Firstly, that 1/383 might jump when its a winning position, secondly, my previous point about leverage that doesn't show up in end positions, and thirdly, we are searching for a watertight set of rules worthy of an international tournament level game, and a game worth playing at that level. While not as simple as forbidding draw positions totally, I feel this solution is elegant in that it allows all the game complexity offered by draw fort leverage to exist while removing the early draw problem. I really feel like we are zeroing in on a game and rule set I would feel confident presenting to the chess federation, most likely in conjunction with a 9x9 rachuneck type game, and even also berserk if we feel its functioning well enough and with Aage's permission, though it might be jumping the gun a bit. While I at first thought the winning drawfort was a messy idea, I quickly came round to thinking it actually makes sense of the whole phenomenon!
AUTHOR Adam

1328482539 Sun Feb 5, 2012 23:55
SUBJECT Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance
[quote="crust":oq83ohm2]That's brilliant - we may (occasionally) have our concerns over draws etc, but on the subject of [u:oq83ohm2]balance[/u:oq83ohm2], I think Fetlar has passed the test with flying colours.[/quote:oq83ohm2] Yes indeed, and in case other readers are not aware, this point is being explored in depth under the topic of 'About the draw concept', where an intersting Fetlar variant is being proposed that solves the early draw fort problem, while allowing drawforts to continue to exist. Exciting stuff. And to reiterate my main reason for thinking this is worthwhile in terms also of game balance, the stats white 44% black 39% draw 17% look very different when you realize that those draws are all forced by white. One might say for example, that black is preventing white from winning 39% of the time, while white is preventing black from winning 61% of the time. The new variant looks like it could be much more even in this light also.
AUTHOR Adam

1328574858 Tue Feb 7, 2012 1:34
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":261pte1t]We have Hnefatafl players very well informed in quantum physics here![/quote:261pte1t] I learned it all from Richard P. Feynschmecker and his excellent books [i:261pte1t]Six Easy Pieces [/i:261pte1t]and [i:261pte1t]Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynschmecker[/i:261pte1t] [quote="Adam":261pte1t]we are searching for a watertight set of rules worthy of an international tournament level game, and a game worth playing at that level. ... I really feel like we are zeroing in on a game and rule set I would feel confident presenting to the chess federation,[/quote:261pte1t] Yes, absolutely, me too. Good work everyone. Copenhagen rules remove many of the annoying possibilities which regrettably exist in Fetlar games - and make for better openings and exciting endgames (I think). I hope the balance of power has not gone too far in favour of black, though, especially if we're stripping away the leverage afforded by draw by repetitive check as well. Only testing will tell. Great work on the figures, Hagbard. Very encouraging. And Adam your categorization of draw forts into white wins, black wins and draw draws (!) is very helpful.
AUTHOR crust

1328696796 Wed Feb 8, 2012 11:26
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":2kpr78c3]I learned it all from Richard P. Feynschmecker and his excellent books Six Easy Pieces and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynschmecker[/quote:2kpr78c3] Thanks, I must read those; the encyclopedia says the author has a great sense of humor. At one time I attended a course of lectures on quantum physics, and it was the most long-haired mathematics I've ever seen. [quote="Adam":2kpr78c3]I feel like i've used edge fort bunkers a lot, maybe i've tried to use them lots, to little avail![/quote:2kpr78c3] No, probably Adam remembers right. In the summer 2010 Adam, crust, Pedro, MaC, Roderich and myself had hundreds and hundreds of games to explore all aspects of the Hnefatafl 11x11 rules and other variants. [i:2kpr78c3](And during the process confirming the Fetlar edge rule: no one could win as white against crust and Adam without the Fetlar edge rule).[/i:2kpr78c3] Very unfortunately all these games were not recorded, they would've been valuable material. Record of the games began only from 2010.12.23. [quote="conanlibrarian":2kpr78c3]3a. If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. (from Cartier)[/quote:2kpr78c3] [quote="Adam":2kpr78c3]And if we made perpetual check into a forced play away move for those forcing the repetition, those games would presumably play on to interesting finishes. Possibly favouring black, but who knows? ... And with the addition that any repeat move that involves a checking move may not be repeated more than 3 times, at which point the checking player must make a different move. Might as well tidy up this lose end while we are at it, even if in the stats this kind of draw is rare. Its created schisms on other sites, and I've dealt these draws out and been on the receiving end, and neither is very satisfactory. Neither player feels like they've done a good enough job, hence the draw.[/quote:2kpr78c3] [quote="crust":2kpr78c3]I hope the balance of power has not gone too far in favour of black, though, especially if we're stripping away the leverage afforded by draw by repetitive check as well. Only testing will tell.[/quote:2kpr78c3] I've experienced the perpetual check as a lifesaver for white, a lucky rescue out of a situation that's beginning to look hopeless. You cannot plan for this many moves ahead, the opportunity arises suddenly. On the other hand the white luck is not entirely undeserved. The king did make it to a direct attack on a corner, and the black adversaries in the corner are too scarce, so that it depends on a single black piece to keep the king out. White will stay in this deadlock only if he judges that he's in a loosing position, otherwise he'll go on and attack elsewhere. If white were to be [i:2kpr78c3]forced[/i:2kpr78c3] out of the deadlock, the game would go on to a miserable end for white, because white has judged that he's loosing. This is the way the perpetual check draw is seen to be used on this site. Repoupoune / Roderich. Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11, 43 moves, 2011-08-11 20:28:59 (live play) draw is an example of a game where white has a perpetual check very early in the game and chooses to continue the attack elsewhere, only to later in the game end up in a hopeless encirclement and be so lucky as to have [i:2kpr78c3]another[/i:2kpr78c3] perpetual check! Draw. [img:2kpr78c3]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck1_r2.png[/img:2kpr78c3] The diagram is an example that it can be possible to abuse the perpetual check draw, much like the early draw fort. The game in the diagram is not at all settled yet, and if white should decide to stop for draw here, then I suppose it wouldn't be very good sportsmanship. [i:2kpr78c3]- But, unlike the two-moves Monstrosity game with the early immediate draw fort, in the diagram game white has at least made an effort and succeeded in moving the king very close to a corner.[/i:2kpr78c3] There's no way to prevent the Monstrosity game without some rule modification, whereas the situation in the diagram could've been avoided; it just was white's lucky day. To conclude, I like the perpetual check draw the way we use it, but that's just my opinion.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328738015 Wed Feb 8, 2012 22:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":3hkqu758]I hear what you are saying about the edge fort being an end game fort. You are quite right, its a last ditch effort for white, it can require fewest men, and as you say white needs black to have developed away from the edges to makes a shot at it. Even so, with it being potentially a winning position, white may reasonably aim for that position from the start, while perhaps feigning a corner attack which requires attention and preventative measures from black, dividing his forces. However balance is restored as while white is gaining a new way to win (mobile king edge fort), Black is gaining a new way to win (totally surrounding white players away from the board edge.) forcing the king to make a break for it.[/quote:3hkqu758] Here's material for many good test games! I tried against the computer, which turns out to be a bad opponent for this test. The comp plays aggressively and so the edges are very little exposed (in return it's easier to outsmart the comp and reach the corners). The edge fort is probably more relevant against a more defensive (and dangerous) opponent who shields the corners off while exposing the edges. [img:3hkqu758]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort8_r.png[/img:3hkqu758] A draw draw fort based on only two edge squares. [img:3hkqu758]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort10.png[/img:3hkqu758] Another draw draw fort.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1328800817 Thu Feb 9, 2012 16:20
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":3ejlxa9i]Further thought on the logic behind allowing and disallowing certain forts leads me to suggest the following refinement: White win draw fort: Any draw fort that has contact with the board edge and a mobile king contained in its structure, the king having contact with the board edge. i.e. white has built a safe, defended escape route from the board, which would still be impenetrable with the king having escaped. Or more elegantly: If the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for black to capture him, white wins the game.[/quote:3ejlxa9i] Just had an interesting test game against Oddur. White managed to build the edge fort - but it was not possible to create space for the classic fort with 4 edge squares. Only 3 edge squares were vacant, just what's required for the type of fort, Adam suggested. [img:3ejlxa9i]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort9_r.png[/img:3ejlxa9i] I meet opponents who suspect that it's now [i:3ejlxa9i]too easy[/i:3ejlxa9i] for white - a good question! Earlier white against a strong opponent often faced either a quick win or a quick death; the only emergency exit in practice being the rare perpetual check or the now (supposedly) canceled center fort option. There've certainly been cases where my whites could use some extra help for a second chance. But hopefully some serious test games can judge on that. In my opinion the edge fort however is for advanced players. Very difficult. The details can seem a bit academic, as the test games so far still suggest that the edge fort end game is rare.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1329333243 Wed Feb 15, 2012 20:14
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":3jp6srgs]In my opinion the edge fort however is for advanced players. Very difficult. The details can seem a bit academic, as the test games so far still suggest that the edge fort end game is rare.[/quote:3jp6srgs] I quite agree Hagbard. Though the devil is often in the details. It may well be that the ultimate rule set will favour one side for new players (Fetlar already seams much easier playing white for new players). However, our quest for balance should result in a game that balances for experienced, even expert players. New players can handicap the king as they wish while learning black strategy. As you say, the test games should give us some idea. This post maybe fits better in 'quest for balance', though this post is really a subset of that.
AUTHOR Adam

1329662173 Sun Feb 19, 2012 15:36
SUBJECT 13x13 Tafl
Has anyone here experimented with 13x13 tafl? I've been thinking about the reasons I prefer 11x11 to 9x9, which, in turn, I prefer to 7x7. Maybe I'd like 13x13 even more. I won't know until I try, so I'll be building a 13x13 set soon. I suppose that aside from a different starting strategy, it would turn out to be very similar to 11x11 in gameplay. The "population density" of the board would be different. In 11x11, we have about 0.31 pieces per space on the board. In 13x13, (If we still use 37 pieces) we would have about 0.22 pieces per space. This might help White more than it helps Black, as the board will be less "crowded". On the other hand, the king will have a longer distance to move to the corner. As an aside, in Tablut we have about 0.31 pieces per space, the same as in 11x11. The "population density" for 13x13 is less than any other Tafl game that I know of, except for Alea Evangelii, which has 0.20 pieces per space. A move resembling "Millar's Gambit" just wouldn't work with the 13x13 starting arrangement that I frequently see pictures of (The one with all of Whites pieces in a cross-formation). It would leave a space adjacent to the king open for a black piece to move in and block the king's progress, with little threat of capture. It would seem that if such a starting setup, it would make more sense for White to move one of the outer pieces closer to a corner to start expanding outwards. Am I right? Edit: Actually, now that I think about it, moving one of the outermost White pieces to the edge would probably be the best starting strategy. It looks like the most typically suggested 13x13 starting setup would be heavily biased towards a White victory. My suggestion is that using the typical starting arrangement from 11x11 would be the best way to make 13x13 balanced. I don't know if there's any archaeological evidence to suggest that it was played otherwise... Here's the typical 13x13 setup that I am referring to:
AUTHOR Beadle

1329687223 Sun Feb 19, 2012 22:33
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
I have modified the previous image that I posted (Originally from Wikipedia) to reflect the starting layout that we use for 11x11 Hnefatafl. I just thought it might help to have a visual to look at. I don't know why 13x13 would be set up any differently from 11x11, so I like the idea of using the same general setup. Any insights or opinions about which way might be "correct" or at least "better" are welcome.
AUTHOR Beadle

1329914346 Wed Feb 22, 2012 13:39
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
On the 9x9 board is used 24 pieces plus the king. A simple upscaling to 11x11 board requires 24 / (9*9) * (11*11) = 36 pieces plus the king. It's interesting that this is exactly what is used on the 11x11 board. The same simple upscaling to 13x13 board would require 36 / (11*11) * (13*13) = 50 pieces plus the king. In tafl, the number of pieces must be divisible by 12, because the attackers must be double the number of the defenders, and all pieces must be symmetrically distributed along four edges. This would for the 13x13 board give 48 pieces: 16 whites, 32 blacks and the king. The logical initial ordering would be: [img:12svse1f]http://aagenielsen.dk/Hnefatafl_13x13_board_B_r2.jpg[/img:12svse1f] Very possibly a change of board size could also influence the balance and could require a rule change of some kind. Fx. that the king wins on the edge? This was just some thoughts.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1329926013 Wed Feb 22, 2012 16:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":17grqcu3]Though the devil is often in the details.[/quote:17grqcu3] Indeed so. [b:17grqcu3]Thus, so far the "Copenhagen rules" appear to be:[/b:17grqcu3] [i:17grqcu3]The full set of Fetlar rules[/i:17grqcu3] [yet some discussion about perpetual check], with two additions: [b:17grqcu3]rule +1)[/b:17grqcu3] [i:17grqcu3]Encirclement.[/i:17grqcu3] Black wins if all white pieces are encircled by blacks, all linked together with no gaps. [in crust's words] [b:17grqcu3]rule +2)[/b:17grqcu3] [i:17grqcu3]White win edge fort (bonus rule for the expert player).[/i:17grqcu3] White wins if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for black to capture him. [in Adam's words]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1329936962 Wed Feb 22, 2012 19:56
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Exactly. And if perpetual check gets the chop, then we would need a third rule explaining stalemate possibilities. Edge forts with an immobile, uncaptureable king being the only stalemate position allowed, and perpetual check disallowed, forcing the checking player to make an alternative move in place of a third repetition. For the record Crust and I had our first road test of the copenhagen rules (including the above) and my king managed to escape using nothing but good old fashioned fetlar strategy! We shall continue the research. ; ) We also thought the best way of testing this would be to hold a copenhagen rules test tournament, being that the rule adjustments came about as a direct result of experienced players competing in tournament situations. No reprogramming necessary as long as the players are all agreed when they sign in to abide by the copenhagen rule set, and resign accordingly should the need arise. I suggest we do this on Aage's live hnefatafl site, and aim for a total of 8 players, with a cutoff date for entry, at which point we play out the games with how ever many players we have.
AUTHOR Adam

1329940714 Wed Feb 22, 2012 20:58
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
That seems logical to me. I don't know why it's usually assumed that it would still use the same number of pieces. It seems important that no white piece can reach the edge in a single move.
AUTHOR Beadle

1330087270 Fri Feb 24, 2012 13:41
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Definitely worth testing! If 13x13 is to 11x11, as 11x11 is to 9x9, then it would be amazing! I suspect though that the game dynamic will be very similar to 11x11, just a bit more drawn out. But who knows, 11x11 has thrown so many surprises and complexities at us over the years. I'm not sure how many 13x13 boards have been found, but the gokstad one has markings on that lead me to suspect it is not hnefatafl at all being that its markings have twofold symmet. Though maybe it doubled up as a tafl board. Looks more like the asian game shogi. Those vikings did get around so who knows.
AUTHOR Adam

1330107010 Fri Feb 24, 2012 19:10
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[url:1sdgcdxf]http://youtu.be/2ywietPiN4w[/url:1sdgcdxf] Alternative starting position for 13 x 13 tafl. Same number of pieces: 32 attackers (here coloured WHITE) and 16 defenders plus king. In this arrangement, there are NO open files at all, and the attackers already have control of the third ranks - I would suggest this gives them a massive advantage. Haven't played it though, but I expect it would be a very long game, like alea evangelii. [attachment=0:1sdgcdxf]13x13 tafl.JPG[/attachment:1sdgcdxf]
AUTHOR crust

1330107367 Fri Feb 24, 2012 19:16
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
forgot to mention - that version is escape-to-the-edge, not to the corners
AUTHOR crust

1330108182 Fri Feb 24, 2012 19:29
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Adam- I agree about the board markings on the Gokstad board. The markings could have been used for a different game, or perhaps they were irrelevant. We will never know. I know of at least one other 13x13 board that has been found, in the Faroes. It's the one that seems originally to have been a serving platter, but was carved into a board game. I can find very little information about this board, and I'd love to see a picture of it. It is mentioned on this page: [url:2ty503r3]http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm[/url:2ty503r3] From the sketch on that page, it looks like the center square had a cross in it. That suggests Tafl to me.
AUTHOR Beadle

1330188591 Sat Feb 25, 2012 17:49
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="Adam":1ftnkjfy]I suspect though that the game dynamic will be very similar to 11x11, just a bit more drawn out.[/quote:1ftnkjfy] [quote="crust":1ftnkjfy]Alternative starting position for 13 x 13 tafl.[/quote:1ftnkjfy] It looks like something happens when switching to very large boards. Take fx. the 19x19 Alea Evangelii: [url:1ftnkjfy]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/AleaEvangelii.svg[/url:1ftnkjfy] The above used simple proportional upscaling of pieces from 11x11 would for the 19x19 board require 108 pieces. But Alea Evangelii uses only 72 pieces. Furthermore the pieces are not initially ordered together, but they're scattered on the board. I guess that historical users of Hnefatafl found out that it must be like this on the large board because of balance; also perhaps the reason for the scattered initial ordering could be to reduce the game length? This way part of the opening game is skipped. The switch from 11x11 to 13x13 is a minor step towards the large boards, and so perhaps you can see the beginning of some large-board features. Fx. the scattered initial ordering mentioned by crust could be an improvement of balance, or it could be a way to reduce game length.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1330197296 Sat Feb 25, 2012 20:14
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="Hagbard":2cwkmkf1]the reason for the scattered initial ordering perhaps could be to reduce the game length? This way part of the opening game is skipped.[/quote:2cwkmkf1] That's probably right. And very necessary to prevent the opening game being too tedious. The larger boards dissipate the game's "energy"... like trench warfare where the trenches are too far apart... and the mid-game starting position looks like a desperate attempt to restore that energy. Unless anyone has a thrilling alea evangelii experience to relate? Any Alea Evangelists out there?
AUTHOR crust

1330250236 Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:57
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":2tdd5qrh]We also thought the best way of testing this would be to hold a copenhagen rules test tournament, being that the rule adjustments came about as a direct result of experienced players competing in tournament situations. No reprogramming necessary as long as the players are all agreed when they sign in to abide by the copenhagen rule set, and resign accordingly should the need arise. I suggest we do this on Aage's live hnefatafl site, and aim for a total of 8 players, with a cutoff date for entry, at which point we play out the games with how ever many players we have.[/quote:2tdd5qrh] How about one month to sign up? So that by [i:2tdd5qrh]April 1st[/i:2tdd5qrh] we continue the tournament with how ever many players we have? Hopefully a tournament completion cutoff date won't be necessary, but I think it'll last at least a month, till May 1st. There'll be a new button, [b:2tdd5qrh]"Tournament Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11"[/b:2tdd5qrh], and we simply use this button with our normal aliases. The way to sign up is simply to do an invitation with the tournament button. To speed things up, the first games can begin immediately when the button is ready. [b:2tdd5qrh]Update.[/b:2tdd5qrh] Button is ready.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1330426395 Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:53
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
I propose "Tafl emk orr at efla" as a motto for our society. (meaning [i:2yv8ctj7]tafl I am swift to play[/i:2yv8ctj7]) at the beginning Earl Ragnvald Kali's listing of the skills of a Norse nobleman. I'm not totally sure if this Earl Ragnvald Kali is the same person as Ragnvald Kale Kolsson also known as St. Ronald of Orkney [url:2yv8ctj7]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6gnvald_Kali_Kolsson[/url:2yv8ctj7] but it seems likely. [attachment=0:2yv8ctj7]St.Rognvald.jpg[/attachment:2yv8ctj7]
AUTHOR crust

1330428022 Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:20
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[b:21ah96xh]About the perpetual check.[/b:21ah96xh] [quote="conanlibrarian":21ah96xh]So, my suggested rules to avoid most draws would be: ... 3a. If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. (from Cartier) 3b. If no offensive player can be determined (due to mutual symmetric threats, or that no direct threats are made), the game is a draw at the forth repetition.[/quote:21ah96xh] [quote="Adam":21ah96xh]And with the addition that any repeat move that involves a checking move may not be repeated more than 3 times, at which point the checking player must make a different move. Might as well tidy up this lose end while we are at it, even if in the stats this kind of draw is rare. Its created schisms on other sites, and I've dealt these draws out and been on the receiving end, and neither is very satisfactory. Neither player feels like they've done a good enough job, hence the draw. But as the onus is on white, it should really be disallowed.[/quote:21ah96xh] The perpetual check is a part of the rules in chess: [url:21ah96xh]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_check[/url:21ah96xh] But then again, wouldn't a situation like the following example be extremely difficult to do in chess? [img:21ah96xh]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck1_r2.png[/img:21ah96xh] [img:21ah96xh]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck2_r2.png[/img:21ah96xh] The situation in diagram 1 occurred after only 26 moves (13 black and 13 white moves). After 47 moves, the corner situation in diagram 2 is still unchanged. So it's obviously possible for white to keep the perpetual check on hand and black cannot do a thing, while the game continues at any length on rest of the board. White can do this because he's assured the draw, and at the same time he can wait to put it in effect until any future point in the game. A situation like this can only be avoided if it does [i:21ah96xh]not[/i:21ah96xh] assure white a draw, i.e. it must instead be a loosing position for white, white's perpetual check must be turned into white loss. In that case, here's a related "end game perpetual check" which should the same way turn into white loss: [img:21ah96xh]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck3_r2.png[/img:21ah96xh] If this type of perpetual checks were to be abandoned, the same should go for other perpetual checks, for rules to be consistent. Conanlibrarian mentions a case where black does the perpetual check, and cases of perpetual moves trying to capture an enemy piece. When black is responsible for the perpetual moves, of course white is not to punish for it. In all these cases, one of the parties ("the attacking party") is trying to accomplish something which turns out not to be possible, because the opponent is able to prevent it. So the "attacker" must accept that his attack cannot succeed and must stop his perpetual moves. [b:21ah96xh]A rule to solve all these cases could be, as suggested by conanlibrarian and Adam:[/b:21ah96xh] [i:21ah96xh]Rule+3) If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. If no offensive player can be determined, the game is a draw.[/i:21ah96xh] [in Cartier's and conanlibrarian's words] - It makes sense for the "real battle" behind the game. The king is running towards the exit; an enemy warrior is jumping back and forth blocking the way, so the king [i:21ah96xh]does not[/i:21ah96xh] escape. If the king's aim is not only the negative one not-to-be-captured, but above all [i:21ah96xh]to escape[/i:21ah96xh], that situation is a defeat for him. If just one enemy warrior can effectively stop the king at a corner, this could also lead to interesting new black corner tactics. - Just a thought, an alternative, more amusing way to solve perpetual moves: The classic board game idea of the players moving alternately is normally a close enough simulation of overall movements on the battle field. But when two pieces start their perpetual step dance this simulation breaks down: the whole board except the two step dancers freezes like a broken film. In "real battle" everybody else would not freeze just because two men step dance, but movements would continue on rest of the field. The board could be relieved of the freeze like this: If a series of moves is repeated three times, both players may do the repetitive move plus an additional move with a piece other than the repetitive one. Starting with the defensive player (i.e. the one receiving a threat), and until the repetitive moves stop.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1330462995 Tue Feb 28, 2012 22:03
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":2007jsay]when two pieces start their perpetual step dance this simulation breaks down: the whole board except the two step dancers freezes like a broken film. In "real battle" everybody else would not freeze just because two men step dance, but movements would continue on rest of the field. The board could be relieved of the freeze like this: If a series of moves is repeated three times, both players may do the repetitive move plus an additional move with a piece other than the repetitive one. Starting with the defensive player (i.e. the one receiving a threat), and until the repetitive moves stop.[/quote:2007jsay] A lovely description of why perpetual check is unsatisfying in that it destroys the model of reality being played out on the board. And a lovely suggestion for a solution. The onus is on the aggressor, they can choose to repeat a third time, at which point the extra move comes into play. Interesting idea. Worth a try. Is the copenhagen tournament being played allowing perpetual check? The idea being we test just the edge fort and surrounding rules? Also, how are we tackling the stalemate fort (edge fort with immobilised or garbo'ed king)?
AUTHOR Adam

1330473580 Wed Feb 29, 2012 0:59
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hi, after 6 month I am back on aagenielsen and I was suprised on the rules you are playing know. I hate draw forts, because I learned 20 years ago, the king have to escape otherwise he is starving to death during the rampart. But draw forts are an interesting turnarround of the game. Giving white a secound chance. The kopenhagen rule are nice but in my opinion not easy enough. I think the hagbard rules are perfect to discribe what the kopenhagen rule are used to be. But I dont think it is nessesary to force the king to leave the throne - If he is captured on the throne or white is not movable anymore, white lose the game. Why we need a rule that the king have to leave the throne in time?
AUTHOR MaC

1330510019 Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:06
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":203as91c]Is the copenhagen tournament being played allowing perpetual check? The idea being we test just the edge fort and surrounding rules? Also, how are we tackling the stalemate fort (edge fort with immobilised or garbo'ed king)?[/quote:203as91c] What about adding the [i:203as91c]Rule+3) If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. If no offensive player can be determined, the game is a draw.[/i:203as91c] to the tournament? There has been no need for it yet, but I'm sure there will be. The additional-move board defrosting idea is terrible programming and cannot be implemented now. The Garbo fort and draw draw forts are different in nature from perpetual checks. There's no board freeze, all pieces move normally, it's just that white is out of reach of any attack. I suppose that these situations must remain a draw? - They could be white losses, but as draws there's still something to fight about.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1330551269 Wed Feb 29, 2012 22:34
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":rclysx78]What about adding the Rule+3) If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. If no offensive player can be determined, the game is a draw. to the tournament? There has been no need for it yet, but I'm sure there will be.[/quote:rclysx78] Ok, I'd like to chuck some thoughts in here. I wouldn't object to this rule being added as it stands, though it's possible some player might object , but since the situation of draw-by-repetition hasn't yet come up, it shouldn't be an issue, especially since you've stated this is a test tournament. The only problem I can think of is if the two players don't agree which one of them is the "offensive" player. I suppose in that case they would have to agree on a draw anyway, but then we're back where we started with draw-by-repetition. In cases where check is involved, the offensive player is easy to identify, so possibly this rule should apply to perpetual check only. That still leaves us with the possibility of draw-by-repetition where check is not involved, but if check is not involved, neither player is compelled as strongly to repeat the moves, and each one can make his own value judgement of whether they offer or accept a draw, or make an alternative move. This sounds reasonable to me, so far. I can (just) imagine a scenario where both players are checking each other on consecutive repeating moves, but the chances of it arising in a game are infinitesimal. Even so, the following formulation would force whichever player had started the checks to break the cycle: [b:rclysx78][u:rclysx78]Alternative statement of rule #3: [i:rclysx78]Neither player may make the same checking move three times in a row. [/i:rclysx78][/u:rclysx78][/b:rclysx78] Other tafl-forms such as Rachunek already have this feature, in fact, it's stronger isn't it? Don't the rachunek rules say that white instantly loses if they perform three identical checking moves in a row? Imagine bunging [i:rclysx78]that[/i:rclysx78] into Copenhagen - you could probably even program it. Third check in a row - Kaboom! Game over. [b:rclysx78][u:rclysx78]Alternative alternative statement of rule #3: [i:rclysx78]If either player makes the same checking move three times in a row, that player immediately loses the game[/i:rclysx78][/u:rclysx78][/b:rclysx78] I put "either player" though of course this really only applies to white, unless very exceptional circumstances arise, which I can just barely imagine. So, what do you think of this idea? As for the attractively-named "draw draw forts" (is there an echo in here?) we don't need to list every kind of fort, it is sufficient to define [u:rclysx78]the only type of draw-fort that is a win for white[/u:rclysx78], e.g. king is on an edge square, with the ability still to move, within an unassailable structure. All other forts are draws, except enclosable centre forts of course which under the copenhagen rules will eventually result in a loss.
AUTHOR crust

1330551773 Wed Feb 29, 2012 22:42
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="MaC":wz35u0eq]But I dont think it is nessesary to force the king to leave the throne - If he is captured on the throne or white is not movable anymore, white lose the game. Why we need a rule that the king have to leave the throne in time?[/quote:wz35u0eq] Hello MaC, good to see you here. That idea you mentioned was just something that got suggested (and rejected) along the way, we thought maybe it would stop early draws by centre-fort, but it doesn't work, and it is not part of the Copenhagen rules.
AUTHOR crust

1330559053 Thu Mar 1, 2012 0:44
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
an example of double perpetual check: [attachment=0:3k5jrisn]double perpetual check.JPG[/attachment:3k5jrisn] White moves c9 - c11 check, black moves b9 - b11 white moves c11 - c9 black moves b11 - b9 check Each player is repeatedly putting the other in check.
AUTHOR crust

1330561500 Thu Mar 1, 2012 1:25
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[attachment=0:2cwptfdo]double perpetual check.JPG[/attachment:2cwptfdo] Even simpler. Each player is creating check every other move. Which one is the "offensive" one? Since this is unclear, the situation would have to be declared a draw. Under my suggested rule #3 (if either player makes the same checking move three times in a row, that player immediately loses the game), then whichever player had created check first, would lose.
AUTHOR crust

1330628497 Thu Mar 1, 2012 20:01
SUBJECT Re: Link:Tafl Gild
Anyone manage to get that link to work? I just get an error message. :cry:
AUTHOR crust

1330811958 Sat Mar 3, 2012 22:59
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":28rwf4tk]Under my suggested rule #3 (if either player makes the same checking move three times in a row, that player immediately loses the game), then whichever player had created check first, would lose.[/quote:28rwf4tk] I like crusts suggestion for a perpetual checking rule that allows for black to be the offender. I doubt any situations exist where one cannot definitely say who is the cause of a perpetual checking situation. Thanks to crust for presenting another image of a black forced perpetual check. Such situations especially one where white cannot simply walk away, seem exceptionally unlikely in a real game, though admittedly possible, and as such our rules should take the possibility into account. One thing that might be harder to define, is a situation that will clearly lead to a white win, but where the white move is not a checking move. Take a look at this tricky situation: [attachment=1:28rwf4tk]perpetualcheckconundrum1.jpg[/attachment:28rwf4tk] [attachment=0:28rwf4tk]perpetualcheckconundrum2.jpg[/attachment:28rwf4tk] Clearly white has many options in this exact set up, and a good white player would no doubt win, but if we remove all his other men, the situation becomes rather more hopeless. A perpetual check rule should be able to handle this situation in both cases. And if mate in two doesn't count as check, then here white can force black to lose, by making black put white into perpetual check. At which point the universe implodes.
AUTHOR Adam

1330820020 Sun Mar 4, 2012 1:13
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
Another puzzle. White to move (fetlar rules). [attachment=0:ueiibrxj]hnefatafl puzzle - feb 2012.JPG[/attachment:ueiibrxj] What will white's next four moves be? Black's next three moves will be forced, but on the fourth one, there is a choice - what is the best fourth move for black, to prevent disaster?
AUTHOR crust

1330944003 Mon Mar 5, 2012 11:40
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
Greetings all. What a way to enter into this forum, with an incredibly difficult and complex puzzle. There are many continuations coming off of every move, and it should also be noted that I use the term Hn before notation to show whether the Hnefi (or King if you want) has been moved. The position is undesirable for Black, and he can only hope for a draw. Of course, if this puzzle was under the Copenhagen rules, it would also be possible for White to win using an edge fort, but that is both not what this puzzle is about, now would it be all that easy. But anyway, this is my idea; Hn— c1- c4 (threatens to take the b2 piece and win) d1-c1 (there is another continuation (b1-c1), but this move would actually be disastrous later, after the four moves are made and White goes around the board attacking the corners, meaning that the atual move is surprisingly integral) Hn— c4-b4 (takes a piece but also threatens to take the Hnefi to the other side of the board where it is an unstoppable win for White) c5-b5 (blocks this threat, and though c6-b6 was possible as well, this would lead to this piece being captured and is a much weaker option, whereas c5-b5 forms a powerful diagonal) Hn— b4-b3 (due to the well placed white piece on b2, if the Hnefi moves into a3, he has won) a4-a3 (this is the only possible move that can block the Hnefi's threat) Hn— b3-j3 (this move clears away from the corner on which the previous moves were made and forms a powerful threat) This is my theory for the continuation in which White is to play and plays four moves, the first three being forced but the fourth being a choice. Now, it becomes interesting. Black has a few options. He could use his j11 piece to defend attack on the other side of the board by bringing it to j8, though now the corner being attacked is going to mean a win for White. He could make other moves that defend other corners, but allow the King to get to the k1 corner by capturing, as capturing with h1-j1 allows the King to threaten coming to j2 with no refutation, which threatens both coming to k2 and winning and moving j1-i1 and winning, which cannot be blocked at the same time. There are now, then, a few possible moves; i8-i1, and those moves that bring a piece to the 2nd Rank. c6-c2 (or c1-c2) is not an option as it can be captured. So the only two, then, that satisfactorily bring a Black piece to the 2nd Rank are e11-e2 or i8-i2. Both of these moves enable a piece to slide into the j2 square after the capture of h1-j1, blocking the Hnefi from going there and claiming victory. Of course, though, once the Black piece moves to j2, then White can move j1-i1 and has achieved essentially the same position with a Black piece gone, and then has won with the continuation: Black: j2-j1, i1-i3, c1-i1, Hn—j3-j2, k3-k2, i3-k3 and White has the win, as again no piece can come to the 2nd Rank after i1-i3. But what about blocking the capture in the first place? The move for Black is... i8-i1. This blocks off the corner, but leaves the other side of the board a little open, so it goes against some preconceptions. But, if Black makes more brilliant moves, then he can stop the threat. The Hnefi will probably now come to j9 or j10, and right just here we will look at Hn—j3-j10, which is a powerful move but looks a bit drawish, which is what Black is aiming for anyway,as it is impossible to win with the material he already has. j10 forces k7-k10, which not even White's h8-h9 can block due to Black's k3-k9, to which the King cannot quip j10-j3 as this, again, is drawish due to Black's k9-k3, forcing a draw by repetition. After this, though, White could capture with h9-k9, but Black can counter with j11-j9, stopping the Hnefi coming to j9. This is a bit depressing for White, who was playing aggressively but whose position is now, though far from desirable for Black, is drawish. The other option is Hn—j3-j9, coming to the open 9th rank. The best move here is the one that is not immediate. Black should then play b5-b9, blocking Hn— j9-a9, which is certain defeat for Black (he can delay it for a while but it is absolutely certain a win for White), if Black plays, say, k7-k9. So, now, if Black does play b5-b9, then White probably play Hn— j9-k9, which can be stopped easily enough by b10-k10, and now Black has both corners under reasonable control. Theoretically, White can bring the Hnefi to the opposite corner (a11 area), but Black can respond to all threats, and if the Hnefi then tries to come to c2 to have a go at the original (a1 area) corner, it has to move the b2 piece, meaning that Black can use b1-b2 to block off the corner, and this is why the original d1-c1 was necessary, over b1-c1. It is almost comical how the King has gone around the board like a windmill attacking all the corners but being foiled every time. I think I have got the solution, but if something is wrong with my logic please point it out.
AUTHOR Evans

1330951655 Mon Mar 5, 2012 13:47
SUBJECT Re: Notation
Your last note, crust, is rather interesting. That Black plays first may be a little confusing for players who have come to the game right off chess, but that brings up an intriguing point. For all that we complain about our lack of knowledge of Tafl from the Old Norse Sagas, we have ignored one important note. Both the Friðþjófs Saga (though it more implies it) and the Hervarar Saga (better known to some perhaps as the Saga of King Heidrek), in the Heithreksgátur (riddles of Heithrek), agree that the Attackers are coloured White and the Defenders Black (or red). It is strange that we have ignored this despite the fact that we yearn for more from these sagas. This practice would also have it so that White DOES move first (just a bit easier), and would be more historically correct. For the moment our current practice is fine, but maybe it would be better to normalize our notation so that the Attackers are White and the Defenders Black in time, especially if we form an official association. Also, when we notate Hnefatafl perhaps it would be profitable to standardize notations for the quadrants of the board, for easier reference, especially in theory if we talk of which corner the Defenders (who I will still call White) are attacking, although the board is symmetrical (and so are the openings, but it is specifically useful in middlegame references). And on this, perhaps it would also be best to standardize (again in the future) where players sit in live tournaments. I know this seems rather small, but it is easier for seeing which corner is being attacked, so that we say that the 'Attacker' player is sitting in front of the 1st Rank while the 'Defender' player is sitting in front of the 11th Rank. Evans
AUTHOR Evans

1330952397 Mon Mar 5, 2012 13:59
SUBJECT Re: Link:Tafl Gild
It doesn't work for me either.
AUTHOR Roderich

1330987793 Mon Mar 5, 2012 23:49
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[b:17ms0hv3]More on perpetual checks.[/b:17ms0hv3] [quote="Adam":17ms0hv3]And with the addition that any repeat move that involves a checking move may not be repeated more than 3 times, at which point the checking player must make a different move.[/quote:17ms0hv3] [quote="Hagbard":17ms0hv3]In all these cases, one of the parties ("the attacking party") is trying to accomplish something which turns out not to be possible, because the opponent is able to prevent it. So the "attacker" must accept that his attack cannot succeed and must stop his perpetual moves. A rule to solve all these cases could be, as suggested by conanlibrarian and Adam: Rule+3) If a series of moves is repeated three times, the offensive player (i.e. the one performing a threat) must find an alternative move. If no offensive player can be determined, the game is a draw. [in Cartier's and conanlibrarian's words][/quote:17ms0hv3] [quote="MaC":17ms0hv3]I learned 20 years ago, the king have to escape otherwise he is starving to death during the rampart.[/quote:17ms0hv3] [quote="crust":17ms0hv3]The only problem I can think of is if the two players don't agree which one of them is the "offensive" player. I suppose in that case they would have to agree on a draw anyway, but then we're back where we started with draw-by-repetition. In cases where check is involved, the offensive player is easy to identify, so possibly this rule should apply to perpetual check only. That still leaves us with the possibility of draw-by-repetition where check is not involved, but if check is not involved, neither player is compelled as strongly to repeat the moves, and each one can make his own value judgement of whether they offer or accept a draw, or make an alternative move. I can (just) imagine a scenario where both players are checking each other on consecutive repeating moves, but the chances of it arising in a game are infinitesimal. Even so, the following formulation would force whichever player had started the checks to break the cycle: Alternative statement of rule #3: Neither player may make the same checking move three times in a row. [/quote:17ms0hv3] [quote="crust":17ms0hv3]Each player is creating check every other move. Which one is the "offensive" one?[/quote:17ms0hv3] [quote="Adam":17ms0hv3]And if mate in two doesn't count as check, then here white can force black to lose, by making black put white into perpetual check. At which point the universe implodes.[/quote:17ms0hv3] The discussion reveals that the perpetual check is a complicated matter, and crust and Adam found very inventive borderline cases! As mentioned, perpetual check is a draw in chess. As also mentioned in the discussion, perpetual moves can occur in many ways: - direct check from white or black or both - indirect check in two, three, four etc. moves - one party trying to capture an enemy piece - or whatever other reason A rule could require that "the attacker" breaks the deadlock, but it has been pointed out that it's not always simple to determine, who exactly is the "attacker". What if fx. white wants to move a piece strategically closer to a corner and black blocks because it's a very dangerous move. Nothing particularly is "attacked", so if the two parties do perpetual moves as a result, is it a draw then? If so, white achieves either a draw or else a move highly unfavourable to black, all at the expense of black. The simplest rule would be to still let all perpetual moves be a draw (or to convert all perpetual move draws into black wins). [b:17ms0hv3]Another solution could be a generalized rule which integrates most of the proposals from this discussion.[/b:17ms0hv3] Any perpetual moves situation can be viewed to start this way: 1. one party (called the "attacker") moves some piece to some square 2. the opponent (called the "defender") does a blocking move [i:17ms0hv3]for whatever reason[/i:17ms0hv3] 3. the "attacker" side steps to keep up the attack 4. the "defender" also side steps to keep up the blocking 3. and 4. is repeated indefinitely Adam's example shows that the side stepping may also include a full row and not only two squares. [b:17ms0hv3]The generalized rule could be[/b:17ms0hv3], that [i:17ms0hv3]in all cases[/i:17ms0hv3] the party [i:17ms0hv3]who did the move in point 1[/i:17ms0hv3] must do no more than 4 side steps, after which [i:17ms0hv3]he[/i:17ms0hv3] must break the deadlock (i.e. when the point 1 position is repeated 3rd time). Even when using squares from a full row the way it's done in Adam's example, it's counted as side steppings. - The game retarding situation shown in an earlier note [url:17ms0hv3]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44&p=332#p316[/url:17ms0hv3] is very rare. The perpetual checking king is protected to one side by a barrier of whites and can take breaks in the side stepping. Normally the stepping party must continue the "attack" or the whole situation will alter. Anyway, with a perpetual move rule the position in the example is to no advantage for white. - I can imagine that such a rule could've been in function even in the Iron- and Viking Ages. Not so formally expressed, but the players would intuitively know, who is the "attacker" and who must break the lock. And if they couldn't reach an agreement on the matter, they'd finish the game in a direct, physical fight instead. - Regarding the idea of converting all perpetual move draws into black wins: What if white managed to occupy a corner, then black tries to take it back, and white must side step to keep the corner. It wouldn't be fair to turn white's proper defense of the corner into a black win and thus force white to do some other move and let black in.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331027826 Tue Mar 6, 2012 10:57
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Greetings all! Though I do not consider myself an Old Norse expert, I am certainly very knowledgable on the matter, considering that is my area of study. My studies in Old Germanic Languages actually brought me into Hnefatafl, when I was reading the riddles of King Heithrek (the ones that mention the 'húnn') Hagbard, you have made only one minor mistake. I think you have confused the <r> declension and the <i> declensions. Hnefi is, of course, the original form, and means fist, though the Old Norse people most definitely applied this to the King (which we call the piece due to chess). The <r> declension is generally and basically the most common (probably) declension, and has <s> as the genetive singular inflection, and <a> as the genitive plural inflection. This is very close to our <'s>, which denotes possesion,which is derived from the genitive form in Old English (which is in turn close to the Old Norse form). So, Odinr becomes Odins if I want to say that it belongs to Odin, or is Odin's. But in the <i> declension, <a> is both the genitive singular and genitive plural inflection. So, in theory, 'hnefa' might still be genitive plural, but it is unlikely, as the literal translation would be 'Fists' Board', and could not refer to the King piece, as there is only one of them. So my belief is that the translation is literally 'Fist's Board', but as the term Hnefi applies to the 'King', the translation should be 'King's Board', or 'King's table', or 'King's game' if you like, as the term 'Tafl' applied to the games of the Old Norse people (such as Skáktafl-chess-, Kvatrutafl-backgammon-, Halatafl-fox games-, Hnottafl-?-, Brannatafl-?- and Hræðtafl-?-). So 'King's Table' is actually correct. As for that pesky <h>, get prepared, for now we delve into that tricky world of phonetics. /n/, as we pronounce it, is a voiced alveolar nasal. Very basically this means that the consonant is pronounced with the air flow coming through the nose, which is the 'nasal' bit (again very basically our chief resource of nasals are /n/, /m/ and /ng/). It is also pronounced with the blade (tip) of the tongue touching the area between the top of the teeth and the further back hard plate, known as the alveolar ridge. The voiced bit is a bit harder to describe, but it is when the vocal cords in the throat vibrate. You may get a rough idea of this from pronouncing the two different types of <th>. When you pronounce /th/ as in 'then' or 'the', then you will note, perhaps, that there is some 'vibration'. Compare this to the /th/ in 'thing' or 'thimble', which seems to lack a certain 'vibration'. This is because the 'the, then' /th/ is voiced, while the 'thing, thimble' /th/ is known as 'voiceless', because it lacks this vibration. So now, I want you to picture something. Try pronouncing /n/, but instead of having the blade of your tongue at the alveolar ridge, have it against the teeth. This is an incredibly minor difference, but just a phonetic difference that can happen in some Languages; some have alveolar nasals and some dental nasals (this nasal with the blade of the tongue touching the teeth is 'dental'). Old Norse's form is a dental /n/, this form is the one they use, and it is written <n>. But those Old Norse people were tricky. They also had a voiceless (again we have already established that voiceless means the absence of the vocal cords vibrating in a consonant) form of the 'coronal' nasal (the /n/-like nasals are coronal, the /m/-like nasals are labial, and the /ng/-like nasals are dorsal). This voiceless form of the nasal was written... <hn>. This is how the Old Norse wrote the voiceless alveolar (this time it was alveolar rather than dental) nasal (though nowadays it is phonetically writtenis n?). This sound and practice has survived into modern Icelandic, the West Norse variation that is closest to Old Norse (why some other Nordic dialects have not retained this <hn>). So the <h> is not pronounced, but rather it was used to denote this form of the voiceless alveolar nasal. Again, though, I would like to stress that you can hardly note the difference, but it is a different phonetic sound (a different phoneme). So, that is the reason for the <h>. I see no reason to change the name though, this is both better and more accurate. The only accurate bit about the newer form is the first <v> in Nevatavle. The last <f> should be pronounced /f/, for reasons that I will not explain here (they, again, are complicated,but ask if you wish to know!). So, the rough pronunciation with English standardization would be 'Nev-a-taf-el'. But definitely we should go with Hnefatafl, it is the proper form! So this is the philologist's (observer of ancient languages) view on Hnefatafl. I hope it covered evrybody's questions!
AUTHOR Evans

1331040542 Tue Mar 6, 2012 14:29
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Thanks a lot for the very interesting linguistic investigation on Old Norse, Evans! And a qualified vote more for "Hnefatafl"!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331057986 Tue Mar 6, 2012 19:19
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
puts the "lol" in "philology" :D
AUTHOR crust

1331058269 Tue Mar 6, 2012 19:24
SUBJECT Re: Link:Tafl Gild
The Tafl Gild used to be on Yahoo groups, then they moved to something called "face book" so I lost them. Their stuff is still there on Yahoo groups though [url:268bormt]http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/taflgild/[/url:268bormt] - some interesting stuff there. I think a team match between aagenielsen.dk and tafl gild would be interesting...
AUTHOR crust

1331075591 Wed Mar 7, 2012 0:13
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
On the perpetual moves rule, I personally find that it would be a lot easier to call all of them a draw. I draw this simple conclusion off two things. The first is that the situation is so rare. Generally, it is unsatisfactory because both players have not had the power to control a certain area of the board, and thus it would probably be fair to make it a draw. Often, though, it can mean that White has pulled some significant leverage over Black (or rarely the other way around), and that they could find another move that might bring them the win, which they would prefer over a draw. This is very general, but my second reason is that it is too messy. If we implement a variation of this rule, it would be hard to describe the rule to a begginer; finding the 'attacker', the difference between perpetual check and perpetual movement and Adam's tricky example as well. The rule is just too messy. We needed to fix the problem of early draws, but it's not like one player can force a perpetual move, going into the game planning that, because, as already said, the need for it just arises out of a certain position. If you look at the rules of chess for a draw, you will find a few simple lines, and I would rather not get a page worth of rules for a draw in Hnefatafl! This is just my opinion.
AUTHOR Evans

1331112590 Wed Mar 7, 2012 10:29
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Evans: I think that the discussion above makes it clear the motivation for the proposed rules. In corner Talf perhaps you are right that perpetual threats are rare, but when playing to the edge it is quite common for such opportunities to arise, and there needs to be some rule to handle it. Also, I think you are to "infected" by the modern chess rules, look at the rules for Xiangqi and Shogi (Chinese and Japanese chess). They both have rules for breaking perpetual threat situations quite similar to the proposed rules above.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1331118103 Wed Mar 7, 2012 12:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Sorry conanlibrarian! Yes, I think in edge Tafl it is certainly needed for a rule forbidding perpetual check. The most convincing argument (and again the simplest) is probably that if a perpetual checking move is repeated, then the offensive side must find an alternate move, and that perpetual moves (distinguished from perpetual checks) should be ruled a draw (and all other curious situations,which have, I think, probably been fully defined). Thanks for telling me about the Eastern chess variations and their rulings on the perpetual checking and moving, though again I find it a little confusing from first look, and, personally, I would rather not have condition upon condition in the rule book. If we do find a rule though that is able to be clean and best for both corner Tafl and edge Tafl as well, then I would not complain! But my suggestion was more for corner Tafl.
AUTHOR Evans

1331150988 Wed Mar 7, 2012 21:09
SUBJECT Re: Notation
[quote="Evans":25fl5dob]the Attackers are coloured White and the Defenders Black (or red). It is strange that we have ignored this[/quote:25fl5dob] Yes you're right, it is strange. It is of course merely a convention, and I think [u:25fl5dob]mostly[/u:25fl5dob] in the "modern" game the convention is dark attackers and light defenders - nothing to do with me, I hasten to add. Isn't Linnaeus' Tablut is this way round? It might cause some confusion to change now, though we would get used to it quite quickly I suppose. This is what I put on my website: [i:25fl5dob]I will be referring to the two sides as “white” and “black” even though this convention is not universal, and you may find a hnefatafl set which reverses these colours. Some people prefer to call the two sides “attackers” (round the edge) and “defenders” (in the centre) but this can be ambiguous, as the roles of attacker and defender shift and change during the game, after all, as you will see, the attackers have to defend the corners, whereas the defenders frequently attack the attackers. In fact, it is more common for black (attackers) to play defensively, and white (defenders) to play aggressively. On the whole, it is easier to call the player who has 12 warriors and a King and starts in the centre of the board “white”, whereas the player who has 24 warriors and no king, and starts at the edge of the board is called “black”.[/i:25fl5dob] So I am going along with the convention observed by most game manufacturers and websites. As for which is more historically correct, I'm sure you're right about that! Though of course that, too could have been a local convention and not universal. Another issue that might need standardising, is that Dragonheelslair omits the letter "i" so the files go from "a" to "l", whereas aagenielsen doesn't, and they go from "a" to "k". I might take this up with Dragonheels, as I don't really see a problem with the letter "i". However, I presume he has followed the same policy in all board games with 9 or more squares, so he may not like to change. [quote="Evans":25fl5dob]perhaps it would also be best to standardize (again in the future) where players sit in live tournaments.[/quote:25fl5dob] .... not sure I quite understand your point here. Surely it doesn't matter where the players sit, as long as they agree on the notation of the moves? Sorry if I'm being dense! My own hnefatafl board has co-ordinates because I used to play Adam over the phone (before we started playing here on aagenielsen), and sometimes at the end we would discuss aspects of the game and realise that one (or both) of us had the board the wrong way round, but it didn't affect the game at all, just meant that we couldn't use terms like "bottom left" or "top right". So we just said "the a-11 corner" or "the k-1 corner". Peter Kelly says on [url:25fl5dob]http://www.fetlar.org/hnefatafl-world-championship[/url:25fl5dob] : [i:25fl5dob]Unlike chess the pieces oppose each other from the centre and the sides. This means that Hnefatafl players need not sit opposite each other while playing.[/i:25fl5dob] Though of course, they DID sit opposite each other at the championships, because it would be ridiculous not to. But the boards there had no co-ordinates anyway, and the games of course were not notated. :roll:
AUTHOR crust

1331151324 Wed Mar 7, 2012 21:15
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[b:2h5syjsw]More on forts.[/b:2h5syjsw] [img:2h5syjsw]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort2_r.png[/img:2h5syjsw] This draw fort is easy to do against the computer; just move two white pieces to the edge, keep the rest in center and arrange them as a fort. White can go for the draw from start, so [i:2h5syjsw]this could be another source of abuse[/i:2h5syjsw]. [img:2h5syjsw]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort3_r.png[/img:2h5syjsw] A draw fort something like this is also fairly easy to do; move the king to the edge and arrange rest of the white pieces as a fort in center. [b:2h5syjsw]These two situations could be turned into black wins this way:[/b:2h5syjsw] - a fort is only a draw fort if the white pieces in the fort are in contact with the edge, the king is part of the fort, the king or some white piece in the fort can move, and the fort cannot be destroyed by black. - otherwise, if the king and all white pieces are completely surrounded by black pieces and edges, white has lost. (- if neither, the game is still on) [img:2h5syjsw]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort11_r.png[/img:2h5syjsw] In the end game, this situation could happen: both white and black lost 12 men, and left is the lone king and just enough blacks to block the corners. If the game ends as shown in the diagram, [i:2h5syjsw]shouldn't this be a white win?[/i:2h5syjsw] The king did escape to the edge, can move and is not captured. Maybe he can be captured, but we'll never know, because black doesn't try, so the king is [i:2h5syjsw]as safe as in a fort[/i:2h5syjsw]. If black should try to go after the king, the king would probably escape to a corner. [b:2h5syjsw]A rule could be:[/b:2h5syjsw] If the king can move and cannot be kept away from the edge, when the game ends, white wins. Such a rule would be in line with a principle like - if the king cannot escape, black wins - if the king cannot be captured, white wins (- if neither, a draw) [i:2h5syjsw]Also, this prevents any sort of game avoidance. In start of the game, white must fight to escape, or else loose. In end of the game, black must fight to capture the king, or else loose.[/i:2h5syjsw]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331158575 Wed Mar 7, 2012 23:16
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Lots of good stuff in these new posts! Great that everyone is getting involved to hammer this out. Will respond when I have proper time! Evans, I myself went down the white leverage argument road when this thread started, and have come round to seeing that the draws in tafl games while rare, are rather like a fatal infectious disease in tournament situations, which leads to the game being white 'win' heavy (the stats dont show it, wins and losses being even, but as the draws are all forced by white, there is clearly an imbalance, which the copenhagen rules address, but probably only solve if perpetual manouvers are ruled out. How we achieve that remains to be seen, though i'd like to hear some of these asian game rules described here. The Ko rule in Go is another. Maybe the formulation is there already written? I think Hagbard is onto something, any given game situation is open to a regress of 'you started it' but in practice these repeat situations always (i think!) have a clear 'starter'. Its simple, the repeated move has a beginning move, the move before that is not part of the repeat pattern. So surely the aggressor is always going to be clear? Examples to the contrary welcome!
AUTHOR Adam

1331165010 Thu Mar 8, 2012 1:03
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Hagbard for bringing that up, because that is something that has been worrying me about the Copenhagen rules for a while. White can still go into the match looking for a 'drawing draw fort', so he could still easily build a centre fort as long as he puts two pieces at the edge of the board, and thus the fort can never be surrounded, the pieces resting at the edges are never vulnerable and have no compulsion to move since the moves can be done within the fort! I do like the idea that only edge forts that do not fulfill the required aspects for a win are considered a draw, and all others a loss for White. If you used this rule, it could be better put as: [i:3anlqlh6]All centre forts are considered a loss for White[/i:3anlqlh6] Or would this be too drastic? I disagree though in the expansion of the rules for the last example. If White has enough pieces to build an edge fort, then he has a right to win, but if not then both players have fought out each other's winning chances, and thus deserves, I think, to be a fair draw.  I think we should see if any of the two cases mentioned appear in the Copenhagen tournament. As for Adam's question, I have found these rulings on the perpetual draws in Xiangqi, and some notes on them, below: Unlike chess, in which a stalemate is a draw, in xiangqi, a player with no legal moves left loses. In xiangqi, a player (often with material or positional disadvantage) may attempt to check or chase pieces in a way that the moves fall in a cycle, forcing the opponent to draw the game. The following special rules are used to make it harder to draw the game by endless checking and chasing (regardless of whether the positions of the pieces are repeated or not): The side that perpetually checks with one piece or several pieces will be ruled to lose under any circumstances unless he or she stops the perpetual checking. The side that perpetually chases any one unprotected piece with one or more pieces will be ruled to lose under any circumstances unless he or she stops the perpetual chasing. Chases by generals and soldiers are allowed however. If one side perpetually checks and the other side perpetually chases, the perpetually checking side has to stop or be ruled to lose. When neither side violates the rules and both persist in not making an alternate move, the game can be ruled as a draw. When both sides violate the same rule at the same time and both persist in not making an alternate move, the game can be ruled as a draw. Different sets of rules set different limits on what is considered "perpetual". For example, club xiangqi rules allow a player to check/chase six consecutive times using one piece, twelve times using two pieces, and eighteen times using three pieces before considering the check/chase a perpetual check/chase. The above rules to prevent perpetual checking and chasing are popular, but they are by no means the only rules. There are a large number of confusing end game situations. Again, to me these rules seem a bit messy, but quite fair, and they are going along the lines that everyone has suggested so far. For the purposes of Tafl, I suppose 'chasing' can be considered any non-checking repitition. It is my thought, though, that any moves that threaten to obtain mate INDEFINITELY for either player are considered 'checkings', so if White is skipping his King between the two 2nd Files but is being blocked by one black piece, or is threatening to come to an open Corner File (1st File) repetitively, then these can be considered as 'check' moves. Another note behind this logic is that in Tablut, 'tuichi' was considered to be checkmate, and was when the King was on any open file, and to first get to checkmate, you have to have a 'check', which is the threat to get to an open file, or in Corner Tafl, the threat to get a position where you can either get to a corner or a position to get to the corner. So these 'indirect corner challenges' can be considered 'checking'.I hope this, and the rules above, might be helpful. 
AUTHOR Evans

1331204985 Thu Mar 8, 2012 12:09
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
Thanks Evans for a very carefully considered and detailed response! I hope you enjoyed the puzzle. Your reasoning is very sound. Sorry for my delay in response - your post needed a lot of consideration! Essentially, you've got it, but I got there quicker, and maybe you missed a winning move for white. You brilliantly spotted that I wanted to get the king to go around the board like a windmill, while the hapless black Don Quixotes attempted to block his path. Actually I was aiming to get him right round to the a11 corner after attacking all three of the other corners, but in fact white actually wins at the third (k11) corner. [quote="Evans":5vg0400l]Of course, though, once the Black piece moves to j2, then White can move j1-i1 and has achieved essentially the same position with a Black piece gone[/quote:5vg0400l] - perfect example of the "guillotine" in action - however many pieces black puts on the second rank and feeds into the guillotine on j2, the executioner piece now on h1 will behead them by moving to j1, then return to i1 (equivalent to raising the blade of the guillotine ready for the next victim!). This is a brilliant winning position for white (usually) but can sometimes be beaten by threatening the king directly and thus forcing him to move, which buys enough tempo to close off the corner or kill off the executioner (or do both in the same move). This puzzle was designed to eliminate that possibility. [quote="Evans":5vg0400l]But what about blocking the capture in the first place? The move for Black is... i8-i1. This blocks off the corner, but leaves the other side of the board a little open, so it goes against some preconceptions. But, if Black makes more brilliant moves, then he can stop the threat.[/quote:5vg0400l]So you're right, the only way the guillotine can be beaten after the king moves to j3 is with i8 - i1, but that itself opens up another can of worms...[quote="Evans":5vg0400l]The Hnefi will probably now come to j9 or j10, and right just here we will look at Hn—j3-j10, which is a powerful move but looks a bit drawish, which is what Black is aiming for anyway,as it is impossible to win with the material he already has. j10 forces k7-k10,[/quote:5vg0400l] ...I agree that j3 - j9 looks drawish, but the king's move to j10 looks more winnish than drawish to me, because after j3 - j10, black is forced to move k7 - k10, and white's response h8 - k8 is unstoppable. This move is now possible because black had to move i8 away to prevent the guillotine at the k1 corner. Here's how I would do it: c1 - c3...d1 - c1[attachment=2:5vg0400l]hnefatafl puzzle - feb 2012.solution1.JPG[/attachment:5vg0400l] c3 - j3...i8 - i1[attachment=1:5vg0400l]hnefatafl puzzle - feb 2012.solution2.JPG[/attachment:5vg0400l] j3 - j10...k7 - k10[attachment=0:5vg0400l]hnefatafl puzzle - feb 2012.solution3.JPG[/attachment:5vg0400l] h8 - k8... !!! (see next post as I'm not allowed more than 3 attachments per post)
AUTHOR crust

1331205302 Thu Mar 8, 2012 12:15
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
The coup-de-grace. I was lying - there is no fourth move for black which can prevent disaster - the only choice is whether to resign like a gentleman or go berserk and kick the table over :D
AUTHOR crust

1331227209 Thu Mar 8, 2012 18:20
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:1yllou1g]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck4_r.png[/img:1yllou1g] Here white attacks on a full line, and black must use not one but [i:1yllou1g]several[/i:1yllou1g] pieces to block.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331235129 Thu Mar 8, 2012 20:32
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Good example Hagbard - this is a repetitive situation which nevertheless features not very much repetition in the actual moves. Classic situation where an umpire could judge straight away that it was a draw situation, but a computer couldn't. But is it repetitive check? I'm beginning to realise (I'm a bit slower than you guys) that "check" is actually hard to define in hnefatafl. I would have said it was check if the king can move to the square next to the corner on the following move - but of course in a way that's not check because it's the corner square that wins, not the one next to it (even though in hnefatafl it amounts to the same thing). Likewise I would have said it was check if the king could move to an open edge file on the following move, being then unstoppable. But that implies that "check" means ANY position where the king is about to move to an unstoppable winning position. It could be quite hard to identify, especially if the "checking" move is two or three moves before the win, for instance there could be a chain of 4 moves resulting in an inevitable win for white, where all of black's responses are forced moves, (see hnefatafl puzzle) now would that be check [i:1zvwh7k9]right at the beginning of the sequence[/i:1zvwh7k9], or only at the end? If check can't be defined, then neither can perpetual check. That destroys my argument, that repetitive draw should be a defeat for the player who started it, but only if check is involved. This issue is difficult! Like the offside rule in football? My brain is melting, I'll have to re-read all of the posts on this subject. And meditate. Evans, your posts are highly illuminating! Your knowledge of eastern games as well as old Norse is very welcome here. Are you a Jedi, too? :D
AUTHOR crust

1331383776 Sat Mar 10, 2012 13:49
SUBJECT Anyone for Brandubh?
Hello my fellow tafologists. I was wondering if there's any call to have Brandubh here at aagenielsen.dk - I have been playing it at Dragonheelslair, and I think it is worth while. [attachment=0:b38iinnt]ballinderry.gif[/attachment:b38iinnt] Rules: 7 x 7 board with corner and centre squares marked. White: king and four warriors Black: eight warriors. King is armed. Corners are hostile. Throne is not hostile. Corners and Throne may only be occupied by the King. All pieces may pass through the throne without stopping. King may not re-occupy throne once he has moved away. Winning conditions: White wins by king reaching a corner, black wins by surrounding King on 2 sides. If player cannot make a legal move, this player loses the game. There is some doubt over whether the king can be captured by two enemies if he is still on the throne. I would have said no, but the dragonheels game allows this capture at the moment, however I think that might change. Does anyone know of a tafl-form featuring two-sided king capture, where the king can also be captured on the throne by 2 enemies? I would say that it is preferable to have the throne as a (relatively) safe square, where the king can only be captured by four enemies. Comments: I was initially dubious (dubhious) about this game when it appeared recently, because it appeared to be horribly unbalanced in favour of black. Now I've played it a few times, I think it is more balanced than I thought; there are tactics for white that even the balance. I think it would be a good addition to the games featured here.
AUTHOR crust

1331386013 Sat Mar 10, 2012 14:26
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
Very entertaining, though having made such a fun puzzle, might I ask that the solution not be so quickly revealed next time if someone posts an incomplete or wrong answer? Its fun to try again or see if others can solve it too? Perhaps you could post the puzzle with a deadline at which point the solution is revealed?
AUTHOR Adam

1331387107 Sat Mar 10, 2012 14:45
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
ok, but I didn't want anyone wasting too much time on it..! (and then complaining that it wasn't worth it). :?
AUTHOR crust

1331392803 Sat Mar 10, 2012 16:20
SUBJECT Re: International Hnefatafl Society
no, that link doesn't work either. Oh, Tafl Gild, you have vanished, like an old oak table. Or is that "varnished"?
AUTHOR crust

1331417303 Sat Mar 10, 2012 23:08
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hello forum. Mind taxing time again. Following the fun science references, Crust and I have been referring to the rules now being tested on Aage's site as the 'weak' copenhagen interpretation, and a version forbidding perpetual check as the 'strong' copenhagen interpretation. Otherwise the rules are the same. [quote="crust":2yt1mnun]But is it repetitive check?[/quote:2yt1mnun] Crust and I have a had a discussion about all these latest perpetual check considerations and I think we have made some headway, pretty much where Evans was heading in that last paragraph. Here is a summary: Tafl check can be defined if, as Evans was hinting at, we consider 'preventable mate in 'n' positions': 'Check' is any move that threatens mate in 'n' moves, preventable by a blocking manoeuvre by the opponent. The multiple moves perpetual check situation may be hard to resolve for a computer, but for humans its easy: So, looking at hagbards last set up, with six black pieces on row 3, the king on row 4, and nothing on rows 1 and 2: Any "preventable mate in 'n'" threat that involves indefinitely threatening mate in 'n' where the 'victim' is forced to respond but where the aggressor cannot achieve checkmate is to be abandoned by the aggressor [i:2yt1mnun][b:2yt1mnun]if each preventable mate in 'n' position has been shown to fail a maximum of 3 times[/b:2yt1mnun][/i:2yt1mnun]. So Hagbard's last example has, as far as i can see at least 8 mate in 'n' positions (assuming black moves as economically as possible to prevent opening more of the 9 possible mate in '2 or 3' options on B to J, and the 2 mate in '1' options on A and K. Meaning white is free to explore all those possibilities, but as long as the two players are aware that black will always block, they both know its a waste of everyone's time and energy to pursue the attack. If white has other pieces, white must be allowed to use the check leverage to position blacks pieces as they choose, before bringing in reinforcements, but three repeats of each attack position is ample to allow for this. However, if this is not whites plan the rule is simple enough, white is making essentially the same threat, so at some point they have to move another piece or play a non checking move with the king. How you program that I leave to Aage! As for Crusts 'windmill' puzzle, I don't see any problem here either. Each corner attack position is a self contained "preventable mate in 'n'" situation. One simply applies the 'no more than three repeats' rule to each situation. If someone is cunning enough to come up with a "preventable mate in 'n'" chain that carries us around the board and back to the original board set up, the rule can still be applied as you are then repeating a series of identical board set ups. You cant go around the board more than 3 times. As for the 'who started it?' problem, this is an illusion. Any situation that presents a repeating board pattern, can always be easily traced back to who started it, even a complex series of moves that lead us back to the original board position. It will always be self-evident which player made the first move in the repeating pattern. It may well be that the player who made the move immediately BEFORE the repeat pattern MEANT for this to happen, thereby by using the forbidden perpetual check to set a trap for the opponent, ultimately forcing them to play a non threatening move! Cunning indeed. But that's fine, no different to using check to force the opponents hand. And perhaps its actually easy to program this, as the computer can likely see repeat coordinates much easier in complex situations than we can.
AUTHOR Adam

1331420462 Sun Mar 11, 2012 0:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":2xz9zoat] [img:2xz9zoat]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort11_r.png[/img:2xz9zoat] In the end game, this situation could happen: both white and black lost 12 men, and left is the lone king and just enough blacks to block the corners. If the game ends as shown in the diagram, [i:2xz9zoat]shouldn't this be a white win?[/i:2xz9zoat] The king did escape to the edge, can move and is not captured. Maybe he can be captured, but we'll never know, because black doesn't try, so the king is [i:2xz9zoat]as safe as in a fort[/i:2xz9zoat]. If black should try to go after the king, the king would probably escape to a corner.[/quote:2xz9zoat] This poses an interesting problem. I think in practice black would have long since trapped the lone king. But of course in this position black can easily refuse to [i:2xz9zoat]try[/i:2xz9zoat] to capture the king thereby forcing a stalemate. But trying to capture the king would quickly degenerate into perpetual check forced by white, so with Strong Copenhagen rules, it would be in blacks interest to go after the king anyway and certainly win. The extremely unlikely situations where black is able to force a perpetual "preventable mate in 'n'" are also solved by the no more than 3 repetitions of a preventable mate in 'n' pattern. In practice such situations would be very easy to develop in to black wins anyway. As to whether white 'should' win in this situation, I would say no. Black has slaughtered all the other men, the king is a dead man. With the Copenhagen edge fort, we are saying that the king can't get out of the board unless he reaches a corner exit, or has enough men to help him escape under/over the board edge.
AUTHOR Adam

1331454657 Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:30
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:7w1e955v]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck5_r.png[/img:7w1e955v] It was easy for white to lure the computer into this perpetual check. It's hard to tell, but if it's also possible against a human opponent to from the start quickly go for perpetual moves, and easier than to win, [i:7w1e955v]it can be abused[/i:7w1e955v].
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331463183 Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":3i2y0wng]Following the fun science references, Crust and I have been referring to the rules now being tested on Aage's site as the 'weak' copenhagen interpretation, and a version forbidding perpetual check as the 'strong' copenhagen interpretation. Otherwise the rules are the same.[/quote:3i2y0wng] Strong and weak copenhagen interpretation... :D [quote="Adam":3i2y0wng] Any "preventable mate in 'n'" threat that involves indefinitely threatening mate in 'n' where the 'victim' is forced to respond but where the aggressor cannot achieve checkmate is to be abandoned by the aggressor [i:3i2y0wng][b:3i2y0wng]if each preventable mate in 'n' position has been shown to fail a maximum of 3 times[/b:3i2y0wng][/i:3i2y0wng]. So Hagbard's last example has, as far as i can see at least 8 mate in 'n' positions (assuming black moves as economically as possible to prevent opening more of the 9 possible mate in '2 or 3' options on B to J, and the 2 mate in '1' options on A and K. Meaning white is free to explore all those possibilities, but as long as the two players are aware that black will always block, they both know its a waste of everyone's time and energy to pursue the attack. If white has other pieces, white must be allowed to use the check leverage to position blacks pieces as they choose, before bringing in reinforcements, but three repeats of each attack position is ample to allow for this. However, if this is not whites plan the rule is simple enough, white is making essentially the same threat, so at some point they have to move another piece or play a non checking move with the king. How you program that I leave to Aage! As for Crusts 'windmill' puzzle, I don't see any problem here either. Each corner attack position is a self contained "preventable mate in 'n'" situation. One simply applies the 'no more than three repeats' rule to each situation. If someone is cunning enough to come up with a "preventable mate in 'n'" chain that carries us around the board and back to the original board set up, the rule can still be applied as you are then repeating a series of identical board set ups. You cant go around the board more than 3 times. As for the 'who started it?' problem, this is an illusion. Any situation that presents a repeating board pattern, can always be easily traced back to who started it, even a complex series of moves that lead us back to the original board position. It will always be self-evident which player made the first move in the repeating pattern.[/quote:3i2y0wng] The examples involving several pieces and movements on full rows, or even complex repetitive movement patterns several times around the whole board as indicated by crust's puzzle, show that a perpetual moves situation cannot be detected simply by counting the number of side steps done by some piece. The method which covers it all, is [i:3i2y0wng]to detect when the exact same board position is obtained for the third time[/i:3i2y0wng]. The computer can do that. The player who does the definitive move, has done an illegal move. I wonder if it is possible for the real attacker to lure or force the opponent to be the one who does that illegal move? [img:3i2y0wng]http://aagenielsen.dk/perpetcheck5_r.png[/img:3i2y0wng] - Actually, in this example the real attacker (white) is the one who does the move immediately [i:3i2y0wng]before[/i:3i2y0wng] the definitive move. Could be that when the same board position is obtained for the third time, the last [i:3i2y0wng]two moves[/i:3i2y0wng] are illegal, making white the perpetrator here. (Then again - if the black k10 piece would accidentally start out on the j10 square, this rule too would fail, judging the wrong perpetrator...). [b:3i2y0wng]Update:[/b:3i2y0wng] Solved.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331556325 Mon Mar 12, 2012 13:45
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:3ety81ae]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort12_r.png[/img:3ety81ae] Edge draw fort based on one edge square only!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331564302 Mon Mar 12, 2012 15:58
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="conanlibrarian":bzibmw5j]Also, I think you are to "infected" by the modern chess rules, look at the rules for Xiangqi and Shogi (Chinese and Japanese chess). They both have rules for breaking perpetual threat situations quite similar to the proposed rules above.[/quote:bzibmw5j] [quote="Evans":bzibmw5j]If we do find a rule though that is able to be clean and best for both corner Tafl and edge Tafl as well, then I would not complain! But my suggestion was more for corner Tafl.[/quote:bzibmw5j] [i:bzibmw5j]What about adding a "strong version" of a perpetual moves rule to the current tournament:[/i:bzibmw5j] [b:bzibmw5j]Rule+3) If the exact same board position is obtained for the third time, the player responsible for the perpetual moves must do an alternative move, or loose.[/b:bzibmw5j] The computer does the counting and already writes a message at the second occurrence of the same board position, and also indicates who is the perpetual "attacker". It's implemented already and the computer does this since today. The rule appears to cover all the cases mentioned in this discussion and would work for corner tafl as well as for edge tafl. The introduction of a rule+3 does not affect the tournament games already completed, since they didn't have perpetual moves.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331593740 Tue Mar 13, 2012 0:09
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
That seems like a good idea - we will see how it plays! I'll update my copenhagen introduction to include the new rule. By the way, I think I got the first copenhagen win (win only possible under copenhagen rules) in game where I played white against Chuck Ward -thanks Chuck for a great game, now you have to watch the edges as well as the corners! Unless someone else beat me to it. Haven't managed a total enclosure yet though. My first impressions are that copenhagen rules are a brilliant addition, as they make the game more unstable and more likely to "tip" decisively one way or the other, thus resulting in a win/defeat rather than a draw.
AUTHOR crust

1331664994 Tue Mar 13, 2012 19:56
SUBJECT Re: Anyone for Brandubh?
Hi crust, I've played this version of tafl once on my girlfriend's ipod, and I think that you couldn't capture the king on the throne only by two warriors (or it was adjustable, I'm not sure). Anyway, I really liked to play it, but don't you think that there is lack of strategic possibilities on such a small board? At least I thought that the tendency of two skilled players always playing the same moves is higher here than elsewhere. Which still could be useful to come closer to a solution to the "nature" of these games. Greetings Chris
AUTHOR Roderich

1331665234 Tue Mar 13, 2012 20:00
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
The new edge dynamic is indeed very refreshing. I am beginning to like this variant, too. Great work, everybody!
AUTHOR Roderich

1331669109 Tue Mar 13, 2012 21:05
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:3b999dfl]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort13_r.png[/img:3b999dfl] Situation from test tournament game against Roderich. All corners are safe, [i:3b999dfl]but the edges are unsecured[/i:3b999dfl], and white dominates middle of the board and can attack in all directions: - if the black piece on f1 is killed, four edge squares are vacant on the bottom edge line, enough for a white win fort requiring king plus only four whites. - the three vacant edge squares on the top edge line could be used for a white win fort with king plus six whites; or a draw fort with the king and five whites. - the half tower on the right edge line is a potential basis for a draw fort, which with an additional edge square could transform into a white win fort; requires king plus seven whites. - because of the half tower on the edge, which cannot be encircled, white can also build a center draw fort, requires king plus five whites.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1331749903 Wed Mar 14, 2012 19:31
SUBJECT Re: Anyone for Brandubh?
Hey Chris, You're right of course, it's a limited game, but I think it is useful as a half-way stage between sea-battle and fetlar or copenhagen. You can at least have guillotines in Brandubh, as the corner dynamics are the same as fetlar but with fewer pieces obviously. I think it is a better game than Ard Ri anyway! :shock: If I was teaching hnefatafl, I might consider starting people off on sea battle (to learn the moves and captures), then go on to Brandubh (to learn about corners and using the armed king), and then finally graduate to full hnefatafl. If there was time, that's how I'd do it. I didn't know you could play it on an i=pod!
AUTHOR crust

1331888487 Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":3u52oxxg][img:3u52oxxg]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort12_r.png[/img:3u52oxxg] Edge draw fort based on one edge square only![/quote:3u52oxxg] Very nice! Though the king is not mobile, so its a draw draw fort. (if the king moves the fort can be destroyed I think)
AUTHOR Adam

1331888793 Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:06
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":1qzypbn8] The introduction of a rule+3 does not affect the tournament games already completed, since they didn't have perpetual moves.[/quote:1qzypbn8] A word of caution: it is the threat of a perpetual check, not the perpetual check itself, which affects gameplay, so the games underway and those finished under weak copenhagen have all been affected. Blacks play will have been more cautious in order to avoid perpetual checking opportunities for white. If we are to be rigorous, the tournament should run until its finished with the rules it was started with. Then we look at the results, and run another with the strong version. Then compare. If all feel they would prefer to simply add in rule +3, fair enough. But we should be aware that it wont give us clean data at all.
AUTHOR Adam

1332012509 Sat Mar 17, 2012 20:28
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hello all, I just tried to follow this thread. And it seems to be still a try ;-) In my opinion there are now following good and practicable rules. 1. Black has to surround the king or all his peaces (That's a black win) 2. White has to reach the neutral cities (that's a white win) 3. Every thing else is a draw after 3 time repetition of a field situation By the first rule you solved the problem of the monstrosity draw. And there only draw-forts - no win-forts. The repetition draw is no problem because it is hard to get and it is possible to avoid. Off course it is hard to get one white peace out of the circle but getting a full circle is hard as well. I played Hnefatfl nearly for 20 years without any draw options. My experience is, that the advantage of one side always change with the level of the opponents.
AUTHOR MaC

1332057030 Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:50
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="MaC":2epfkzy5]The repetition draw is no problem because it is hard to get and it is possible to avoid.[/quote:2epfkzy5] Maybe it would be instructive with some crust-Adam test games on this, where white in the test (or black) must force a perpetual moves situation to win? Just like the earlier test of the Monstrous forts.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332064913 Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:35gkido5]http://aagenielsen.dk/encircle1_r.png[/img:35gkido5] Situation from test tournament game against Oddur. White is nearly encircled, but the gap on g1 must be closed carefully so that the king is not allowed to f1 thus preventing encirclement. [img:35gkido5]http://aagenielsen.dk/encircle2_r.png[/img:35gkido5] In spite of a fine center fort with tower, white is encircled.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332069572 Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:19
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="MaC":30ixqk1i]In my opinion there are now following good and practicable rules. 1. Black has to surround the king or all his peaces (That's a black win) 2. White has to reach the neutral cities (that's a white win) 3. Every thing else is a draw after 3 time repetition of a field situation[/quote:30ixqk1i] The MaC summary is clear, clean, logical and easy to use and understand also for any beginner. [img:30ixqk1i]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort13_r.png[/img:30ixqk1i] The situation in the diagram is however very common - quite early in the game white finds all corners inaccessible, and after that has nothing to go for but the draw. The real game has ended already here. If white however can still go for the win (through an edge win fort), there's much more to play for in the continued game, the real fight continues for much longer. Also the constant threat from the very start of the game of this other winning method of white's makes it harder for black to do the quick barricading. As for repetitions it would be interesting to test if this situation can be induced deliberately.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332074928 Sun Mar 18, 2012 13:48
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
To summarize (a bit) this very complex issue, with apologies for repeating things: Copenhagen rules are [i:3lqf4koc][u:3lqf4koc][b:3lqf4koc]Copenhagen Rule #1:[/b:3lqf4koc][/u:3lqf4koc] The black (attacker) player wins, if the black pieces surround and enclose all the white pieces, so that the enclosure is complete, with no gaps. [u:3lqf4koc][b:3lqf4koc]Copenhagen Rule #2: [/b:3lqf4koc][/u:3lqf4koc] The white (defender) player wins, if the white pieces create an “edge fort” which fulfils the following three conditions: a. The king must be on an edge square within the structure b. The king must be able to move (he must have a free space to move into) c. The fort must be impregnable to attack [u:3lqf4koc][b:3lqf4koc]Copenhagen Rule #3[/b:3lqf4koc][/u:3lqf4koc]: In cases of repeating moves or perpetual check, where the same board position is obtained three times, the threatening player (not the blocking player) must break off the attack and make an alternative move, or lose the game.[/i:3lqf4koc] ################################################################# In Fetlar Hnefatafl, it has been found that the white player has a disproportionate ability to force a draw. These new rules do not make draws impossible, but they make them less likely, increasing the chances that the game will end in a win for one player or the other. The Copenhagen rules #1 and #3 limit the ability of the white player to create a draw result, and Copenhagen rule #2 compensates the white player for the loss of this leverage by allowing another way of winning, thus preserving the balance of power between the two players. At least that is the hope! Now, we have the choice of whether to implement all three rules (strong Copenhagen) or just two rules (weak Copenhagen - rules #1 and #2 only) or just one (super-weak Copenhagen, rule #1 only, which I think is what MaC proposes). I don't mean "weak" in any negative sense by the way, and of course there are other combinations that could exist, like rule #2 only (favours white) or rules #1 and #3 only (favours black). [quote="Hagbard":3lqf4koc]The situation in the diagram is however very common - quite early in the game white finds all corners inaccessible, and after that has nothing to go for but the draw. The real game has ended already here. If white however can still go for the win (through an edge win fort), there's much more to play for in the continued game, the real fight continues for much longer[/quote:3lqf4koc] I quite agree. Copenhagen rule #2 really livens up the game, by "activating" the edge squares in a new way. It makes the game more "unstable" (not the same as "unbalanced") - in other words, more likely to tip over into outright victory for one player or the other, without actually favouring one player. As for rule#3, I think we still have some testing to do there - will it actually change the way people play, because black faces fewer threats - does it make life too easy for black? [quote="Adam":3lqf4koc]it is the threat of a perpetual check, not the perpetual check itself, which affects gameplay,[/quote:3lqf4koc] Quite right, and rule #3 gets rid of this threat, so we must try and see what the effects of this absence are. Not easy!
AUTHOR crust

1332089967 Sun Mar 18, 2012 17:59
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks to Mac for highlighting that this thread is getting complex and tricky to follow. And thanks to crust for an excellent summary. This thread is a work in progress discussion that has been developing for some time, so new comers and latecomers will have some homework to do to get up to speed! The draw problem was only discovered when experienced players met in tournaments or in rated games. They are relatively rare, but common enough to stop the game being taken seriously as an international tournament playable game.
AUTHOR Adam

1332090640 Sun Mar 18, 2012 18:10
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":irz6mcqz]It makes the game more "unstable" (not the same as "unbalanced") - in other words, more likely to tip over into outright victory for one player or the other, without actually favouring one player.[/quote:irz6mcqz] It's a characteristic of this battle board game already with the Fetlar rules that the fortune of war can rapidly shift. A crucial move behind enemy lines, or shifting the battle from a corner to another etc. The same characteristic has another battle board game - chess; one wrong move and the entire position might collapse. Probably the same thing applies to real battle, so I guess it's a healthy sign for a battle game when the rules work this way.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332601067 Sat Mar 24, 2012 15:57
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":3s0ku6d7][quote="MaC":3s0ku6d7]The repetition draw is no problem because it is hard to get and it is possible to avoid.[/quote:3s0ku6d7] Maybe it would be instructive with some crust-Adam test games on this, where white in the test (or black) must force a perpetual moves situation to win? Just like the earlier test of the Monstrous forts.[/quote:3s0ku6d7] Instructive and fun! Sorry I've not been playing in the tournament. Computer troubles first and now a new baby girl (third child) to look after have rather confounded me! However crust and I are running some strong copenhagen test games. Mac is correct that white perpetual check is avoidable with black playing the right preemptive moves. And unavoidable checks and stalemates are what we are primarily trying to remove from the game. However we are also looking at the games balance and win statistics. Clearly black having to devote moves to preventing perpetual check affects game balance. It may turn out that the balance is better when black has to deal with those types of threat. Hence the weak a d strong versions.
AUTHOR Adam

1332613167 Sat Mar 24, 2012 19:19
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":yfy4wsya]black having to devote moves to preventing perpetual check affects game balance. It may turn out that the balance is better when black has to deal with those types of threat.[/quote:yfy4wsya] That's true... if black can now leave third-ranks unattended, safe in the knowledge that white can't use the threat of perpetual check against him, that leaves black in a [u:yfy4wsya]much[/u:yfy4wsya] stronger position, maybe too strong. On the other hand, maybe with enough time and practice, new techniques peculiar to copenhagen hnefatafl will emerge. For instance, I think white may learn to attack the edges much more, exploiting rule #2 to restore the balance? Experience with hnefatafl has shown repeatedly, that one side has discovered a tactic that really works, and seems for a while unanswerable (thereby unbalancing the game), but after a few more games, a countermove is discovered, and the balance shifts over the other way, (with the words "[i:yfy4wsya]NEXT LEVEL[/i:yfy4wsya]" flashing across the screen, as it were.) This [i:yfy4wsya]levelling up[/i:yfy4wsya] has happened several times already, just as it must have happened early in the history of chess or any other game of sufficient complexity. My own feeling is (and it's just a feeling) that we should keep rule #3 unless it turns out to be seriously bad, because games which end in a perpetual check draw are disappointing anyway, so the threat of perpetual check draw is the threat of inflicting disappointment, which is bad gamesmanship, like saying "you have to make such and such a move, otherwise I will make the whole game really disappointing, and there won't be anything you can do about it!" But we need more testing WITH the rule #3 in place, before we know if the balance is badly affected.[quote="MaC":yfy4wsya]Maybe it would be instructive with some crust-Adam test games on this, where white in the test (or black) must force a perpetual moves situation to win? Just like the earlier test of the Monstrous forts.[/quote:yfy4wsya] Yeah I'm up for that too. Someone, give Adam and me a research grant :geek:
AUTHOR crust

1332793651 Mon Mar 26, 2012 22:27
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":1klbw08o]and now a new baby girl (third child) to look after have rather confounded me![/quote:1klbw08o] Congratulations on the new little viking, Adam! [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort2_r.png[/img:1klbw08o] As mentioned before, it's easy for white to go for this position from the start in order to force a draw, [i:1klbw08o]so this can be abused.[/i:1klbw08o] Such abuse can be avoided by expanding the encirclement rule+1 into a rule+4: [b:1klbw08o]rule+2)[/b:1klbw08o] [i:1klbw08o]White win edge fort.[/i:1klbw08o] White wins if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for black to capture him. [b:1klbw08o]rule+2a)[/b:1klbw08o] [i:1klbw08o]Draw edge fort.[/i:1klbw08o] If a white fort has contact with the board edge, contains the king, some white piece in the fort is able to move, and it is impossible for black to destroy the fort, white can claim a draw. [b:1klbw08o]rule+4)[/b:1klbw08o] [i:1klbw08o]Encirclement.[/i:1klbw08o] Otherwise (when the king is not part of one of these two edge fort types) black wins if all white pieces are encircled by edges and by blacks, all linked together with no gaps. The rule+4 makes the earlier rule+1 obsolete, because rule+1 is a special case of rule+4. With a rule+4, the position above is a black win. So are these: [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort3_r.png[/img:1klbw08o] [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort_r.png[/img:1klbw08o] [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort1_r.png[/img:1klbw08o] [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/encircle3_r.png[/img:1klbw08o] [img:1klbw08o]http://aagenielsen.dk/garbo3.JPG[/img:1klbw08o]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332880492 Tue Mar 27, 2012 22:34
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Congratulations Adam!!! :D Well made observations, Hagbard! This so called rule+4) sounds very convincing to me. Does the test version of Copenhagen Tafl (not the tournament one) already include the new rules (at least those 3 established before)? I really would like to start some more Copenhagen matches besides our tournament.
AUTHOR Roderich

1332881912 Tue Mar 27, 2012 22:58
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Roderich":30zpx0rm]Does the test version of Copenhagen Tafl (not the tournament one) already include the new rules (at least those 3 established before)? I really would like to start some more Copenhagen matches besides our tournament.[/quote:30zpx0rm] Yes, the applet detects the rule+1 encirclement, the white win edge fort and perpetual repetitions.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1332923801 Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:36
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Congratulations Adam My view on the concept of draw forts is a little different from the current Copenhagen rules. As Hagbard showed, it is possible still for White to go for a draw from the outset, by simply placing two pieces at the board edge and building the already problematic centre-fort. In the Fetlar Rules, White obviously has the draw leverage over Black, and in a game where the goals of each player are equally possible, this unbalances the game. In the current Copenhagen rules, we have made it impossible for an immediate draw fort by saying that Black wins if he encircles White, and White can win if he builds a King-mobile edge draw-fort. Not only is there a problem with the in-between drawing draw-forts, but also the additions. When Black encircles White, it is usually only a formality that it is a win, unless a centre fort is built. Again, in the Copenhagen Rules, White needs only put two pieces (or just the King) at the board edge, and nothing has changed. This, in comparison to White's new method of winning, is unbalanced. White has been given a completely new way to win. This is generally to make up for the leverage White did hold over Black, but that has not fully been corrected, and is also unfair; in a balanced game, no player should have any leverage over the other than the goal, and Whit getting an extra goal is unfair. When White is attacking the corners, Black can no longer place pieces at the corner, and those blockades using only the necessary 3 pieces are hardly possible anymore. White now has essentially the winning conditions of corner Tafl and edge Tafl. Although our tournament is incomplete, I have worked out the percentage of wins of the completed games thus far: 65% White wins (12% edge-fort wins) 35% Black wins Here we can see the imbalance of the current Copenhagen rules, although certainly we will glean a better idea once the tournament has been completed. Although White can hold this new form of winning over Black when going for his other goal (in my opinion an asymmetrical game like Tafl should only have one goal for each player), I would agree that it highlights and utilises the edge squares in a new and exciting way, making amazing moves harder to come by and complicating the position. I believe, though, that the current Copenhagen rules do this in the wrong way, and that this should be achieved by another means. This is my recommendation: [i:2svb9xp2]1) The use of a centre-fort results in a loss for White; no matter what the manner[/i:2svb9xp2] [i:2svb9xp2]2) Any fort created at tho board edge that is impregnable, no matter what the position on the board (garboed King, mobile-King edge fort, immobile King edge fort) is a draw[/i:2svb9xp2] Obviously the 'encirclement rule' still applies. These two rules are simple and utilise the board edges, so that the only way a draw can be done is by using the spaces left open when Black tried to block the corner, rather than hindering Black's blocking the corner because otherwise he is likely to lose by an edge-fort.
AUTHOR Evans

1332970274 Wed Mar 28, 2012 23:31
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
InterEsting post from Evans. I need to give it some more thought before a proper response, but one thing important to consider that you've not mentioned is compensating white for the loss of leverage when one removes perpetual check.
AUTHOR Adam

1333009689 Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:28
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Evans for your post and your statistics. I'm not qualified enough to respond to everything you said in it, but I think that the notion of both players having the same methods of winning or at least the same number of methods is rather a "philosophical" matter. At least for me, if the game's balanced (and if it is a lot of fun), I don't care what the exact relations between the one and the others player's targets are. Now, if there's an unbalance (as you said, I think that it is too early to claim that right now, yet white in tafl games seems to have an advantage between "unexperienced" players as we all are momentarily), that would be a valid reason to re-think our ruleset. Greetings
AUTHOR Roderich

1333376628 Mon Apr 2, 2012 16:23
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hi Evans and everyone, have had some thinking time about this now. [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]in a balanced game, no player should have any leverage over the other than the goal, and Whit getting an extra goal is unfair.[/quote:vmclb4kf] I would suggest that leverage can come from other places, for example threatening the queen in chess can give powerful leverage. But I think I understand what you are driving at. White has only one goal, to get the king to leave the board, black has one goal, to capture the king. In Fetlar this manifests as one goal with four possible exits to choose from. Could be called four goals. Certainly white often uses two pronged attacks to win. But building an edge fort exit for the king is of course a new [i:vmclb4kf]way[/i:vmclb4kf] of leaving the board. But I agree with Roderich that if this makes the game more fun, while being balanced and elegant, that's fine by me. Besides, black also has the extra goal of surrounding all pieces. [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]When White is attacking the corners, Black can no longer place pieces at the corner, and those blockades using only the necessary 3 pieces are hardly possible anymore. [/quote:vmclb4kf] Here I am inclined to agree that we may have a problem. My test games with crust are hinting that it may be too easy to split open an edge by attacking two adjacent corners. But if this is the case, then making it a draw or a win makes no difference, it will still be unbalanced. But as the strategies are so new we have to play it out some more to know. Certainly black has to be even more creative and economical than usual. [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]White now has essentially the winning conditions of corner Tafl and edge Tafl.[/quote:vmclb4kf] This I don't agree with, I concede that all edge squares become potential exits, but the conditions for setting up an edge exit with a king mobile fort make it a world apart from edge tafl, where the king must be hemmed in at all costs, leading to enormous leverage for white, hence the weaponless king. Black does not have to worry about the edges in the same way at all in copenhagen. But they do have to worry about allowing edge forts being built. [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]percentage of wins of the completed games thus far: 65% White wins (12% edge-fort wins) 35% Black wins Here we can see the imbalance of the current Copenhagen rules, although certainly we will glean a better idea once the tournament has been completed. [/quote:vmclb4kf] Again I must disagree. Its far too early to say that we can see the imbalance. [i:vmclb4kf]An[/i:vmclb4kf] imbalance yes, but nothing like enough evidence to condemn or confirm these rules. Add to this the fact that all games completed before rule +3 was introduced must be considered a separate experiment, that all games that were unfinished when it was introduced are unuseable as clean data, and that only games started after the introduction of rule +3 can be used as clean data for that rule set, and you end up with statistics that are at best unreliable and at worst meaningless. But the tournament is still useful, we are roadtesting the rules, and getting a feel for them and its generating good discussion! [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]in my opinion an asymmetrical game like Tafl should only have one goal for each player)[/quote:vmclb4kf] It certainly makes things simpler and easier to test! [quote="Evans":vmclb4kf]I would agree that it highlights and utilises the edge squares in a new and exciting way, making amazing moves harder to come by and complicating the position. I believe, though, that the current Copenhagen rules do this in the wrong way, and that this should be achieved by another means. This is my recommendation: [i:vmclb4kf]1) The use of a centre-fort results in a loss for White; no matter what the manner[/i:vmclb4kf] [i:vmclb4kf]2) Any fort created at tho board edge that is impregnable, no matter what the position on the board (garboed King, mobile-King edge fort, immobile King edge fort) is a draw[/i:vmclb4kf] Obviously the 'encirclement rule' still applies. These two rules are simple and utilise the board edges, so that the only way a draw can be done is by using the spaces left open when Black tried to block the corner, rather than hindering Black's blocking the corner because otherwise he is likely to lose by an edge-fort.[/quote:vmclb4kf] Hagbards previous post had another suggestion for fixing the two man edge draw fort problem. But I am tempted by the simplicity of the rules you suggest. Personally I don't quite feel ready to throw out the edge fort exit concept, and I'm enjoying them very much in gameplay. Making them a draw position would make them far less satisfying for both sides. But it may be that your suggestion proves neccesary to retain game balance. I for one certainly don't want to go down the route of handicapping the king to adjust the balance. I suppose the absolute simplest solution would be simply to forbid all board repetitions, forcing an alternative move on the third move, but at the loss of the draw fort entirely which I think we all agree adds a good deal of variety and personality to the game. More testing !!
AUTHOR Adam

1334087294 Tue Apr 10, 2012 21:48
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[i:3kcrpfsp]It seems that our encirclement rule+1 got out into the wild already.[/i:3kcrpfsp] I wonder if we have readers on the forum from Salisbury in UK? Take a look at this page and notice the added "Special situations" rule: [b:3kcrpfsp][url:3kcrpfsp]http://www.manaraefan.co.uk/index_files/Page5204.htm[/url:3kcrpfsp][/b:3kcrpfsp]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334096484 Wed Apr 11, 2012 0:21
SUBJECT Re: Origin of the Rachunek tafl game
Apparently Rachunek is not alone with this interpretation of Tablut. Here's an American page advocating the same idea: [b:2gry4wxb][url:2gry4wxb]http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/games.shtml[/url:2gry4wxb][/b:2gry4wxb] Also Damian Walker supports the same rules in his article on Tablut: [b:2gry4wxb][url:2gry4wxb]http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/files/recon-draft.pdf[/url:2gry4wxb][/b:2gry4wxb]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334235642 Thu Apr 12, 2012 15:00
SUBJECT Invitation
I inadvertently created a game. How can I delete it? Tanks
AUTHOR Epoc

1334235727 Thu Apr 12, 2012 15:02
SUBJECT Invitation
I inadvertently created a game. How can I delete it? Tanks
AUTHOR Epoc

1334242741 Thu Apr 12, 2012 16:59
SUBJECT Re: Invitation
[quote="Epoc":2m5jjj84]I inadvertently created a game. How can I delete it?[/quote:2m5jjj84] You can do it this way: Mention in the chat under the game, that this game was a mistake. Then don't do any moves, and after three days the game will be deleted automatically.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334486168 Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:36
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:2r784o4m]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort2_r.png[/img:2r784o4m] There is a simpler way of solving this early draw situation. The German page [b:2r784o4m][url:2r784o4m]http://www.hnefatafl.net/englisch/ehnefatafl.html[/url:2r784o4m][/b:2r784o4m] mentions a [i:2r784o4m]shield wall rule:[/i:2r784o4m] [size=150:2r784o4m][i:2r784o4m] "[b:2r784o4m]Capturing by Using the Shieldwallrule.[/b:2r784o4m] If there is the same number of opposing taflmen in a row in front of a row of taflmen the whole group can be captured at once by bracketing them."[/i:2r784o4m][/size:2r784o4m] [img:2r784o4m]http://www.leikmot.net/Taflbilder/Schildwall.jpg[/img:2r784o4m] (Illustration: http://www.hnefatafl.net) Using the shield wall rule on the above position, the white pair on the edge is captured, and rest of the whites are in a position of simple encirclement covered by rule+1. The shield wall rule probably also contributes positively to the battle generally, because opponent pieces can be forced out of inactivity on the board edge. These positions however are still safe: [img:2r784o4m]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgetower1.png[/img:2r784o4m] [img:2r784o4m]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgetower2.png[/img:2r784o4m] [i:2r784o4m]The shield wall was actually an essential battle technique in those times. The topic is addressed in wikipedia:[/i:2r784o4m] [b:2r784o4m][url:2r784o4m]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shield_wall[/url:2r784o4m][/b:2r784o4m] [b:2r784o4m][url:2r784o4m]http://www.3dhistory.co.uk/factsheets/30SaxonShieldWall.html[/url:2r784o4m][/b:2r784o4m] has a fine photo of a shield wall formation: [img:2r784o4m]http://www.3dhistory.co.uk/factsheets/30SaxonShieldWall01.jpg[/img:2r784o4m] The rule+1 encirlement is actually the white party contained within a solid black enemy shield wall: [img:2r784o4m]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort_r.png[/img:2r784o4m] as is the white win edge fort the king protected at edge by a solid white shield wall: [img:2r784o4m]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort9_r.png[/img:2r784o4m]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334488272 Sun Apr 15, 2012 13:11
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":a2euriii]It seems that our encirclement rule+1 got out into the wild already. I wonder if we have readers on the forum from Salisbury in UK?[/quote:a2euriii]Very interesting Hagbard, I think it might be an example of convergent evolution. They presumably had the same arguments we had, and came up with Copenhagen rule #1 independently to deal with the centre-fort problem. I like the way they put it: "[i:a2euriii]If the light pieces encircle the king and all the remaining dark pieces, they win; for although they may not be able to prevent movement inside the circle, they prevent the king from escaping and so achieved their aim[/i:a2euriii]." That makes it pretty clear they were targeting the centre-fort draw! There are some good ideas there about how to present the game to younger players, though I can't help feeling they would be better off teaching them sea-battle tafl. [quote="Evans":a2euriii]garboed King[/quote:a2euriii]Congratulations Evans on first recorded use of "garbo" as a verb. White may achieve a draw garbotically with a garboed king. I must tell Shaunyman, who discovered it, as I recall. [quote="Hagbard":a2euriii]As mentioned before, it's easy for white to go for this position [centre fort with two men at the edge]from the start in order to force a draw, so this can be abused.[/quote:a2euriii]Sorry - am I missing something here? I really don't see it is all that easy to establish a two-man edge-fort. In which case the centre fort with two man edge fort position is not an "easy" draw, just a draw. Would anyone care to test this out with me? You can play white, and I will resign if you get a two-man edge fort. Prove me wrong! The proposed rule #4 which deals with this situation seems a step too far. But I could be wrong of course. The shield wall rule is interesting - good research Hagbard! - but I don't think it adds much, as you already pointed out, it doesn't prevent a two-man edge fort next to the corner anyway, so I don't see that it helps solve a problem that I don't think is a problem (see above). The shield wall rule might be interesting to try though, but let's not cloud the waters too much just yet! [quote="Roderich":a2euriii]Thanks Evans for your post and your statistics. I'm not qualified enough to respond to everything you said in it,[/quote:a2euriii]Yes, thanks Evans, your contribution is extremely valuable - where have you been all this time. Roderich, you are well qualified! Adam and I are playing strong copenhagen games over on dragonheelslair: so far I would say black wins slightly more often than white - certainly not a white walkover like evans' statistics would suggest. Oh how I wish we could all meet up in a pub! (for a pint of Strong Copenhagen)... Fraternal greetings to you all.
AUTHOR crust

1334490455 Sun Apr 15, 2012 13:47
SUBJECT Re: Invitation
That's just sad. I was planning to be exceedingly friendly to Epoc, whilst of course winning the game! Ah well.
AUTHOR crust

1334498399 Sun Apr 15, 2012 15:59
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":32y9dazs]Oh how I wish we could all meet up in a pub! (for a pint of Strong Copenhagen)... Fraternal greetings to you all.[/quote:32y9dazs] That would be fantastic! - How about planning a meeting sometime? For me at least, as I'm student still, it would be no problem to comer over to - for example - Copenhagen for a weekend or so (I've always wanted to visit this town anyway). This would also be a good opportunity to intensify some debates and talking about society founding stuff. Let's think about it!
AUTHOR Roderich

1334595709 Mon Apr 16, 2012 19:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:2yxldbjm]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort3_r.png[/img:2yxldbjm] [img:2yxldbjm]http://aagenielsen.dk/encircle3_r.png[/img:2yxldbjm] There is a simpler way of turning these situations into black wins: if [i:2yxldbjm][b:2yxldbjm]the king can be captured on the board edge[/b:2yxldbjm][/i:2yxldbjm], black won by simple capture of the king. Together with the shield wall rule, also the position below is a black win by simple capture of the king: [img:2yxldbjm]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort1_r.png[/img:2yxldbjm] If a row of pieces can be captured against the board edge through the shield wall rule, it follows naturally that so can the king. In chess, which is another very old battle game, the king is captured against the board edge. As for balance, Evans counted for the Copenhagen tournament 65% white wins and 35% black wins. Counting all Copenhagen games together so far, both tournament and non-tournament, gives 18 white wins, 11 black wins and 1 draw, so the king doesn't really need this privilege (only full matches counted - A plays white against B and A plays black against B). (Although Fetlar test games have shown that in Fetlar the king should be protected on the edge, this is because it's otherwise unreasonably hard for the king to reach the square next to a corner, when playing against [i:2yxldbjm]an expert Fetlar black player[/i:2yxldbjm]. But in the Copenhagen variant white has other opportunities, as he can give up the corner and go for the edge.) The English page [url:2yxldbjm]http://www.manaraefan.co.uk/index_files/Page5204.htm[/url:2yxldbjm] has a good wording which could be taken as a principle: "If the black pieces encircle the king and all the remaining white pieces, they win; for although they may not be able to prevent movement inside the circle, [i:2yxldbjm][b:2yxldbjm]they prevent the king from escaping and so achieved their aim.[/b:2yxldbjm][/i:2yxldbjm]" This wording could be taken as a rule+4, making rule+1 merely a special case. Under this principle, this position is a black win: [img:2yxldbjm]http://aagenielsen.dk/garbo3.JPG[/img:2yxldbjm]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334607228 Mon Apr 16, 2012 22:13
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Board edge king capture would be a good way of handicapping the king if we find it is needed. Though I hasten to add that if that includes corner capture with two men and a corner refuge, then I'd consider this a rather severe handicapping. Removed perpetual check is already giving the king a much harder time at the corners in strong copenhagen. I am beginning to lean towards an 'extra strong copenhagen', whereby all repeated board positions become illegal on the third repetition, with the exception of a mobile king edge fort exit, which results in a white win. Some drawfort positions can still be utillised to force black to divert forces to round up stray men, forcing mistakes and so on, but cannot be used to end the game in a way only available to white. This way, black has to do their job properly, working hard to immobilise and destroy white soldiers without letting the king escape, but white have to do their job properly, getting the king out. But by keeping the kings edge exit fort, we retain a good deal of the extra dynamism that fort building has brought to the game, while doing away with the disatisfaction of a draw, and the problem of a draw available only to one side. Seems like a reasonable compromise to me, providing it balances of course. I like the shieldwall rule, great fun. Excellent for mopping up stray soldiers! Presumably it only works when slotting the men in at the sides, that is to say, not just by completing the face of the wall? I agree with Crust that its something worth looking at if it really becomes needed.
AUTHOR Adam

1334607298 Mon Apr 16, 2012 22:14
SUBJECT Re: Invitation
I wasn't ready. ;D now i'm ready to lose whit dexterity...
AUTHOR Epoc

1334611580 Mon Apr 16, 2012 23:26
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":1hwgvbvy]I am beginning to lean towards an 'extra strong copenhagen', whereby all repeated board positions become illegal on the third repetition, with the exception of a mobile king edge fort exit, which results in a white win.[/quote:1hwgvbvy] Sounds like an idea; and possible to implement, too. [quote="Adam":1hwgvbvy]I like the shieldwall rule, great fun. Excellent for mopping up stray soldiers! Presumably it only works when slotting the men in at the sides, that is to say, not just by completing the face of the wall?[/quote:1hwgvbvy] That's right.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334775871 Wed Apr 18, 2012 21:04
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":gadkn23p]I am beginning to lean towards an 'extra strong copenhagen', whereby all repeated board positions become illegal on the third repetition, with the exception of a mobile king edge fort exit, which results in a white win.[/quote:gadkn23p] This could be extended into an "ultra strong copenhagen" where three types of repeated board positions are identified like this: [b:gadkn23p]rule+3.[/b:gadkn23p] The overall board position may be repeated no more than three times (except for the white win edge fort exit - which isn't really a repetition as the game has ended). The player who maintains the situation ("the threatening player") must find another move to break the repetitions. [b:gadkn23p]rule+3a.[/b:gadkn23p] The white board position may be repeated no more than three times. White must find another move to break the repetitions. [b:gadkn23p]rule+3b.[/b:gadkn23p] The black board position may be repeated no more than three times. Black must find another move to break the repetitions. rule+3 covers the intertwined perpetual step dance of any complexity, three times around the board or whatever. rule+3a covers white draw forts where it's white alone who does the repetitions. rule+3b covers fx. the situation where black just barely blocks all corners. A repetition ban forces black to leave the corners, and the game will end a draw because of lack of white and black pieces. [quote="Adam":gadkn23p]Though I hasten to add that if that includes corner capture [of the king] with two men and a corner refuge, then I'd consider this a rather severe handicapping.[/quote:gadkn23p] If very much needed, the corner squares could be friendly to the king? This might be an idea anyway, because it is [i:gadkn23p]the neighbour corner square safe for the king[/i:gadkn23p] which is the source of a lot of the interesting combinations and quick and elegant king exits, which are so characteristic of Fetlar. It is not very important for these fine combinations whether the king is safe on rest of the edge, too. The German Trebeta reenactment group had a Hnefatafl rules set with the kings' squares friendly to all whites and the king. This looks like a drawback for the battle, as it spoils the corner fights. But friendly just to the king and only corners? By the way all these rules adjustments address draw situations in the end games. 90% of the Copenhagen games turn out to be pure Fetlar games and are unaffected by the draw-adjustments. Only with the exception of the innovation "white win edge fort"; and a removal of the special Fetlar edge rule also affects the game. I found again the folder with the [b:gadkn23p]Scandinavian Museums' Skalk Hnefatafl rules[/b:gadkn23p]. In the end of the text it says: [b:gadkn23p]"White wins when the king succeeds in escaping to one of the corner-squares. Here he is free and invulnerable."[/b:gadkn23p] Period. [b:gadkn23p]"Black wins by taking the king. ... Black has also won if the situation arises that all white's pieces have been rendered immobile by encirclement."[/b:gadkn23p] [i:gadkn23p]They could be thinking of all these situations:[/i:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort_r.png[/img:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort2_r.png[/img:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/centerfort3_r.png[/img:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/encircle3_r.png[/img:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/edgefort1_r.png[/img:gadkn23p] [img:gadkn23p]http://aagenielsen.dk/garbo3.JPG[/img:gadkn23p] [b:gadkn23p][i:gadkn23p]In which case this rule from Skalk covers rule+1, rule+3a and rule+4 of this discussion.[/i:gadkn23p][/b:gadkn23p]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334828310 Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:38
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":3v5puujs]By the way all these rules adjustments address draw situations in the end games. 90% of the Copenhagen games turn out to be pure Fetlar games and are unaffected by the draw-adjustments.[/quote:3v5puujs]This has been my experience, so far, with Copenhagen games - most of them have been identical to fetlar rules. A couple of games have been affected by the dismissal of perpetual check(copenhagen rule #3), a couple have been white wins by edge fort(copenhagen rule #2), and I have not yet had a game end with total enclosure (copenhagen rule #1). And less draws than ever!
AUTHOR crust

1334910480 Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:28
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Are the contours of the Copenhagen rules beginning to form? Something like this: [b:3oeytnqy]The full Fetlar rules set[/b:3oeytnqy] except that the Fetlar edge rule is changed into: the king cannot be captured on an edge square next to a corner (but can be captured on rest of the edge). [b:3oeytnqy]rule+1)[/b:3oeytnqy] Black wins by taking the king (as described in the Fetlar rules). Black has also won if the situation arises that all white's pieces have been rendered immobile by encirclement. (The magazine Skalk's wording, covers all encirclement situations.) [b:3oeytnqy]rule+2)[/b:3oeytnqy] White wins when the king succeeds in escaping to one of the corner-squares. White also wins if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for black to capture him (white win edge fort). [b:3oeytnqy]rule+3)[/b:3oeytnqy] Perpetual moves are forbidden. If the overall board position is repeated three times, the player who maintains the situation ("the threatening player") must find another move to break the repetitions. If the white board position is repeated three times, with no pieces being captured, white must find another move to break the repetitions. If the black board position is repeated three times, with no pieces being captured, black must find another move to break the repetitions. [b:3oeytnqy]rule+5)[/b:3oeytnqy] Capturing on the board edge by using the shieldwallrule. If there is the same number of opposing taflmen in a row in front of a row of taflmen the whole group can be captured at once by bracketing them. (The wording of http://www.hnefatafl.net/). [size=85:3oeytnqy]Ad rule+3: It might not be possible for white to break repetitions and find any alternative move in case all the white pieces are somehow encircled. And so white lost already because of the encirclement before the repetitions. But the repetitions rule is useful for the software as an easier way to detect encirclements of any complexity.[/size:3oeytnqy]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1334917343 Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:22
SUBJECT Advices?
Hi! I don't know how many beginer player there are, but i would like if exists a sort of list of advices (for strategy and which game it's better to start) fo beginner players! Thank you!
AUTHOR Sybil

1335081820 Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:03
SUBJECT Re: Advices?
[quote="Sybil":qj6v791j]I don't know how many beginer player there are, but i would like if exists a sort of list of advices (for strategy and which game it's better to start) fo beginner players![/quote:qj6v791j] I'd suggest to start with the Hnefatafl 11x11, and here are a couple of pages with a short description of strategy: Damian Walker: [b:qj6v791j][url:qj6v791j]http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/strategy.html[/url:qj6v791j][/b:qj6v791j] The Game Cabinet:[b:qj6v791j] [url:qj6v791j]http://www.gamecabinet.com/history/Hnef.html[/url:qj6v791j][/b:qj6v791j] When a beginner plays black (the attacker) against an experienced player, however, it's difficult to avoid being overrun by a strong king which must be captured from 4 sides. Thus when playing the attacker's side, it's easier for the beginner to play against a weak king which is captured from only 2 sides, and therefore it'd be better to choose the Scandinavian Museums Hnefatafl 11x11.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1335108012 Sun Apr 22, 2012 17:20
SUBJECT Re: Advices?
Thank you Hagbard i hope it's can usefull for beginners!
AUTHOR Sybil

1335514242 Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:10
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
Do we have a win/loose-overview for the berserk-games played so far? I can't get rid off the feeling that white in Berserk is too weak ... could the edge-rule be too hard? @ Hagbard: Those games were amazing! Lot of fun and always exciting. Still, I've got problems with my small laptop, the chat window won't appear. Greetings, Chris
AUTHOR Roderich

1335943877 Wed May 2, 2012 9:31
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[quote="Roderich":29i4idch]Do we have a win/loose-overview for the berserk-games played so far? I can't get rid off the feeling that white in Berserk is too weak ... could the edge-rule be too hard? [/quote:29i4idch] At the moment, from 34 Berserk games and 10 players, the statistics is 19 white wins, 12 black wins and 3 draws. But let's keep an eye on whether the edge rule is too hard for white. [quote="Roderich":29i4idch]Still, I've got problems with my small laptop, the chat window won't appear.[/quote:29i4idch] I wrote a note about it today on the small forum.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1336161992 Fri May 4, 2012 22:06
SUBJECT Re: Anyone for Brandubh?
[quote="crust":32tb0iux]I didn't know you could play it on an i=pod![/quote:32tb0iux] I've actually found two apps for this, and one of them is quite good! One is called simply "tafl". It has some 7x7 layouts as well as 9x9 tablut. No 11x11 though, and the rule options are badly limited. The AI isn't very good either. At least it looks nice. The other is called "High Kings", and it's quite good! The rules are very configurable, and the AI is remarkably good (difficulty is adjustable as well). I only have two complaints about this one: 1) It occasionally crashes and needs to be re-opened 2) The throne square cannot currently be used for captures. I contacted the developers, and they reassured me that #2 would soon be fixed (or made adjustable) in an update. If you've got an i-(pod/pad/phone), go ahead and buy this one! I love it!
AUTHOR Beadle

1336231115 Sat May 5, 2012 17:18
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":2zmm21qc]Are the contours of the Copenhagen rules beginning to form?[/quote:2zmm21qc] I think we should wait and see how the tournament pans out, and perhaps add in my and crusts results from our test games too. Much as I like the idea of the shield wall rule, I personally would like to see a further round of test games to see if it makes a good addition before we agree to add it. The same goes for departing from the fetlar edge and corner rules. These should really only be adjusted if the draw free version of fetlar, with the mobile-king edge-fort-exit, really does require a balancing adjustment. Again apologies for not being in the test tournament. I'm struggling to find game time outside of my i phone, so dragonheels works for me just now. My gamer tag there is Xonn. Hagbard and I are now having our tournament game there. So if anyone wants to have a strong copenhagen match with me, send me an invite on dragonheels!
AUTHOR Adam

1336334618 Sun May 6, 2012 22:03
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
I have my doubts about playing with 32 black pieces and 16+1 white pieces. When I look at this article: http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm I look at the list of possible Tafl pieces that have been found. I see a few sets that could be partial sets of 24+12+1 pieces. (The ones from Birka, Sweden and Baldursheimur, Iceland look promising) I also think I see some partial sets of 16+8+1 for playing Tablut. (The ones found in Gunnarshaug Norway and Valsgarde, Sweden) As far as I know, no sets have been found that had more than 24 pieces of the same type. (32+16+1) That's why I still doubt that 48 (49) piece sets were ever in common use. It's probably why most drawings of 13x13 hnefatafl use 24+12+1 pieces. As with Alea Evangelii, it's possible that the initial layout for 13x13 was spread out and less crowded. (Like Hagbard said, to skip the initial phase of the game) That would explain why a larger board could still have the same number of pieces, shortening the game by skipping a few initial captures. I've finished building a 13x13 set, but I still haven't found time to play it. College has me very busy right now, but I'll give my opinion after some test games. I know a number of people at my school who are pretty good at this game. I'd start a club for it if I were going to stay at this school. There's a chance I'll start a Tafl club after I transfer to a four-year college though. That would be fun.
AUTHOR Beadle

1336677360 Thu May 10, 2012 21:16
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="Beadle":3rqfpec4]I have my doubts about playing with 32 black pieces and 16+1 white pieces. As far as I know, no sets have been found that had more than 24 pieces of the same type. (32+16+1) That's why I still doubt that 48 (49) piece sets were ever in common use. As with Alea Evangelii, it's possible that the initial layout for 13x13 was spread out and less crowded. (Like Hagbard said, to skip the initial phase of the game) I've finished building a 13x13 set, ... I'll give my opinion after some test games.[/quote:3rqfpec4] All fair points, though while you are running your test games, it would be a good idea to try with the extra pieces too, you'll soon find out if it makes a better or worse game. The Alea Evangelii evidence suggests that tafl games with many more than 32+16+1 pieces existed. No doubt less common than their simpler counterparts, but none the less real. Reason enough to try out 13x13 with an increased number of pieces. By the way, does anyone have a link or file of the oxford ms 122 manuscript with the alea evangelii text translated? The image is covered in enigmatic notation. Would love to read the text. http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=c ... ript=ms122
AUTHOR Adam

1336949979 Mon May 14, 2012 0:59
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
On the edge rule - whether or not the king should be captured on the board edge. [img:2e39g55e]http://aagenielsen.dk/kongepaakant.png[/img:2e39g55e] Under the Fetlar edge rule, the king in the diagram is not captured - even though he very much indeed looks captured. This a bit awkward situation is avoided when allowing the king to be captured on the edge. [img:2e39g55e]http://aagenielsen.dk/kongepaakant2.png[/img:2e39g55e] There's not the same inconvenience, however, by letting the king be protected on the corner neighbour edge squares only, as in this diagram. The king promptly escapes to the corner next move and the game is over.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1336991106 Mon May 14, 2012 12:25
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[b:36iq0ivg]ZOMBIES !!![/b:36iq0ivg] [attachment=1:36iq0ivg]zombie attack1.png[/attachment:36iq0ivg] [attachment=0:36iq0ivg]zombie attack2.jpg[/attachment:36iq0ivg]
AUTHOR crust

1336997468 Mon May 14, 2012 14:11
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":24795fk4][b:24795fk4]ZOMBIES !!![/b:24795fk4][/quote:24795fk4] :D
AUTHOR Hagbard

1337074875 Tue May 15, 2012 11:41
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":3ikpaeha]On the edge rule - whether or not the king should be captured on the board edge. [img:3ikpaeha]http://aagenielsen.dk/kongepaakant.png[/img:3ikpaeha] Under the Fetlar edge rule, the king in the diagram is not captured - even though he very much indeed looks captured. This a bit awkward situation is avoided when allowing the king to be captured on the edge.[/quote:3ikpaeha] Very funny image! Zombies indeed. However I feel I must defend our king here. If we are to imagine that the rules represent a model of reality, then our rule that we need 4 warriors to take down a king tells us that, for whatever reason, he needs to be attacked from all four sides, unless that side is against a throne square (again, for whatever reason, maybe its covered in spikes and thereby 'attacking' him.). So really, of course, the king in this image is surround only by 3 warriors, the other guys can't get at him, so they are irrelevant. Trapped he is, dead he is not, simply because we have already accepted that you have to have a fourth man to knife him in the back. So I think this image, while very entertaining, is rather misleading. Its thin ice to say the king should be captured against the board edge, as then we need to ask why men are not captured against the board edge. An immobilised king is not the same thing as a dead one. And king immobilisation/isolation is an important tactic for black.
AUTHOR Adam

1337075518 Tue May 15, 2012 11:51
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":2yg7ggci][b:2yg7ggci]ZOMBIES !!![/b:2yg7ggci] [/quote:2yg7ggci] I have a suggestion for a new variant, zombietafl, using othello counters as pieces. Pieces are not removed from the board, but rather flipped over, or zombified into black, or 'cured' into healthy white pieces. The king is the scientist who can save the day, and can only be overcome by four zombies. I have NO idea how that would play out. Probably totally unplayable. Might work best with a berserk rule. Fun to try though! It could also work so that black captures turn white into black, while white captures kill the zombies and remove them from play. Both zombie variants beg the question of what happens to the king? Is goal to escape, or to cure all the zombies, and does capturing him end the game, or is he rather converted, so that the winner is the player who still has pieces left on the board? (all zombies, or all healthy people). Time to open a new zombie thread?
AUTHOR Adam

1337625692 Mon May 21, 2012 20:41
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hi! Back to the shieldwall - I had a nice game with Hagbard with a good example of a shieldwall situation. I think killing a king at the edge as a result of the shieldwall-rule makes sense. Shieldwall didn't count the corners and it is although realistic. Did you ever try to fight with a wall in the back or at the abyss edge? A further advantage of the shieldwall rule is, that white can not start to force a edge-fort early in the game.
AUTHOR MaC

1337629533 Mon May 21, 2012 21:45
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[b:3fgb1bhs]More on how to capture the king.[/b:3fgb1bhs] When the king must be captured from 4 sides, the king can be placed on the board in 5 ways: [b:3fgb1bhs]1.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge1_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the throne and is captured by normal, standard surrounding with 4 blacks. [b:3fgb1bhs]2.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge2_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on a square neighbouring the throne and is captured by surrounding with 3 blacks plus the throne. The throne has to function as a hostile square, otherwise it wouldn't be possible to capture the king in this position. [b:3fgb1bhs]3.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge3_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the board in some distance of both throne and edges and is captured by standard surrounding with 4 blacks. [b:3fgb1bhs]4.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge4_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the edge in some distance of the corners. In "ordinary Hnefatafl" the king is captured by surrounding with 3 blacks plus the edge. Whereas in Fetlar Hnefatafl, the king cannot be captured on the edge. This rule has the drawback that it can result in situations like "the zombie attack" mentioned above in this thread. The advantage of the Fetlar rule appears more when the king is placed not on any edge square, but precisely on a square neighbouring a corner. [b:3fgb1bhs]5.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge5_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on a square neighbouring a corner. In "ordinary Hnefatafl" the king is captured by surrounding with 2 blacks plus the corner square plus the edge. This rule has the drawback that it's particularly easy for black to capture the king here with only 2 men. Whereas in the Fetlar variant, the king cannot be captured in this position and so the drawback is avoided, and furthermore the protection of this particular square turns out to be a source of an abundance of fine combinations in the corner fights. [b:3fgb1bhs]It is possible to reduce all five cases of capturing the king into instances of a single rule without exceptions:[/b:3fgb1bhs] [i:3fgb1bhs][size=150:3fgb1bhs]If black occupies neighbouring squares to the king so that the king cannot move away, black wins.[/size:3fgb1bhs][/i:3fgb1bhs] (Black has also won if the situation arises that all white's pieces have been rendered immobile by encirclement.) [b:3fgb1bhs]For the rule to work in all five cases, it is necessary with a small change to the throne properties:[/b:3fgb1bhs] [i:3fgb1bhs][size=150:3fgb1bhs]The king cannot reenter the throne, and noone can pass through the throne.[/size:3fgb1bhs][/i:3fgb1bhs] [b:3fgb1bhs]Let's see this rule at work in the 5 cases:[/b:3fgb1bhs] [b:3fgb1bhs]1.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge1_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the throne and is captured with 4 blacks [i:3fgb1bhs]as before[/i:3fgb1bhs]. [b:3fgb1bhs]2.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge2_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on a square neighbouring the throne and is captured with 3 blacks plus the throne [i:3fgb1bhs]as before[/i:3fgb1bhs]. [i:3fgb1bhs]But now it's obvious that the king really is captured, because he cannot move away to or through the throne.[/i:3fgb1bhs] [b:3fgb1bhs]3.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge3_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the board in some distance of both throne and edges and is captured with 4 blacks [i:3fgb1bhs]as before[/i:3fgb1bhs]. [b:3fgb1bhs]4.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge4_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on the edge in some distance of the corners and is captured with 3 blacks plus the edge, [i:3fgb1bhs]as before in "ordinary Hnefatafl"[/i:3fgb1bhs]. [i:3fgb1bhs]"Zombie attack" situations are avoided.[/i:3fgb1bhs] [b:3fgb1bhs]5.[/b:3fgb1bhs] [img:3fgb1bhs]http://aagenielsen.dk/konge5_r.gif[/img:3fgb1bhs] The king is placed on a square neighbouring a corner and cannot be captured (because he can move away to the corner), [i:3fgb1bhs]as before in Fetlar Hnefatafl[/i:3fgb1bhs]. [i:3fgb1bhs]The all too easy capture of the king with 2 men is avoided, and all the advantages of the Fetlar corner fights are preserved.[/i:3fgb1bhs] [size=85:3fgb1bhs]Swedish historians, and Ashton and Cartier arrived at the same throne properties: non-reenterable and non-passable (Swedish tablut, Ashton tablut and Cartier tablut).[/size:3fgb1bhs]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1337942345 Fri May 25, 2012 12:39
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[img:2h5a6ydm]http://aagenielsen.dk/hostile0_r.gif[/img:2h5a6ydm] [img:2h5a6ydm]http://aagenielsen.dk/hostile_r.gif[/img:2h5a6ydm] [b:2h5a6ydm]Why do the king's squares function as "hostile squares"?[/b:2h5a6ydm] The custodian capture of ancient board games represents the idea that two men in fight are always equals and noone can kill the other. Supposing the king's squares represent walled strongholds, the man with his back to the square is however [i:2h5a6ydm]"fighting with his back against the wall"[/i:2h5a6ydm] and is worse off than his opponent. As the fight isn't equal anymore, the pressed soldier loses, no matter which party he belongs to. [i:2h5a6ydm]Therefore the square is equally "hostile" to both parties.[/i:2h5a6ydm] MaC made a similar note of this: [quote="MaC":2h5a6ydm]Did you ever try to fight with a wall in the back or at the abyss edge?[/quote:2h5a6ydm]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1338186138 Mon May 28, 2012 8:22
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
This has proved to be a complex topic. Is it possible to create sub topics that branch off from this one? We could just set up more sub topics in the strategy section, but its getting hard to follow and keep track, I feel some sort of branching order would help.
AUTHOR Adam

1338205825 Mon May 28, 2012 13:50
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Continuation of this discussion spawned into a new topic: "Copenhagen Hnefatafl".
AUTHOR admin

1338206834 Mon May 28, 2012 14:07
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":2gyybs54]Is it possible to create sub topics that branch off from this one?[/quote:2gyybs54] Last part of the discussion "About the draw concept" split into a new topic "Copenhagen Hnefatafl".
AUTHOR admin

1338488472 Thu May 31, 2012 20:21
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":2xzvarh8]then our rule that we need 4 warriors to take down a king tells us that, for whatever reason, he needs to be attacked from all four sides ... Trapped he is, dead he is not, simply because we have already accepted that you have to have a fourth man to knife him in the back. ... An immobilised king is not the same thing as a dead one.[/quote:2xzvarh8] But does the king actually die in the capture-from-4-sides-games? Although no doubt the king is a fit fighter and first among equals, even a king doesn't possess the strength of four combat vikings. I'd say that in the capture-from-4-sides-games [i:2xzvarh8]the king is captured alive for ransom[/i:2xzvarh8] - more worth alive than dead, not unusual of the times. This also supports the idea in the note above that the king in the 4-sides-game is captured when and only when he cannot in the next move run away from the encirlement.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1338587241 Fri Jun 1, 2012 23:47
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":10mkpwkz]I'd say that in the capture-from-4-sides-games [i:10mkpwkz]the king is captured alive for ransom[/i:10mkpwkz] - more worth alive than dead, not unusual of the times. This also supports the idea in the note above that the king in the 4-sides-game is captured when and only when he cannot in the next move run away from the encirlement.[/quote:10mkpwkz] I'm glad you pointed that out, as I was about to make a post suggesting that if you can take the king against the edge, then ordinary soldiers should logically be taken against the edge too, which would create an absurd game where the king would escape every time. I agree with your logic, the goal of black is to capture the king, as opposed to destroying the king. That would just leave us with the potential problem of making things too easy for black again. Once again edge escape seems to be the simple answer, and we have previously agreed that it makes a well balanced game on the 9x9 (rachuneck/long ship tafl). However, I think what we are looking for is a rule set for 11x11 corner tafl that can function in a tournament situation. I still dont see the need for the shield wall rule, though no reason not to try it out. Could be a nice addition. Strong Copenhagen rules with a king hostile board edge, but king friendly corners then seems to be where we are ending up with this exploration?
AUTHOR Adam

1338622703 Sat Jun 2, 2012 9:38
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":29qsb4mp]Strong Copenhagen rules with a king hostile board edge, but king friendly corners then seems to be where we are ending up with this exploration?[/quote:29qsb4mp] Right. Plus the small adjustment of throne properties for logic consistency (no reenter, no pass).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1338833248 Mon Jun 4, 2012 20:07
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
With a black win encirclement rule, and a rule forbidding forced draw positions through perpetual stepping, we have no need to have a rule for taking the king with 3 men against the throne. I would suggest therefore leaving the throne as it is, and dropping the rule of taking the king against the throne instead of making it an impassable barrier. Mind you, my throne rule origins are a bit rusty, maybe we should have a throne as close to the historical sources as possible?
AUTHOR Adam

1338913846 Tue Jun 5, 2012 18:30
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="Adam":2ujv61p1]With a black win encirclement rule, and a rule forbidding forced draw positions through perpetual stepping, we have no need to have a rule for taking the king with 3 men against the throne. I would suggest therefore leaving the throne as it is, and dropping the rule of taking the king against the throne instead of making it an impassable barrier. Mind you, my throne rule origins are a bit rusty, maybe we should have a throne as close to the historical sources as possible?[/quote:2ujv61p1] Does this mean that not only are corners king-friendly, throne is also king-friendly?
AUTHOR jsj795

1339199072 Sat Jun 9, 2012 1:44
SUBJECT hey im new
hey, does anybody know places to buy this game ? i also have a few questions on it
AUTHOR plasma

1339320454 Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:27
SUBJECT Re: hey im new
Hi there plasma, You can get this game second-hand from e-bay - i just had a look and they had one listed under "hnefatafl" (see picture) but horribly over-priced [attachment=0:3fqs2se4]hnefatafl2.jpg[/attachment:3fqs2se4] you should normally be able to get one for less than £10. Try also looking under "The Viking Game", though the results will mostly be video games, there are usually a few hnefatafl sets in there too. These sets are made by History Craft and used to sell through the "Past Times" store (now gone bust). The mouldings are lovely, solid resin with a pleasing weight to them. There are 2 different mouldings of the pieces; try to get the ones where the pieces have wider bases (as in the picture) rather than the narrow ones, which fall over too easily. If the photo shows the inside of the box, you want a set where the pieces are in small plastic bags, [u:3fqs2se4]not[/u:3fqs2se4] set into a foam insert (those would be the narrow ones). I recommend buying a set just to get the pieces, and making your own board, as I personally don't like the cloth board supplied. The edges curl up and it never lies totally flat. A wooden board is much better, mine is just a piece of fibre-board with the lines drawn on. I hope that is some help, otherwise, ask again!! All the best
AUTHOR crust

1339339773 Sun Jun 10, 2012 16:49
SUBJECT Re: hey im new
thanks man, yea i had scene that one and was wondering if there was a better quality one(board), i found a real nice one but it was like 300$ and also find a real nice homemade one, but i will probly do the same as you, i even thought of gluing the cloth to a wood board of something tougher
AUTHOR plasma

1339425835 Mon Jun 11, 2012 16:43
SUBJECT Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
I had a couple of games against Epoc under the Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl rules, and the games confirmed that with those rules (11x11 board, [i:2gufw2r8]king captured from 2 sides[/i:2gufw2r8], win in corner) the king has not a chance when black doesn't make severe mistakes. Feel free to try out the Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl anyway - the results from this version are not included in the ratings.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1339686429 Thu Jun 14, 2012 17:07
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="Adam":1stcs5t0]With a black win encirclement rule, and a rule forbidding forced draw positions through perpetual stepping, we have no need to have a rule for taking the king with 3 men against the throne. I would suggest therefore leaving the throne as it is, and dropping the rule of taking the king against the throne instead of making it an impassable barrier. Mind you, my throne rule origins are a bit rusty, maybe we should have a throne as close to the historical sources as possible?[/quote:1stcs5t0] [b:1stcs5t0]The advantages of a no reenter, no pass throne are:[/b:1stcs5t0] [list:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]First and foremost it makes the rule for king capture coherent. Instead of having several rules for different positions on the board, they're all unified into one single rule without any exceptions.[/*:m:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]A throne change from reenterable, passable into no reenter, no pass, has very little influence on the outcome of the game, as the crusial fighting usually takes place at a distance from the throne.[/*:m:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]A no reenter, no pass throne doesn't contradict historical sources. The first paragraph of the Linné diary rules says 1. Arx regia. Konokis Lappon., cui nullus succedere potest. Transl.: Royal Citadel (or throne). Called Konokis in Lapp, no one is allowed to enter here. After studying the diary Latin source text, Ashton, Cartier, and not least Swedish historians reconstructing the Lappish Tablut, all arrived to the conclusion that the throne is non reenterable and non passable.[/*:m:1stcs5t0][/list:u:1stcs5t0] [quote="Adam":1stcs5t0]leaving the throne as it is, and dropping the rule of taking the king against the throne instead of making it an impassable barrier.[/quote:1stcs5t0] [b:1stcs5t0]This suggested throne on the other hand has some disadvantages:[/b:1stcs5t0] [list:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]In all known, current variants (to my knowledge) the king is captured against the throne by 3 blacks, so the suggested throne would be the first deviation from that principle.[/*:m:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]Surrounding the king by 3 blacks and the throne without capture gives two possibilities: [list:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]either the king is unaffected by such surrounding, which would turn the throne's neighbour squares into king's refugees, also a deviation from known variants,[/*:m:1stcs5t0] [*:1stcs5t0]or else it must be demanded that the king moves away immediately in the next turn to escape the attackers. This line could result in a game continuation like: king surrounded by 3 blacks and throne king moves away to the throne king voluntarily moves back into the surrounding. Just like ordinary pieces can safely move in between two enemies, the king too should be able to do so safely. It will now take black two moves to renew the attack - which the king again can escape to the throne. Etc. etc.[/*:m:1stcs5t0][/list:u:1stcs5t0][/*:m:1stcs5t0][/list:u:1stcs5t0]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1339918758 Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:39
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
After 5 months' fruitful discussion in this thread on virtually every aspect and problem of the Hnefatafl game, I propose "the Copenhagen rules" to be: [size=150:1vppltsg][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/copenhagen_rules.html:1vppltsg][b:1vppltsg]Rules of Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11.[/b:1vppltsg][/url:1vppltsg][/size:1vppltsg]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1339927079 Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:57
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Congratulations - a very clear explanation with wonderful diagrams. Awesome! 3 questions: Does the computer already prohibit perpetual check and draw-by-repetition? How do you feel about preparing similarly clear explanations of other rule sets? Also, in Copenhagen rules, does the shield wall rule only work at the board edge?
AUTHOR crust

1339928207 Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:16
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":2x5wqfuh]Does the computer already prohibit perpetual check and draw-by-repetition?[/quote:2x5wqfuh] It does. [quote="crust":2x5wqfuh]How do you feel about preparing similarly clear explanations of other rule sets?[/quote:2x5wqfuh] A good idea. [quote="crust":2x5wqfuh]Also, in Copenhagen rules, does the shield wall rule only work at the board edge?[/quote:2x5wqfuh] Yes. The rule was found on a German site where it's explained to work this way.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1340737107 Tue Jun 26, 2012 20:58
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
There is stil a undeclared draw-position,m if black blocks all corners each with minimum of three peaces and without enough peaces to capture a lonely king. According Rule No 8, attackers win because they have more possiblilities to move, but who will count the repetitions? And who count the repetitions if the defender have more peaces but not enough to capture a running (moveable,free) attacker.
AUTHOR MaC

1340800040 Wed Jun 27, 2012 14:27
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":gegr70di]After 5 months' fruitful discussion in this thread on virtually every aspect and problem of the Hnefatafl game, I propose "the Copenhagen rules" to be: [size=150:gegr70di][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/copenhagen_regler.html:gegr70di][b:gegr70di]Rules of Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11.[/b:gegr70di][/url:gegr70di][/size:gegr70di][/quote:gegr70di] Lovely job, and well done everyone for putting in so much time and thought. I suggest we see how this finalised version plays in friendly games, and perhaps set up a new mini tournament in the autumn? I am curious to see how the shield wall plays. I find it hard to imagine it ever getting to be used in practice, but I'll enjoy trying! Also, I concur regarding the throne rule, Hagbard has made a good case for it being more elegant as it stands in his rule set. I am sure an impassable throne will infuriate me to start with, but it does seem to have the ring of authenticity about it ;) Good work!
AUTHOR Adam

1340800886 Wed Jun 27, 2012 14:41
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="MaC":2bby5pcs]There is stil a undeclared draw-position,m if black blocks all corners each with minimum of three peaces and without enough peaces to capture a lonely king. According Rule No 8, attackers win because they have more possiblilities to move, but who will count the repetitions? And who count the repetitions if the defender have more peaces but not enough to capture a running (moveable,free) attacker.[/quote:2bby5pcs] Good question Mac. Hagbard, how would the computer handle this? In terms of human players, I think the solution will be obvious: either its a genuine draw; black can't capture, white can't escape, so a draw is agreed (but not forced) Or, white is so depleted that black can in fact abandon the corners with care and ultimately pin down the king. If the king is evading capture by means of fruitless, perpetual repetative evasion with no hope of advancing his position, no matter how complex this repetition is, then the players ought to agree that this is illegal play by white. And I maintain that it will be obvious who is at fault. In the genuine case where players feel both have played fairly but neither can advance, they can agree a draw (though the draw is not 'forced'). In reality I suspect one player will feel obliged to resign, or the deadlock will be broken and one player will gain the upperhand and win. I'd like to hear how the computer will handle this.
AUTHOR Adam

1340808194 Wed Jun 27, 2012 16:43
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="MaC":2ejsp9z4]There is stil a undeclared draw-position,m if black blocks all corners each with minimum of three peaces and without enough peaces to capture a lonely king.[/quote:2ejsp9z4] [quote="Adam":2ejsp9z4] either its a genuine draw; black can't capture, white can't escape, so a draw is agreed (but not forced) Or, white is so depleted that black can in fact abandon the corners with care and ultimately pin down the king. ... I'd like to hear how the computer will handle this.[/quote:2ejsp9z4] The computer is not in doubt. It keeps accurate track of three board positions: overall, white alone and black alone. Eventually someone will repeat a third time and the computer will let him lose (after a warning). [i:2ejsp9z4]But:[/i:2ejsp9z4] It could probably take such a long time to reach the third repetition that few players would want to wait for it. Also, a board game, an ancient one at that, should not at any time require computer help, and keeping track of this situation could be so complicated that only a computer can do it. So, I suppose that if black stays in the corners, the best choice to end the game would be draw by agreement.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1340808604 Wed Jun 27, 2012 16:50
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="Adam":j3h38v3n]I suggest we see how this finalised version plays in friendly games, and perhaps set up a new mini tournament in the autumn[/quote:j3h38v3n] We could do that.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1340813056 Wed Jun 27, 2012 18:04
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
I agree the genuine draw. Well done guys!
AUTHOR MaC

1340813190 Wed Jun 27, 2012 18:06
SUBJECT Re: hey im new
Hello, here is an adresse were you could order the hnefatafl: Memory” Helgesens gate 17 N-0553 Oslo Norwegen http://www.memory.no/hnef1E.htm look at "Where to purchase" and http://www.nordwelt-versand.de/waren/de ... 1e62dd511f
AUTHOR MaC

1340832585 Wed Jun 27, 2012 23:29
SUBJECT Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
From the rules elements: Board size 9x9 / 11x11 King wins on edge / corner King captured from 4 sides / 2 sides / unarmed (initial orderings of pieces are not changed) [i:1j78psub]in how many ways can these elements be combined and give balanced game variants?[/i:1j78psub] We know from experience that the 9x9 board is easier for white than 11x11 (shorter distance from throne to edge or corner) edge win is easier for white than corner win king captured from 2 sides is of course easier for white than an unarmed king, and captured from 4 sides is even easier. We know from experience that the rule combination 9x9 board, edge win, king unarmed is balanced (Sea Battle tafl and Rachunek). This is the easiest possible board for the king, and it follows that all other rule combinations with the king unarmed are too hard for white and therefore unbalanced. We know from experience that the rule combination 11x11 board, corner win, king captured from 4 sides is balanced (Hnefatafl 11x11, Fetlar and Copenhagen). This is the hardest possible board for the king, and it follows that all other rule combinations with the king captured from 4 sides are too easy for white and therefore unbalanced. Left are the combinations with the king captured from 2 sides. Because 11x11 board, corner win, king captured from 4 sides is balanced, it follows that 11x11 board, corner win, king captured from 2 sides is too hard for white and therefore unbalanced (Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl), and experience confirms this. Because 9x9 board, edge win, king unarmed is balanced, it follows that 9x9 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides should be expected to be too easy for white (Cartier tafl), Left are now two combinations with the king captured from 2 sides. 9x9 board, corner win, king captured from 2 sides (could be called Scandinavian Museums 9x9). Actually earlier test games suggested that this variant might be balanced. 11x11 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides (could be called Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11). [b:1j78psub]So these four are the only possible balanced rules combinations from the above rules elements:[/b:1j78psub] 9x9 board, edge win, king unarmed (Sea Battle tafl and Rachunek). Known to be balanced. 11x11 board, corner win, king captured from 4 sides (Hnefatafl 11x11, Fetlar and Copenhagen). Known to be balanced. 9x9 board, corner win, king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums 9x9). Probably balanced. 11x11 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11). Not enough experience.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1341432615 Wed Jul 4, 2012 22:10
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
A good logical summary. Nice to see the data fitting the logic. Could we see the black vs white statistics gathered thus far from the website on these variants on this thread? Due to everything we've learned about draw threats and how powerfully they can influence the game with experienced players in tournament situations, I am convinced that the Copenhagen revised rules will provide the best balance for a modern tournament tafl 11x11 rule set. I think white will need to master the edge escape fort in order to exploit its threat potential so that black does not become too powerful overall. Its a very good game, forcing both sides to play at the edge of their abilities.
AUTHOR Adam

1341501332 Thu Jul 5, 2012 17:15
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Adam":w5ooy9rf]Could we see the black vs white statistics gathered thus far from the website on these variants on this thread?[/quote:w5ooy9rf] Counting one year back and counting all full matches (for each game A against B there must be a game B against A). Timeout-games ignored. [b:w5ooy9rf]Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (40 games, 17 players) 19 white wins, 20 black wins, 1 draws. [b:w5ooy9rf]Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (90 games, 21 players) 48 white wins, 28 black wins, 14 draws. [b:w5ooy9rf]"Old" Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11, the tournament rules[/b:w5ooy9rf] (70 games, 11 players) 37 white wins, 32 black wins, 1 draws. [b:w5ooy9rf]Berserk Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (82 games, 12 players) 46 white wins, 30 black wins, 6 draws. [b:w5ooy9rf]Rachunek tafl 9x9[/b:w5ooy9rf] (18 games, 5 players) 13 white wins, 3 black wins, 2 draws. [b:w5ooy9rf]Sea battle tafl 9x9[/b:w5ooy9rf] (38 games, 5 players) 22 white wins, 12 black wins, 4 draws. Too few games: New Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11, Scand. museums Hnefatafl 11x11, Scand. museums Hnefatafl edge 11x11, Scand. museums Hnefatafl 9x9, Cartier tablut 9x9, Swedish tablut 9x9, Ashton tablut 9x9, Unarmed king tafl 9x9. [b:w5ooy9rf]"Strong players' statistics"[/b:w5ooy9rf] Interestingly the balances change when the same counting is done including only players rated well above the average 1500: [b:w5ooy9rf]Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (52 games, 6 players) 28 white wins, 17 black wins, 7 draws [b:w5ooy9rf]"Old" Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (46 games, 7 players) 22 white wins, 23 black wins, 1 draw [b:w5ooy9rf]Berserk Hnefatafl 11x11[/b:w5ooy9rf] (50 games, 7 players) 25 white wins, 22 black wins, 3 draws [b:w5ooy9rf]Rachunek tafl 9x9[/b:w5ooy9rf] (10 games, 2 players) 6 white wins, 3 black wins, 1 draw [b:w5ooy9rf]Sea battle tafl 9x9[/b:w5ooy9rf] (36 games, 4 players) 21 white wins, 11 black wins, 4 draws This way of counting is more helpful for judging whether a rules set could qualify for tournaments.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1341575575 Fri Jul 6, 2012 13:52
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
The test tournament under the "Old" Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 rules has finished after four months, and a simple count of the games results gives 34 white wins, 21 black wins and 0 draws, a fairly balanced result and also a confirmation that the rules give few draws.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1341612364 Sat Jul 7, 2012 0:06
SUBJECT Sea Battle tafl 9x9
The game balance statistics for the Sea Battle tafl 9x9 is presently all players: 22 white wins, 12 black wins, 4 draws, "strong players": 20 white wins, 10 black wins, 4 draws. There seems to be room for a ban against perpetual repetitions, which would probably turn the draws into black wins?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1341950968 Tue Jul 10, 2012 22:09
SUBJECT Foteviken Lapp Tablut
The rules set of the tafl variant "Swedish tablut" diverges much from other tafl variants in that it has forbidden "base camps" and thus 17 forbidden squares instead of the usual 5, and that on a rather small 9x9 board. I searched on the Swedish internet for more about the background for these rules. A search on the Swedish public libraries for any library materials about tablut, hnefatafl or hnefatafel was very meager: zero results! A Google search on Swedish web pages in general was more fruitful, and from the first listed 50 pages it turns out that 9 out of 10 Swedish web pages designate the rules for Tablut / Hnefatafl (they seem to understand Tablut as a name for 9x9 Hnefatafl) to be what on the present site is called: [b:uasm2rmf]Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl 9x9.[/b:uasm2rmf] Among pages to do so are Swedish reenactment associations and a couple of museums. A couple of pages also refer to the Foteviken Museum home page where the forbidden base camps "Swedish tablut" rules are described, but the Foteviken description is to be found nowhere else on the internet than with Foteviken. Perhaps this variant would better be named "Foteviken Tablut"?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1341957174 Tue Jul 10, 2012 23:52
SUBJECT Re: "Swedish tablut"
so, where did Foteviken get their rules from? It's an interesting variant, somewhere between corner and edge tafl. is there any support in Linnaeus for these strange base camp rules?
AUTHOR crust

1341958746 Wed Jul 11, 2012 0:19
SUBJECT Re: "Swedish tablut"
[quote="crust":wpwgy6gv]is there any support in Linnaeus for these strange base camp rules?[/quote:wpwgy6gv] There is; it's an interpretation and the Latin diary can be understood this way. The American Ashton had the text translated anew by a Latin expert and reached a slightly different result: king captured from 2 sides and forbidden squares hostile, otherwise the same as Foteviken
AUTHOR Hagbard

1342170640 Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:10
SUBJECT Re: "Swedish tablut"
[quote="Hagbard":2i8ztqqm]the Foteviken description is to be found nowhere else on the internet than with Foteviken.[/quote:2i8ztqqm] Well, as the Lappish Tablut was found in Sweden by a Swede it seemed natural to search the Swedish internet in Swedish, and this gives as mentioned one result, Foteviken. Broadening the search, however, to Swedish internet any language reveals one more result: the Sten Helmfrid page "Hnefatafl - the Strategic Board Game of the Vikings", and here is found more information about the Foteviken rules. See the Helmfrid chapter about the Tablut rules here: [b:2i8ztqqm][url:2i8ztqqm]http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/#Chap2[/url:2i8ztqqm][/b:2i8ztqqm] According to Helmfrid, [i:2i8ztqqm]the Foteviken rules go directly back to an apparently famous history exhibition in 1972, Riksutställningar, where the Lappish Tablut was reconstructed directly from the Linnaeus Latin diary.[/i:2i8ztqqm] Foteviken's own text on the rules' background also refers to the same 1972-exhibition. A search on the Norwegian and Danish internets adds nothing more, and an all-world search gives the [i:2i8ztqqm]Ashton page[/i:2i8ztqqm], which is another Tablut reconstruction directly from the Linnaeus diary, slightly different from Foteviken.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1342200693 Fri Jul 13, 2012 19:31
SUBJECT Re: "Swedish tablut"
This is like the [i:3r0linj9]Foucault's Pendulum [/i:3r0linj9]of Hnefatafl. Or the Da Vinci Code if you prefer. I think you're on the point of finding the Holy Grail itself... this grail quest requires game expertise, scandaphonics, tenacity and erudition, all of which you are fortunately equipped with. Fascinating research! ;)
AUTHOR crust

1342252732 Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:58
SUBJECT Re: "Swedish tablut"
Foucault's Pendulum, true. I've a feeling we were there before, but each swing from a new direction, and by each swing we learnt more.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1342738500 Fri Jul 20, 2012 0:55
SUBJECT Re: proposal for an international hnefatafl society
Hello everybody! I am completely new to the game, but enjoy it very much, and would like to help you in starting up a "norwegian branch" of your new association... how long you've come in the process so far? Hope to hear from all of you soon! ;)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1342965953 Sun Jul 22, 2012 16:05
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Rereading the small forum, I saw that already last year test games showed the variant 11x11 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11) to be unbalanced in favour of white. This means that the variant pair 11x11 board, [i:6b5ickq4]corner win,[/i:6b5ickq4] king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums 11x11) - unbalanced in favour of black 11x11 board, [i:6b5ickq4]edge win,[/i:6b5ickq4] king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11) - unbalanced in favour of white [i:6b5ickq4]is useful in games between experienced players and beginners.[/i:6b5ickq4] When the beginner plays black the king wins in the corner, and when the beginner plays white the king wins on the edge, otherwise the same game.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1343021665 Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:34
SUBJECT Re: Advices?
Crust has some great advice http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section509308.html
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1343076453 Mon Jul 23, 2012 22:47
SUBJECT Unst unarmed king tafl
About the Unst unarmed king tafl (king not hammer but anvil). This variant is in real an unarmed king's game. Except that where in the normal unarmed king game the squares next to the king can be utilized as protected squares by enemy blacks, in the Unst game the same squares are very unsafe for black. In a way this makes sense both as a game characteristic and as a battle model characteristic. In the game, the king becomes more active than is possible for a simple unarmed king, but less unruly than a normal strong, armed king. In the battle model, we know that a man loses a two man duel when he fights with his back against a wall (hostile king's squares), and in the same manner it could be seen as a disadvantage to fight with the enemy king in his back: even though the king is not armed, wouldn't he use every opportunity to push and trip up the unlucky man in front of him? Since the 11x11 games with a normal strong, armed king, wins in corner, is balanced, it follows that an Unst game with the king to win in corner would be unbalanced in favour of black. Test games show that an Unst game with the king to win on edge is also unbalanced, in favour of white. This means that the variant pair 11x11 board, [i:98ftnad8]corner win,[/i:98ftnad8] king captured from 4 sides, anvil but not hammer (Unst unarmed king tafl 11x11) - unbalanced in favour of black 11x11 board, [i:98ftnad8]edge win,[/i:98ftnad8] king captured from 4 sides, anvil but not hammer (Unst unarmed king tafl edge 11x11) - unbalanced in favour of white [i:98ftnad8]could be used in games between experienced players and masters[/i:98ftnad8] (it's probably not a game for beginners). When the master plays white the king wins in the corner, and when the master plays black the king wins on the edge, otherwise the same game.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1343199684 Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:01
SUBJECT Re: Sea Battle tafl
That sounds very sensible to me. A clear imbalance easily rectified.
AUTHOR Adam

1343200502 Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:15
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":kk0j9qkr] [i:kk0j9qkr]is useful in games between experienced players and beginners.[/i:kk0j9qkr] When the beginner plays black the king wins in the corner, and when the beginner plays white the king wins on the edge, otherwise the same game.[/quote:kk0j9qkr] Exactly. A handicap system as used in japan for Go.
AUTHOR Adam

1343201316 Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:28
SUBJECT Re: Unst unarmed king tafl
Once again, a clearly explained handicapping system. I liked your point about the anvil king having some personality.
AUTHOR Adam

1343335868 Thu Jul 26, 2012 22:51
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":1rdddmd2]Strong players' statistics: Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 (52 games, 6 players)28 white wins, 17 black wins, 7 draws "Old" Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 (46 games, 7 players)22 white wins, 23 black wins, 1 draw Rachunek tafl 9x9 (10 games, 2 players)6 white wins, 3 black wins, 1 draw Sea battle tafl 9x9 (36 games, 4 players)21 white wins, 11 black wins, 4 draws[/quote:1rdddmd2] Very interesting statistics and summary - great work Hagbard. Quite surprising results. It strikes me that Fetlar is maybe a bit less balanced than we thought... even experienced players are finding white has an easier time than black. "Old" Copenhagen rules are a definite improvement. I think we should continue working on copenhagen rules, depriving white of the centre fort draw and the perpetual check draw are both good changes. Also Rachunek and Sea Battle are much more weighted towards white than I expected. So banning perpetual check in those versions or counting repetitive check as a black win would help a bit.
AUTHOR crust

1343476955 Sat Jul 28, 2012 14:02
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="crust":18mktglp]So banning perpetual check in those versions [Rachunek and Sea Battle] or counting repetitive check as a black win would help[/quote:18mktglp] The software is changed so that perpetual repetitions are banned in Sea Battle. There is an uncertainty in the statistics countings. A different group of players at a different time might give a somewhat different result, but at least the statistics give an idea about how the rules work.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1343486867 Sat Jul 28, 2012 16:47
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[attachment=0:1i2gg5lu]'s great.jpg[/attachment:1i2gg5lu]
AUTHOR crust

1344026147 Fri Aug 3, 2012 22:35
SUBJECT computer draw rule??
Hi! Isn't it possible to "feed" the computer-opponent with a kind of draw understanding, after a triple repetition like in chess games, for instance? I am ending up in draw situations where the only alternative to starting over is doing a bad move, and I don't like that very much.. ;)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344074022 Sat Aug 4, 2012 11:53
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
[quote="Eirik":1qczgb0m]Isn't it possible to "feed" the computer-opponent with a kind of draw understanding, after a triple repetition like in chess games, for instance? I am ending up in draw situations where the only alternative to starting over is doing a bad move, and I don't like that very much.. ;)[/quote:1qczgb0m] The game is a draw when both players have clicked on [i:1qczgb0m]the button "Offer draw"[/i:1qczgb0m]. If it should happen that you click on the button by mistake, just click again to cancel the offer. - Ups, sorry, I see that you asked about the [i:1qczgb0m]computer[/i:1qczgb0m]-opponent. No, there's not a draw option for the computer games. So the computer wins those games, a bit unfair - but in return the human through the game has the opportunity to withdraw unfortunate moves, which reversely is also a bit unfair, so all in all there's a kind of balance in this.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1344098525 Sat Aug 4, 2012 18:42
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
Yes, we have the option of withdrawing, but I rarely use it. Most of the time playing board games I try to live with my mistakes as well, because I personally feel better after the game. It's just sad to have an opponent playing only for a draw while "he" (= the computer) does not realize what's happening, that kind of being forced to chose worse moves as a human player doesn't feel natural. But what the heck, it's only training nevertheless! :D
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344185936 Sun Aug 5, 2012 18:58
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
Actually the human is rewarded for not making any withdraws against the computer, because he wins twice the rating points than if he had to withdraw one or more times to win. Yes, the computer game is for training, and also for encouraging new talents to try their skills against real people when they become stronger and beat the computer. By the way the (white) computer player does not play only for a draw. It does try to win, and only when it "sees" that it's encircled, it goes for a fort.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1344198643 Sun Aug 5, 2012 22:30
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
Yes, for beginners like me, playing with black against the computer can become challenging..interesting the fact concerning double rating points, but these numbers don't influence the player's rating on the list, do they? Never seen a change or registration of played computer games...
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344201930 Sun Aug 5, 2012 23:25
SUBJECT Re: Advices?
Hi Sybil! As long as you follow the different links, and "stay and play", I'm sure you'll improve soon! :)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344252846 Mon Aug 6, 2012 13:34
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
[quote="Eirik":2ok22835]but these numbers don't influence the player's rating on the list, do they?[/quote:2ok22835] The computer games influence the computer's rating on the list, which is at the moment rating 1670 for 76567 games played. Humans' ratings on the list are only calculated from games against other people. Your rating against the computer (which can differ from your rating against people) is shown on the computer game page below the board.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1344365576 Tue Aug 7, 2012 20:52
SUBJECT Re: computer draw rule??
OK, thank you, Hagbard :!:
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344366425 Tue Aug 7, 2012 21:07
SUBJECT To get things started..
Hello Adam and all the other norwegian Hnefatafl-fans :!: :!: :!: What about starting with our own national Association for the game? The name "Norsk Hnefatafl Association/Forbund" always seems to be a good alternative, but - as ice hockey fan - I would prefer "[b:334rhtgx]N[/b:334rhtgx]orsk [b:334rhtgx]H[/b:334rhtgx]nefatafl [b:334rhtgx]L[/b:334rhtgx]aug".. ;) With Adam in the south, and me in the north, we just have to find a lot of players inbetween, don't we?
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344450842 Wed Aug 8, 2012 20:34
SUBJECT Help from all players
Hello you online-players all over the world :) We would like to get some feedback concerning what the name of the norwegian hnefatafl association should be. While writing this, "Norwegian Hnefatafl Association" is one of the candidates, but we would like to hear your opinion, too!!
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344777151 Sun Aug 12, 2012 15:12
SUBJECT Re: To get things started..
Hi Eirik, I'm not a 'Nordmann' yet, but I love the initiative for a Norwegian Hnefatafl Laug. I guess the dutch branch would translate into 'Nederlands Hnefatafl Gilde'.
AUTHOR barba

1344777963 Sun Aug 12, 2012 15:26
SUBJECT Re: To get things started..
Hei Eirik, I'm not a 'Nordmann' yet, but I love the initiative. I guess 'Laug' would translate as 'Gilde' into dutch. I like it, since it has some historic connotations for me.
AUTHOR barba

1344791731 Sun Aug 12, 2012 19:15
SUBJECT Re: To get things started..
Thank you for the feedback, barba! And I agree, using the word "laug" would refer to the historical background of the game. :)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1344882280 Mon Aug 13, 2012 20:24
SUBJECT World Tafl Forum - call for members
By crust a.k.a. Tim Millar, Somerset, UK It’s about a year since we had the idea of forming an international club or society of hnefatafl players, which would give tafl games some kind of “official” organisation, such as you find with other games like chess or bridge. In future, there could be tournaments, championships etc. with titles such as grandmaster to be won, and presentations of hnefatafl at events concerned with games and/or Viking history. Other activities will no doubt present themselves in time. Official status would be a help in all communications with other official bodies. For now, this will remain closely associated with this website. There’s no point in having, for example, a separate discussion forum apart from this one, and, if on-line tournaments are to be held in future, then why not here. Also a factor is the wide geographical distribution of the players on this site - we will have to remain an online community for the present. The aims of this organisation, as well as its name and constitution, can be decided by voting once we have members. To start things off, I propose temporarily adopting the name “World Tafl Forum” (provisional) and I would like to ask all of you to declare an interest in becoming a member. Once we have some members, we can start arguing about things. Nothing is expected of members except a willingness to be counted as a member, though all suggestions and ideas will be welcome. I would like to propose myself as provisional chairman, though if anyone else would like to do it, we could have an election. If anyone would like to second my nomination, or propose themselves or another person, please say so. So for now, my fellow tafl players, please just respond to this message with a simple declaration via the forum that you would like to be a member. Many thanks!
AUTHOR crust

1345219140 Fri Aug 17, 2012 17:59
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hello! I agree with crust, let's make it official! Just watching the rating list for the last weeks showed a growing interest in the game and this site, but to keep new players involved, we have to build an official association! Count me in, although I have my problems with the initials "WTF" for this body... :mrgreen: If you need some help in organizing, I will do what I can. And Åge's site is - as we all have experienced - an excellent place to build this up, so I don't see any reason to change the "environment".
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1345234064 Fri Aug 17, 2012 22:07
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hi fellow (Hnefa)tafl enthusiasts, I'd love to be an active member for WTF. I also like it being international, since the vikings were pretty international for their time. At the moment there aren't that many Tafl playing vikings left on the entire globe. ;-)
AUTHOR barba

1345273353 Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:02
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
to Eirik and Barba Well, that's three of us! Four, if we count Hagbard. And four countries represented, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark and UK. A good start! Thank you. We'll wait a little longer for more members, at least until the end of August - I know there are people who are just plain busy at the moment. As for the name, we could go for "International Hnefatafl Association" but it's hard to say with your mouth full. If "WTF" is too silly, we'll change it :D
AUTHOR crust

1345319664 Sat Aug 18, 2012 21:54
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hi guys, I'm in, too. Germany's on board! Greetings to you all Roderich alias Christoph
AUTHOR Roderich

1345351452 Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:44
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hell yeah!!!! Count me in....Love me some Tafl!!!!
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1345403993 Sun Aug 19, 2012 21:19
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Ofcourse you can count me in... otherwhise my husband will ask for a divorce ;)
AUTHOR Dagmar

1345540685 Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:18
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
I'm in! And I second Crust as chairman without hesitation. I think the 'WTF' initial is excellent as it reflects the good humour that runs through our games and discussions, something which not all tafl forums can boast! We take the game seriously, and are all interested to some extent in the history and accuracy of game reconstruction, but our primary focus seems to be enjoying the game, making it function well as a game through experimentation, and spreading the word. If worded properly that could well be the WTF mission statement. So "Let us not be downhearted brothers", ('or sisters'). After all, everytime I say the word 'hnefatafl' to someone, including norwegians, the response is invariably something along the lines of 'What the f... is that?' I've even been working on a nice logo which I will post in due course for everyone's feedback. And perhaps our first official vote can be the confirmation of our name. : )
AUTHOR Adam

1345574736 Tue Aug 21, 2012 20:45
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Wonderful response, thank you! Great to have Roderich, Chuck Ward, Dagmar and Adam with us. Already our tentacles reach Germany and the USA. Dagmar, please don't get divorced over hnefatafl :D Adam, thanks for seconding my choice of me as chairman for now. I promise to be very easy to get rid of, if the need arises. (Anyone can start a poll here in the forum.) If there's anybody else out there, come on let's bang the rocks together guys. You just have to register to use this forum. List of members so far: [i:onhqae8z]Hagbard [/i:onhqae8z](our landlord - no way he's getting left out), [i:onhqae8z]Roderich, Adam, Chuck Ward, Barba, Dagmar, Eirik, crust.[/i:onhqae8z] That makes eight so far. I will e-mail people who have previously contributed to this forum, assuming there is an address for them - some of you may remember Oddur, beadle, conanlibrarian, Epoc, Sybil and a couple of others, not forgetting Aluric. And there's also Skallatorc, luigi005 and Duhawk93 to contact - I'll have a go at all that. Meanwhile I agree we start our first vote/poll as a group: On the question of naming our group. Suggestions so far include: World Tafl Forum (WTF), International Hnefatafl Society (IHS), Nefatavl Association (NA), International Hnefatafl Association (IHA) International Hnefatafl Organization (IHO) As you can see, all of them are pretty similar, containing three ideas - It's a group, it's dedicated to a game, and it's international. Oh boy, is it international. Anybody who wants to set up a national branch within their home country will choose their own name for it, of course. So, we'll set up a poll, and you can vote for the one you like best, or vote "other" and suggest something else. Everything will be a bit easier once we have settled on a name ;) So, vote in the poll some time soon, and happy tafling! crust/ Tim Millar
AUTHOR crust

1345575700 Tue Aug 21, 2012 21:01
SUBJECT Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Greetings all, Please vote in this poll, so we can agree on the name of our group. If you don't like any of them, vote "other" and perhaps you could suggest your alternative. Many thanks! crust
AUTHOR crust

1345606998 Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:43
SUBJECT Best Set of Basic Rules?
Hello, everyone. I've played Hnefatafl for a while, and recently constructed my own board. My only problem is I'm not sure which set of rules to tell people when I teach them the game! I constructed my board so that it can alternate between 11x11 and 9x9, because I've found that I like both and can't decide between the two. I would like to keep the rules the same between them (so as to not confuse other people) but that's not a necessity. What a really need is a rule set for 11x11 and 9x9 that's reasonably balances, and yet is simple for beginners. A lot of the balanced rule sets I've seen are rather complicated, mainly constructed for tournaments (IE, certain rules for checks and draws) that aren't really applicable for casual, non-competitive play, where both players are playing for fun and mutually agree not to make forts and dam up the corners. These are popular, fun strategies among those well versed, but are too much to handle, I think, for the beginner (which is why the computer player isn't programmed to play that way on beginner mode). So, what rule set, in your opinion, most meets these criteria?
AUTHOR Mike_and_Ike

1345608234 Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:03
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
I think any name you/we choose will be fine. Thank you for the invitation to the group/society. I am fairly new to the Hnefatafl games, but I really enjoy them. So I will sit back and be a silent member until I get more experience and understanding of the games.
AUTHOR duhawk93

1345625200 Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:46
SUBJECT Best Set of Basic Rules?
Posted by Mike_and_Ike — 22 Aug 2012, 04:43 Hello, everyone. I've played Hnefatafl for a while, and recently constructed my own board. My only problem is I'm not sure which set of rules to tell people when I teach them the game! I constructed my board so that it can alternate between 11x11 and 9x9, because I've found that I like both and can't decide between the two. I would like to keep the rules the same between them (so as to not confuse other people) but that's not a necessity. What a really need is a rule set for 11x11 and 9x9 that's reasonably balances, and yet is simple for beginners. A lot of the balanced rule sets I've seen are rather complicated, mainly constructed for tournaments (IE, certain rules for checks and draws) that aren't really applicable for casual, non-competitive play, where both players are playing for fun and mutually agree not to make forts and dam up the corners. These are popular, fun strategies among those well versed, but are too much to handle, I think, for the beginner (which is why the computer player isn't programmed to play that way on beginner mode). So, what rule set, in your opinion, most meets these criteria?
AUTHOR admin

1345628594 Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:43
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
[quote="Mike_and_Ike":14lqkicf]My only problem is I'm not sure which set of rules to tell people when I teach them the game! I constructed my board so that it can alternate between 11x11 and 9x9, because I've found that I like both and can't decide between the two. I would like to keep the rules the same between them (so as to not confuse other people) but that's not a necessity. What a really need is a rule set for 11x11 and 9x9 that's reasonably balances, and yet is simple for beginners. ... So, what rule set, in your opinion, most meets these criteria?[/quote:14lqkicf] A good question! This works for me: When I teach Hnefatafl to new players, or if the opponent is a beginner or a child, I use the [i:14lqkicf]"Scandinavian museums 11x11"[/i:14lqkicf] rules set (king captured from two sides). When the beginner plays the attackers' side, the king must fight his way to a corner to win. But when the beginner plays the king's side, the king needs only to reach any edge square to win. In this case the corner squares are treated as normal squares and are not forbidden squares. Except for the different winning conditions, all rules are the same. This works, because the first variant is unbalanced in favour of the attackers, and the second likewise unbalanced in favour of the king. Since your board fortunately also works with 9x9, you can even use the same rules in games between two equally strong players: Rules set [i:14lqkicf]"Scandinavian museums 9x9":[/i:14lqkicf] 9x9 board, king captured from two sides and wins in corner. This variant is well balanced for experienced players. (One may wonder why this obviously very general rules set isn't also used for tournaments then? That's because for tournaments the larger board 11x11 is preferable to 9x9, and as mentioned the rules are unbalanced on 11x11).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1345633079 Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:57
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I do like the informal, open nature of the word 'Forum'. However one might consider 'federation' if we mean business. Like the chess federation. Just a thought.
AUTHOR Adam

1345633469 Wed Aug 22, 2012 13:04
SUBJECT Re: To get things started..
I meant to post a reply long ago but have not had the time until now. Sorry! However, since then Crust has got things moving again with the official international group name, and my suggestion was going to be to see what that turns out to be, and then all international branches simply take that name and add 'norway' or whatever to the name, to show clear affiliation, indeed that we are a branch of a larger group. Strength in numbers as they say.
AUTHOR Adam

1345633696 Wed Aug 22, 2012 13:08
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
I second Hagbards suggestions. When I'm introducing new players to the game, the rule variants can seem confusing and a little overwhelming, so I tell them to think of it as handicapping the king as most, if not all rule adjustments directly affect how easy or hard it is to get the king off the board.
AUTHOR Adam

1345679880 Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:58
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
What would be a balanced rule set for 11x11? Having a set of handicap rules is nice, but I would like to be able to play a more balanced game when my opponent gets up to speed. I'm not too experienced of a player (maybe ~100-150 games under my belt) so it shouldn't take long for opponents to get to my level.
AUTHOR Mike_and_Ike

1345704508 Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:48
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
[quote="Mike_and_Ike":1q9dllnp]What would be a balanced rule set for 11x11?[/quote:1q9dllnp] When both players are averagely experienced and want to play on the 11x11 board, I'd say choose the [i:1q9dllnp]"Hnefatafl 11x11"[/i:1q9dllnp] rules, which probably are standard in Hnefatafl game boxes sold in USA: capture the king from 4 sides and win in corner.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1345742654 Thu Aug 23, 2012 19:24
SUBJECT Re: To get things started..
Good idea, let's see what happens there!! - Go and vote, people :)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1345830007 Fri Aug 24, 2012 19:40
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
[quote="Mike_and_Ike":31dgdsv7] I've played Hnefatafl for a while, and recently constructed my own board.[/quote:31dgdsv7] Please would you send in a photo for the photo gallery? Would love to see it. Thanks! All the best.
AUTHOR crust

1345831927 Fri Aug 24, 2012 20:12
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
WTF all the way
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1345832139 Fri Aug 24, 2012 20:15
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
While the board itself is "finished" in the sense that it is able to be played upon, there are so finishing touches (sanding, staining, and attaching the two folding haves of the board together.) I will upload a few pictures once it is completed, which hopefully will be soon.
AUTHOR Mike_and_Ike

1345883855 Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:37
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I like "federation" - sounds businesslike but also quite sci-fi :shock: as in "galactic federation".. though I think a federation is a group made up of smaller groups, rather than of individuals? Then again, if there will be (as we hope) branches in various countries, then federation is clearly the right word. Also Forum is a Latin word, we should really use a more Scandinavian one such as [i:in7e82z4]Þingvöllr[/i:in7e82z4] or [i:in7e82z4]Althing[/i:in7e82z4]..(parliament), though to put another foreign word next to "hnefatafl" is a bit too much. And I do like WTF
AUTHOR crust

1345884987 Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:56
SUBJECT Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?
That would be great. It must be difficult to know where to put the hinge on a hnefatafl board. I think that's why most commercial sets have a roll-up cloth board (not very satisfactory). As for the rules, I would go with the following for 9x9: Unarmed King (can't participate in capturing), escapes to any edge square or is captured by surrounding on 4 sides. Our version is called "sea battle tafl". For 11x11: Armed King (can capture), escapes to corner or is captured on 4 sides. That means the king can't be captured at the edge of the board, even if immobilised by 3 enemies. It's known as "Fetlar hnefatafl". For more about those rules see :[url:22jsx9bq]http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section502917.html[/url:22jsx9bq] Good luck :D
AUTHOR crust

1345886120 Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:15
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
[quote="crust":22zgx12v]Also Forum is a Latin word[/quote:22zgx12v] - Tafl is Latin... (tabula)
AUTHOR Hagbard

1345888468 Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:54
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Bloody Romans!
AUTHOR crust

1345993005 Sun Aug 26, 2012 16:56
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
a group of groups is exactly what we are starting here. Lets say wtf is world tafl federation. Here is the logo I made some time ago when we started talking about this in another thread. The idea is fairly simple, its a globe, and also a viking shield, whose markings happen to remind us of a tafl board, the boss in the shield centre being the king piece. One problem when one reduces the number of pieces so much is one loses black having double the number of men as white, which is fundamental to all tafl variants that I'm aware of. Of course one could drop the outer black players, but then you lose the distinctive 'T' formations, which also happen to be quite common on viking shield designs. Or i could add in 4 white men, so they have a square of 9 men in the centre, but that looks wrong to me too. Thoughts please!
AUTHOR Adam

1346108483 Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:01
SUBJECT Re: International Hnefatafl Society
Just changed venue is all.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346151549 Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:59
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
It's awesome! Great work! And yet this is a symbol for a another thing, like traffic signs etc., in my opinion it shouldn't be all too correct gamewise. Very memorable. Thumbs up!
AUTHOR Roderich

1346185907 Tue Aug 28, 2012 22:31
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Thanks Roderich. Glad you like it! Glad to hear other opinions if people have them. Here is a suggestion for how it might look with typography. While working and choosing a font (News Gothic, a real classic, I thought it lends some gravitas to counter the levity of the initials, and worthy of the word 'federation' if we go for that) I was inspired to simplify the globe very slightly so that it balances better with the letter forms. Adam
AUTHOR Adam

1346190827 Tue Aug 28, 2012 23:53
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I like the simplified globe.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1346347313 Thu Aug 30, 2012 19:21
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I love the globe! could the frame of the globe be thickened a bit and the words put in it with the curve?
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346347901 Thu Aug 30, 2012 19:31
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Add me to roster! Being the only Tafl player out here in good ol Kentucky, USA having fellow players in one area to converse and get my arse handed to me and enjoy the game is right up my alley!
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346357198 Thu Aug 30, 2012 22:06
SUBJECT Images for boards
A while back I sent another website a copy of my Tafl images I used for a version I did on the Vassal engine but they never got around to using them. I'd like to offer them here if they can be put to use. [img:2ntcanqx]http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b55/CarrieGuy/Torc/TaflMap.png[/img:2ntcanqx]
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346360417 Thu Aug 30, 2012 23:00
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hi! I am really thankful for the invitation. You can count me in. :D I love the game and will try my best to be of use in this project. I think I can add some more people from Argentina. Many of my friends know of the game (we are part of a viking reenactment group) and I am sure they will be happy to know that such association as the WTF is being constructed.
AUTHOR Luigi005

1346361940 Thu Aug 30, 2012 23:25
SUBJECT Game board bug
Today I am having an issue I have had before. I have games ready for my move but I cannot do anything. I click on a peice and wait and nothing happens on any of the game boards, on multipule browsers and computers. Any ideas what's happening?
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346362695 Thu Aug 30, 2012 23:38
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Duhawk93 and skallatorc, you are most welcome! Now there's ten of us. [quote="skallatorc":3hkrwatk]having fellow players in one area to converse and get my arse handed to me and enjoy the game is right up my alley![/quote:3hkrwatk] That's so funny. :lol:
AUTHOR crust

1346369771 Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:36
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hi there, You can definitely count me in! This adds both France and Ireland to the list of countries as I am French but I live in Ireland.
AUTHOR Fraech

1346370479 Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:47
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
I think it looks great.
AUTHOR Fraech

1346450752 Sat Sep 1, 2012 0:05
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Welcome Fraech and Luigi005! That's just about everybody... :D What a fantastic Round Table we have assembled. [quote="Luigi005":234p2hxn]Many of my friends know of the game (we are part of a viking reenactment group)[/quote:234p2hxn] - that is really great, we definitely need to build up some links with re-enacters. I presented hnefatafl at a viking festival in the UK and it was very popular, that's just the sort of thing we need to do, to get this game some more attention, and some more players!
AUTHOR crust

1346451005 Sat Sep 1, 2012 0:10
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
The shields are a really good idea. Especially if you're playing Copenhagen rules, with the extra "shieldwall" rule! A beautiful hnefatafl set, I couldn't resist clicking on the pieces, like an idiot, hoping they would move
AUTHOR crust

1346523660 Sat Sep 1, 2012 20:21
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
I had to chuckle on that. I have the files avail as seperate images. I sent them to Dragonslair but he never put them to use.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346532722 Sat Sep 1, 2012 22:52
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Inspired from our Fetlar tournament these days, I have second thoughts about the Copenhagen edge & throne. Maybe there's not a "zombie" problem here: [img:1q7v70pz]http://aagenielsen.dk/kongepaakant.png[/img:1q7v70pz] because the king can be forced into the open like this and captured (happened several times in the tournament): [img:1q7v70pz]http://aagenielsen.dk/kongepaakant3.png[/img:1q7v70pz] Moreover it's compulsory for the players to move in their turn, so if white is blocked so that he cannot move, he lost for this reason. The Fetlar edge & throne rules can be seen as logically consistent: The king must in all cases be captured from four sides by any combination of enemy pieces and forbidden squares. Millar expresses it this way: "The white king can only be captured by being surrounded on all four sides by black warriors, or by three warriors and the throne square." ( [url:1q7v70pz]http://www.tim-millar.co.uk/section502917_215412.html[/url:1q7v70pz] ) and Uig Historical Society this way: "The object of the game, for the attackers, is to capture the king by boxing him in between four dark pieces, or between three dark pieces and his own central square, in which case the attackers win." ( [url:1q7v70pz]http://www.ceuig.com/archives/661[/url:1q7v70pz] ) Here it is not necessary that the throne is non-reenterable and non-passable. Also considering a possible next move for the king after capture is void. It has a kind of logic to it that like the king can enter a forbidden corner square, he can also enter (reenter) the forbidden throne square. And going there, it follows that he can also choose to continue his move and pass through to another square. While only the king can stop on the throne, this passability of the throne is then normally extended to all pieces (the variants Hnefatafl 11x11, Fetlar 11x11 and Scandinavian Museums 11x11). With the loss of the center fort option in the Copenhagen variant, the only hope left for the king when effectively excluded from the corners, is the edge fort, and this fort is easier to build when the center is passable. Using the Fetlar edge & throne rules in the Copenhagen variant would simplify the group of 11x11 variants, as they would all have the same throne rules, and there would only be two variants of edge rules. (See the Quick overview of tafl variants [url:1q7v70pz]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_rules_overview.html[/url:1q7v70pz] ). In the 9x9 board variants the throne is non-reenterable and non-passable (the variants Foteviken and Ashton Lapp Tablut 9x9). This makes sense as such a throne makes the small 9x9 board topologically larger. So, the throne rule for all variants could be reduced to: 9x9 board: non-reenterable and non-passable 11x11 board: reenterable and passable
AUTHOR Hagbard

1346534160 Sat Sep 1, 2012 23:16
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[quote="skallatorc":2k79qv1d]I'd like to offer them here if they can be put to use.[/quote:2k79qv1d] [quote="crust":2k79qv1d]The shields are a really good idea. Especially if you're playing Copenhagen rules, with the extra "shieldwall" rule![/quote:2k79qv1d] I also think the shields would be well suited for the Copenhagen variant, if the pixel size of the images fits the squares.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1346596837 Sun Sep 2, 2012 16:40
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[quote:1eo0yb4u] I also think the shields would be well suited for the Copenhagen variant, if the pixel size of the images fits the squares.[/quote:1eo0yb4u] I can alter the shield size to fit the squares and also the board as well.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346600192 Sun Sep 2, 2012 17:36
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[quote="skallatorc":vjkvrsn9]I can alter the shield size to fit the squares and also the board as well.[/quote:vjkvrsn9] Great! The game pieces size should be 40 x 40 pixels ideally, but if they are a bit smaller there's no need for a change. I'm afraid that for technical reasons I can only show the game pieces but not the board. I struggled with this problem, but unfortunately the technique seems not to allow an image overlayed on an image.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1346612834 Sun Sep 2, 2012 21:07
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Nice idea. I'll have a look at that possibility. Its the place where latitude markings often are is it not?
AUTHOR Adam

1346615134 Sun Sep 2, 2012 21:45
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
I agree with keeping the throne open in copenhagen, providing one is forbidding board repetitions its not a problem. And yes, the edge fort exit would be trickier with a blocking square in the centre. I'm not sure i agree with the logic of compulsory moves meaning white would lose in the zombie situation, I would say this is a legitimate stalemate due to black being foolish. After all, white can't move because of black blocking them, not because they don't want to move. The stalemate possibility leads to a good deal of important leverage strategies. I like the idea of exploring blocking squares on the board as it Foteviken. And keeping copenhagen as simple as possible until we are convinced it really functions well as a balanced tournament rule set is probably the right way to go.
AUTHOR Adam

1346615450 Sun Sep 2, 2012 21:50
SUBJECT Re: Game board bug
Aage is active on the forum of course, but if you are having bug problems I would post on the chat window on the homepage or email him. He is always very prompt at looking at user problems!
AUTHOR Adam

1346645079 Mon Sep 3, 2012 6:04
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I do believe so
AUTHOR skallatorc

1346788257 Tue Sep 4, 2012 21:50
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Ok, the Poll has ended, and the vote went to "World Tafl Forum", though during the voting another idea "World Tafl Federation" was proposed, which seems to have a lot going for it, and is close enough to World Tafl Forum. I don't want to weary you all with another poll - so does anyone have a really strong objection to adopting [b:3k9gsa9k]"World Tafl Federation"[/b:3k9gsa9k]? I would like to get this sorted, so let's say if there are no objections within 2 weeks (until 18th september) we will go ahead with that. Many thanks to all those who voted, and who contributed to the discussion. Tim Millar (chairman) e-mail: anomalocharis@hotmail.com [url:3k9gsa9k]http://www.tim-millar.co.uk[/url:3k9gsa9k]
AUTHOR crust

1347069020 Sat Sep 8, 2012 3:50
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I think that World Tafl Federation has a better impression to what this is intended to be, not just a forum where we talk from time to time but a federation of people and nations dedicated to the advancement of Tafl in all it's incarnations, styles and rules.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347092861 Sat Sep 8, 2012 10:27
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
I suggest that all who support this Hnefatafl society send an email to crust alias Millar and inform about their email address or other contact information. A meeting place like this one in virtual space is efficient, but it's not sufficient in the long run to only know each other's identities as a collection of likeable aliases. Something could happen to webmaster, or the webhotel could go bankrupt or whatever unthinkable events. So we need also a more reliable way of keeping track of the community of tafl players. (Better [i:zgn840eg]not[/i:zgn840eg] write the email addresses in notes here on the forum, where they could risk being harvested by automatic spam robots surfing by.)
AUTHOR Hagbard

1347100484 Sat Sep 8, 2012 12:34
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
here here! Once the name is confirmed I look forward to the first draft of our constitution!
AUTHOR Adam

1347103866 Sat Sep 8, 2012 13:31
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[attachment=0:1yvo7f74]shieldwall capture.JPG[/attachment:1yvo7f74]quick question about the shieldwall rule: If the position bottom left is a legitimate shieldwall capture, then presumably the corner bottom right which would be safely blocked under fetlar rules is vulnerable under copenhagen rules?
AUTHOR crust

1347105625 Sat Sep 8, 2012 14:00
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":2r0so8y0]If the position bottom left is a legitimate shieldwall capture, then presumably the corner bottom right which would be safely blocked under fetlar rules is vulnerable under copenhagen rules?[/quote:2r0so8y0] Nope; the position bottom left is not a capture because forbidden squares cannot take part in a shieldwall capture. (And neither is the position bottom right).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1347106327 Sat Sep 8, 2012 14:12
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
OK thanks, glad I checked, before I did something stoopid :oops:
AUTHOR crust

1347114782 Sat Sep 8, 2012 16:33
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
The German page with the shieldwall rule explicitely says "if several taflstones with the same colour stand side by side on the edge of the taflboard and one opposing taflman is placed in front of each of them, it is possible to capture the complete row at once by flanking the opposing taflstones. [i:33vnojvy]In contrast to the so far explained kinds of capturing the refuges do NOT count as substitute taflstones in this case.[/i:33vnojvy]" But perhaps it would be more logical if forbidden squares do participate in shieldwall capture as they do in other captures, and perhaps better for the game, giving further tactical opportunities?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1347115655 Sat Sep 8, 2012 16:47
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Good idea! I've already sent my data to crust.
AUTHOR Roderich

1347115821 Sat Sep 8, 2012 16:50
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
That would maybe lead us to epic battles in the corners! Why not have try?
AUTHOR Roderich

1347157086 Sun Sep 9, 2012 4:18
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[url:2wa520wp]https://docs.google.com/open?id=1XhJW0YwvtD55cGBHa-70Bp1FMChnOdFzo126FniWx1mg-9uI-RZgTrrhi5Rs[/url:2wa520wp] Here is the .rar files, let my know if they work or need resized.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347231076 Mon Sep 10, 2012 0:51
SUBJECT Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
Got talking with a friend of mine who is a gaming nut and he wants to learn how to play. Also have another who wants to learn as he gets time.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347349051 Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:37
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[quote="skallatorc":3i422u2y]Here is the .rar files, let my know if they work or need resized.[/quote:3i422u2y] Thanks a lot - the pieces are now used in the Copenhagen variant.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1347349131 Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:38
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Forbidden squares now participate in shieldwall capture.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1347473433 Wed Sep 12, 2012 20:10
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Excellent idea! That's is going to lead to some crazy corner situations. It will add another tool to whites toolkit for unlocking the corners. Lets see how it plays :)
AUTHOR Adam

1347488290 Thu Sep 13, 2012 0:18
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[attachment=0:twfw69a8]shieldwall black capture.JPG[/attachment:twfw69a8] It could also work to black's advantage sometimes, as in this example. Without the shieldwall rule, white would surely win
AUTHOR crust

1347494136 Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:55
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
That is great news. I hope they will take to it! I'm having no luck here at the moment.
AUTHOR crust

1347495838 Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:23
SUBJECT archaeology
A supposed hnefatafl board has been found by archaeologists working on the Brough of Deerness, Orkney. [url:341g66rn]http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/2011/08/11/dig-team-find-proof-there-were-picts-on-the-brough-before-the-vikings/[/url:341g66rn] From the report: [i:341g66rn]Perhaps the most “fun” [discovery] though, was the discovery of a viking gaming board, which subsequently went on display at the Deerness in 100 Objects exhibition. “Some of the things from the site are objects that have to do with its existence as a chiefly settlement and there are others which are just about the people who lived there and the lives they led, and one of these is a viking gaming board,” said Dr Barrett. “It’s actually a Hnefatafl board, a viking game which is a cross between draughts and chess. “It’s got a centre king piece and pawns round it and we’ve also found a number of disc-shaped gaming pieces carved from stone or antler. One of them is quite fun because it’s carved in the shape of a sword pommel.” Dr Barrett continued: “Whoever made it didn’t take a lot of care over it as the lines are all wobbly. It’s just something that someone’s made some dark night, maybe after they’ve had two or three drinks.”[/i:341g66rn][attachment=1:341g66rn]brough of deerness orkney.jpg[/attachment:341g66rn] What do you think of it? I think it's unlikely to be a game board - firstly because it's clearly eight by nine squares, and secondly because if you were going to make a board THAT carelessly, you wouldn't carve it in stone, you'd just draw it on the ground with a stick. I don't know what this irregular grid is, but can you seriously imagine using this as a playing surface for a game of hnefatafl? Could it be part of a quern instead? The carved lines might help in grinding corn, and the central depression could be where the two halves of the quern fit together and rotate. Admittedly quern stones are almost always circular. This is a quern stone: [attachment=0:341g66rn]_49781271_quern1.jpg[/attachment:341g66rn]
AUTHOR crust

1347538246 Thu Sep 13, 2012 14:10
SUBJECT Re: archaeology
I am really not sure. I agree with you that carving such things in stone carelessly doesn't make a lot of sense. But, well, if they found even gaming pieces around that stone ... What about a viking child / teenager that tried to carve a board and just failed counting and drawing the lines? Ah, I don't know.
AUTHOR Roderich

1347544905 Thu Sep 13, 2012 16:01
SUBJECT Re: archaeology
Hi Roderich, Yes, the gaming pieces are an interesting detail, though their presence doesn't prove anything, as boards and pieces are rarely found together. Shame we can only see one of them. It's quite odd that they say "carved from stone or antler" - don't they know whether it's stone or antler? Or are some of them stone, and others antler? Perhaps the "white" pieces are made of antler, and the "black" ones from stone. That would make sense. We need more pictures. If the discs really are playing pieces, then maybe this "board" really was played on, somehow, despite the fact that it's only eight by nine squares, and its irregularity must have made the games nearly impossible to play. But it looks much more like what you suggested, a child's version, or maybe a doodle made by someone who had seen a hnefatafl set, and tried to copy the look of it without any real understanding. Well, we can't possibly know of course. But then, neither can Dr. Barrett, so he shouldn't be so sure that this really is a hnefatafl board. To me, that depression in the middle looks like the result of being worn away by a circular movement, maybe some twisting or grinding is involved - I still say it's most likely some sort of pestle or crude quern.
AUTHOR crust

1347580714 Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:58
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
The advantage is that I have known both for years and one is a fellow heathen and the other might as well be. :D
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347590342 Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:39
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Same here.
AUTHOR Luigi005

1347635816 Fri Sep 14, 2012 17:16
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
glad to hear it's not all bibles round there
AUTHOR crust

1347710372 Sat Sep 15, 2012 13:59
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
Trust me, there is plenty of bibles out here. Even in my "town" which has no bar, one small general store and a post office also has a Baptist church. At least at home you will find none. Makes for fun discussion when they come a knockin.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347714970 Sat Sep 15, 2012 15:16
SUBJECT Re: hey im new
Just found this video on youtube about one way to make your own hnefatafl set, and a brief intro to the rules. [url:26dts4gd]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNM4054Io7I[/url:26dts4gd] They also do some great working model catapults! [url:26dts4gd]http://www.stormthecastle.com/catapult/index.htm[/url:26dts4gd]
AUTHOR crust

1347733250 Sat Sep 15, 2012 20:20
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
I feel sorry for them if they knock on your door, Skallatorc! I had a fun discussion with some evangelists once, I quoted them the bit in Leviticus where it says you can't eat cormorants, bats, ospreys or herons.
AUTHOR crust

1347733489 Sat Sep 15, 2012 20:24
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
[quote="crust":3ar4ccv0]I quoted them the bit in Leviticus [/quote:3ar4ccv0] Actually it's in Deuteronomy :oops: chapter 14 verse 17 :oops: Sorry, biblical bird fans
AUTHOR crust

1347740369 Sat Sep 15, 2012 22:19
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Thank you Roderich, Skallatorc and Luigi005 for your contact details. Anyone can contact me through my website [url:16315mt5]http://www.tim-millar.co.uk[/url:16315mt5] if you haven't got my e-mail address. We'll soon have a proper statement of our aims etc. The main one is of course to get more folks playing hnefatafl! Best wishes crust :shock:
AUTHOR crust

1347911323 Mon Sep 17, 2012 21:48
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
I had wanted to put up a spear over the ramp to our door with a sign that says Beware those who avangelize, for to tread here is to offer your soul to Odin.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1347914374 Mon Sep 17, 2012 22:39
SUBJECT Re: Add 1 to 2 more to Kentucky.
A spear sounds like a great idea, frighten them off. I'm just in the process of moving house, I'll be almost next door to a church, so I may need something to ward off spirits. And ear-defenders for when the bell-ringers are practising.
AUTHOR crust

1348113556 Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:59
SUBJECT Hnefatafl poem
[b:1i1w8kxh][u:1i1w8kxh][color=#FF0000:1i1w8kxh]HNEFATAFL[/color:1i1w8kxh][/u:1i1w8kxh][/b:1i1w8kxh] ------------------ [i:1i1w8kxh]Attackers surround the Defenders of King's Throne They circle him, his army and all he does own The King must flee to one of the corners four Once he leave the Throne it is the King's no more Any may pass his vacant seat but the throne is the King's even in retreat In the battle all paths must be straight and true But must stop when faced with obstacle a new A warrior will fall when trapped by enemies two But to slay the King only four will do The must flee to fight again It is the second battle that will see who will win. And if the war is tied when done The number of fallen will declare who has won If still evenly matched are these foe The Hranfn's riddle is the one that will know[/i:1i1w8kxh]
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1348212429 Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:27
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
The rules in verse. Brilliant!
AUTHOR Hagbard

1348587013 Tue Sep 25, 2012 17:30
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
World Tafl Federation sounds cool.
AUTHOR barba

1348602325 Tue Sep 25, 2012 21:45
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Championship 2012 evaluation
The Fetlar Hnefatafl Championship tournament 2012 is completed! 156 games were done by 13 participants from 8 countries on 3 continents. Congratulations to Tim Millar for the win! [i:3iecimaf]There were 82 white wins, 66 black wins and 8 draws;[/i:3iecimaf] a fine balance with a slight overweight to white. The draws are 6 center forts, 1 perpetual check and 1 case where white is blocked and cannot move. The game lengths show an interesting regularity: [i:3iecimaf]when white wins, the games are nearly precisely half the length of games where black wins.[/i:3iecimaf] The game lengths are log-normal distributed and the statistics are [b:3iecimaf]for white wins:[/b:3iecimaf] shortest game 15 moves, longest game 86 moves, [i:3iecimaf]mean game length 38 moves,[/i:3iecimaf] most probable game length 25-58 moves. [b:3iecimaf]for black wins:[/b:3iecimaf] shortest game 35 moves, longest game 155 moves, [i:3iecimaf]mean game length 81 moves,[/i:3iecimaf] most probable game length 59-111 moves. [img:3iecimaf]http://aagenielsen.dk/fetlargamelengths.png[/img:3iecimaf] The figure illustrates the experience from real games, that white must win fast, or else in a prolongued game black will win.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1349011948 Sun Sep 30, 2012 15:32
SUBJECT Tafl pocket mod with rules variant
[url:3csikvna]https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B38L8niITTw3M0NvNURvQlVVR0U[/url:3csikvna] Over the the week I have had my heathen brother out from Nebraska and having the opportunity to get some in person Tafl in was something I was NOT going to pass on. Earlier I hit the dollar store and picked up three dollar chess sets to make a Talf board while at work. I printed out a pretty decent board from boardgeek.com for just such a situation. The day before my brother came out I realized that I had thrown out the board by mistake and would not be back to work for the week. So I improvised a board on the back of a press board clipboard, which turned out rather well. I then dug out a box of slingshot steel ball ammo and the Elmer's glue and weighted down the VERY light pieces and was ready to play. I also found on the board geek site a pocketmod set of rules for Tafl and Tablut and wanted to improve on it. So I redid it and made it for just Tafl and added the rule variants for Copenhagen and Berserk. This is 1.0. I am thinking of redoing it so that it contains just the variant rules since the basic rules can be taught by the host.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1349374592 Thu Oct 4, 2012 20:16
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I vote for IHA
AUTHOR rrudgley

1349512890 Sat Oct 6, 2012 10:41
SUBJECT Re: Tafl pocket mod with rules variant
Looks fine! Do you have a photo of the described Hnefatafl set combined from dollar store chess sets? [quote="skallatorc":13pgyzht]I also found on the board geek site a pocketmod set of rules for Tafl and Tablut and wanted to improve on it. So I redid it and made it for just Tafl and added the rule variants for Copenhagen and Berserk. This is 1.0. I am thinking of redoing it so that it contains just the variant rules since the basic rules can be taught by the host.[/quote:13pgyzht] I'd suggest to keep the basic rules in the text (seems to be the rules called "Hnefatafl 11x11" on this site), since the variants build on those. I don't know of course if there could be copyright issues with the basic text. I'd also suggest to clarify in the text that the mentioned variant rules are additional rules on top of the basic rules.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1349633047 Sun Oct 7, 2012 20:04
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
Lovely poem Chuck, worthy of Gestumblindi. Who is "Hranfn"? Anyway, you have inspired the following riddle, which kind of works best if you don't already know what the answer is, so try and pretend you don't. And there's a clue at the left hand side of the riddle... [i:1irzvkht]High King armed and expecting a fight, Next to him stand his twelve men in white. Each in a straight line may run to the fray, For twenty-four dark men besiege them this day. At the corner the king will his victory find, Trapped between four men his fortunes unwind. All others, when caught between two of their foes, Fall on the field as a feast for the crows. Let this game have a name, so tell me, who knows?[/i:1irzvkht]
AUTHOR crust

1349634239 Sun Oct 7, 2012 20:23
SUBJECT Re: Tafl pocket mod with rules variant
Great work Skallatorc, lovely set of rules. I found it necessary (when I was writing out the rules for a tournament) to specify that, although you can capture two or even three warriors in a single move, this did not mean you could capture two or three warriors standing together in a row, just by putting one of your warriors on each end of the row. I "caught" a couple of players doing that in the tournament, and they rightly stated that my rules were not clear on that point, so I had to change them! :oops: :oops: :oops: Maybe they were anticipating the Copenhagen "shieldwall" rule which did not exist at that time. It's bloody difficult writing rules which are unambiguous, but I think you've done a great job.
AUTHOR crust

1349881779 Wed Oct 10, 2012 17:09
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote:109vobtm]Beadle » 24 Feb 2012, 19:29 I know of at least one other 13x13 board that has been found, in the Faroes. It's the one that seems originally to have been a serving platter, but was carved into a board game. I can find very little information about this board, and I'd love to see a picture of it. It is mentioned on this page: http://www.treheima.ca/viking/tafl.htm From the sketch on that page, it looks like the center square had a cross in it. That suggests Tafl to me.[/quote:109vobtm] That board is from Toftanes, in the Faroe Islands, and it has an odd shape for a game board, but it appears to have been marked for tafl on one side and another game (perhaps nine men morris?) on the other. This was clearly an amateur effort, as the concentric boxes on the morris side show poor symmetry, and the lattice on the tafl side is stretched to the odd shape of the board and appears to have one too many rows on one side. The 'central' cell is marked with a cross, if one presumes this to be about half of a 13x14 cell grid, the marked square being the 7th cell from the left edge, the 7th cell from the bottom edge, and the 8th cell from the right edge. I think we have enough information to infer that a 13x13 cell grid was intended, and the 14th row was a mistake. Again, the sloppy work on both sides shows this was clearly an amateur effort. Any grid from 10th century Faroe Islands with a marked central cell must have been made for tafl play. There is a good quality photo of this board (made of oak, by the way) in [i:109vobtm]From Viking to Crusader.[/i:109vobtm] Ed. Else Roesdahl and David Wilson. New York: Rizzoli, 1992. ISBN 0-8478-1625-7. The Toftanes board is entry #321, appearing on p. 311. If you watch Amazon, sometimes you can find a copy available for under $100 (US), and this book is well worth it if you do. Otherwise, try borrowing it through inter-library loan.
AUTHOR Wilhelm_Meis

1350383398 Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:29
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="beadle":18dg0dyo]I know a number of people at my school who are pretty good at this game. I'd start a club for it if I were going to stay at this school.There's a chance I'll start a Tafl club after I transfer to a four-year college though. That would be fun.[/quote:18dg0dyo] That's good news! we all know a few people who play - maybe we can persuade them to play here at aagenielsen as well. Please keep us in touch with your researches and any progress on a tafl club, Beadle! [quote="Wilhelm_Meis":18dg0dyo]a 13x13 cell grid was intended, and the 14th row was a mistake. Again, the sloppy work on both sides shows this was clearly an amateur effort.[/quote:18dg0dyo]I'm enormously happy to see the name "Wilhelm Meis" among the contributors to this forum - a colossus of taflology. I looked up the book you mentioned - ([i:18dg0dyo]From Viking to Crusader[/i:18dg0dyo]) it's very expensive, but I'll try the library. The Toftanes board is an intriguing and frustrating artefact. Presumably it could be dated exactly by dendrochronology. I recently visited a medieval painted room in Castle Cary UK, where the timbers have been dated to the spring of 1435 by this method. The "sloppiness" is interesting too; as a player, I can't imagine using a board with an accidental extra row along one side - when combined with the wobbly lines, it would make play hopelessly confusing in a complex game like hnefatafl. I guess it's frustrating because it raises more questions than it answers, just like the Gokstad and Deerness boards and others.
AUTHOR crust

1351238968 Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:09
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Hi everyone, Very interesting thread! I'll "re-animate" it since I have some questions on some things written: [quote="Hagbard":1d44uk5e] We know from experience that ... king captured from 2 sides is of course easier for white than an unarmed king, and captured from 4 sides is even easier. [/quote:1d44uk5e] Could you elaborate on the first part of this statement? I lack experience, but my initial feeling was that 2 sided king capture was harder for the Defenders, than four-sided unarmed king. [quote="Hagbard":1d44uk5e]Rereading the small forum, I saw that already last year test games showed the variant 11x11 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11) to be unbalanced in favour of white. [/quote:1d44uk5e] This is interesting! Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants (which is of interest to me), it would be great if you could point me to these test games. Do you know how representative they are? Were they played with rules against repetitive play? As seen from the Copenhagen vs Fetlar rules, the possibility to force draws moves game balance in favor of the Defenders.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1351312160 Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:29
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Thanks for the info Wilhelm, I will look into that book at some point. I have had no time whatsoever to continue my research in 13x13 tafl. Things are so busy at the new school that I rarely even have time to play at all. However, I have played a few people since I got here, and there seems to be some amount of interest in the game. A club remains a future possibility, but this is going to be a busy year.
AUTHOR Beadle

1351323860 Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:44
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":20gpi9bb][quote="Hagbard":20gpi9bb] We know from experience that ... king captured from 2 sides is of course easier for white than an unarmed king, and captured from 4 sides is even easier. [/quote:20gpi9bb] Could you elaborate on the first part of this statement? I lack experience, but my initial feeling was that 2 sided king capture was harder for the Defenders, than four-sided unarmed king. [/quote:20gpi9bb] The experience applied to the first two lines ("the 9x9 board is easier for white than 11x11", and "edge win is easier for white than corner win"). The last line is merely a logic claim ("king captured from 2 sides easier etc."). But you might've pointed out a fault in that logic. What can be stated is only that an armed king captured from 4 sides is easier for white than an unarmed king captured from 4 sides. Comparing an armed king captured from 2 sides with an unarmed king captured from 4 sides is not so obvious; I think you have a point there. [quote="conanlibrarian":20gpi9bb][quote="Hagbard":20gpi9bb]Rereading the small forum, I saw that already last year test games showed the variant 11x11 board, edge win, king captured from 2 sides (Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11) to be unbalanced in favour of white. [/quote:20gpi9bb] This is interesting! Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants (which is of interest to me), it would be great if you could point me to these test games. Do you know how representative they are? Were they played with rules against repetitive play? As seen from the Copenhagen vs Fetlar rules, the possibility to force draws moves game balance in favor of the Defenders.[/quote:20gpi9bb] The Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 test games last year were unfortunately not archived, so the outcome is reflected in the small forum discussion from that time only. But as far as I remember that test wasn't too substantial, maybe about ten games and a few players. I also remember that the games were not played with rules against repetitive play. [i:20gpi9bb]To achieve more certain experience with the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 variant, I suggest a test tournament as soon as possible. The tournament can start in a couple of weeks, when the current Berserk tournament is well underway.[/i:20gpi9bb]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1351325583 Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:13
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
[quote="crust":2q0ae1gr]Anyway, you have inspired the following riddle[/quote:2q0ae1gr] That's splendid! Did you write this one, crust?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1351361309 Sat Oct 27, 2012 20:08
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":3sa7pxo2]Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants[/quote:3sa7pxo2] Hello Conanlibrarian. Do you mean Linnaeus' Tablut and Robert ap Ifan's Tawlbwrdd? Both are ambiguous enough for multiple interpretations. Or are there other sources?
AUTHOR crust

1351361630 Sat Oct 27, 2012 20:13
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
[quote="Hagbard":1uy5jk3y]Did you write this one, crust?[/quote:1uy5jk3y]guilty! ;) ... We should also ask Roderich to write one, he's a real poet
AUTHOR crust

1351465142 Sun Oct 28, 2012 23:59
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Championship 2012 evaluation
Brilliant! You have invented the Nielsen Diagram. I expect a different diagram could eventually be drawn up for each tafl variant ... Copenhagen hnefatafl should offer later wins for white, at any rate. This could be a great advance in hnefatology. Fascinating work :!:
AUTHOR crust

1351500213 Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:43
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="crust":2z0okf82][quote="conanlibrarian":2z0okf82]Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants[/quote:2z0okf82] Hello Conanlibrarian. Do you mean Linnaeus' Tablut and Robert ap Ifan's Tawlbwrdd? Both are ambiguous enough for multiple interpretations. Or are there other sources?[/quote:2z0okf82] Hi crust! Yes, those are the two sources I meant. Sure, there are room for interpretation, although my thinking is that this room for interpretations are not as big as some would say. Approaching the correctly translated text of Linnaeus without [i:2z0okf82]any[/i:2z0okf82] knowledge of the modern game variants (and without over-analyzing) surely would end up with something quite close to Scandinavian Museum Edge, i.e. edge escape plus two sided king capture. Ap Ifan is quite incomplete, but what it actually [i:2z0okf82]does[/i:2z0okf82] say agrees with Linnaeus. My feeling is that the plethora of variant interpretations are due to the fact that the plain reading of the rules in Smith's translation of Linnaeus is basically unplayable, and thus require "creative interpretations" by those interested in playing the game. This would probably not have been the case with the correct translation. (I am talking here explicitly about the faulty translation of 'item rex', as "except for the king..." by Smith, instead of the correct "and likewise for the king". Other points would still require some interpretation.) With closest I meant in the general sense of two sided king capture, and escape to edge. Although there is no historical support for either four-sided capture, corner escape, or weaponless king, it is a fact that the two-sided king capture/edge escape combination has seen the least amount of play in modern times. I look forward to the tournament, and will try to take part, in case you need someone to be last place in the tournament! :P
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1351535746 Mon Oct 29, 2012 19:35
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Hello Conanlibrarian Thanks very much for your detailed answer! Very informative. There seem to be real problems in these translations. That Smith fellow has a lot to answer for, it seems! I wanted to question something you said: [quote="conanlibrarian":1i3jm2dp]there is no historical support for either four-sided capture, corner escape, or weaponless king[/quote:1i3jm2dp]I thought there [i:1i3jm2dp]was[/i:1i3jm2dp] some evidence for corner escape from at least one board found with marked corners known as the Balinderry board. Also, if the Ockelbo stone is hnefatafl, it has clear corner markings. That's a big [i:1i3jm2dp]if[/i:1i3jm2dp], of course. Finally, Alea Evangelii has marked corners in the manuscript illustration, though admittedly it also has a lot of other strange and ambiguous marks. Gokstad, Deerness, Toftanes, Trondheim and Vimose don't have marked corners, that's true, though the corner square is always the easiest square to find in a grid, and wouldn't need to be marked even if it had special status... whereas there would seem to be little point in marking it if it had no special status. This is all total guesswork of course, and I defer to your more detailed knowledge! Please do take part in the forthcoming tournament and don't be put off by the tyrannosaurus-like stomping of some of the bigger beasts in this jungle ;) It will be very interesting to see whether this most "historically accurate" tafl form is at all balanced. I don't know about you, but I just don't buy the idea that Viking gamers would have played an unbalanced game, even using bidding or some other system to try to rebalance it. But who knows. Thanks again for your learned contributions :D
AUTHOR crust

1351538627 Mon Oct 29, 2012 20:23
SUBJECT Re: archaeology
Just trawling the net looking for ancient hnefatafl boards, and found this: [attachment=0:2m1gx8yb]dun-chonallaich-game-board.jpg[/attachment:2m1gx8yb] This is from a hillfort site in Argyll, Scotland, called Dun Chonallaich, and was found in 2008. It looks like a six by six grid, but if you imagine that they might have played on the line intersections (like Go or Alea Evangelii) you've got a seven by seven grid with suggestive marks around the center, where the King's men would be placed. [url:2m1gx8yb]http://megalithix.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/dun-chonallaich-ford-argyll-hillfort/[/url:2m1gx8yb] :ugeek:
AUTHOR crust

1351587685 Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:01
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="crust":2650gs7b]Hello Conanlibrarian [quote="conanlibrarian":2650gs7b]there is no historical support for either four-sided capture, corner escape, or weaponless king[/quote:2650gs7b]I thought there [i:2650gs7b]was[/i:2650gs7b] some evidence for corner escape from at least one board found with marked corners known as the Balinderry board. Also, if the Ockelbo stone is hnefatafl, it has clear corner markings. That's a big [i:2650gs7b]if[/i:2650gs7b], of course. Finally, Alea Evangelii has marked corners in the manuscript illustration, though admittedly it also has a lot of other strange and ambiguous marks.[/quote:2650gs7b] Yes, you are right, my statement was stronger than called for - I (conveniently) forgot about Ockelbo and Ballinderry. (As you can see, I am no scholar of game history, just interested in the topic :) ) Yes, these cases points to a game with special status for the corner, but as you say the question is if this game is a Tafl game (i.e. closely related to Linnaeus and Ap Ifan). It could also be some "fox and gease" variant? If you were to reconstruct rules from first principle (without knowing the modern invention of corner escape) it seems unlikely that these two (three if you count Alea Evangelii) cases would get more weight than the written source(s) and several game boards. My feeling is that these cases are mainly considered since they support the modern rules. But It is of cause possible that historical Hnefatafl was really played to the corner in most cases, and that Tablut and Ap Ifan represent a variant. That would be a very interesting coincidence where the modern invention would agree with forgotten and almost unsupported history. I find it more likely that the Ballinderry board was for Brandduhb (as proposed by Sten Helmfrid), and that the corner escape was introduced there to make such a small Tafl game playable. So you are right, to say that there is no historical support for corner escape is too strong a claim. I should rather have said that historically attested rules and description give no support to corner escape.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1351590381 Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:46
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":1cyknaht]Yes, you are right, my statement was stronger than called for[/quote:1cyknaht] Forgive my nit-picking and hair-splitting :D I'm no scholar either, and my grasp of Old Norse is very tenuous, not to mention Latin. [quote="conanlibrarian":1cyknaht]My feeling is that these cases [featuring corner markings] are mainly considered since they support the modern rules.[/quote:1cyknaht]I'm happy to concede that the documentary evidence favours edge escape, though I think it's more likely that the corner escape in "modern" hnefatafl was inspired by the archaeological evidence, not the other way round. I'm a bit torn here, because I want to use the historicity of hnefatafl to promote the game (e.g. presenting hnefatafl at a forthcoming Saxon festival, whilst dressed as a saxon) but as a player I want to use the best and most exciting rules, to get the best game, and I find corner escape and a strong king (four-side capture) gives that. So there is a conflict there which I am aware of. Hence my desire for a rigidly-defined area of doubt and uncertainty over what the historical rules actually were, unless it so happens that the evidence should support my particular creed. The mark of a true fundamentalist! :roll:
AUTHOR crust

1351774711 Thu Nov 1, 2012 13:58
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Ah, the pitfalls of 'confirmation bias'. Beware one and all. I had always hoped that our rigorous testing of variants would help us to zero in on the ultimate tafl rule set to make tournaments and clubs easier to arrange. However I now think that that hope while laudable, was rather ill informed. We have found the exact opposite thus far. Our testing is rather revealing the various merits of the many variants, all of which have their own peculiarities and charm. We have found some that are on the face of it poorly balanced, but this is so dependent on the strength and experience of the players, that it becomes a matter of handicapping. Perpetual board positions are perhaps the only thing some of us would like to see the back of, and now that most variants are set to forbid it on the site, lets see if we miss it. Through this research we have in fact generated new variants, while maintaining the old. Personally I am surprised by this, but I think its good to be surprised by results! My feeling now, is that thanks to Aages excellent site and all our dedication, that the gaming statistics will start to speak for themselves. Lesser variants will naturally fall into disuse, while the ones that stand the test of time will have done so simply because they work. And that removes the problems of confirmation bias. Hooray for science : )
AUTHOR Adam

1351774995 Thu Nov 1, 2012 14:03
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Championship 2012 evaluation
Brilliant.
AUTHOR Adam

1352382606 Thu Nov 8, 2012 14:50
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
[quote="Chuck Ward":62l1p1zl][i:62l1p1zl]The must flee to fight again It is the second battle that will see who will win. And if the war is tied when done The number of fallen will declare who has won If still evenly matched are these foe The Hranfn's riddle is the one that will know[/i:62l1p1zl][/quote:62l1p1zl] Chuck Ward, did you write the verses? Looks like the basic Hnefatafl 11x11 with a couple of end game rules added: play two games; if even, count the fallen; if still even, solve a Hrafn's riddle.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1352398994 Thu Nov 8, 2012 19:23
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
Hrafn riddle #1 (by crust) [i:2b9n0umm]Fisherman, never a fish in his net, Catches his supper without getting wet. Harpist and hunter, his eyes never blink, The larder is full, yet he may only drink.[/i:2b9n0umm] ...........what is this riddle about?
AUTHOR crust

1352403912 Thu Nov 8, 2012 20:45
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
[quote="crust":eoi6g808]Hrafn riddle #1 ... ...........what is this riddle about?[/quote:eoi6g808] A spider?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1352483777 Fri Nov 9, 2012 18:56
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl poem
:D well done Hagbard.. there are no flies on you! :lol:
AUTHOR crust

1352583365 Sat Nov 10, 2012 22:36
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
I found, "Iter Lapponicum", the primary source for the Linnaeus rules online (at archive.org) some time ago, I'll post it here in case someone else wants to have a look. It is interesting looking at this book in general if you can read Swedish, since it gives a feeling for what he describes, and how. The book was published in 1889 (i.e. more than 100 years after it's writing), and most of the book is Swedish with only limited sections in Latin. From a note by the editor it seems that it has seen only very light editing, only normalization of the spelling of the Swedish. As for the Tablut section, it is immediately preceded by a description of a Saami ball and sticks game, in Swedish. There is no introduction to the game of Tablut, and the setup and rules are the only text on the topic. After rule number 14, the topic switches abruptly to reindeer skin preparation, in Swedish. It is interesting that he choose to describe the game in Latin, perhaps he felt he could express the rules more precisely? As a side note, it is often assumed that the use of black for Moscovites/attackers and white for Swedes/defenders comes from the Linnaeus manuscript, but I can find no such information here, and also not in the Smith edition. (which I have learned was actually not translated by Smith, who was the editor, but by a young Swedish merchant named Carl Troilius, who happened to be in London at the time...) Has anyone got a clue where the colors come from? Here is a direct link to the pages on Tablut (the rules continue at the next page): [url:2pitbzzc]http://archive.org/stream/ungdomsskrifter02linne#page/n155/mode/2up[/url:2pitbzzc] Here is a link to the information page at "archive.org" for the book: [url:2pitbzzc]http://archive.org/details/ungdomsskrifter02linne[/url:2pitbzzc]
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1352620044 Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:47
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[size=150:30eokqky][b:30eokqky]Evaluation of the Berserk test tournament October-November 2012.[/b:30eokqky][/size:30eokqky] Seven players did the tournament without timeouts and played with each other 42 games, the results being white (defenders) 18 wins, black (attackers) 23 wins, 1 draw. So the balance seems fine. I would say that the rules worked well, the game dynamics made sense and had in it often much drama. From the experience with the tournament I would suggest one tiny rule change. [b:30eokqky]Berserk rule 11 should be changed into:[/b:30eokqky] [i:30eokqky]When the king is not on or next to the throne, two viking commanders can sandwich and capture the king, and one commander can capture the king against one of the four restricted corner squares.[/i:30eokqky] The reasons for this change are [list:30eokqky] [*:30eokqky]In each and every other variant, be it Hnefatafl or Tablut variants, be it king captured from 2 sides or from 4 sides, king armed or unarmed, board size 9x9 or 11x11, in all variants the rule for capturing the king in the board center is the same: On the throne the king must always be surrounded by 4 attackers, and next to the throne by 3 attackers. So the Berserk Hnefatafl should not be the only exception to this general rule. [/*:m:30eokqky] [*:30eokqky]The Berserk game balance is not affected by this change. Only in 2 of 90 tournament games was the king captured in the board center by commanders; in both cases by a commander against the throne, and in both cases black would've won anyway. [/*:m:30eokqky] [*:30eokqky]After the tournament I think I understand a bit better how this general center rule contributes to the game dynamics. In a capture-from-2-sides game it has the effect of making the center more comfortable to the king, so that the king is set in a dilemma of following a temptation to stay in center in relative safety, or to leave off into the uncertain dangers in the open field. The risk is that the king waits too long to leave and ends up surrounded in center and loses.[/*:m:30eokqky][/list:u:30eokqky] So, the Berserk king is captured from 4 sides the same way as in Fetlar, and additionally the viking commanders capture him the same way the king is captured in a capture-from-2-sides game. (The software is not changed yet while the last of the tournament games are still in progress).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1352641346 Sun Nov 11, 2012 14:42
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="conanlibrarian":18q5apvw]Has anyone got a clue where the colors come from?[/quote:18q5apvw] Here's one example: in the 1990's the Swedish company "Expo Media" created a Hnefatafl game for the PC with this board [img:18q5apvw]http://aagenielsen.dk/gif/start.jpg[/img:18q5apvw] On the board the word "hnftafl" is carved in runes. I think the game was used for museums and history exhibitions in Sweden, and it was also on the internet for many years until about 2002. In those days every Hnefatafl page with respect for itself around the world linked to the Expo Media game. If you browse this collection of Hnefatafl links: [url:18q5apvw]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefatafl_links_en.html[/url:18q5apvw] you'll find many Hnefatafl pages of white defenders and black attackers, and about as many the opposite...
AUTHOR Hagbard

1352644359 Sun Nov 11, 2012 15:32
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="Hagbard":2p4ek6jr][quote="conanlibrarian":2p4ek6jr]Has anyone got a clue where the colors come from?[/quote:2p4ek6jr] Here's one example: in the 1990's the Swedish company "Expo Media" created a Hnefatafl game for the PC with this board I think the game was used for museums and history exhibitions in Sweden, and it was also on the internet for many years until about 2002. Dozens of Hnefatafl pages around the world linked to this Expo Media game.[/quote:2p4ek6jr] I also checked Bell (Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations, 1979) and it talks about "eight blonde Swedes and their monarch; the other has sixteen dark Muscovites." (p. 78), and it uses black and white circles in the examples, for Muscovites and Swedes, respectively. It would be interesting to see if this was introduced here, or by Murray.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1352756398 Mon Nov 12, 2012 22:39
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
I really enjoyed this berserk hnefatafl although I found it hard to get use to the berserk rule. Lots of fun (and drama)! @Hagbard: your suggestion makes sense for all three reasons you give; I support this change of rule.
AUTHOR Fraech

1352805589 Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:19
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[quote="Fraech":p1srku96]@Hagbard: your suggestion makes sense for all three reasons you give; I support this change of rule.[/quote:p1srku96]Yes, me too. thank you Hagbard for your very clear explanation. I'm very glad the figures so far look promising for Berserk's game balance. It is certainly a very enjoyable variant, with its combination of two-side and four-side capturing. [quote="Fraech":p1srku96]I found it hard to get use to the berserk rule.[/quote:p1srku96] I had the same problem as Fraech. The berserk multi-capture rule seems to work mostly in black's favour, but probably only because I'm leaving several white soldiers [i:p1srku96]en prise[/i:p1srku96] which is good tactics in Fetlar and Copenhagen but pretty useless in Berserk - the "millar gambit" for instance is much less powerful, possibly I need a total re-think of tactics, especially openings. :shock: It's interesting that a single "commander" on c3 can effectively block the king from getting into a1 from either direction. Incidentally, I was wondering what you thought of calling the king's knight the [i:p1srku96]Queen[/i:p1srku96]. Seems logical as the king's companion, and the piece has a similar combination of strength and vulnerablility you find in the chess queen, which means you try and protect it during the early game for use in the middle or end game. Just a thought. ;)
AUTHOR crust

1353102111 Fri Nov 16, 2012 22:41
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Hello, what do you think of this idea: White can get only a draw if at least 3 black pieces are killed. So in order to draw white has to do some kind of strong attack.
AUTHOR arne64

1353532225 Wed Nov 21, 2012 22:10
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":1gmzsij3]The berserk multi-capture rule seems to work mostly in black's favour[/quote:1gmzsij3] [img:1gmzsij3]http://aagenielsen.dk/ridder1.png[/img:1gmzsij3] [img:1gmzsij3]http://aagenielsen.dk/ridder2.png[/img:1gmzsij3] But favourably to white in these two examples from real games... [quote="crust":1gmzsij3] Incidentally, I was wondering what you thought of calling the king's knight the [i:1gmzsij3]Queen[/i:1gmzsij3]. Seems logical as the king's companion, and the piece has a similar combination of strength and vulnerablility you find in the chess queen, which means you try and protect it during the early game for use in the middle or end game. Just a thought. ;)[/quote:1gmzsij3] A lady on the men's battlefield? The mentioned similarities are there (king's companion, combination of strength and vulnerablility, protect during the early game for use in the middle or end game), but the movements of the piece are those of a knight on horseback - it jumps and runs and kills everybody on its way. One could wonder how chess can have a lady on the battlefield. I read somewhere that once upon a time the chess game had four players and four armies. Then at some point the armies were merged into two armies and two players; this should be why the officers are doubled into pairs. But as one side cannot have two kings, I suppose one of the kings had to be changed into the queen. How far the queen name goes back, I don't know, but we learn from "The Tudors" and other history series the strength of intrigues at medieval court and how many a nobleman lost his head in a court intrigue as easily as in the battle. Maybe the extreme power of the chess queen piece comes from this? (Though from this logic the chess queen should kill [i:1gmzsij3]her own[/i:1gmzsij3] pieces!)
AUTHOR Hagbard

1353538800 Thu Nov 22, 2012 0:00
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
I'd have seen the piece as a Ealdorthegn (first among Thegns (officers) in Anglo-Saxon)
AUTHOR skallatorc

1353540308 Thu Nov 22, 2012 0:25
SUBJECT Re: Tafl pocket mod with rules variant
Thank you!
AUTHOR skallatorc

1353762917 Sat Nov 24, 2012 14:15
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
Hey Skallatorc, can't you use your time-warping computer to go back and find out how they really played hnefatafl? Let us know how you get on, cheers, that would be great :D
AUTHOR crust

1353945312 Mon Nov 26, 2012 16:55
SUBJECT unarmed king tafl edge
Hello everyone. I tried the following tafl version: -White starts in the 'plus formation" (has pieces on c6, k3, k9 and i6 instead on e5, e7, ...) -white has the initiative and makes the first move -everything else are the sea battle rules It seems to be almost balanced to me. If the players get more experiences I would guess black has a little advantage though. I think it works better than the existing Unst unarmed king tafl edge version.
AUTHOR arne64

1353952035 Mon Nov 26, 2012 18:47
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="arne64":1qqvdvsj]Hello, what do you think of this idea: White can get only a draw if at least 3 black pieces are killed. So in order to draw white has to do some kind of strong attack.[/quote:1qqvdvsj] This could be another way to avoid the Monstrous Draw Fort, simple and effective. I think it might even be enough to require one black piece killed.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1353953825 Mon Nov 26, 2012 19:17
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
I think the problem with one black piece killed is that this can happen very early. So back can't do any sacrifices at the beginning playing a weaker player. Also this rule would legitimate draw forts at the beginning if possible. Now they are possible but not really legitimate or accepted.
AUTHOR arne64

1353976637 Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:37
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="arne64":m5p14gmp]Hello, what do you think of this idea: White can get only a draw if at least 3 black pieces are killed. So in order to draw white has to do some kind of strong attack.[/quote:m5p14gmp] That's a good idea - it means no draws in the opening game, but still allows the possibility of any kind of draw fort in the mid- or end-game. Very simple and elegant! I think this rule would rescue the Fetlar version from the draw problem. A very good refinement! :D
AUTHOR crust

1354049609 Tue Nov 27, 2012 21:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thank you! I think this would be great for all versions of Hnefatafl. I just had the problem in a tournament game of Scand. museums Hnefatafl where the white player drew before a single piece got killed. Also because in cand. museums Hnefatafl black is stronger it would be effective just to draw all games with white and win the ones as black to get maximum points. I think this should be avoided too!
AUTHOR arne64

1354057769 Wed Nov 28, 2012 0:09
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
It's a brilliantly simple idea. Which is probably why nobody thought of it before. Can anyone see any drawbacks? I can't. ;)
AUTHOR crust

1354223263 Thu Nov 29, 2012 22:07
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
I can see one problem. How would this fit in with the board repetiotion rule? Forbidding board repetition removes draw forts unless they are specified in the rules(as in Copenhagen). In order to avoid perpetual check threats one would need to create a rule that allows draw forts, but forbids other forms of perpetual move draw positions. Tricky perhaps?
AUTHOR Adam

1354272773 Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:52
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Just say: if the # of black pieces is >20 then white loses with perpetual moves if the # of black pieces is <21 the game is drawn with perpetual moves White is a a little stronger anyways so it's perfectly fine if white can't draw the game at all at the beginning I think.
AUTHOR arne64

1354348860 Sat Dec 1, 2012 9:01
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":16k9nbbq]I think this rule would rescue the Fetlar version from the draw problem.[/quote:16k9nbbq] [quote="arne64":16k9nbbq]I think this would be great for all versions of Hnefatafl. I just had the problem in a tournament game of Scand. museums Hnefatafl where the white player drew before a single piece got killed.[/quote:16k9nbbq] [quote="Adam":16k9nbbq]I can see one problem. How would this fit in with the board repetition rule? Forbidding board repetition removes draw forts unless they are specified in the rules (as in Copenhagen). In order to avoid perpetual check threats one would need to create a rule that allows draw forts, but forbids other forms of perpetual move draw positions. Tricky perhaps?[/quote:16k9nbbq] The problem with a draw is the early center fort. And in the extreme, the Monstrous Draw Fort. Currently these variants forbid repetitions: Copenhagen Hnefatafl Berserk Hnefatafl Sea Battle Tafl Moreover the attackers in Berserk Hnefatafl can break draw forts using the commanders. The 9x9 board is too small for building a center fort. Left are these variants, which are exposed to misuse of the center fort draw. The variants are identical with respect to doubtful center forts (like the Monstrous Draw Fort), which are built the same way in all of them: Hnefatafl 11x11 Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 Scand. museums Hnefatafl edge 11x11 Scand. museums Hnefatafl 11x11 Unst unarmed king tafl 11x11 Unst unarmed king tafl edge 11x11 [b:16k9nbbq]The past two years 1800 tafl games were played on this site. Counting the draws in the exposed variants gives 42 draws:[/b:16k9nbbq] 24 center forts 5 edge forts 1 corner fort 9 perpetual checks 2 cases of too few pieces left on both sides 1 case of white not able to move [b:16k9nbbq]With 0 black pieces killed:[/b:16k9nbbq] 3 normal draws and 9 doubtful draws. [b:16k9nbbq]With 1 black pieces killed:[/b:16k9nbbq] 3 normal draws and 4 doubtful draws. [b:16k9nbbq]With 2 black pieces killed:[/b:16k9nbbq] 5 normal draws and 1 doubtful draw. [b:16k9nbbq]With 3 black pieces killed:[/b:16k9nbbq] 9 normal draws and 0 doubtful draws. [b:16k9nbbq]More than 3 black pieces killed:[/b:16k9nbbq] 8 normal draws and 0 doubtful draws. [i:16k9nbbq]It looks like a suitable threshold to abandon draws with 0 or 1 black pieces killed and to allow draws with 2 or more black pieces killed?[/i:16k9nbbq]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354351502 Sat Dec 1, 2012 9:45
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":2emlf3t9] [b:2emlf3t9]The past two years 1800 tafl games were played on this site. Counting the draws in the exposed variants gives 42 draws:[/b:2emlf3t9] 22 center forts 7 edge forts 1 corner fort 9 perpetual checks 2 cases of too few pieces left on both sides 1 case of white not able to move [/quote:2emlf3t9] I wonder how many of these draws were in tournament games in the exposed variants, as draws were never really considered a problem until we had tournament situations. So is it a bit misleading to think of it as 42 draws from the exposed variants out of 1800 total games? Could we hear the figure for draws as a percentage of tournament games in the exposed variants?
AUTHOR Adam

1354353803 Sat Dec 1, 2012 10:23
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":36pdddzl]Could we hear the figure for draws as a percentage of tournament games in the exposed variants?[/quote:36pdddzl] There were 15 draws in 246 tournament games in the exposed variants. So, while the overall draw percentage is 2 %, the tournament draw percentage is 6 %. The minimum-kill rule could be made a tournament rule only?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354365447 Sat Dec 1, 2012 13:37
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
I think that "Scand. museums Hnefatafl edge 11x11", and indeed any edge Tafl version, should forbid repetitions and draws completely. Draws are probably needed in corner Tafl, to stop the attackers from blocking all corners too easily, but in edge Tafl there is no such reason for having them, and also no possibility of building edge forts (since you already won then :) ). Or are there other reasons for having them here?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1354368171 Sat Dec 1, 2012 14:22
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="conanlibrarian":rhap5acf]I think that "Scand. museums Hnefatafl edge 11x11", and indeed any edge Tafl version, should forbid repetitions and draws completely. Draws are probably needed in corner Tafl, to stop the attackers from blocking all corners too easily, but in edge Tafl there is no such reason for having them[/quote:rhap5acf] Interesting that the Fotevikens Museum has changed their Tablut rules and added a point 13 which was not there before: [quote:rhap5acf]13. I vissa lägen kan det uppstå s.k. evighetsdrag. Det kan gälla både vid utgång och inringning. För att bryta ett sådant dödläge måste den offensiva parten efter ett par upprepningar göra ett annat drag. Denna regel kan förklaras med hjälp avföljande exempel: Kungen hotar att gå ut och en moskovit flyttas emellan för att blockera. Kungen flyttar då till en ny ruta och hotar att gå ut även här. Samma moskovit måste användas för att blockera även denna gång. Kungen flyttar tillbaka till första rutan och moskoviten flyttas också tillbaka för att blockera. När de beskrivna dragen upprepats ett par gånger, måste den som spelar svensk göra ett annat drag, eftersom det är denne som är den offensive.[/quote:rhap5acf] The Fotevikens Tablut is something between edge and corner escape, and the new point 13 forbids perpetual moves and requires the threatening player to find another move.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354526912 Mon Dec 3, 2012 10:28
SUBJECT Teaching beginners Hnefatafl
When teaching beginners Hnefatafl, I've come to appreciate the Hnefatafl 11x11 variant as a variant simple to grasp for a beginner: All pieces are armed alike. The king is captured on all board squares, except for the 4 where he wins (corners). The king is captured by surrounding so that it's not necessary to look after him carefully all the time. The king is always captured by making him immobile. In the first games against a beginner, when playing the attackers' side I merely move around but don't capture enemy pieces. This pedagogical trick can be brought a step further: With the beginner playing the defenders' side, the game can be played [i:11vkq9f7]with the attackers unarmed[/i:11vkq9f7]. Against a beginner it's still easy for unarmed attackers to simply move around and encircle the defenders or to block the corners, making a draw.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354639248 Tue Dec 4, 2012 17:40
SUBJECT Re: Teaching beginners Hnefatafl
I agree with the Hnefatafl 11x11 variant but I don't think doing this teaching stuff for beginners is necessary. Playing a unarmed king is totally different so in order to play the normal version he has to adjust to this very different variant. The only thing making sense for me would be having the experienced player starting with less pieces. I learned it the hard way and it seems to work out pretty well too. The best way would be beginners playing a little better beginners and looking at theory and openings. We just need more beginners anyways!!
AUTHOR arne64

1354727035 Wed Dec 5, 2012 18:03
SUBJECT Re: Teaching beginners Hnefatafl
I agree with Arne, the rules of Tafl games are so simple that it is better to start with the rules you are actually interested in playing and simply start playing. I find the Java applet at tafl.cyningstan.org.uk good for getting familiar with the basics of a particular rule variant.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1354787026 Thu Dec 6, 2012 10:43
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":1nodxm5f]Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants (which is of interest to me), it would be great if you could point me to these test games.[/quote:1nodxm5f] [quote="Hagbard":1nodxm5f]To achieve more certain experience with the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 variant, I suggest a test tournament as soon as possible.[/quote:1nodxm5f] 7 players did the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 test tournament without timeouts and had 42 games against each other. The results are: white (defenders) 19 wins, black (attackers) 22 wins, 1 draw. It seems that the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is after all fairly balanced, and future games can be rated?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354797857 Thu Dec 6, 2012 13:44
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Seems like that. Question is if rules forbidding draws should be included? Since there were not many draws, perhaps this is not a problem, but I have the feeling that people simply did not go for a draw even if they had the chance, instead mostly playing as if draws were not possible. The rules as they stand are susceptible to draw forts and infinite raichi. And the rules are definitely playable without draws. (I know I am starting to repeat myself, but I am simply not fond of draws! :D )
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1354803789 Thu Dec 6, 2012 15:23
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":3uie87hm] It seems that the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is after all fairly balanced, and future games can be rated?[/quote:3uie87hm] I don't think Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is balanced! I had the strong perception that in a high level game white has no chance. I think the results only suggest that it's balanced because the most players are very inexperienced in this variant. An example is that many black players have some fear attacking the king directly because in the other tafl variants they usually play it's a bad idea but in this variant the king is often seriously threatened by this move. A suggestion from me would be changing the starting formation of black a bit so less edge is covert. Maybe this would work but I never tried it so far: .....O..... ..O....O.. ..O.O.O.. [quote="conanlibrarian":3uie87hm]Question is if rules forbidding draws should be included?[/quote:3uie87hm] I agree: draws should be excluded from this variant!
AUTHOR arne64

1354817766 Thu Dec 6, 2012 19:16
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="arne64":3jmgohmn]I don't think Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is balanced![/quote:3jmgohmn]I totally agree. If anyone thinks this form is balanced, I'll happily play them for money, as long as I can always play black! I wondered if maybe there were strategies to be discovered, but I do not think that is the case. Even armed, and even with the whole edge of the board as a target, the two-side capture king is just too vulnerable. Yes, I did win a few games as white, but I think Arne is right: unless black makes a bad mistake, white cannot normally win. So Hagbard, please don't make this one of the "rated" forms! :o
AUTHOR crust

1354822929 Thu Dec 6, 2012 20:42
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
I like WTF (it's got grit) and when anyone looks for the world trade federation they'll find us. I like the logo.
AUTHOR altti

1354825563 Thu Dec 6, 2012 21:26
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
I have some pics of boards I made but I don't know how to import. any help?
AUTHOR altti

1354866210 Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:43
SUBJECT Re: Images for boards
[quote="altti":1sxcmesn]I have some pics of boards I made but I don't know how to import. any help?[/quote:1sxcmesn]Hello Altti, you could try e-mailing them to Aage Nielsen at this address: nielsenhnef [AT] mail [DOT] dk It would be great to have some new pictures in the Gallery!
AUTHOR crust

1354909029 Fri Dec 7, 2012 20:37
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
In chat WTF is used for "what the fuck", so to me this sounds a little weird.
AUTHOR arne64

1354988044 Sat Dec 8, 2012 18:34
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[b:3f3v8m8d]Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 rating or not?[/b:3f3v8m8d] [quote="arne64":3f3v8m8d]I don't think Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is balanced! I had the strong perception that in a high level game white has no chance. I think the results only suggest that it's balanced because the most players are very inexperienced in this variant. An example is that many black players have some fear attacking the king directly because in the other tafl variants they usually play it's a bad idea but in this variant the king is often seriously threatened by this move.[/quote:3f3v8m8d] [quote="crust":3f3v8m8d]I totally agree. If anyone thinks this form is balanced, I'll happily play them for money, as long as I can always play black! I wondered if maybe there were strategies to be discovered, but I do not think that is the case. Even armed, and even with the whole edge of the board as a target, the two-side capture king is just too vulnerable.[/quote:3f3v8m8d] The result of the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 tournament is listed above. Counting the whole game archive gives for Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11: 12 players did 66 games with 30 white wins, 35 black wins, 1 draws. Counting the game archive only for players rated above 1500 gives for Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11: 9 players did 38 games with 16 white wins, 21 black wins, 1 draws. There's in all counts an overweight in black wins though not so much by the look of it. But there's clearly been a subjective experience from the tournament that with more practical gaming experience the black overweight could increase considerably; so maybe the time has not come yet to rate the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 variant. [b:3f3v8m8d]Draw by perpetual repetition.[/b:3f3v8m8d] [quote="conanlibrarian":3f3v8m8d]I think that "Scand. museums Hnefatafl edge 11x11", and indeed any edge Tafl version, should forbid repetitions and draws completely. Draws are probably needed in corner Tafl, to stop the attackers from blocking all corners too easily, but in edge Tafl there is no such reason for having them, and also no possibility of building edge forts (since you already won then).[/quote:3f3v8m8d] [quote="Adam":3f3v8m8d]Perpetual board positions are perhaps the only thing some of us would like to see the back of[/quote:3f3v8m8d] [quote="conanlibrarian":3f3v8m8d]Question is if rules forbidding draws should be included? Since there were not many draws, perhaps this is not a problem, but I have the feeling that people simply did not go for a draw even if they had the chance, instead mostly playing as if draws were not possible. The rules as they stand are susceptible to draw forts and infinite raichi. And the rules are definitely playable without draws.[/quote:3f3v8m8d] [quote="Adam":3f3v8m8d]Forbidding board repetition removes draw forts unless they are specified in the rules (as in Copenhagen). In order to avoid perpetual check threats one would need to create a rule that allows draw forts, but forbids other forms of perpetual move draw positions. Tricky perhaps?[/quote:3f3v8m8d] Fotevikens Museum now forbids perpetual repetition for their Tablut, which is halfway an edge tafl. Dragonheelslair forbids, after a lengthly discussion, perpetual repetition for their Tablut, which is an edge tafl the same as our Sea Battle tafl plus a throne. As Adam points out, there might not be a simple way to forbid perpetual repetition and at the same time allow center fort draws. But since the 9x9 board is too small for center forts, it's not a problem to ban perpetual repetition for all 9x9 edge tafls. [b:3f3v8m8d]Draw by center fort.[/b:3f3v8m8d] [quote="arne64":3f3v8m8d]what do you think of this idea: White can get only a draw if at least 3 black pieces are killed. So in order to draw white has to do some kind of strong attack.[/quote:3f3v8m8d] [quote="Hagbard":3f3v8m8d]It looks like a suitable threshold to abandon draws with 0 or 1 black pieces killed and to allow draws with 2 or more black pieces killed?[/quote:3f3v8m8d] A minimum-kill rule as suggested by arne64 is important for tournaments to avoid Monstrous Forts and similar early draw abuse. But since such early draws would be very rare and just as spoiling for non-tournament games (friendly games), then why not require the minimum-kill for all games, tournaments as well as friendly games? [b:3f3v8m8d]So, for a future update? :[/b:3f3v8m8d] [i:3f3v8m8d]Ban perpetual repetition for all 9x9 edge tafls. Minimum-kill for all games: White can get only a draw if at least 2 black pieces are killed.[/i:3f3v8m8d]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1354995452 Sat Dec 8, 2012 20:37
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":3b4s0mjo] [b:3b4s0mjo]So, for a future update? :[/b:3b4s0mjo] [i:3b4s0mjo]Ban perpetual repetition for all 9x9 edge tafls. Minimum-kill for all games: White can get only a draw if at least 2 black pieces are killed.[/i:3b4s0mjo][/quote:3b4s0mjo] An interesting suggestion. I would like to propose that we keep Copenhagen as it is, simply because it is a rule set designed specifically to allow some draw forts while forbidding others and perpetual moves. And I think it is an excellent variant as it stands. Also berserk functions very well as it is I think. If Fetlar is going to continue allowing perpetual moves it will be open to abuse, and a weaker player will always be able to force a draw as white with a perpetual threat with only a 'between player agreement' preventing it. If a rule preventing perpetual threats but allowing drawfort board repetitions could be formulated, this would be ideal. The minimum kill would seem to do away nicely with 'unfair' forts. So, anyone for a game of copenhagen? ; )
AUTHOR Adam

1355054376 Sun Dec 9, 2012 12:59
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
This is a deep and complex thread, more a sort of yarn with lots of threads in it. I have re-read it to enjoy again Hagbard's forensic analysis of the statistics, Conanlibrarian's historical perspective and Adam's expertise in game dynamics. What a trio. We've got two main themes here, the scand. edge tafl form, and draw by repetition, which I'll come to in a moment. [b:1lzknqgf]Scand 11x11 edge tafl[/b:1lzknqgf][quote="Hagbard":1lzknqgf]There's in all counts an overweight in black wins though not so much by the look of it. But there's clearly been a subjective experience from the tournament that with more practical gaming experience the black overweight could increase considerably[/quote:1lzknqgf] The figures for the Scand 11x11 edge tafl are closer to balance than I would have thought, but you're right, my subjective experience is that I feel unbeatable as black, and relatively powerless as white. I won every game when playing as black, and Arne64 won all of his black games except one, where Luigi005 scored a draw by centre fort. Hagbard's black games were all wins except against Arne and me, and I certainly felt I was lucky to win that one. The best strategy for white seems to be to try to gain a foothold on the edge (near the corner is the only space available) and then try to get the king to join them. But being captured on 2 sides makes the king so vulnerable to check, that he cannot afford to stand next to any enemy pieces, and therefore it is usually easy for black to prevent him from joining up with his comrades at the board edge. So, I enjoyed the tournament but it seems the variant is not balanced. Perhaps a rule change could improve it? For example, I wonder if [b:1lzknqgf]having the king captured on 3 sides would be better balanced[/b:1lzknqgf]? It might be worth a try, it's exactly the sort of tinkering that this site is uniquely well-placed to conduct. I have encountered 3-side capture once before, on the Shetland island of Unst, where they had an Alea Evangelii game set up in their reconstructed longship. According to their Alea rules the four white pieces around the king were elite guards, who could only be taken by being surrounded on [u:1lzknqgf]three[/u:1lzknqgf] sides. The king was captured from 4 sides, all the other pieces on 2 sides. I played a game through with Peter Kelly, (Adam is right to say that Alea should be played live, preferably in quickplay mode, it's really too long for correspondence format) and the 3-side elites worked pretty well. Somewhere on the island of Unst there must be a clever hnefatafl innovator, but I can't find out who it is at the moment. [b:1lzknqgf]Draw by repetition [/b:1lzknqgf] Draws by repetition come in two flavours: perpetual check and draw forts. I think we would all like to get rid of perpetual check, but there is a case for keeping draw forts, apart from the early centre draw forts. [quote="Adam":1lzknqgf]keep Copenhagen as it is, simply because it is a rule set designed specifically to allow some draw forts while forbidding others and perpetual moves. And I think it is an excellent variant as it stands. Also berserk functions very well as it is I think[/quote:1lzknqgf] [quote="Adam":1lzknqgf]The minimum kill would seem to do away nicely with 'unfair' forts[/quote:1lzknqgf] Well said :D
AUTHOR crust

1355080257 Sun Dec 9, 2012 20:10
SUBJECT News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
The Scandinavian Museums have for at least twenty years (probably based on a book published 1992) sold a Hnefatafl game box with the rules set, which on this site is called "Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl 11x11": Board size 11x11, capture king from 2 sides, win in corner. All our experience shows these rules to be [i:2l5qactf]severely unbalanced[/i:2l5qactf] in favour of the attackers. Yesterday I attended the Yule market at a museum and found for the first time [i:2l5qactf]a new version of Hnefatafl for sale with a different set of rules[/i:2l5qactf]. In September the museum still had only the usual, old game version in the shop, and in the exhibition hall for the guests to try. Now they sell both game versions, as the old version is also still on the shelves. It's interesting that the new game version is almost identical to the Fetlar game. [b:2l5qactf]Old version Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl 11x11.[/b:2l5qactf] Board size 11x11, capture king from 2 sides, win in corner. Follows allegedly in the main Linnaeus. Produced by the archaeological magazine Skalk. "The defenders win by taking the king." "The attackers win when the king succeeds in escaping to one of the corner squares." All other situations are draws then? There's no mention in the text about what to do with perpetual checks or draw forts. Except for this sentence: "White has also won if the situation arises that all the defenders' pieces have been rendered immobile by encirlement." Does this mean that the defenders cannot make any legal move, or does it also cover the attackers' complete encirlement of all defenders? [b:2l5qactf][i:2l5qactf]New version[/i:2l5qactf] Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl 11x11.[/b:2l5qactf] Board size 11x11, capture king from 4 sides, win in corner. Distributed by Memory, Norway. Their home page informs that their game box is sold from museum shops in all Scandinavia. The rules are identical to the Fetlar rules, except that apparently the throne is not hostile. "The king wins if he succeeds in escaping into one of his four corner castles. He has lost the battle if he is sandwiched among four attackers and cannot move", or three attackers plus the throne. All other situations are draws then? There's no mention in the text about what to do with perpetual checks or draw forts, or if the defenders cannot make any legal move.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355089144 Sun Dec 9, 2012 22:39
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Very interesting comments everyone! I think we all can agree that the tournament proved at least one thing: In "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge" black is the stronger side (but by how much could still be discussed). This is interesting in itself, since previously white was assumed by some to be stronger. Further thoughts: [list:ai8v0q8i] [*:ai8v0q8i] For the three king strengths: four-sided (armed), unarmed (four-sided), and two-sided (armed), four-sided is obviously strongest, but which is weakest? Based on my feeling I would say "two-sided"; do you agree?[/*:m:ai8v0q8i] [*:ai8v0q8i] Based on this tournament experience, is "Scand. Museum 9x9" (corner) really balanced? Statistics say 42 white wins, 45 black wins and two draws (if my 'grep fu' is powerful enough ;)), but statistics is not everything. [/*:m:ai8v0q8i] [*:ai8v0q8i] What about "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge", or Cartier Tablut? Very little experience, but perhaps worth giving it another chance, given the tournament experience? The smaller board should give white a better chance compared to "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge".[/*:m:ai8v0q8i][/list:u:ai8v0q8i]
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1355131822 Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:30
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[b:yz6pbr9r]Software updated :[/b:yz6pbr9r] Perpetual repetition banned for all 9x9 edge tafls (plus Copenhagen and Berserk). Minimum-kill for all games: White can get only a draw if at least 2 black pieces are killed.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355159464 Mon Dec 10, 2012 18:11
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="crust":wb3p7pnp] Perhaps a rule change could improve it? [/quote:wb3p7pnp] 'What's about changing the starting formation of black? I tried different formations and for edge games blacks formation makes a huge difference how the game is balanced (had some in favor for white, some for black and some which feel being balanced but because I tried them just few times I am not sure). When there is one there are no rulechanges to be done and I think it's more interesting not to play always with the same formation. What do you think?
AUTHOR arne64

1355161753 Mon Dec 10, 2012 18:49
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Hagbard":gldrxkyy]13. I vissa lägen kan det uppstå s.k. evighetsdrag. Det kan gälla både vid utgång och inringning. För att bryta ett sådant dödläge måste den offensiva parten efter ett par upprepningar göra ett annat drag. Denna regel kan förklaras med hjälp avföljande exempel:Kungen hotar att gå ut och en moskovit flyttas emellan för att blockera. Kungen flyttar då till en ny ruta och hotar att gå ut även här. Samma moskovit måste användas för att blockera även denna gång. Kungen flyttar tillbaka till första rutan och moskoviten flyttas också tillbaka för att blockera. När de beskrivna dragen upprepats ett par gånger, måste den som spelar svensk göra ett annat drag, eftersom det är denne som är den offensive.[/quote:gldrxkyy]The only Swedish I know is "Smolltronn" which either means wild strawberries, or nostalgia, or both.... Any chance of a translation of Foteviken Rule 13 into anglosaxish??
AUTHOR crust

1355162978 Mon Dec 10, 2012 19:09
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":wtd148us]The only Swedish I know is "Smolltronn"[/quote:wtd148us] "13. In certain situations the so-called perpetual moves may occur. This can happen both at exit and at encirclement. In order to break such a stalemate the aggressive party after a couple of repetitions has to make a different move. This rule can be explained by the following example: the king threatens to exit and a muscovit is moved in between to block. The king then moves to another square and threatens to exit here as well. The same muscovit has to be employed to block this time too. The king moves back to the first square and the muscovit is also moved back to block. When the described moves are repeated a couple of times, he who plays the Swedes must make a different move, because it is he who is the aggressive party."
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355166209 Mon Dec 10, 2012 20:03
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
Thanks Hagbard for the translation. That's very interesting that they also focus on which player is the "aggressive party" just as we discussed the "threatening player" - Usually in game situations it will be the defenders who are the aggressive party, but there is always the possibility that the attackers can threaten checkmate in a repetitive move, and so they will be forced to find another move, as the defenders are helpless to do so. I wonder what they would make of our double perpetual check scenario where both players are placing each other in check on alternate moves - not a very likely event I know, but possible!
AUTHOR crust

1355171693 Mon Dec 10, 2012 21:34
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":gr6i0ty2]I wonder what they would make of our double perpetual check scenario[/quote:gr6i0ty2] The Swedes are lucky - this particular position could not happen in the Fotevikens Tablut, because the king wins on edge.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355174701 Mon Dec 10, 2012 22:25
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="arne64":1zfm4dh4][quote="crust":1zfm4dh4] Perhaps a rule change could improve it? [/quote:1zfm4dh4] 'What's about changing the starting formation of black? [/quote:1zfm4dh4] I think this is an interesting idea. For 11x11 there is no historically documented starting position (as far as I know), except for the cryptic statement from ap Ifan: "... a king in the centre and twelve men in the places next to him, and twenty-four men seek to capture him. These are placed, six in the centre of each side of the board and in the six central positions. " Perhaps "the six central positions" could mean a 2x3 square on each side? This would give a starting position as: [code:1zfm4dh4] a b c d e f g h i j k 11 x x x 11 10 x x x 10 09 09 08 o 08 07 x x o o o x x 07 06 x x o o @ o o x x 06 05 x x o o o x x 05 04 o 04 03 03 02 x x x 02 01 x x x 01 a b c d e f g h i j k [/code:1zfm4dh4] Also, have you tried varying the defender starting position? Perhaps a large "plus" formation would make it easier to attack a corner and bring the king into play?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1355245277 Tue Dec 11, 2012 18:01
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote:261cae13]This would give a starting position as: [code:261cae13] a b c d e f g h i j k 11 x x x 11 10 x x x 10 09 09 08 o 08 07 x x o o o x x 07 06 x x o o @ o o x x 06 05 x x o o o x x 05 04 o 04 03 03 02 x x x 02 01 x x x 01 a b c d e f g h i j k [/code:261cae13][/quote:261cae13] I tried this formations for unarmed king tafl edge a few times and it's to easy for white to get to the edge. For scand. Museums Hnefatafl I did not try it yet but I can imagine it's similar. [quote:261cae13] Also, have you tried varying the defender starting position? Perhaps a large "plus" formation would make it easier to attack a corner and bring the king into play?[/quote:261cae13] yes, I tried it but it doesn't change enough and also white has some disadvantages from this position like having less white pieces supporting each other on the same line and the outer pieces being in danger if the pieces next to them move. From the formations I tried the following one seems to be the most balanced (played 4 games against a weaker player so far). I think it's worth giving it a try! [code:261cae13] a b c d e f g h i j k 11 x x x 11 10 x x 10 09 x 09 08 o 08 07 x x o o o x x 07 06 x x o o @ o o x x 06 05 x x o o o x x 05 04 o 04 03 x 03 02 x x 02 01 x x x 01 a b c d e f g h i j k [/code:261cae13]
AUTHOR arne64

1355263979 Tue Dec 11, 2012 23:12
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":73mhdsfc]I think we all can agree that the tournament proved at least one thing: In "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge" black is the stronger side (but by how much could still be discussed). This is interesting in itself, since previously white was assumed by some to be stronger.[/quote:73mhdsfc] Yes the difficulties of the defenders in the "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge" was a surprice at least to me. [quote="conanlibrarian":73mhdsfc]What about "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge", or Cartier Tablut? Very little experience, but perhaps worth giving it another chance, given the tournament experience? The smaller board should give white a better chance compared to "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge".[/quote:73mhdsfc] I suggest we try a test tournament in "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge" in a couple of weeks?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355335354 Wed Dec 12, 2012 19:02
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
That's true, I forgot that :oops: Being Swedes, they probably make sure the Muscovites always lose
AUTHOR crust

1355343038 Wed Dec 12, 2012 21:10
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
:D
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355484936 Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:35
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":3l5pvlmi]Yesterday I attended the Yule market at a museum and found for the first time a new version of Hnefatafl for sale with a different set of rules. In September the museum still had only the usual, old game version in the shop, and in the exhibition hall for the guests to try. Now they sell both game versions, as the old version is also still on the shelves. It's interesting that the new game version is almost identical to the Fetlar game.[/quote:3l5pvlmi]That is really interesting. Was it the Rosskilde ship museum? I had a look at the Memory website - the set looks exactly like the History Craft set sold by Past Times in the UK and Norse America in the USA[attachment=0:3l5pvlmi]Hnef2.jpg[/attachment:3l5pvlmi] The rules in my History Craft set seem to be the same as Fetlar, but you are right, they don't say whether the throne square is hostile to normal warriors at all, though they do say it's hostile to the king. They also don't mention draws or stalemate, and they don't say whether the king can be captured at the board edge by 3 attackers. I guess it's a matter of opinion whether one thinks that implies he can be captured thus, or not. I've always thought not, because then you're saying the board edge is hostile to the king and not to the warriors, which seems somehow untidy. Anyway, the rules given are obviously incomplete, presumably for reasons of space and simplicity, but in any case it's a more balanced game than Skalk. Do you have a "Skalk" set in your possession? it would be interesting to see a picture of it :ugeek: It seems like good news that a "better" version of hnefatafl is now available in the Scandinavian Museum shops! :D
AUTHOR crust

1355485299 Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:41
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[attachment=0:3o6u2aom]skalk.jpg[/attachment:3o6u2aom] Oh, I just found this on the skalk website :oops:
AUTHOR crust

1355500737 Fri Dec 14, 2012 16:58
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":63hb2u9d]Was it the Roskilde ship museum?[/quote:63hb2u9d] It was. But the home page of Memory informs that their products are (now) found in important museum shops all over Scandinavia, including Viking museums and National Museums in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden. [quote="crust":63hb2u9d]I had a look at the Memory website - the set looks exactly like the History Craft set sold by Past Times in the UK and Norse America in the USA[/quote:63hb2u9d] Wow! Worldwide Hnefatafl integration at long last. The Norse America site informs that their game set is imported, but they don't go into details about the game box rules. However, the description of the History Craft Hnefatafl game box rules on this page: [url:63hb2u9d]http://www.bowdoin.edu/~dfrancis/viking/vikingApp/[/url:63hb2u9d] is identical to the Memory game box rules. [quote="crust":63hb2u9d]they don't say whether the king can be captured at the board edge by 3 attackers.[/quote:63hb2u9d] When a customer opens the History Craft / Memory Hnefatafl game box, he'll read from the rules that the throne is [i:63hb2u9d]not hostile[/i:63hb2u9d] except to the king ("A warrior is also captured if he has one of [i:63hb2u9d]the corner castles[/i:63hb2u9d] on his one side and an enemy soldier occupies his other, opposite side" - an illustration shows the king next to a corner square), and he'll also read that the king is captured Fetlar-wise ("He has lost the battle if he is sandwiched [i:63hb2u9d]among four attackers[/i:63hb2u9d] and cannot move" - an illustration shows the king [i:63hb2u9d]on the second row[/i:63hb2u9d] surrounded on [i:63hb2u9d]all[/i:63hb2u9d] four sides.) So we are with this game box very very close to the Fetlar.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355508249 Fri Dec 14, 2012 19:04
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
I think Norse America rules feature king captured at the board edge, and only captured by 3 men on the square next to the throne if there's a fourth attacker on the opposite side of the throne. Weird. Maybe integration is a way off yet :roll:
AUTHOR crust

1355558368 Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:59
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":3hbxeci6]I think Norse America rules feature king captured at the board edge, and only captured by 3 men on the square next to the throne if there's a fourth attacker on the opposite side of the throne.[/quote:3hbxeci6] Yeah, Norse America does write on their home page: [quote:3hbxeci6]The NorseAmerica Viking Game Hnefatafl featuring playing pieces made in England ... comes complete with ... and detailed [i:3hbxeci6]playing instructions that were researched, designed and published by NorseAmerica[/i:3hbxeci6].[/quote:3hbxeci6]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355558936 Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:08
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":32qpgscs]playing pieces made in England ... playing instructions researched, designed and published by NorseAmerica.[/quote:32qpgscs]That's an interesting phenomenon... NorseAmerica must have decided to change the rules. I'll see if I can get hold of a copy. Obviously the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel must wage relentless war on them forever...
AUTHOR crust

1355574714 Sat Dec 15, 2012 13:31
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="crust":223msaoj]I wonder what they would make of our double perpetual check scenario where both players are placing each other in check on alternate moves - not a very likely event I know, but possible![/quote:223msaoj] Even this situation you propose is soluble Captain Crust. Lets suppose black has put white in check, bringing in the third man on the left from elsewhere on the board. Black are forcing white into a board repetition, but white is the player to make the first move of the repetition. Black moves the third man to block the white check, but white started it. So no problem at all, white loses. If one is banning board repetition, white is at fault here, even though their hand has been forced by black.
AUTHOR Adam

1355581102 Sat Dec 15, 2012 15:18
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
[quote="Adam":14qyfoe1]but white started it. [/quote:14qyfoe1] You're right of course, I was only pointing out that with this situation you can't say who is the "aggressor" and so you have to fall back on "who started it" ;)
AUTHOR crust

1355660273 Sun Dec 16, 2012 13:17
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[b:2f2euizw]Hnefatafl in Russia.[/b:2f2euizw] I did a small investigation on which Hnefatafl rules are used in Russia, Russia being also part of the Viking world. A much cited site is: [url:2f2euizw]http://celtica.narod.ru/hnef/default.html[/url:2f2euizw] but the page turns out to be merely a Russian translation of the USA net magazine The Game Cabinet's page about Hnefatafl: [url:2f2euizw]http://www.gamecabinet.com/history/Hnef.html[/url:2f2euizw] The USA page contains statements like "With the smaller board variants, pieces of either color may pass over the Throne; with the larger board variants, only the King may do so." "If the moved piece ends up sandwiching an opposing piece between itself and another piece of the moving color [i:2f2euizw]or a corner square[/i:2f2euizw], the sandwiched piece is removed from the board." "[i:2f2euizw]The Throne, corners and edges count as Black pieces for purposes of sandwiching the King[/i:2f2euizw], so Black needs only three pieces to capture the King on the edge of the board or if he is right beside his Throne, two if the King is right beside a corner square." "Variants. With the smaller boards, a different game is played if the pieces can only move one square at a time. With the larger boards, the King is allowed to escape by simply reaching any edge square rather than a corner square." All this is accurately translated into Russian on the celtica.narod, and these are also the very rules described on the Russian Wikipedia page about Hnefatafl: [url:2f2euizw]http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D5%ED%E5%F4%E0%F2%E0%F4%EB[/url:2f2euizw]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355664628 Sun Dec 16, 2012 14:30
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":38zi1w9i]I suggest we try a test tournament in "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge" in a couple of weeks?[/quote:38zi1w9i] No comments on this yet. I would find that very interesting - but I don't want to be the guy that causes weird tournaments with less popular rule-sets. :) What do other people think, would this version to be interesting to play? Also, a question: The newly available "Skalk 9x9 edge" - I assume the rules are identical to the 11x11 edge version except for board size and starting position? Reason I ask is I saw the old Cartier games have this name also now since the name change, and the rules there are slightly different for the throne.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1355673182 Sun Dec 16, 2012 16:53
SUBJECT Re: About the draw concept
I think a pretty good definition of aggressor is 'he who started it'. But I know what you mean. ;)
AUTHOR Adam

1355822849 Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:27
SUBJECT My old home town!
Looking on the "guestbook" of this site for the first time ever, and what do I find: A public Hnefatafl board in the city center of my old home town! [url:3ihak7nh]http://nwt.se/karlskoga/article964831.ece[/url:3ihak7nh] Article is in Swedish, but nice image with the city councilor (mayor) playing the game.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1355842171 Tue Dec 18, 2012 15:49
SUBJECT Re: My old home town!
[attachment=0:2ug33qvh]tomas alexandersson hnefatafl.jpg[/attachment:2ug33qvh]Wow - I'm glad to see Tomas Alexandersson finished his hnefatafl set - it looks great, although it must be hard to tell the warriors apart if they are all the same colour...
AUTHOR crust

1355862768 Tue Dec 18, 2012 21:32
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[b:2zro54wb]University of Waterloo, Canada, has a Games Museum and also on the internet a Virtual Museum of Games.[/b:2zro54wb] Here's the department on Viking Games: [b:2zro54wb][url:2zro54wb]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/index.html[/url:2zro54wb][/b:2zro54wb] [img:2zro54wb]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/wooden/piecesONboard.jpg[/img:2zro54wb] The collection includes a [b:2zro54wb]Tablut game[/b:2zro54wb] donated to the Museum in 1981, made in Denmark "based on a game from Lapland": [b:2zro54wb][url:2zro54wb]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/wooden/index.html[/url:2zro54wb][/b:2zro54wb] The described rules could be called "Memory Hnefatafl 9x9 edge", i.e. friendly throne, king armed, captured from 4 sides and wins on edge. (The text says "A piece is taken when an opponent piece occupies both adjacent cells in a row or column", which supposedly includes the king). An armed king will, however, make this game seriously unbalanced in favour of the king, but [i:2zro54wb]if the king is unarmed, this is our Sea Battle tafl plus a throne[/i:2zro54wb]. [img:2zro54wb]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/viking/box.jpg[/img:2zro54wb] The collection also includes a [b:2zro54wb]tafl game[/b:2zro54wb] donated to the Museum in 1992 ("the viking game", "produced in York, England, by History Craft Ltd., copyright date 1987"): [b:2zro54wb][url:2zro54wb]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/viking/index.html[/url:2zro54wb][/b:2zro54wb] The described rules are the same as the "Memory Hnefatafl 11x11"; [i:2zro54wb]is this the Norse America tafl?[/i:2zro54wb]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355867423 Tue Dec 18, 2012 22:50
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="conanlibrarian":3oten23q]would this version to be interesting to play?[/quote:3oten23q] I for one would find a test tournament on the "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge" (Skalk 9x9 edge) informative, because this is the most extreme variant of the Skalk family in the favour of white. The Cartier rules are currently not on the variants list, because they're except for small details the same as Skalk 9x9 edge.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1355869834 Tue Dec 18, 2012 23:30
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
Thanks Hagbard for this interesting research.[quote="Hagbard":157v355e](The text says "A piece is taken when an opponent piece occupies both adjacent cells in a row or column", which supposedly includes the king). An armed king will, however, make this game seriously unbalanced in favour of the king, but if the king is unarmed, this is our Sea Battle tafl plus a throne.[/quote:157v355e]I don't think that these rules specify an armed King - I agree they are not very clear, but I reckon what we have here is what we used to call "rachunek" tafl - that is, sea battle plus throne, as you said. You can still play it at Dragonheelslair under the name of "Tablut version 1". [quote="Hagbard":157v355e]is this the Norse America tafl?[/quote:157v355e] As for the History Craft set, the rules given are identical to the ones in my set - not [i:157v355e]Norse America rules[/i:157v355e] (where the king can be captured on the edge) - but more like Fetlar. Again, the rules don't specifically state that the king can't be captured on the edge, but I'm sure they would have mentioned capture on the edge if it WAS allowed. Also, the rules state that the throne is hostile to the king, but don't mention whether or not it is hostile to the warriors. Either interpretation would be logical, with the fetlar throne being a sort of semi-hostile compromise
AUTHOR crust

1355964377 Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:46
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
I'm not sure about calling it "Memory" hnefatafl, because [i:1rx1dml6]Memory.No[/i:1rx1dml6] is just one out of many places around Europe which sell these sets. Would it be better to call it "History Craft Hnefatafl" if we need to differentiate it from Fetlar? Also, it's maybe a bit confusing to call it "memory hnefatafl" just because people will think (as I did) that it has something to do with remembering board positions :) just a thought
AUTHOR crust

1356009759 Thu Dec 20, 2012 14:22
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":2x40wa2j]Would it be better to call it "History Craft Hnefatafl"[/quote:2x40wa2j] There are sites on the net which cast doubt on a couple of details. Though they claim to describe History Craft rules, one gets the impression that the corners are only hostile to the attackers and that the king can be captured on the edge. However, Waterloo Virtual Museum of Games shows [i:2x40wa2j]a photo of the original rules[/i:2x40wa2j] from a game set in the museum's possession, and those rules seem to be the same as the rules in the Memory.no game set. And crust informs that the rules in the photo are also identical to the History Craft rules in his game set. Thus History Craft seems to be the more original source and "History Craft Hnefatafl" is a better name.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356020945 Thu Dec 20, 2012 17:29
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":g75qtax5]There are sites on the net which cast doubt on a couple of details. Though they claim to describe History Craft rules, one gets the impression that the corners are only hostile to the attackers and that the king can be captured on the edge.[/quote:g75qtax5]Norse America are using the History Craft set with their own rules, and this must be causing a bit of confusion here and there. About the Norse America rules: I didn't know about the corners being hostile only to attackers, that's quite an interesting idea and might help restore the game balance, as we know already that if the King can be captured on the board edge, it unbalances the game somewhat in favour of black. If the corners are only hostile to black, then the king can't be captured on the square next to the corner by 2 attackers, so the "porch of peril" is ruled out. It could be worth trying these rules... (some time)... :D
AUTHOR crust

1356082375 Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:32
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":32h2vi86]It could be worth trying these rules[/quote:32h2vi86] If Norse America have their own rules, we'll implement them as a variant. I've come to the view that it makes sense to focus on the commercial Hnefatafl game sets. By and large, internet pages on Hnefatafl echo those - somebody met the game in some commercial version, became fascinated by the game and wrote a page about it on the internet (the present site also started that way, based on Skalk 11x11). The commercial game sets for their part are presumably based on academic books and articles and professionals (fx. the Skalk version is).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356105727 Fri Dec 21, 2012 17:02
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[b:3qk84hpq]Origin of the Skalk Hnefatafl version.[/b:3qk84hpq] In Denmark is an archaeological magazine named Skalk. Connected to Skalk is a publishing firm named Wormianum. In 1992 Wormianum published the book: Karsten Kjer Michaelsen: "Bræt og brik, Spil i jernalderen", Wormianum 1992. (Board and piece, Games in the iron age). The author of the book is a Danish professional archaeologist and curator and writes in the preface: [quote:3qk84hpq] "I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank [5 collegues] for ... cheerful hours at the Hnefatafl board. ... The game 'Hnefatafl', which is discussed in the last chapter of the book, is in 1980 attempted reconstructed by David Brown, Oxford, with whose kind permission the game rules are printed - here, however, in adapted form. Testing the game has led to adjustment of the rules."[/quote:3qk84hpq] The Hnefatafl game rules, as mentioned printed in the last chapter of the book, are absolutely identical to the enclosed rules in the Skalk Hnefatafl game set sold from the Skalk shop and from museum shops. (Someone uploaded them to the internet here: [url:3qk84hpq]http://ekg.dynalias.com/media-Internal/Spel/Nefatavl/.aggdir/sl_Nefatavl-2.html[/url:3qk84hpq] ) [i:3qk84hpq]So: the Skalk Hnefatafl version dates from 1992 and was written by Michaelsen, modified from an earlier work by Brown 1980.[/i:3qk84hpq] We have encountered "the British connection" of Hnefatafl; seems fair that the current world champion is British! [b:3qk84hpq]I wonder what the original rules by Brown looked like?[/b:3qk84hpq] [img:3qk84hpq]http://shop.skalk.dk/Graphics/Products/56_m.jpg[/img:3qk84hpq]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356138488 Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:08
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":24o83z2k]Karsten Kjer Michaelsen: "Bræt og brik, Spil i jernalderen", Wormianum 1992. (Board and piece, Games in the iron age). The author of the book is a Danish professional archaeologist and writes in the preface: "I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank [5 collegues] for ... cheerful hours at the Hnefatafl board...The game 'Hnefatafl', which is discussed in the last chapter of the book, is in 1980 attempted reconstructed by David Brown, Oxford, with whose kind permission the game rules are printed - here, however, in adapted form. Testing the game has led to adjustment of the rules."[/quote:24o83z2k] I think this may be the same David Brown who founded Oxbow books (archaeological bookseller), in Oxford UK, after some time working as an archaeologist in the field and at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (a very prestigious institution). I found this article at: [url:24o83z2k]http://www.archaeology.co.uk/blog/andrew-selkirk/oxbow.htm[/url:24o83z2k] [i:24o83z2k]Oxbow books will be well known to most British archaeologists as our foremost seller of archaeological books, both new and second-hand. They are also a leading publisher of specialised and semi popular archaeological books ... David Brown was formerly a curator at the Ashmolean Museum and carried out an important excavation of an Anglo-Saxon church at Cirencester. He started selling archaeological books in his spare time in 1983, setting up book stalls, which always looked extremely enticing, at archaeological meetings. Then, greatly daring, he decided in 1988 to go into bookselling full-time, giving up his secure position at the Ashmolean. The new business was a great success. He expanded first into a large shed at the bottom of his garden, then into small premises in Oxford and then into his present large premises at Park End Place in Oxford, down by the railway station. Then came the most difficult part of the whole process – the expansion into America. ... Oxbow now publishes a huge range of archaeological reports, and is increasingly expanding into general archaeological books. Thus Oxbow has become not only the largest archaeological bookseller in Europe and one of the largest distributors of archaeological books in America, but is also one of the largest archaeological book publishers. It is hard to think that David Brown will retire completely. “What me?” he writes. “Well, I shall be around, involved in various ways but only as required. After 22 years, it is time for someone else to be running things.” Congratulations, and good luck![/i:24o83z2k] I apologize for the length of this excerpt, but I thought it was interesting, particularly the detail that Brown had worked on an Anglo-Saxon dig in Cirencester, possibly in the late 70's or early 80's, which is when this "attempted reconstruction" of hnefatafl was made by someone called David Brown, which inspired the Skalk hnefatafl game. History Craft Ltd. is also based in Cirencester, this could just be a coincidence of course. But History Craft must have got their rules from somewhere, too, and if these two David Browns are indeed the same person, then an intriguing possibility suggests itself - he may have played a part in originating the History Craft rules as well as the Skalk rules. The differences could be explained by Michaelsen's admission that he modified the rules himself from Brown's original rule set. I realise this is a very tenuous tissue of assumptions - I'm only advancing it as a possibility. Some more research could be fruitful.
AUTHOR crust

1356141419 Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:56
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Found this account from 1999 of a visit to Jorvik Viking Museum in York, UK: [i:14ma3m14]In the museum they had people playing Viking characters and a couple of them did an excellent job. We learned to play Hnefatafl (pronounced nef-tafle which means ‘Knave’s table’). It’s played on a 13x13 square board and the attacker has 24 knaves while the defender has 12 knaves and one king. Knaves can move as many spaces horizontally or vertically as they wish until they run into an edge or another piece. The king can only move one or two spaces at a time. The object is for the defender to get their king to one of the corner squares and for the attackers to capture the king. Knaves are captured by surrounding the captured knave on two opposite and adjacent squares. The king must be captured by surrounding him on all four squares (unless the King is against an edge). For purposes of capture and movement the courners are assumed to be occupied by white. Strategy for the attacker involves first defending all the corners. The white (defender) pieces start in a diamond shape surrounding the king on the center square. The browns (attackers) start in four groups of six: on each side of the board five men are centered along the side, then on man sits in front of the others in the center of the group. [/i:14ma3m14] (from [url:14ma3m14]http://www.leafpile.com/TravelLog/EuropeTravelItinerary_England.html[/url:14ma3m14] ) It sounds like an odd variant - the large board and the slow king would make for long and possibly tedious games, and I can't see how the king has any hope of reaching a corner before the attackers block them all off! I met some folks from Jorvik at a Viking Festival once, they explained their rules to me and I remember they sounded unfamiliar (I only knew the Fetlar rules in those days!). Incidentally, it had never occurred to me before that the mysterious word "Hnefi" could be cognate with "Knave" - Sounds plausible, and I also found this etymology for [i:14ma3m14][b:14ma3m14]"Knave"[/b:14ma3m14] (n.) O.E. cnafa "boy, male servant," common Germanic (cf. O.H.G. knabo "boy, youth, servant," Ger. knabe "boy, lad," also probably related to O.E. cnapa "boy, youth, servant," O.N. knapi "servant boy," Du. knaap "a youth, servant," M.H.G. knappe "a young squire," Ger. Knappe "squire, shield-bearer").[u:14ma3m14][b:14ma3m14] The original meaning might have been "stick, piece of wood"[/b:14ma3m14][/u:14ma3m14] [Klein]. Sense of "rogue, rascal" first recorded c.1200. In playing cards, "the jack," 1560s.[/i:14ma3m14] Am I imagining it, or did that etymology suggest that "knave" might once have meant a piece of wood... a gaming piece, for instance...?
AUTHOR crust

1356163471 Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:04
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
Available from Jorvik Viking Museum, York, UK at £19.99: [i:2sj1xc4e]Hnefatafl - The Viking Game ... Hnefatafl dates from the Viking period, and although much of its history is patchy, much has now been discovered through archaeology. The game includes a cloth printed board and cast figures for the playing pieces, plus full rules and instructions for play. Suitable for ages 10 and up.[/i:2sj1xc4e] I love the hilarious picture, which suggests they have no idea how to play.... probably just the photographer in a hurry. :lol:
AUTHOR crust

1356164668 Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:24
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
Also found this, from [url:2mr725pf]http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteredin/4046071440/[/url:2mr725pf] in the comments below, someone wrote: [i:2mr725pf]I used to play games on that very table as part of my job at Jorvik. Great times! ...the rules are very simple. All the pieces move in the same way (like a rook in chess), though in some variations the King (big piece in the middle) can only move one square at a time. His side win if he reaches a corner square and the others win by surrounding the King on 4 sides[/i:2mr725pf]. Looks like they have one variant for sale in the shop (History Craft version) and a different one on show in the museum itself - this is clearly a 13x13 board
AUTHOR crust

1356164819 Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:26
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
13x13 set in use in Jorvik Viking Museum, York, UK. They sell the standard History Craft 11x11 set in the shop, however
AUTHOR crust

1356262416 Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:33
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":1b678laz]Looks like they have one variant for sale in the shop (History Craft version) and a different one on show in the museum itself - this is clearly a 13x13 board[/quote:1b678laz] As in Roskilde museum: on the photo is a pile of Memory.no (History Craft) Hnefatafl game boxes with enclosed History Craft rules, but beside the boxes the museum shows the Skalk rules (grey paper), and in the exhibition hall is a Hnefatafl game table for the museum guests also showing the Skalk rules. So also in the museums, Hnefatafl is met as a collection of variants (not always been this way - when I first met Hnefatafl in the Danish museums, it was only Skalk everywhere). [img:1b678laz]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DoUsV4aQTXA/UFRUfA65OgI/AAAAAAAAHM8/4eScm158fCk/s640/IMG_0634.JPG[/img:1b678laz]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356450234 Tue Dec 25, 2012 16:43
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[b:3poj5g47]Origin of the Foteviken Lapp Tablut.[/b:3poj5g47] On his internet page about Hnefatafl, [b:3poj5g47][url:3poj5g47]http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/[/url:3poj5g47][/b:3poj5g47], Sten Helmfrid clears up the origin of the Tablut game as played at the Fotevikens Museum in Scania, Sweden. Helmfrid writes, that "When Riksutställningar, the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions, made an exhibition on Games and Gambling in 1972, they reconstructed the game" Tablut over again from Linné's diary. Helmfrid requested and received those reconstructed rules from Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm. The rules from Riksutställningar contained several options, of which Helmfrid writes that he chose the best working set and arrived at these well-defined Tablut rules: [b:3poj5g47][url:3poj5g47]http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/#Return%20from%201[/url:3poj5g47][/b:3poj5g47] The Tablut rules on the Helmfrid page happen to be the same as the Foteviken Tablut rules, translated into English here: [b:3poj5g47][url:3poj5g47]http://aagenielsen.dk/tablut_rules_english.html[/url:3poj5g47][/b:3poj5g47] [img:3poj5g47]http://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/art_50_99/photo/art84/hne_fig2.gif[/img:3poj5g47]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356862869 Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:21
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
[b:3vqycnie]Growing gaming activity![/b:3vqycnie] This diagram shows the tafl gaming activity of the latest two years (humans against humans), measured as number of tafl moves done per week. Probably the rapid activity growth during this year (2012) reflects the fundamental changes of technique on the site, which facilitated the gaming. [img:3vqycnie]http://aagenielsen.dk/taflaktivitet.png[/img:3vqycnie]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1356970706 Mon Dec 31, 2012 17:18
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
[quote="Hagbard":1zjwdwnn]rapid activity growth during this year (2012)[/quote:1zjwdwnn]Congratulations Hagbard, I hope your website goes from strength to strength.
AUTHOR crust

1359717633 Fri Feb 1, 2013 12:20
SUBJECT Re: Sea Battle tafl
[size=150:1hvgjctr]Evaluation of Sea Battle 9x9 test tournament December 2012.[/size:1hvgjctr] Seven players did the tournament without timeouts and played with each other 42 games, the results being white (defenders) 23 wins, black (attackers) 19 wins. [b:1hvgjctr]So, again the Sea Battle balance comes out fine.[/b:1hvgjctr] This result applies also to the "Rachunek" variant, which differs only in having a throne square, affecting the balance very little. By the way the "Rachunek" variant goes much further back than the Czech gaming site. [b:1hvgjctr]Such a game, quality manufactured, was produced in Denmark before 1981[/b:1hvgjctr], already discussed on this forum here: [url:1hvgjctr]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=150#p658[/url:1hvgjctr] [url:1hvgjctr]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=150#p660[/url:1hvgjctr] According to the University of Waterloo, Canada, the rules should be the same as those used on the Rachunek site (when presumably the king is unarmed). But take a look at the board: [img:1hvgjctr]http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Vikings/Tafl/wooden/board.jpg[/img:1hvgjctr] No marked center square throne, no marked forbidden squares at all, just a slight marking of the pieces' starting positions; [b:1hvgjctr]this board is a Sea Battle board![/b:1hvgjctr]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1359720437 Fri Feb 1, 2013 13:07
SUBJECT Re: Foteviken Lapp Tablut
"Swedish tablut" changed name into "Foteviken Lapp Tablut".
AUTHOR Hagbard

1359720789 Fri Feb 1, 2013 13:13
SUBJECT Re: Foteviken Lapp Tablut
[size=150:1li6zsd8]Evaluation of Foteviken Lapp Tablut test tournament December 2012.[/size:1li6zsd8] Seven players did the tournament without timeouts and played with each other 42 games, the results being white (defenders) 25 wins, black (attackers) 17 wins. The four highest rated players alone did 12 games: 6 white wins and 6 black wins. With Fetlar we saw that the black side was very difficult for beginners, maybe it's similar here. [quote="crust":1li6zsd8]Foteviken Tablut is in accord with our experience of other tafl forms - beginners find the game unbalanced in favour of white (defenders), but experienced players find the game much better balanced.[/quote:1li6zsd8] [i:1li6zsd8]Foteviken Lapp Tablut is rated from now on.[/i:1li6zsd8]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1359753380 Fri Feb 1, 2013 22:16
SUBJECT Re: Foteviken Lapp Tablut
[quote="Hagbard":u3zzo1ry]Foteviken Lapp Tablut is rated from now on[/quote:u3zzo1ry] Excellent news. Another life-form to add to our tafl zoo. Good researching, everyone. Who would have thought it could be so much fun being a guinea-pig?
AUTHOR crust

1359790289 Sat Feb 2, 2013 8:31
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[size=150:2543kq5h]Evaluation of Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9 test tournament December - January 2013.[/size:2543kq5h] Eight players did the tournament without timeouts and played with each other 56 games, the results being white (defenders) 31 wins, black (attackers) 25 wins. [b:2543kq5h]So, Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9 is well balanced and can be rated.[/b:2543kq5h] [quote="conanlibrarian":2543kq5h]Since Scandinavian Museums Edge is the variant closest to known historical variants ... With closest I meant in the general sense of two sided king capture, and escape to edge. Although there is no historical support for either four-sided capture, corner escape, or weaponless king, it is a fact that the two-sided king capture/edge escape combination has seen the least amount of play in modern times. ... So you are right, to say that there is no historical support for corner escape is too strong a claim. I should rather have said that historically attested rules and description give no support to corner escape. ... What about "Scandinavian Museum 9x9 Edge", or Cartier Tablut? Very little experience, but perhaps worth giving it another chance, given the tournament experience? The smaller board should give white a better chance compared to "Scandinavian Museum 11x11 Edge".[/quote:2543kq5h] It was indeed a good idea, conanlibrarian, to give the Scandinavian Museum Edge 9x9 (now called Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9) another chance. The thorough test tournament approved the balance. [size=150:2543kq5h]This result applies also to the "Cartier" variant[/size:2543kq5h], which differs only in that the throne is non-reenterable and non-passable, affecting the balance very little. In 2011 Nicolas Cartier, France, took a critical look at the paper on Tablut by John C. Ashton, and Cartier arrived at a somewhat different conclusion: a Tablut rules set which is really Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9 with a non-reenterable and non-passable throne. In November 2011 Nicolas Cartier sent me these emails together with his article: [quote:2543kq5h]Hello I am Nicolas Cartier, I am french! I read the work of John Ashton about the tablut's rules. His article was very interesting and your website too. I play the games on your site and the Ashton's tablut is well-balanced but I do not agree with John Ashton's interpretation of embroidered squares. I think that the muscovites squares are not citadels. I send you my rules of tablut in French. Sorry, my knowledge of english and danish is not good. Nicolas Hello My article was not published in a magazine and you can't find it on a website. My rules were made from texts (Linneaus or Robert Ap Ifan) or archaeological finds. I never test my rules in a real game. I send you this article because I want to know if my rules are well balanced. I need your help and your opinion. You have permission to use this article on your website. Nicolas Cartier[/quote:2543kq5h] Nicolas Cartier's article on Tablut: [url:2543kq5h]http://aagenielsen.dk/Cartier-IterLapponicum.pdf[/url:2543kq5h] Nicolas Cartier's Tablut rules translated into English: [url:2543kq5h]http://aagenielsen.dk/TablutrulesbyCartier.pdf[/url:2543kq5h] [i:2543kq5h]So, the test tournament came out well for the Cartier interpretation![/i:2543kq5h]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1359854790 Sun Feb 3, 2013 2:26
SUBJECT Re: Sea Battle tafl
[quote="Hagbard":24y8iwf5]No marked center square throne, no marked forbidden squares at all, just a slight marking of the pieces' starting positions; this board is a Sea Battle board![/quote:24y8iwf5]I think you're right! One would expect, if the centre square is restricted or hostile, to see some kind of distinguishing mark which differentiates it from the other squares. Without such marking, it should be Sea Battle!
AUTHOR crust

1360246724 Thu Feb 7, 2013 15:18
SUBJECT Re: Comparison between real time and correspond. game forma
The games archive has for the period Dec. 23rd 2010 till Feb. 25th 2013 stored 2409 games, 95455 moves The human-against-human function was ready Feb. 25th 2010. The games of the period Feb. 25th till Dec. 22nd 2010 were not archived, the gaming activity was however very similar to the activity of the first part of year 2011. A best estimate is therefore, that during the unrecorded period were played about 590 games, about 23000 moves. [b:qk2omrvz]So, the diligent community on this site has from the start Feb. 25th 2010 until Feb. 25th 2013 played about 3000 tafl games, 118000 moves![/b:qk2omrvz]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1361496517 Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:28
SUBJECT English Hnefatafl Championship 2013
On Sunday 18th August 2013 a Hnefatafl tournament will be held at the ancient Saxon burial site of Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK. This is to be known as the English Hnefatafl Championship, presented by Ealdfaeder Anglo-Saxons in partnership with the National Trust and the World Tafl Federation. Rules used for the tournament will be the same as the Fetlar Championships, i.e. the Fetlar rules. There is no entrance fee for the tournament, but an entrance fee is payable to the National Trust for access to the Sutton Hoo site. Senior and Junior tournaments will run, prizes to be confirmed. Umpire and tutor will be Tim Millar (there are some who call him... "Crust") more details: [url:opqa76eu]http://www.ealdfaeder.org/v03/hnefatafl.html[/url:opqa76eu] Anyone interested in competing is encouraged to fill in the entry form.
AUTHOR crust

1362274304 Sun Mar 3, 2013 2:31
SUBJECT Re: Poll: to decide on the name for our group.
Sorry, i'm late..... I worked very hard....i've palyed at home with Epoc and other friends, but sorry for my absence here. I hope to return to play. i suppose is it not important, but i vote...World Tafl Forum WTF! If i can do something for you i'm here!
AUTHOR Sybil

1362275071 Sun Mar 3, 2013 2:44
SUBJECT Re: Advices?
i hope!
AUTHOR Sybil

1362275450 Sun Mar 3, 2013 2:50
SUBJECT Ludus latrunculorum
Hi everyone, i come from Italy and i'm a researcher of history, i also teach Latin and Italian. I'm working on the latin language, I showed my students the Hnefatafl 's game and together we tried to understand if the Latin version was different and if it could rebuild. There was, i saw, the Italian version of the game, but I like to work on a historical research on Latin "latrunculi"' sgame. Do you already have something? Are you interested? Can I do anything? Sorry for my english!
AUTHOR Sybil

1362296408 Sun Mar 3, 2013 8:40
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
[quote="Sybil":1uuyrfoy] I showed my students the Hnefatafl 's game and together we tried to understand if the Latin version was different and if it could rebuild. There was, i saw, the Italian version of the game, but I like to work on a historical research on Latin "latrunculi"' sgame. Do you already have something?[/quote:1uuyrfoy] [i:1uuyrfoy]Robert Charles Bell's book "Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations", published 1960, republished 1969 and 1979[/i:1uuyrfoy], has a chapter about the Roman board game Ludus Latrunculorum. Ludus Latrunculorum is considered to be the immediate predecessor to the Scandinavian tafl game. In ancient times there were connections between the Roman Empire and Scandinavia to the extent that the period 0-400 of Denmark's past is called [i:1uuyrfoy]the Roman Iron Age[/i:1uuyrfoy]. And so one of the many things that flowed up here from the Roman Empire was the board game Ludus Latrunculorum, but transformed into the Scandinavian game tafl. The Berserk Hnefatafl variant, which was shaped here on this site to be used with the special Bergen Museum game pieces, introduces (reintroduces?) several features taken directly from Latrunculorum: there's the berserk moves, and the behaviour of the commanders is that of the Latrunculorum Duxes.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1362349285 Sun Mar 3, 2013 23:21
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
Thank you Hagbard! i know, but i search latin sources, italian studies and i would like show you the result, if you retain it interesting ...i'll do it!
AUTHOR Sybil

1362441945 Tue Mar 5, 2013 1:05
SUBJECT I dont know
I was talking with Ric Snead about Fetlar rules who said: There is a wrinkle in their ruleset that allows 2 men to 'camp' on the edge, gumming up the works with no possibility of capture. I have never had a prob with this.
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1362614268 Thu Mar 7, 2013 0:57
SUBJECT Re: I dont know
Hello Chuck Not just Fetlar rules - this is a feature of all rule sets except Copenhagen, where the shieldwall rule allows capture of a pair or row of pieces at the edge. In all other variants, two pieces together at the board edge are impregnable. But like you said, I never had a problem with this either.
AUTHOR crust

1362679893 Thu Mar 7, 2013 19:11
SUBJECT Is there an app for this?
Anyone know how to make apps/ mobile versions of pages? Would be a good addition to the site me thinks.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362680149 Thu Mar 7, 2013 19:15
SUBJECT Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
Thought I would give this move a try and pulled it off. [img:1fcm7z4u]http://aagenielsen.dk/braetstilling2gif.php?spil=6&pw=6059&flerepkt=g_6,1_2,1&slaaetpkt=x&stilling=z,11,11_f,5,5_f,0,0_f,0,10_f,10,0_f,10,10_s,0,2_s,0,4_s,0,5_s,1,1_s,1,5_h,2,1_s,2,6_s,3,0_s,3,6_s,3,7_s,3,8_h,4,0_h,4,7_h,4,8_s,4,9_s,5,0_h,5,2_h,5,3_k,5,5_h,5,7_h,5,8_s,5,9_s,5,10_s,6,0_h,6,2_h,6,3_h,6,6_s,6,8_s,7,0_s,7,1_s,7,7_s,8,2_s,8,5_s,8,6_s,9,4_s,10,3&height=452&width=452&lillegif=0&vundet=0&spiltype=15[/img:1fcm7z4u]
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362693620 Thu Mar 7, 2013 23:00
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
And the towers in action. [img:151sz3jj]http://aagenielsen.dk/braetstilling2gif.php?spil=6&pw=6059&flerepkt=g_5,4_5,6&slaaetpkt=x&stilling=z,11,11_f,5,5_f,0,0_f,0,10_f,10,0_f,10,10_s,0,2_s,0,4_s,0,5_s,1,1_s,1,5_s,2,0_s,2,6_s,3,1_s,3,7_s,3,8_h,4,7_h,4,8_s,4,9_s,5,1_h,5,2_h,5,3_k,5,6_h,5,7_h,5,8_s,5,9_s,5,10_s,6,0_h,6,2_h,6,3_s,6,8_s,7,0_s,7,1_s,7,7_s,8,2_s,8,5_s,8,6_s,9,3_s,9,4&height=452&width=452&lillegif=0&vundet=0&spiltype=15[/img:151sz3jj]
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362751241 Fri Mar 8, 2013 15:00
SUBJECT To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
I am in the situation where a draw is inevitable but the option for draw has not shown up. Anyone know how or when that will be avail?
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362752568 Fri Mar 8, 2013 15:22
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
[quote="skallatorc":2zxxva42]I am in the situation where a draw is inevitable but the option for draw has not shown up. Anyone know how or when that will be avail?[/quote:2zxxva42] That's because all black pieces are still on the board. In a discussion some time ago it was decided that white is allowed to obtain a draw only when at least two black pieces are killed; generally for all variants. So while the position is indeed a fine Two Towers draw position, alas white lost because two black pieces were not killed.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1362781552 Fri Mar 8, 2013 23:25
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
Well, I pulled it off but due to rules applied in the past, I pulled it off but cannot force a draw because I didn't take out two of the enemy. Regardless, I pulled it off!
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362815525 Sat Mar 9, 2013 8:52
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
well, it's really great to see one finally. This is the loch ness monster of draw-forts.
AUTHOR crust

1362860391 Sat Mar 9, 2013 21:19
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
Going to have to chance my nick to Torc of the Two Towers! :)
AUTHOR skallatorc

1362935158 Sun Mar 10, 2013 18:05
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
[quote="Hagbard":1ezg1st3]white is allowed to obtain a draw only when at least two black pieces are killed;[/quote:1ezg1st3]Does that apply also when the draw is a stalemate? I mean, when white can't move because the king is blocked in at the board edge, normally that would be a draw by stalemate, but if white has not already captured two black warriors, I suppose the two-warriors rule turns this into a win for black? This has happened in a couple of games recently sybil/fraech 88 moves, and epoc/jurgen 97 moves. Perhaps some of us don't fully understand this rule? In both of these games, white lost because of the two-warriors rule. This would come as a surprise to some players, who would expect the result to be a draw! [attachment=1:1ezg1st3]sybilfraech.png[/attachment:1ezg1st3][attachment=0:1ezg1st3]epocjurgen.png[/attachment:1ezg1st3] As a side issue, what about giving each game a code number, so it can easily be found in the archive?
AUTHOR crust

1362936996 Sun Mar 10, 2013 18:36
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
actually the epoc/jurgen game above should be a draw because several black pieces have gone
AUTHOR crust

1362941283 Sun Mar 10, 2013 19:48
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
There is an issue with the white-is-blocked-and-cannot-move situation. The rules description for Hnefatafl 11x11 (Norse America?) normally calls this a black win, as fx. in this reference: [url:38xb67k6]http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~aldrich/courses/654-sp09/assignments/rules-spec.doc[/url:38xb67k6] ("Also, if one player cannot move, the other player wins."). Likewise does the Skalk rules description ("Black has also won if the situation arises that all white's pieces have been rendered immobile by encirclement."). Maybe it's a bit too chess-like sophisticated to call it a draw when white in this way is completely passivized. Perhaps a viking would rather call it a case of "you lost!" ? The situation is not as yet handled by the software. The situation leaves it to the players to use either the "Offer draw" button or the "Resign" button. [quote="crust":38xb67k6]As a side issue, what about giving each game a code number, so it can easily be found in the archive?[/quote:38xb67k6] There's a time stamp to each game, which can identify the game, fx.: "Pedro / Warren. Hnefatafl 11x11, 58 moves, 2010-12-29 16:34:40, white won (Pedro)"
AUTHOR Hagbard

1363002399 Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:46
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
[quote="Hagbard":15ndc3qc]There is an issue with the white-is-blocked-and-cannot-move situation.[/quote:15ndc3qc]Thanks for your reply Hagbard. There does seem to be a little confusion here - probably it's me that's confused. It's true that in most cases, as long as black is not too careless, this type of stalemate draw can be avoided anyway, by carefully leaving a space for white to move into. And it seems a bit unreasonable for white to demand a draw this way, when clearly white is in a losing position. If we say that white loses if all white pieces are immobilised, then that does lead to more possible winning positions for black. For instance, in Fetlar rules, if white has lost all pieces except the king, we would now say that the king COULD be captured on an edge square, by being immobilised there. This also applies if the king is trapped at the board edge with one or more of his warriors. I think this is quite a big change in the rules, at least as far as Fetlar is concerned. I'm not saying I'm against it, actually it seems quite reasonable, especially since all it is doing is shortening the game by two or three moves without affecting the result (assuming that black would win anyway, by leaving a moving space and forcing the king away from the edge) ...but we might need a bit of rule-book-updating. It's odd that this is coming up in several games just now! [quote="Hagbard":15ndc3qc]There's a time stamp to each game, which can identify the game[/quote:15ndc3qc] Of course, I had not thought of using the time stamp! Thanks
AUTHOR crust

1363033969 Mon Mar 11, 2013 21:32
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
I for one enjoy carefully levering kings off the board edge in order to safely execute them. Conversely it's something of a thrill when black gets it wrong and the king suddenly escapes. I think that if black is careless enough to allow the stalemate position then they should be punished with a draw in what is clearly otherwise a black win, otherwise how will they learn to play better? There are already versions that make total encirclement a black win, so no need to alter the others to match. Copenhagen is still my preferred solution to all such problems. Having said that, it would be a way of streamlining the rule sets a bit. Immobilized pieces = loss. On reflection it's probably a good blanket rule.
AUTHOR Adam

1363038622 Mon Mar 11, 2013 22:50
SUBJECT Re: Is there an app for this?
I mostly play this site in my iphone through the safari web browser. Works pretty well. I keep my logged in page open as a web browser tab, and make the logged in page into an app icon. The interface is a bit clunky as an iphone app, but you get used to it. I tend to double tap the board between all moves to get the board to fill the screen, otherwise its a bit small to play comfortably.
AUTHOR Adam

1363039918 Mon Mar 11, 2013 23:11
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
Hi Sybil, if you or any of your latin students are interested, there is a lovely manuscript depicting a poorly understood version of hnefatafl called alea evangelii. I have been unable to find a complete translation of all the annotations on and around the very enigmatic diagram of the board, and I have a hope that they may shed some light onto the hnefatafl game in general, and its links to Ludus latrunculorum in particular. The full manuscript can be viewed in high resolution here: MS. 122 'The Corpus Irish Gospels', 12th century. http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=c ... ript=ms122 The page showing the game board is about 5 pages in. I have read that it is an esoteric text using the game as a metaphor for the gospels. However, I suspect that with some clever reverse engineering we who have played the game for many years might find some hints for game play and rules.
AUTHOR Adam

1363043951 Tue Mar 12, 2013 0:19
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
Ciao Sybil, Damian Walker has written about Ludus Latrunculorum on his "Cyningstan" website, and there is an applet of the game you can play (though it doesn't seem to work on my computer)[url:2ewx6yhw]http://boardgames.cyningstan.org.uk/play.php?id=66[/url:2ewx6yhw]
AUTHOR crust

1363082390 Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:59
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
Sorry, I am not getting this: even without the new rules, how could you ever hope forcing a draw here? What is stopping the attacker from closing in and immobilizing the defender, thus either dismantling the "towers" or pinning the king on the throne?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1363084531 Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:35
SUBJECT Re: To draw of not to draw...where is the option?
There is also a third option that can be considered - i.e. that the player that can not move have to pass, and the turn go back to the other player again. But in the end, I think a loss for the immobilized player, as in Skalk, is the best option, since it shortens an already decided game. In the same spirit I think that once a player is completely enclosed he [i:11kod2vc]should[/i:11kod2vc] resign (assuming draw forts are not possible or allowed).
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1363096328 Tue Mar 12, 2013 14:52
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
[quote="conanlibrarian":324gfhw0]Sorry, I am not getting this[/quote:324gfhw0]I know, it doesn't look like it can possibly work, but it does. The only way you can prove it to yourself is by trying it on a real board :D then you'll see how cunning it is.
AUTHOR crust

1363102881 Tue Mar 12, 2013 16:41
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
Got it now. Cute. ;)
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1363443928 Sat Mar 16, 2013 15:25
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Aye. Aluric
AUTHOR Aluric

1363614997 Mon Mar 18, 2013 14:56
SUBJECT Re: Pulled off a successful "Two Towers"
When the enemy tried to occupy f5 or f7 the king can return to the throne for the capture. I managed to capture one of the two needed to force the draw but he was not fool enough to loose another, so I had to resign,
AUTHOR skallatorc

1363616059 Mon Mar 18, 2013 15:14
SUBJECT Avail online/email free form Tafl game
I might have listed this before but could not find it, so I'll post it again. Years back I got frustrated with the lack of online playable Tafl games. This was before I happened on Dragonheel's and found that this site added the human option. I had found a site called Vassal Engine and after some tinkering, I created Tafl for the engine. http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Hnefatafl It hasn't seen much activity to my knowledge but it came back to mind when the discussion of teaching lessons came up. On the current system here you can teach but you cannot take moves back and the outcome effects ones standings in the ranks (with exception of my last place standing). With this mod, it is nothing more than a board and pieces. This gives the opportunity to make moves, take them back, try out tactics and the like without the restraints or rank effects. It can be done as a live play or email the file after each move. It also logs conversations, so discussion can be done for teaching, taunting or general bsing. I would like to request have it sponsored by the WTF if the membership would find it useful.
AUTHOR skallatorc

1365780225 Fri Apr 12, 2013 17:23
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
Thank you !!
AUTHOR Sybil

1366742412 Tue Apr 23, 2013 20:40
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
[b:2t8hzcot][size=150:2t8hzcot]The Skalk 11x11 test tournament is completed.[/size:2t8hzcot][/b:2t8hzcot] One game timed out after 68 moves but clearly black would've won. So, nine players did the Skalk 11x11 test tournament and played against each other 72 games, the results being: 13 white wins (defenders) (18%) 56 black wins (attackers) (78%) 3 draws (4%) [b:2t8hzcot]These numbers indicate a real heavy unbalance of Skalk 11x11 in favour of the attackers.[/b:2t8hzcot] [i:2t8hzcot]The five highest rated players out of the nine didn't lose a single game as black,[/i:2t8hzcot] and the sixth and seventh lost only two and one games as blacks. That is, [b:2t8hzcot]for strong players the balance here is white 0% - black 100%...![/b:2t8hzcot] The Skalk 11x11 rules have been of great influence in Denmark, and possibly in Scandinavia. They were stated in the book "Bræt og brik, Spil i jernalderen", Wormianum 1992 (Board and Piece, Games in the Iron Age), and the same rules are repeated in the later collection of old board games "Den store spillebog", 2000 (The Great Game Book). The Norwegian Arild Hauge publishes the Skalk 11x11 rules on his web site: [url:2t8hzcot]http://www.arild-hauge.com/vikingspill.htm[/url:2t8hzcot] and states as the source of the rules The Archaeological Museum in Stavanger, Norway. The open air museum Jernalderlandsbyen (The Iron Age Village) in Funen, Denmark, uses the Skalk 11x11 rules: [url:2t8hzcot]http://www.jernalderlandsbyen.dk/undervisning/jernalderspil/hnefatafl[/url:2t8hzcot] So does the open air museum Land of Legends in Lejre, Denmark. The game version with enclosed Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11 rules was sold from museum shops in Denmark for twenty years (1992 until recently), and also in rest of Scandinavia. This photo from Roskilde Viking Ship Museum September 2012 shows a mix of two rules sets. The game box is produced by the firm Memory, and the enclosed box rules are the History Craft rules. But beside the box on the grey paper you find the Skalk 11x11 rules. Also, in the exhibition hall where the public can try out the Hnefatafl game, the Skalk 11x11 rules are the rules used. [img:2t8hzcot]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DoUsV4aQTXA/UFRUfA65OgI/AAAAAAAAHM8/4eScm158fCk/s640/IMG_0634.JPG[/img:2t8hzcot] [i:2t8hzcot]One can't but wonder which influence this unbalanced rules set could've had on the reputation of this fine, ancient game as interested players grew more experienced ...![/i:2t8hzcot]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1366800478 Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:47
SUBJECT History Craft Hnefatafl 11x11
[b:uxsl2s57][size=150:uxsl2s57]The History Craft 11x11 test tournament is completed.[/size:uxsl2s57][/b:uxsl2s57] Seven players did the History Craft Hnefatafl 11x11 test tournament and played against each other 42 games, the results being: 25 white wins (defenders) (60%) 16 black wins (attackers) (38%) 1 draws (2%) The History Craft rules seem to favour white, not too unbalanced, I suppose. The five highest rated players out of the seven played against each other 20 games, the results being: 11 white wins (defenders) (55%) 8 black wins (attackers) (40%) 1 draw (5%) So the History Craft game balance improves with player experience. [b:uxsl2s57]For comparison, the Fetlar Hnefatafl Championship tournament 2012.[/b:uxsl2s57] 156 games and 13 participants. Two participants timed out in most of their games. Another participant timed out in three couples of games (each game couple against same opponent). Excluding all these, left are 84 games (42 full game couples). The result of these was: 46 white wins (55%) 30 black wins (36%) 8 draws (9%) The five highest rated players played against each other 20 Fetlar games, the results being: 11 white wins (defenders) (55%) 8 black wins (attackers) (40%) 1 draw (5%) This is same result as for History Craft.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1366816066 Wed Apr 24, 2013 17:07
SUBJECT Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9
[b:37v5osu9][size=150:37v5osu9]The Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 test tournament is completed.[/size:37v5osu9][/b:37v5osu9] Eight players did the Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 test tournament and played against each other 56 games, the results being: 18 white wins (defenders) (32%) 38 black wins (attackers) (68%) The two highest rated players out of the eight didn't lose a single game as black, and the third lost only one game as black. The four highest rated players out of the eight played against each other 12 games, the results being: 1 white wins (defenders) (8%) 11 black wins (attackers) (92%) [i:37v5osu9]So the Skalk 9x9 game balance worsens with player experience.[/i:37v5osu9] [b:37v5osu9]These numbers indicate a severe unbalance in favour of black.[/b:37v5osu9] [img:37v5osu9]http://aagenielsen.dk/gif/start.jpg[/img:37v5osu9] Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 has a special history: In the 1990'ies there was in Sweden a firm called ExpoMedia, which created software for history exhibitions. One of its products was a computer program playing Hnefatafl. The program was also given free on the internet for many years in the form of a web page with a Hnefatafl applet. The page was so popular on the net that it to this day is still referenced from 184 other sites, even though it ceased to exist twelve years ago. The tafl variant used was Skalk 9x9 (with one tiny detail different: the throne was always hostile to everybody, also when occupied by the king. This difference hurts white only, and tips the balance even further.) The picture shows ExpoMedia's board from the old internet game, drawn by a Swedish artist. On the board the word "hnftafl" is carved in runes. Thanks to the Internet Archive the old ExpoMedia page is saved here (dated May 16th, 2001): [b:37v5osu9][url:37v5osu9]http://web.archive.org/web/20010516030110/http://www.expomedia.se/[/url:37v5osu9][/b:37v5osu9] - and you can still see the whole ExpoMedia Hnefatafl site here (try click the links and see the subpages too, the design is impressive): [b:37v5osu9][url:37v5osu9]http://web.archive.org/web/20010603123612/http://www.expomedia.se/tablut/[/url:37v5osu9][/b:37v5osu9]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1366833175 Wed Apr 24, 2013 21:52
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
[quote="Hagbard":149f3p80] [i:149f3p80]One can't but wonder which influence this unbalanced rules set could've had on the reputation of this fine, ancient game as interested players grew more experienced ...![/i:149f3p80][/quote:149f3p80] Quite. Good work everyone, another piece of solid evidence presented to the tafl community.
AUTHOR Adam

1367071506 Sat Apr 27, 2013 16:05
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
Hello. I am a Scandinavian historian and a have extensive knowledge of the sociology of games. About 4 years ago my colleagues and I did some research and "roll-out analysis's" (you backgammon players know what I mean) on this variation. I am in the process of compiling our research again (as we did it just for a footnote) and, when all found, I will post it to this forum. But the jest of it was this... 1) Due to the beliefs of the Norse people, throughout the time this game was played and found in their literature, the king would have been killed with being attacked on 2 sides not 4. It was the belief, at the time, that the king (or tribal leader) was just the best man for the job and not a deity of some sort (like most kings are supposed to receive divine guidance or something). And the religious structure at the time would have defended this as well. Kings were mere mortals, but had the possibility of something greater AFTER death (to paraphrase). 2) Game-play. Being that the attackers have a numerical advantage, the player who was them would have the upper hand. In the class structure of the Norse people at that time they believed in equality in people of the same class (and even women). With that in mind, we believed that a game of Hnefatafl would have been won or lost on the outcome of 2 games. Each player would take their turn as the attackers and defenders in turn. If each player won a game, the tie would be broken 3 different ways. If you both won with the defenders, the person who won with the least amount of turns win. If you both win with the attackers, it goes by least amount of turns once again. In Norse military culture a swift attack (or escape from danger) would be something of valor. They did champion the "Blitzkrieg" attack of the day. And finally if one person won with defenders and the other with the attackers, the defenders (kings side) would be the winner. This is because the lesser numbered army had won. This also held true in the roll-out. 3) Roll-out. Like I said, I do not have the exact numbers as of yet but this is the basics of it. By playing the 2 game "rubbers", it gave the game a kind of duplicate bridge type of numbers. The 68% average score of players it was almost even for wins and losses. But there were outlyers of the people who were just poor at the game, or were either great (or played near perfect strategy). But after looking at the numbers, we deduced that the rubber matches evened the playing field to the point that neither side (defender or attacker) had a significant advantage. Thus this changed the game to a game of who has the better overall decisive strategy, than one of just simply who won or lost a certain game (due to the offset of the respected pieces). I hope this information is helpful for everyone. But you can see the philosophy of the game here. It is about who is better overall and who is more decisive in "battle". This were virtues of the Norse people of that time, and it makes sense for the game. Thank you for reading.
AUTHOR Rynoknight

1367123121 Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:25
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
Hello Rynoknight, Thanks for your post. Very interesting, I hope you don't mind if I ask a question or two? I expect you found with your rules that black (attackers) always wins? You must have had some pretty strong anti-draw rules. Otherwise white (defenders) would always go for a draw, and we already know white can easily force a draw unless forbidden by the rules. Or did you have a lot of drawn games? (by which I mean, drawn single games, not drawn pairs.) With hindsight, I realise that's what I should have done in the tournament. It was interesting that you sought to redress the imbalance by playing pairs of games and counting up the moves to determine the winner. That's an idea I've never encountered before, though it's similar to the idea of counting up the captured pieces for the same purpose. But, doesn't your system change the game-play quite significantly? I mean, if both players know black is going to win anyway, white will either go for a draw if permitted, or otherwise play with the sole aim of wasting as much of black's time as possible, regardless of position or numbers. For instance, by arranging 4 warriors in a square (impregnable) to slow down black's advance. Also, I suppose you would count the number of moves in the first game, and then in the second game all white has to do is to survive until that number of moves has been made, at which point the game would stop. There would be no point in continuing the second game beyond the number of moves made in the first, because if the white player in game 2 has survived up to that point, he wins the pair of games regardless of the eventual outcome of game 2. Sorry to pepper you with questions. I hope to play you again soon, but not Skalk I hope. I strongly prefer those versions of hnefatafl (and there are several) which are well balanced, and provide nearly equal winning chances for both players. p.s. I think it's possible to argue that the chieftain would have been the strongest and best-equipped of the war-band, so you could justify 4-side capture as easily as 2-side. It certainly makes for a more balanced game.
AUTHOR crust

1367371308 Wed May 1, 2013 3:21
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
I still haven't received my information but I will answer the questions the best that I can. We found that by having the "diamond" starting position for the defenders caused a lot of draws and caused the attackers to win, so we ran the big batch of games from the "plus sign (+)" starting position instead. There we found that the it was more of a game than skill. Some people won both of the games in their rubbers (I won every game in every rubber), there were a lot of 1-1 rubbers, and some people lost every time. It kind of followed the normal curve respectively. Talking about the + starting position again. This variation seemed to open the game up more and very different strategies were used by the players. The players however did not have a lot of experience with the game, but were all chess players. This could have skewed the data some obviously. I expect if experienced players played each other, in this variation, the games would turned out a lot different. Like in the chess world championships (a lot of draws) and etc. Just some opinions. I think in warfare the attacker always has the initial upper hand. So that being the case, it would be alright if they had a better chance of winning in this game. But by each player playing an equal amount of games on each side (attacker and defender), the player gets to have his "field strategies" tested in two different fashions. Even if one side, because of rules or whatever, has an upper hand it makes it more awesome when the underdogs win. That is why in our test we claimed that when the defenders win (because this was the perceived underdog and the point of the game) the win was considered 1.5 points. I hope this answers your questions. When I get my info back I will post it for all to see.
AUTHOR Rynoknight

1367526398 Thu May 2, 2013 22:26
SUBJECT Re: Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11
[quote="Rynoknight":1ggblkya] 1) Due to the beliefs of the Norse people, throughout the time this game was played and found in their literature, the king would have been killed with being attacked on 2 sides not 4. It was the belief, at the time, that the king (or tribal leader) was just the best man for the job and not a deity of some sort (like most kings are supposed to receive divine guidance or something). And the religious structure at the time would have defended this as well. Kings were mere mortals, but had the possibility of something greater AFTER death (to paraphrase).[/quote:1ggblkya] Thanks Rynoknight, some interesting suggestions. Most of my thoughts about what you say are well covered by Crust's perceptive questions about the strategies that logically result from paired games where the winner is he who wins in the fewest moves. I'd be very interested to hear what you think about that, as your reply to Crust didn't mention it. In response to your suggestion about having two side king capture in accordance with Norse belief systems, I'd like to put forward an idea I came upon while working with archeologists and viking historians in Vestfold Norway. As you say, "Kings were mere mortals, but had the possibility of something greater AFTER death", this is perhaps the viking concept of 'ettermæle', ones 'legacy' in the form of stories told about your actions down through the ages. In short, how one is remembered. And death in battle was it seems something of a goal in life. According to the viking experts I work with, a viking king or chieftain would rather die than turn tail and flee from a battle field. They say the idea of running away, of ditching your fellow warriors and beating a hasty retreat, was simply not an option for a viking. Vikings expected songs to be sung about their deeds through the ages, and I doubt they would have enjoyed the Monty Python song 'brave sir robin' being dedicated to them: 'when danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled'. So it occurrs to me; that chap in the middle of the hnefatafl board, he is not a viking king. He is some other king or figurehead being attacked by vikings. Or if he does represent a viking king, he represents a coward, a turncoat, not worthy of the viking name. His singular goal in the game, by any understanding of hnefatafl, is to bravely run away. Now, this conclusion is taken directly from an understanding of viking culture. And if one can agree to it being logically consistent, then one can quite reasonably arm that king to the teeth without being in conflict with our understanding of viking culture. And after all, if its equality you want, then the attackers, with no designated king, are your equal vikings, not the defender with a designated king. That said, I for one would be happy to take part in a tournament set up on Aages site according to your rules and suggestions, where moves are counted and games one according to decisive strategy. If such a tournament happens I hope you will join in the fray!
AUTHOR Adam

1368395048 Sun May 12, 2013 23:44
SUBJECT Italian Translation of Hnefatafl, ready!
Hi friends, i translated the rules in italian language, also Epoc helped me. Now i have : - Hnefatafl classic 11 x 11 - Quick start and variations - Historical origin of Hnefatafl Now i proceed to translate Ashton's paper. The files are in pdf fomat. Who can receive these rules to post them for italian players? Crust?Hagbard? Adam? I wait you!
AUTHOR Sybil

1368892150 Sat May 18, 2013 17:49
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[b:10w6qxbp]A measure for game balance could be:[/b:10w6qxbp] (number of most winning color's wins) divided by (number of least winning color's wins), the number positive if white is more winning, negative if black is more winning. Draws are counted as half wins. [b:10w6qxbp]Examples:[/b:10w6qxbp] White wins 20 times and black wins 10 times. Balance = +20/10 = +2 (white has twice the chance of winning than black). White wins 20 times and black wins 30 times. Balance = -30/20 = -1.5 (black has 1.5 times the chance of winning than white). White wins 10 times and black wins 10 times, and 20 draws. Balance = 20/20 = 1 (perfect balance). [b:10w6qxbp]Calculated this way, the series of test tournaments resulted in these game balances:[/b:10w6qxbp] [color=#FF0000:10w6qxbp]+3.25 Hnefatafl 9x9[/color:10w6qxbp] +1.55 History Craft Hnefatafl 11x11 +1.50 Foteviken Lapp Tablut +1.47 Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 +1.32 Skalk Edge Hnefatafl 9x9 +1.21 Sea Battle Tafl 9x9 +1.13 Hnefatafl 11x11 -1.17 Skalk Edge Hnefatafl 11x11 -1.22 Berserk Hnefatafl -1.60 Sea Battle Tafl 11x11 [color=#FF0000:10w6qxbp]-2.25 Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 -3.83 Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11 -5.09 Ashton Lapp Tablut[/color:10w6qxbp] Since Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 (balance +1.47) is accepted as a balanced game, all variants with balances from -1.5 to +1.5 should be accepted as balanced games. This leaves Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 & 11x11, Hnefatafl 9x9 and Ashton Lapp Tablut as unbalanced variants.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1368954206 Sun May 19, 2013 11:03
SUBJECT Re: Italian Translation of Hnefatafl, ready!
[quote="Sybil":2flszsle]Who can receive these rules to post them for italian players? Crust?Hagbard? Adam?[/quote:2flszsle] Thanks a lot! You're welcome to send the translations to me; the email address is at the bottom of the web pages.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1369005740 Mon May 20, 2013 1:22
SUBJECT Re: Italian Translation of Hnefatafl, ready!
Well! I'll do it!
AUTHOR Sybil

1369390168 Fri May 24, 2013 12:09
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Hagbard":24qieaox][b:24qieaox]A measure for game balance could be:[/b:24qieaox] (number of most winning color's wins) divided by (number of least winning color's wins), the number positive if white is more winning, negative if black is more winning. Draws are counted as half wins. [b:24qieaox]Examples:[/b:24qieaox] White wins 20 times and black wins 10 times. Balance = +20/10 = +2 (white has twice the chance of winning than black). White wins 20 times and black wins 30 times. Balance = -30/20 = -1.5 (black has 1.5 times the chance of winning than white). White wins 10 times and black wins 10 times, and 20 draws. Balance = 20/20 = 1 (perfect balance). [b:24qieaox]Calculated this way, the series of test tournaments resulted in these game balances:[/b:24qieaox] +1.62 Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 +1.55 History Craft Hnefatafl 11x11 +1.50 Foteviken Lapp Tablut +1.32 Skalk Edge Hnefatafl 9x9 +1.21 Sea Battle Tafl 9x9 -1.32 Skalk Edge Hnefatafl 11x11 -1.40 Berserk Hnefatafl -1.60 Sea Battle Tafl 11x11 [color=#FF0000:24qieaox]-2.25 Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 -3.83 Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11 -4.83 Ashton Lapp Tablut[/color:24qieaox] Since Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 (balance +1.62) is accepted as a balanced game, all variants with balances from -1.62 to +1.62 should be accepted as balanced games. This leaves Skalk Hnefatafl 9x9 & 11x11 and Ashton Lapp Tablut as unbalanced variants.[/quote:24qieaox] I think this is a very good idea to calculate but I see a problem with the date you put in because it depends on the experience level of the players if the game is balanced for them or not. For example Fetlar Hnefatafl is quite hard to play as black for beginners but I had the perception that when both players play perfectly black might even have slightly better chances of winning so +1.62 seems to be not generally correct to me. My suggestion would be having a balance number for different experience levels.
AUTHOR arne64

1369466245 Sat May 25, 2013 9:17
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="arne64":rl61yejn]My suggestion would be having a balance number for different experience levels.[/quote:rl61yejn] I think that is a very good idea. Aage has made some comments on the site and forum based on the research tournaments suggesting which variants are best for beginners, and which are best for experienced players. A statistical table showing the evidence might be tricky to piece together, but it would convincingly prove once and for all how the variants play according to ability.
AUTHOR Adam

1369648891 Mon May 27, 2013 12:01
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="arne64":12dz2wqe]My suggestion would be having a balance number for different experience levels.[/quote:12dz2wqe][quote="Adam":12dz2wqe]A statistical table showing the evidence might be tricky to piece together, but it would convincingly prove once and for all how the variants play according to ability.[/quote:12dz2wqe] The Fetlar variant is a good object for study, because we have a long time experience with it, and a perception that this is a variant which is easier for black with more experience. Last summer, August 2012, we had here the Fetlar championship tournament with eight participants (excluding participants with many time outs). If the tournament results are ordered by player strength and analyzed for the partial tournaments 4 players x 4 players, we find players 1-4 (four strongest players): 7 white wins, 4 black wins, 1 draw. Balance +1.67 players 2-5: 7 white wins, 5 black wins. Balance +1.40 players 3-6: 6 white wins, 4 black wins, 2 time outs. Balance +1.50 players 4-7: 6 white wins, 4 black wins, 2 time outs. Balance +1.50 players 5-8: 5 white wins, 4 black wins, 1 draw, 2 time outs. Balance +1.22 The outcome of this analysis is somewhat unexpected and indicates that in the Fetlar variant, white is favoured on all experience levels.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1369659170 Mon May 27, 2013 14:52
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Interesting. If one takes a look at page one of this topic, the overall statistics, with a much bigger number of games, do seem to say the same thing. A general rule seems to be that white tends to be favoured on average to a greater or lesser degree in all variants between all levels of players, but that the imbalance is less extreme, though still present, with experienced players. Copenhagen looks conspicuously more even even in its old form. How is Copenhagen doing statistically these days?
AUTHOR Adam

1369725232 Tue May 28, 2013 9:13
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="Adam":24aqmb98]How is Copenhagen doing statistically these days?[/quote:24aqmb98] Current overall statistics for Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11: 25 players did 176 games with the result: 91 white wins, 80 black wins, 5 draws. Balance: +1.13
AUTHOR Hagbard

1369738848 Tue May 28, 2013 13:00
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Hi guys, We are in, too. Italy's on board! Greetings to you all Epoc alias Davide Sybil alias Fabio :D
AUTHOR Epoc

1369907153 Thu May 30, 2013 11:45
SUBJECT Tromsø Tafl Laug
I am happy to announce that the "Tromsø Tafl Laug" has launched its facebook-page as the first (?) organised hnefatafl Club in Norway!! :) It's an open Group, so everyone is invited to join/like us. Especially, we would like to keep contact with Adam and other players in Norway, to properly establish the WTF - Norway. As a playing venue, we try to get an arrangement With the "Victoria Fun Pub" in Tromsø, and the Club is already promised 6 game sets as sponsoring gift. Further details will be decided at Foundation Meeting 14/6. Kind regards, Mjølnir (the player formerly known as Eirik :mrgreen: )
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1370295992 Mon Jun 3, 2013 23:46
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
Congratulations! I'll look up the Facebook page and like it. Well done with the sponsorship. Good call.
AUTHOR Adam

1370550055 Thu Jun 6, 2013 22:20
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
Thank you, Adam! Depending on how many people actually will meet up, we might get Lucky and announce "Our" first over-the-Board tournament by Autumn 2014...getting sponsors seems to be easier than recruiting players right now :mrgreen:
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1371167930 Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:58
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Hi, I'm quite new to this game. I know this since one and a half month. But on the other hand, I'm a little bit experienced with game balancing and not the weakest player. I only want to leave some comments about 11x11 tafl variants - I'm less experienced at 9x9 boards. "old" Hnefatafl: This game seems balanced, but is very boring. I wonder the statistic has not 95 % draws and 5 % black wins. I don't get how to loose with black. When I play white I usually try to take 2 pieces to be able to draw. I won 6 games with white in the tournament, but most games I felt very unarmed and my opponents give me the win like as present. Fetlar Hnefatafl: Much more difficult to play for black. The problem is quite simple - if black reached a good position, most cases white is able to draw. I think it's favor for white. Copenhagen Hnefatafl: To be honest: This variant is the main reason I'm still playing this game.It looks very good - I'm currently not able to say which side has an advantage at this rule set. I think the main problem is still the draw rule: "8. Perpetual repetitions are forbidden. If the overall board position is repeated three times, the player who maintains the situation ("the threatening player") must find another move to break the repetitions." This rule is very unsharp. We have to judge every single game. Of course there some positions we can easy tell who is the attacking player. For example if the king moves form one side of the board to the other. to attack the corners. But it's more difficult. There was a position I tried to retain my pieces, but in fact I was the one who directly attacked the opponent pieces. I was just preventing me from getting surrounded, but I attacked very unimportant pieces (neither of us cared) while doing that. That time I played a good alternative, but if you reach a position without such an option? At other games like Xiangqi this rules make sense. The positions in this games are most times defined by the count of the pieces. Some times one of the weaker pieces is compensated though tactic or strategic advantages (controlling the center of the board, higher development of pieces). Only very few games are lost due to massive tactic attacks. Most times a single piece is won through a tactic attack and the other pieces are traded until the single piece make the huge difference. But Hnefatafl (specially with Copenhagen rules) is none of these games. We have only one piece what is more important than the other: the king. And you can't thinking of sacrificing him, 'cause this means a loss. But the main problem is that captured more pieces than your opponent means not that you're able to impose pressure. There only very few positions you can trade a lot of pieces. Most games black is able to remain about 18 pieces or so. The threads in this game normally aren't to take pieces. This game is about covering and uncovering corners and edges, not about getting material advantage. A rule like "If the overall board position is repeated three times, the king's side must find another move to break the repetitions." make more sense to me. White is the one who want to escape. If we still want to allow draw forts we can add a rule like this: "White draw fort: the king's side may enforce a draw if a white piece has contact with the board edge, a white piece is able to move (they may be the same), and it is impossible for black to capture one of these." But I don't know weather such a rule would be necessary. Btw: the minimum kill rule doesn't make sense while playing with encirclement. Further thoughts: We know Unst edge escape is unbalanced in favor for white. What about king hammer but not anvil? The main advantage of an armed king compare to a normal piece is be able to step the black piece without be attacked instantly in revenge. Looking at usual well known pattern like the guillotine confirm the theory that anvil is the stronger ability. It might be favor for black, but I'd like to test this rule set.
AUTHOR nath

1371581575 Tue Jun 18, 2013 20:52
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
[quote="nath":167h038r]Hi,I'm quite new to this game. I know this since one and a half month. But on the other hand, I'm a little bit experienced with game balancing and not the weakest player.[/quote:167h038r] Welcome on board! [quote="nath":167h038r]Copenhagen Hnefatafl: ... "8. Perpetual repetitions are forbidden. If the overall board position is repeated three times, the player who maintains the situation ("the threatening player") must find another move to break the repetitions." This rule is very unsharp.[/quote:167h038r] People do seem to have an issue with this rule, or its wording, being ambiguous or hard to call. The board repetition part does clear it up though, in that there is always one player who was the first to enter into this repeated board position, and that is what makes him the aggressor, nothing more. It could even have been meant as a 'defensive' move, but if it leads to a board repetition, the rule states that another move should be made. [quote="nath":167h038r]A rule like "If the overall board position is repeated three times, the king's side must find another move to break the repetitions." make more sense to me. White is the one who want to escape.[/quote:167h038r] That's quite right in practice, but while it is extremely unlikely for black to be the one to start a board repetition, is is possible, so we felt the rule should cover that eventuality. [quote="nath":167h038r]If we still want to allow draw forts we can add a rule like this: "White draw fort: the king's side may enforce a draw if a white piece has contact with the board edge, a white piece is able to move (they may be the same), and it is impossible for black to capture one of these."[/quote:167h038r] What do you think of the Copenhagen drawfort rule as it stands, allowing only the 'mobile king winning edge fort', (a sort of build your own exit)? This was developed to give white an extra incentive for edge fort building. Copenhagen effectively does away with draw positions, other than those where both players agree the game is going nowhere and neither feels they have an advantage or hope of creating one. The winning edge fort adds some extra leverage options to the endgame that don't result in disappointing draws. [quote="nath":167h038r]Btw: the minimum kill rule doesn't make sense while playing with encirclement.[/quote:167h038r] Good point!
AUTHOR Adam

1371880220 Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:50
SUBJECT Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
Hello! Since I've just joined I thought it would be polite to bring something to the party. A couple of days ago I stumbled upon the rules to Imperial Contest. This is probably the first commercial tafl game; Jaques of London (of Staunton chess piece fame, and still going) must have found the rules from Linnaeus' 1732 diary, as translated by J. E. Smith in 1811, and turned them into a commercial game in about 1855. They had their own ideas of how to balance things. The image scans I found are copyright (which I respect) and heavily watermarked (which I do not, as it has made difficult reading). But the text is long out of copyright, so I've transcribed it and put it on my [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page.php?pgid=180:1vzkf5y9]tafl site[/url:1vzkf5y9], along with a diagram that I've redrawn from the scan. Some other interesting things, though: as well as their attempts at balance, some of which are still used and some not, there are some press reviews (favourable, as these are their printed rules). They and the press recognised back in 1855 that the apparent imbalance lessens as the players become more experienced, a theory we've picked up again in the last decade or so. And be sure to read the amusing Spectator review which comments on the originality of the game. http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page.php?pgid=180
AUTHOR cyningstan

1371934176 Sat Jun 22, 2013 22:49
SUBJECT Re: Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
Very interesting and amusing. I've been a visitor to your site for some years, an excellent tafl resource. I hope you will be playing here on Aage's site and will join in the tournaments as they pop up :)
AUTHOR Adam

1371976604 Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:36
SUBJECT Re: Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
[quote="cyningstan":2je5kifg]A couple of days ago I stumbled upon the rules to Imperial Contest. This is probably the first commercial tafl game; Jaques of London (of Staunton chess piece fame, and still going) must have found the rules from Linnaeus' 1732 diary, as translated by J. E. Smith in 1811, and turned them into a commercial game in about 1855. They had their own ideas of how to balance things.[/quote:2je5kifg] Interesting! The rules of this game, Imperial Contest from 1855, are very closely the same as our Sea Battle tafl 9x9, with these small differences: - In Imperial Contest, the first player is determined by lot. - In Imperial Contest, only one piece can be killed per move. - In Imperial Contest, the Emperor cannot move more than FOUR squares at once. We found from a test tournament that the Sea Battle tafl 9x9 favours the defenders slightly (balance +1.21). The limitation on the Emperor's movement on the other hand favours the attackers to some degree, so Imperial Contest could very well turn out to also have a good balance, perhaps even better. Seen as a Sea Battle game, a limitation on the movement of the cargo ship can be explained, since the cargo ship must be more plump and heavy while the dragon ships are slim and fast. The four squares limit is well chosen, since this precisely allows the Emperor to move directly from center to edge.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1372060089 Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:48
SUBJECT Re: Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
[quote="Adam":3fqgvfha]Very interesting and amusing. I've been a visitor to your site for some years, an excellent tafl resource. I hope you will be playing here on Aage's site and will join in the tournaments as they pop up :)[/quote:3fqgvfha] Thanks Adam! I hope you like the new design. I've still got a lot to put on there - I spent a sleepless night putting a news section on there, and giving the site a Facebook and Twitter presence. At the moment I've been a bit too keen to accept game invitations in another place, but once I've lost a few more of those games I'll be playing on here too. I'll also be looking into the e-mail format of gamerz.net soon, as I like the idea of tafl on my Blackberry :-) [quote="Hagbard":3fqgvfha]The limitation on the Emperor's movement on the other hand favours the attackers to some degree, so Imperial Contest could very well turn out to also have a good balance, perhaps even better.[/quote:3fqgvfha] I'd love to get chance to play it. I've tried similar rules out on my applet, but the computer doesn't handle limited moves all that well.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372194293 Tue Jun 25, 2013 23:04
SUBJECT Re: Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
Tehre is a mistake in rule 2 "2nd.- Any piece may move from one square to another, in a right line, as from e to c, or e to m; but not cornerwise, as from a to e." e to c is also cornerwise. There're additional differences. No player have to take pieces. Normal white strategies are built on own blocking pieces the opponent may not take. This game seems to be in favor for black even with a 9x9 board.
AUTHOR nath

1372230305 Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:05
SUBJECT Re: Imperial Contest - Tablut in 1855
[quote="nath":1a3zo8rf]Tehre is a mistake in rule 2 "2nd.- Any piece may move from one square to another, in a right line, as from e to c, or e to m; but not cornerwise, as from a to e." e to c is also cornerwise. There're additional differences. No player have to take pieces. Normal white strategies are built on own blocking pieces the opponent may not take. This game seems to be in favor for black even with a 9x9 board.[/quote:1a3zo8rf] Thanks, that should have been [b:1a3zo8rf]a[/b:1a3zo8rf] to c. Now rectified.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372265468 Wed Jun 26, 2013 18:51
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="crust":3im315u1]I apologize for the length of this excerpt, but I thought it was interesting, particularly the detail that Brown had worked on an Anglo-Saxon dig in Cirencester, possibly in the late 70's or early 80's, which is when this "attempted reconstruction" of hnefatafl was made by someone called David Brown, which inspired the Skalk hnefatafl game.[/quote:3im315u1] I have a copy of the original 1980 Hnefatafl rules by David Brown. They go with the board pictured at the top of the [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page.php?pgid=16:3im315u1]Revival[/url:3im315u1] page of my site. The Copyright notice is "(C) David Brown 1980. Designed and produced by Oxbow Games, Oxford in association with York Archaeological Trust." I don't know anything about the David Brown involved in the History Craft version, over and above what you told me in another place. The two rule sets look very different. I've not been around here long enough to know from memory what the Skalk rules are, but the 1980 rules remind me of the the current longship tafl, with Linnaeus' central square rules (including the oddity of capturing a defender beside the king). [quote:3im315u1]Looks like they have one variant for sale in the shop (History Craft version) and a different one on show in the museum itself - this is clearly a 13x13 board[/quote:3im315u1] Added to a third version dug up from the ground, which is 15x15!
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372266445 Wed Jun 26, 2013 19:07
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
Am I too late to join the party?
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372332364 Thu Jun 27, 2013 13:26
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="cyningstan":e06bui4d]I have a copy of the original 1980 Hnefatafl rules by David Brown. ... the 1980 rules remind me of the the current longship tafl, with Linnaeus' central square rules (including the oddity of capturing a defender beside the king).[/quote:e06bui4d] Sounds much like the one we used to call "Rachunek 11x11". Would it be possible to upload a scan of the rules to the forum? Would be very interesting to see them.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1372514799 Sat Jun 29, 2013 16:06
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":xtx1zsrx]Sounds much like the one we used to call "Rachunek 11x11". Would it be possible to upload a scan of the rules to the forum? Would be very interesting to see them.[/quote:xtx1zsrx] I don't want to post that without the copyright owner's permission, but while I try and get that I've put up a [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page.php?pgid=245:xtx1zsrx]new page[/url:xtx1zsrx] with a paraphrase of the rules on my site. To save you the journey, the text is here: This is a paraphrase of the rules that were supplied with the version of Hnefatafl published by the York Archaeological Trust in 1980. The game was developed by David Brown of Oxbow Games, Oxford, in association with the Trust. 1. The game is played by two, one taking the part of the king and his twelve dark defenders, the other taking the part of the 24 fair attackers. 2. The game begins with the pieces set out on the marked squares as shown in the picture. 3. To win, the attackers must prevent the king from escaping the board by boxing him in on all four sides, so that it cannot move. 4. The defenders win by moving the king to the edge of the board. 5. The attackers move first. 6. All pieces move along a rank or file as far as their players desire, as long as they do not land on or jump over squares occupied by other pieces. 7. No piece other than the king may land in the central square. 8. Pieces other than the king are captured by surrounding them on two opposite sides along a rank or file. The king is captured by surrounding him on four sides, as described above. 9. If the attackers surround the king and ALL remaining defenders, then they win, as they have prevented the king from escaping. 10. If the king is surrounded by three attackers and a defender occupies his fourth side, the defender can be captured by sandwiching it between the king and an attacker. 11. If the king is surrounded by three attackers and the central square is on his fourth side, then he is considered fully surrounded and loses the game. The leaflet also contains rules for changing the balance of the game if the players desire it. a. The king can be allowed to take part in captures, or possibly to capture only when making the attacking move. b. The king can be awarded victory only on reaching a corner. If this is the case, the corner should be inaccessible to pieces other than the king, and an attacker (only) beside a corner square can be captured against it by a single defender on the opposite side. c. A 5-point match can be played; the attacker places four cards A, 2, 3, 4 face down one by each edge of the board. The defender wins the number of points on the card by the side on which the king exits. This introduces a form of bluffing to the game. d. Play two games, swapping sides. On a tie break, judge the winner of the contest by the number of moves or by the number of pieces captured.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372706386 Mon Jul 1, 2013 21:19
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
Hi Mjølnir/Eirik, I sent a message to Frank who set up the facebook page, is that you, or someone else? Anyway, its about the Wtf running a small tournament in Tromsø in conjunction with the 2014 chess olympiad. I've been contacted about it, but Tønsberg is a long way from Tromsø ;) If you guys are up for it, it would make sense for the Tromsø club to arrange the tournament. From a Wtf point of view, the idea would be not just promoting hnefatafl as a game from history, but promoting Wtf modern tafl rules for modern day international tournaments. As it stands our best shot at a balanced rule set robust enough for modern tournaments is the Copenhagen rules, though this may develop as we all continue playing and discussing on the site. Let me know if the Tromsø club is interested and able to take this on, and I'll get you some more details and get you in touch with the people behind this. It might be an idea for us all to run another Copenhagen test tournament on the website too, partly as a warm up, partly to remind ourselves of and retest Copenhagen's balance and robustness.
AUTHOR Adam

1372720247 Tue Jul 2, 2013 1:10
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="cyningstan":1jxj5kib]This is a paraphrase of the rules that were supplied with the version of Hnefatafl published by the York Archaeological Trust in 1980. The game was developed by David Brown of Oxbow Games, Oxford, in association with the Trust.[/quote:1jxj5kib] Thanks a lot for this rules set! This is gold. We've been searching for this jigsaw piece of Hnefatafl history. The following forum note explains how the Danish Skalk Hnefatafl version from 1992 was directly based on the David Brown 1980 Hnefatafl version: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=150&p=665&hilit=jernalderen#p665 One can now see how the Danish author arrived at the Skalk rules using: all the David Brown standard rules plus optional rule a, plus optional rule b in a modified form: both attackers and defenders (not only attackers) are captured against a corner square, and not only against corner squares but also against the throne, plus stating the king to be captured from two sides instead of four, except in center. (Some of the modifications had the purpose of approaching the rules to the rules described by Linné. Linné writes that the king is captured from two sides, except by four in center. And that attackers and defenders are captured against the throne.) The History Craft Hnefatafl is: all the David Brown standard rules plus optional rule a plus optional rule b, modified so that both attackers and defenders are captured against a corner square. With the David Brown version we've found a missing link of Hnefatafl.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1372777610 Tue Jul 2, 2013 17:06
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":2i7z6t3d]This is gold. We've been searching for this jigsaw piece of Hnefatafl history.[/quote:2i7z6t3d] This was the result of a long-term watch on eBay, which I really ought to resume. There have been quite a few past variants I've picked up this way: this, Papillon's Escape, and that moulded resin likeness of the Ballinderry board that (I now find) was marketed in 1994. [quote:2i7z6t3d](Some of the modifications had the purpose of approaching the rules to the rules described by Linné. Linné writes that the king is captured from two sides, except by four in center. And that attackers and defenders are captured against the throne.)[/quote:2i7z6t3d] It just happens that I was looking into Linné and his rules last night, using the Latin text, as I'm determined to finish and publish my old booklet from 2007. The king capture rule would suggest that no ancient form of hnefatafl had a 4-square capture rule anywhere but in the central square. The rule about capturing against the central square is clear enough but either contradicts or makes redundant the odd rule about capturing a defender against the king when the king is partially surrounded. But that's going off topic for this particular discussion :-)
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372800777 Tue Jul 2, 2013 23:32
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="cyningstan":3v67k09z]The king capture rule would suggest that no ancient form of hnefatafl had a 4-square capture rule anywhere but in the central square.[/quote:3v67k09z] My bid is that the [i:3v67k09z]Lapp Tablut[/i:3v67k09z] described by Linné is the same as [i:3v67k09z]Skalk Hnefatafl Edge 9x9[/i:3v67k09z]. The Foteviken Tablut is an interesting variant, but it deviates significantly from the Linné description in that the throne is friendly and the king is captured from 4 sides.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1372823842 Wed Jul 3, 2013 5:57
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="Adam":14mhp6jk]By the way, does anyone have a link or file of the oxford ms 122 manuscript with the alea evangelii text translated? The image is covered in enigmatic notation. Would love to read the text. http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=c ... ript=ms122[/quote:14mhp6jk] I feel a bit cheeky resurrecting such an old thread, especially with a plug, but I've not seen this question answered so far. I typed up the 1923 paraphrase by J. A. Robinson a few years ago, and [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page.php?pgid=167:14mhp6jk]put it on my hnefatafl web site[/url:14mhp6jk] recently. While I'm here, I may as well poke my nose in where some other interesting points have been made. [quote="Adam":14mhp6jk][quote="Beadle":14mhp6jk]As far as I know, no sets have been found that had more than 24 pieces of the same type.[/quote:14mhp6jk] The Alea Evangelii evidence suggests that tafl games with many more than 32+16+1 pieces existed. No doubt less common than their simpler counterparts, but none the less real. [/quote:14mhp6jk] There's the possibility that the 47 pieces from Nes come from the same set. I don't have access to my original source for this at the moment, so I can't check whether all the pieces were similar. The rarity of larger (and more costly) sets means they're less likely to survive intact. [quote="Hagbard":14mhp6jk]the reason for the scattered initial ordering perhaps could be to reduce the game length? This way part of the opening game is skipped.[/quote:14mhp6jk] Either to reduce the game length or to reduce the number of pieces needed for a balanced game. I think of the layout not as "scattered" but more closed in: the blockade is far advanced and the attacker needs fewer pieces to complete and hold it, just as in smaller games where attackers become redundant as the blockade gets smaller and tighter. [quote="Beadle":14mhp6jk]Adam- I agree about the board markings on the Gokstad board. The markings could have been used for a different game, or perhaps they were irrelevant. We will never know.[/quote:14mhp6jk] There is another well-known example of irrelevant markings: tawlbwrdd as described by Robert ap Ifan in 1587. No mention is made of a marked central square, but alternate rows are shaded for no reason other than decoration.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1372889358 Thu Jul 4, 2013 0:09
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
To Cyningstan: No of course not, we're very glad to have you on board.
AUTHOR crust

1373132053 Sat Jul 6, 2013 19:34
SUBJECT Re: Berserk Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":i1fft3ds]One could wonder how chess can have a lady on the battlefield. I read somewhere that once upon a time the chess game had four players and four armies. Then at some point the armies were merged into two armies and two players; this should be why the officers are doubled into pairs. But as one side cannot have two kings, I suppose one of the kings had to be changed into the queen. How far the queen name goes back, I don't know, but we learn from "The Tudors" and other history series the strength of intrigues at medieval court and how many a nobleman lost his head in a court intrigue as easily as in the battle. Maybe the extreme power of the chess queen piece comes from this? (Though from this logic the chess queen should kill [i:i1fft3ds]her own[/i:i1fft3ds] pieces!)[/quote:i1fft3ds] I seem to keep resurrecting old threads, but I have Murray's 1913 History of Chess whose 900 pages go into detail on these questions, and Parlett's 1999 History of Games which brings a few things up to date. Nineteenth century chess historians thought that the 4-player version with dice was the original chess, but by Murray's time the idea had been discredited - the 4-player variants date from no earlier than about A.D. 1000. You can see some information about them [url=http://boardgames.cyningstan.org.uk/game.php?id=124:i1fft3ds]on my board game site[/url:i1fft3ds] - see under "Printable Documents" for an A5 printable leaflet of rules. About the queen - she used to be a minister (called firz or fers in the game Europe got from the muslims - cognate with vizier maybe?) and until 1490 used to move 1 square diagonally, his job being to cover the king. As an aside the bishops used to be elephants, very agile ones too, as they jumped like a knight, but always moving exactly two square diagonally, never more, never less. These moves are partially preserved in Xiang Qi. And for something more relevant, about the pieces pictured further up in the thread. The glass pieces are pictured in either James Graham-Campbell's Viking Artefacts, or From Viking to Crusader edited by Else Rosedahl, I can't remember which now. But only eleven of the blue ones are mentioned, and the amber ones are not mentioned at all. The web site from which the photograph comes seems to suggest the amber ones are from a different set, albeit at the same site. The glass ones are dated to about A.D. 800, the museum web site refines this to A.D. 779. I mention them on my tafl site (under the alternative name of the archaeological site, Gunnarshaug), and until I find a proper archaeological report about the pieces that I can read I'll be leaving the description there as it is for now.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1373472631 Wed Jul 10, 2013 18:10
SUBJECT Rating of tafl games
I've had an interesting conversation with nath about the calculation method of game ratings. The method used here is very straightforward; the Elo rating system known from chess, with an exponential constant of 400 (that is, a difference of 400 points in rating means that the weaker player is expected to win 1/10 th of the games), and a K-factor of 32 (that is, a single game can change the rating only up to 32 points). To that, the average rating is at all times aimed to be about 1500. The theory behind the Elo system is simple; the probability of one or the other player winning is calculated solely from the two players' ratings. This implies, however, that the game is perfectly balanced, like fx. is chess where white and black are identical, except for white having the first move and by that a small advantage which is ignored. Not so with tafl. Tafl games are all asymmetrical games and therefore innately unbalanced. The game balance of Sea Battle tafl 11x11 fx. is measured to be -1.60; black wins 16 times when white wins 10 times. If a player should decide to never play anything else but Sea Battle tafl 11x11 black, he would be overrated by 80 rating points. It would be simple to bring the Elo system back on track, by incorporating the measured game balances along with the player ratings in the calculation of the probabilities of winning, and thereby finding more accurate rating changes for the tafl games.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1373571085 Thu Jul 11, 2013 21:31
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Thanks for the link to the English alea text! It really doesn't throw much light alas, but its great to finally have a grasp of what it's all saying.
AUTHOR Adam

1373723429 Sat Jul 13, 2013 15:50
SUBJECT Re: My old home town!
I was in Karlskoga this summer, and I took the opportunity to check out the public Hnefatafl board. The game is right in the center of the town, and any one can borrow the game pieces for free in the Tourist Information, right next to the game board. So if anyone visits Karlskoga, just ask in the tourist info office, and they will show you were the game is. Regrettably I did not get a chance to play but I made a couple of photos of the board game and pieces. Aage, feel free to add the pictures to the photo section of the site, perhaps also with a mention where you can borrow the game pieces. Edit: I can not seem to embed the pictures correctly - here is a link to the dropbox folder, it also contains two pictures of my new Tablut board: [url:37lz0dqr]https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zov5vg78vp0qag3/eRlM_DBfk7[/url:37lz0dqr]
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1373723934 Sat Jul 13, 2013 15:58
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Forum - call for members
I did not post here yet, but I did send a mail to crust/Tim. This is just to let you know I am in, although I do find the abbreviation a bit silly... :D
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1373752320 Sat Jul 13, 2013 23:52
SUBJECT Re: News about Scandinavian Museums' Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":23dsl7nj][quote="cyningstan":23dsl7nj]The king capture rule would suggest that no ancient form of hnefatafl had a 4-square capture rule anywhere but in the central square.[/quote:23dsl7nj] My bid is that the [i:23dsl7nj]Lapp Tablut[/i:23dsl7nj] described by Linné is the same as [i:23dsl7nj]Skalk Hnefatafl Edge 9x9[/i:23dsl7nj]. [/quote:23dsl7nj] Yes, it seems that we are approaching a consensus that two-sided king capture is the historically correct rule, as first proposed by Ashton. And with the experience from the [i:23dsl7nj]Skalk Edge 9x9[/i:23dsl7nj] tournament and games we know that such a game is very playable indeed. I also think that the Skalk Edge 9x9 rules are identical to, or very close to what Linnaeus described, and I really like these rules, and use them when introducing new players to the game. [quote="cyningstan":23dsl7nj]The rule about capturing against the central square is clear enough but either contradicts or makes redundant the odd rule about capturing a defender against the king when the king is partially surrounded.[/quote:23dsl7nj] I have also looked at the Latin original of the rules (as described in this old thread: [url:23dsl7nj]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=106[/url:23dsl7nj]), and I have always interpreted the rule on capture against the central square (rule 14 in Linnaeus) to only apply when the king is away from the throne; when the king is there only the kings side may capture against it, or against the king, really. This is also the interpretation used in the [i:23dsl7nj]Skalk[/i:23dsl7nj] rules. If this is the case, the rule in question (rule 10, second [i:23dsl7nj]if[/i:23dsl7nj] clause) is not redundant, but it is questionable how much difference such a rule makes. At a stage when such a position is possible i think the attackers should be able to win anyway.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1373881639 Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:47
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
I think nath's sugestion for a repetition rule is good and easy to judge. If we want to allow for the rare case where black is the active part in the repetition, I suggest the following rules: [list:314cxke5] [*:314cxke5] If the overall board position is repeated three times, the king's side must find an alternative move to break the repetitions.[/*:m:314cxke5] [*:314cxke5] If this is not possible without the king's side immediately losing the game on the next move, the attacker's side must break the repetitions.[/*:m:314cxke5] [*:314cxke5] If neither the king's side, nor the attacker's side can make an alternative move without immediately losing on the next move, the game is a draw. The king reaching a double lane (or a double lane to a double lane) to the exit (assuming the king can not be captured there) counts as victory with respect to this rule.[/*:m:314cxke5][/list:u:314cxke5] But actually I think I like the simple rule that the king's side has to break repetitions better.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1374753023 Thu Jul 25, 2013 13:50
SUBJECT NorseAmerica Hnefatafl 11x11
Chuck Ward has been kind enough to send me a scan of the original Norse America rules. It's a booklet of 14 pages, labeled "Researched, written, designed, illustrated and privately published by NorseAmerica, copyright 2008 NorseAmerica LLC". The booklet reviews the history of Hnefatafl and mentions The Saga of Fridthjof the Bold, Hevar, the Alea Evangelii English manuscript and the Linnaeus diary. [b:2ummscyb]The NorseAmerica rules are:[/b:2ummscyb] 11x11 board, wins in corner, king captured from 4 sides OR by stalemating the king and rendering the game un-winnable, the starting position of pieces are diamond, attackers move first, five forbidden squares only for the king (corners and throne), everybody can move through the throne, the forbidden corner squares are hostile to everybody, also the empty throne is hostile to everybody - however when the king is on the throne it's [i:2ummscyb]friendly[/i:2ummscyb] to everybody (!), king is armed, the king must be surrounded by attackers on all four sides, or by attackers on three sides and the game board border on the fourth (and thus [i:2ummscyb]not[/i:2ummscyb] captured by two attackers plus corner plus game board border). Six attackers can surround the king on the throne plus an extra square (the king is [i:2ummscyb]not[/i:2ummscyb] captured by three attackers plus the throne on the fourth side). "If game is stalemated and rendered un-winnable, then the black hunns (attackers) win." [b:2ummscyb]NorseAmerica lists these variations:[/b:2ummscyb] Starting position can be cross form. The king can win by reaching any edge square, or any edge square which is not a base camp. The king can only move a limited number of spaces at a time such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 squares. The king is unarmed. The king is hammer only. The king is anvil only. The king captured from 2 sides. The king captured from 2 sides on the throne but from 4 sides elsewhere. If the king is captured from 2 sides and wins on any edge square, the king still wins if he's flanked as long as he can reach an edge square in his very next move. The throne hostile to everybody, regardless of whether the king is on it or not. The throne is just an ordinary square. Only the king may move through the throne. Noone may move through the throne, not even the king. In that case the king is captured by three attackers plus the throne on the fourth side. The attacker base camps can be forbidden squares - attackers may move within the area before they leave but cannot reenter. In case of eternal repetitions, each player must be forced to make a different move to undo the stalemate, or the side with the least advantage to win should concede the game to the other.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1375294666 Wed Jul 31, 2013 20:17
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
An overview of measured tafl game balances to be found here: [b:2dafdu17][url:2dafdu17]http://aagenielsen.dk/tafl_balances.html[/url:2dafdu17][/b:2dafdu17]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1375352188 Thu Aug 1, 2013 12:16
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
Hi Adam! I am going to discuss the matter With the responsible people from Tromsø Chess Olympiad under the World Cup, but I already think we should start a Copenhagen tournament this autumn. Additionally, we should discuss if WTF and Fetlar should grant a special kind of status to the probable tournament, that would make future discussions With sponsors and press much easier. I shall keep you all informed here! ;)
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1375353779 Thu Aug 1, 2013 12:42
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
...what about calling the baby "Open Norwegian Tafl Championship", for instance? Then the local papers will be proud to host it :mrgreen:
AUTHOR Mjølnir

1375626323 Sun Aug 4, 2013 16:25
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
More!!! I want more....Its been far too long Master Crust.
AUTHOR Chuck Ward

1375966814 Thu Aug 8, 2013 15:00
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl puzzle
[quote="Chuck Ward":3q2p8s30]More!!! I want more[/quote:3q2p8s30]ok, I'll have a rummage round, see what comes out of my brain
AUTHOR crust

1376571566 Thu Aug 15, 2013 14:59
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
Mjølnir: Good ide. There should be a good arena to launch Norwegian Tafl Federation? I can help out and would travel to Tromsø to play. Adam: I live in Horten, Do you know if theres Hnefatafl tournaments at the "viking marked" (Viking festival") at Borre? Perhaps we could try to start a club in Tønsberg?
AUTHOR filosondre

1376587822 Thu Aug 15, 2013 19:30
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Article at National Library of Wales
Hello! For ten years I've been looking for the article by F. R. Lewis cited by Murray and all sorts of other people. When my back was turned, the National Library of Wales has put it on-line. It has turned out to be quite informative, and contains a diagram of the tawlbwrdd taken from that drawn by Robert ap Ifan in 1587. It also mentions that some Icelandic scholars were aware of the nature of Hnefatafl before Murray. You can read about it in my blog post [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/news/640/hnefatafl-article-at-national-library-of-wales:v3ufob8p]here[/url:v3ufob8p] or skip directly to the paper [url=http://bit.ly/16LyFTV:v3ufob8p]here[/url:v3ufob8p]. I hope people find it useful! Damian
AUTHOR cyningstan

1376759347 Sat Aug 17, 2013 19:09
SUBJECT Cthulhu vs the Vikings
Seems I have timed my interest in Hnefatafl quite well as a new Kickstarter project is bringing a fresh take on this fascinating game - [url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569862606/cthulhu-vs-the-vikings-the-game-and-the-comic?ref=live:1u2uiw0z]Cthulhu vs the Vikings[/url:1u2uiw0z] I have no links to this project other than backing something I really hope makes it as I can't wait to hold and play it, so please take a look.
AUTHOR Bainn

1376764567 Sat Aug 17, 2013 20:36
SUBJECT Greetings...
Greetings and salutations, my name is Christian and I have been playing Hnefatafl for a couple of weeks now. I used to play a lot of poker, particularly Pot Limit Omaha and came upon this game while taking a break and it has me fascinated. I remember playing Chess as a child but have not played anything similar since, so I feel I have a lot to catch up on.
AUTHOR Bainn

1376775738 Sat Aug 17, 2013 23:42
SUBJECT Does not show
Greets, i use an iPad 4 & iPod 5 running IOS 6.12, when I visit the play online or any games I am playing against human opponents I see no table, just a tiny grey square at the top of the page. Another forum member said they played via their iPad using Safari, I am doing anything wrong ?
AUTHOR Bainn

1376862829 Sun Aug 18, 2013 23:53
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Article at National Library of Wales
Thanks, that was interesting to read! A pity though that there were no direct translations of the quoted old Welsh text, I guess the author assumed anyone interested would know the language. Looking at page 190, I see that the author describe the attacking pieces as white, based on the translated law text. It is interesting that this agrees with what is known from the Icelandic sagas. Does anyone have a direct translation of the quoted welsh text?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1376992748 Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:59
SUBJECT Passive capture?
Since there is an emerging consensus on the rules of Tablut as described by Linnaeus, it would be interesting to try to clear up the last remaining questions. Apart from minor issues, like who goes first, and if the king can reenter the throne, there is one point that hasn't seen much discussion: Is an active capture move necessary, or is a piece also taken if it voluntarily moves between two enemy pieces. I am struggling with the first part of rule number 9 of the Linnaeus description: [i:25y3eeqq]Si qvis hostem 1 inter 2 sibi hostes collocare posit, est occisus et ejici debet, item Rex.[/i:25y3eeqq] This translated by Smith as: [i:25y3eeqq]If any one man gets between two squares occupied by his enemies, ...[/i:25y3eeqq] And by Ashton as: [i:25y3eeqq]If one piece finds itself trapped between two enemies, ...[/i:25y3eeqq] From these translations it is not clear that an active enemy movement is needed. At the same time, my feeble attempts with Google translate seem to indicate that the phrase "sibi hostes collocare posit" (= "bring to locate the enemy"?) hints at an active move being needed. What is your take? Any comments on the translations; or has anyone seen a reference that discusses this? Has anyone tried playing Tafl with passive captures, and if so how did it differ? My feeling is that it would make the game harder for white, since there is much less room for "forcing" captures, and less moves available.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1377061242 Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:00
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
I know a very simple rule for this: "If any sequence of moves is repeated three times in the same board position, the player who made the second move of the sequence must find another move." That's really simple and a good rule to play Copenhagen Hnefatafl. I really wonder Copenhagen Hnefatafl should have a positive measure. I think it's really hard to play with white - I obviously prefer black. There's problem a lot of players might have with black: A slow move that doesn't improve your position is very dangerous, two of them are mostly deadly (depends on the move - of course; it isn't such important at the 80th move...but at the 5th move). I currently fear Copenhagen Hnefatafl to be in favor for black. I also lost more games with black than with white, but because I was new and very inexperienced at Hnefatafl. I like the edge win fort very much, but it's very hard to pull it off. I'm not sure what kind of solution is the best, I consider to test rules that supports edge forts, but the idea I got is something like "If white captures a piece he may but the capturing piece at the position of the captured piece if he finish an edge win fort with this move.". This rule might fix some problems I'm seeing, but doesn't look very intuitive and might be only confusing to some players. I also hold I'm not understanding the measure of the 'old' Hnefatafl. It looks very boring to be always dawn, but if I should try to make pressure with any color, I would choose black. The interesting point is that 'strong' players prefer white a little less in games are considered as 'nearly balanced' by the measure, but at the other ones they show the more how imbalanced the game is (Hnefatafl 9x9, but primary at the variants that are in favor for black like Skalk Hnefatafl 11x11). I consider the games with a negative measure as highly imbalanced in favor for black. I'll try to play some variants at 9x9 boards as well. I currently think that Sea battle (9x9) might be in favor for white, but I'm inexperienced to tell yet. I'll try Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9 against a friend so see whether it works (never tried it).
AUTHOR nath

1377150963 Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:56
SUBJECT Re: Passive capture?
I've not seen anything more than an assumption as regards to tablut itself. In tawlbwrdd, if I remember rightly, you can move between two enemy pieces if you declare "gwrheill" first, presumably to draw attention to the fact that the piece moved voluntarily. That was in Robert ap Ifan's write-up from 1587. In fidchell capture is described as "a black pair of mine about one white man of yours" which may not be hnefatafl, but describes custodian capture in general and seems to imply that the capture is active.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1377503060 Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:44
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Thanks for your comment Nath! I look forward to hearing what you think of the 9x9 rules, especially the Skalk edge variant.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1377606831 Tue Aug 27, 2013 14:33
SUBJECT Accepting a draw ?
My opponent has offered me a draw, how do I accept ? All I can see are the usual buttons, including "Offer draw", no obvious way to accept a proposed draw......
AUTHOR Bainn

1377612794 Tue Aug 27, 2013 16:13
SUBJECT Re: Accepting a draw ?
The "offer draw" button accept the draw I suppose.
AUTHOR nath

1377617456 Tue Aug 27, 2013 17:30
SUBJECT Re: Accepting a draw ?
Right; when both sides offer draw, it's draw.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1377617478 Tue Aug 27, 2013 17:31
SUBJECT Re: Accepting a draw ?
[quote="nath":3nxctcf7]The "offer draw" button accept the draw I suppose.[/quote:3nxctcf7] Thanks Nath, nothing seems to have happened :( Clicked "Offer draw" the "Return to games" to see what happened, it nows shows me offering a draw ??
AUTHOR Bainn

1377617832 Tue Aug 27, 2013 17:37
SUBJECT Re: Accepting a draw ?
[quote="Hagbard":2hbxwidk]Right; when both sides offer draw, it's draw.[/quote:2hbxwidk] Cheers Hagbard for the clarification, useful info for a FAQ I feel. Moot point now, my opponent is know longer interested in a draw :roll:
AUTHOR Bainn

1377776486 Thu Aug 29, 2013 13:41
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federation
This is an idea that I ran past Tim in another place. Lots of people have agreed that the WTF is a good idea, but at the moment it's just a list of names. The idea is to produce an annual journal. As I said to Tim, "It would be a short A5-format booklet, initially a bit like those monthly parish magazines that the churches do. Content would include the various things discussed, researched and written about over the year across our various sites and forums. Plus news, reviews, and a puzzle or two. It could be supplied as a downloadable PDF, Kindle e-book and a paperback booklet self-published through Lulu and sold at cost price. If articles had proper citations where appropriate it could become a secondary reference in its own right." There are plenty of people here and around the hnefatafl community who could contribute: we have people who've explored strategy deeply, people who are interested in the spiritual and social aspects of the game now and in its earlier heyday, people researching the history, people tinkering with rules, building boards, selling them, organising tournaments. Between us we have a number of web sites and forum discussions from which we could get material for articles. Pulling together we could easily put together at least eight or twelve pages for the first issue. I'd be happy to edit such a thing and put it together, as well as contributing some content to it. I've put plenty of A5-format leaflets and booklets together in the past, I'm currently getting a Kindle book ready for publishing, and I'm about to self-publish a book though Lulu which will give me some experience of how practical that model is for a physical book. I thought of Lulu as it's print on demand; it wouldn't need any financial outlay apart from the price of one proof copy that they (sensibly) insist on the author buying to check over before publication. I'm thinking about Yule or New Year for this year's issue, with content due at the start of December. In future years that could be moved to early November, in time to make a Christmas gift, with content due in early October. I'll start planning content and format now: who else wants to get on board with this?
AUTHOR cyningstan

1377776534 Thu Aug 29, 2013 13:42
SUBJECT
(That's a working title, by the way, I forgot to mention)
AUTHOR cyningstan

1377939200 Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:53
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="conanlibrarian":f5lhmyzm]I also checked Bell (Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations, 1979) and it talks about "eight blonde Swedes and their monarch; the other has sixteen dark Muscovites." (p. 78), and it uses black and white circles in the examples, for Muscovites and Swedes, respectively. It would be interesting to see if this was introduced here, or by Murray.[/quote:f5lhmyzm] I'm late to the party again. Murray in 1952 shows a simple board layout diagram with white Swedes and black Muscovites, but in the text describes the pieces as distinguished by shape rather than colour. In his 1913 History of Chess only the empty board is shown, with patterns on starting squares, and no mention is made of the shape or colour of the pieces. F. R. Lewis uses black attackers and white defenders in his 1941 article [url=http://welshjournals.llgc.org.uk/browse/viewpage/llgc-id:1386666/llgc-id:1412278/llgc-id:1412478/get650:f5lhmyzm]Gwerin ffristial a thawlbwrdd[/url:f5lhmyzm]. But I don't think one should read anything into the diagrams, as Bell apparently did. It's natural in such diagrams to use black and white, so anyone creating a diagram has a 50% chance of one combination or the other.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1378310650 Wed Sep 4, 2013 18:04
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
Intriguing idea, which I like and I'm quite sure there will be a lot of folks willing to share their insights.
AUTHOR Bainn

1378311336 Wed Sep 4, 2013 18:15
SUBJECT Update
The project has just over 7 days to go, it is currently funded at 93%. Kris announced a special piece of news to backers last night and it should be publicly announced via Facebook & Twitter later today, so all I will say is this - The team have listened to the backers and this can turn the game on it's head, so to speak.... There are still slots for backers who wish to appear as Vikings or even the monsters, and given the news, this would a bonus laden level - [url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569862606/cthulhu-vs-the-vikings-the-game-and-the-comic?ref=live:2lyia8aj]Be a Viking, skol !! Be a Deep One *GlugGrr*[/url:2lyia8aj]
AUTHOR Bainn

1378326066 Wed Sep 4, 2013 22:21
SUBJECT Re: Tromsø Tafl Laug
[quote="filosondre":esvdrha1] Adam: I live in Horten, Do you know if theres Hnefatafl tournaments at the "viking marked" (Viking festival") at Borre? Perhaps we could try to start a club in Tønsberg?[/quote:esvdrha1] Hi, sorry for the delay in replying. Finally a local player! There is no hnefatafl at the viking market at Borre that I've seen. I've thought about doing it, but my free time energies have been used up presenting hnefatafl at the tønsberg middelaldersfestival. I have donated a large outdoor board to Midgard historisk senter, though its probably fallen apart by now. They also have a couple of sets I designed for them in the museum, but they may not be on display any longer. A tønsberg club would be great, 'norges eldste by' and all that ; ) I'm sure the library would happily host us. They have an outdoor chess set, maybe they would be up for an outdoor tafl set too?
AUTHOR Adam

1378416077 Thu Sep 5, 2013 23:21
SUBJECT 102% funded
With around 6 days to go, Cthulhu vs the Vikings has achieved it's goal and is now 102% funded, great news for all us backers as we now get our hands on quite a unique Hnefatafl set. 8-) There are still some superior rewards left to grab and of course, the special addon which is the "Cthulhu King" pack which provides a Cthulhu king piece and extra Viking pieces so players can play either way. The addon is available to all but is free to those who have pledged $150 or more, full details - [url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569862606/cthulhu-vs-the-vikings-the-game-and-the-comic?ref=live:2al0lop2]Cthulhu King & other goodies[/url:2al0lop2]
AUTHOR Bainn

1378816079 Tue Sep 10, 2013 14:27
SUBJECT Re: Cthulhu vs the Vikings
Now some people may say - "Good sir, surely posting to promote a funded project is of little use ? Good day." To which I would reply - "Greetings & salutations, while it is indeed fantastic news that this game and comic have achieved successful funding, I feel fellow board members should know there are no plans to have this product go to retail. Yes, if you want this version of Hnefatafl for your games collection or perchance, you collect all thing Cthulhu, I must state you have but just a couple of days to do so. Good day." Obviously dothing my cap. Click on this linky and get what you need - [url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569862606/cthulhu-vs-the-vikings-the-game-and-the-comic?ref=live:pxyxc78c]Get what you need[/url:pxyxc78c]
AUTHOR Bainn

1378829030 Tue Sep 10, 2013 18:03
SUBJECT Re: Cthulhu vs the Vikings
It'll be a nice set to have, especially if you're a dab hand at figure painting (which I'm not) and can add the extra dollars for the very fetching red and gold play mat (which I can't). And it's nice to support anyone who's promoting hnefatafl.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1378829130 Tue Sep 10, 2013 18:05
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federation
I await volunteers expectantly. Crust has offered contributions in another place, but we need a few more volunteers before the project becomes practical.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1379430282 Tue Sep 17, 2013 17:04
SUBJECT Opening Exporer
Is it possible to organise the game database so players can see which moves where played the most and which lead to wins. An example from chess would be: http://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=5 ... 4.c5.c3.e5
AUTHOR arne64

1379572735 Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:38
SUBJECT Re: Opening Exporer
[quote="arne64":1nubv1sq]Is it possible to organise the game database so players can see which moves where played the most and which lead to wins.[/quote:1nubv1sq] I believe a statistics could be made with this theme, would be interesting. Though probably necessary to take with a grain of salt: whatever favourite opening move a very strong player would have, would seem to be a winning move.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1379611357 Thu Sep 19, 2013 19:22
SUBJECT Re: Opening Exporer
You should compare only games played by the strongest players or by equally rated players. There is no such player who always wins.
AUTHOR arne64

1380538474 Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:54
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
A game in the championship tournament 2013 reached this deadlock position: [img:afw5lg8q]http://aagenielsen.dk/alttinath.png[/img:afw5lg8q] The king reached the edge, but white is not able to complete the solid walls of an edge win fort. At the same time, despite that the fort is not solid, black is not able to break it without losing. This deadlock situation is not covered well by the present Copenhagen rules. The closest one is rule 8: "Perpetual repetitions are forbidden. If the overall board position is repeated three times, the player who maintains the situation ("the threatening player") must find another move to break the repetitions." which handles only overall board repetitions, especially eternal checks, where both parties move back and forth eternally. And who would "the threatening player" be in the above diagram? The deadlock situation above is different, in that only one party (white) is confined to a very few moves, whereas the other party (black) has a lot of free movement with many pieces. I suggest this additional Copenhagen rule to cope with this problem: [b:afw5lg8q][i:afw5lg8q]Draw forts are not allowed: If white repeats the white board position three times while no piece was captured, black wins.[/i:afw5lg8q][/b:afw5lg8q] This takes care of all kinds of draw fort situations (including the early center fort).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1380679425 Wed Oct 2, 2013 4:03
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="Hagbard":176eu5i2]Draw forts are not allowed: If white repeats the white board position three times while no piece was captured, black wins.[/quote:176eu5i2]that seems quite clear and simple, also I guess that could probably be added to the computer program. It's a good addition to the Copenhagen rules.
AUTHOR crust

1380882698 Fri Oct 4, 2013 12:31
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Championship 2013 evaluation
The Hnefatafl Championship tournament 2013 is completed, this year using the Copenhagen rules for the first time in a championship tournament. 156 games were done by 13 participants from 7 countries on 2 continents. Congratulations to Nath for the win! [b:2d4e5voq]Based on the 156 games, the game balance was found to be +1.30.[/b:2d4e5voq] (calculated with certain adjustments: timeouted games excluced except for those with an already certain outcome; and games only included as full pairs). When a game times out or is resigned, it's not always possible to identify exactly how it would have ended, but in the following games the ending was clear: White won 57 games by simply reaching a corner (in 8 of which using the guillotine technique). White won 5 games through the white win edge fort. Black won 21 games by simply catching the king. Black won 17 games by generally surrounding the white party. Black won 1 game because white was unable to move. Black won 1 game because white was trapped in a "draw fort". Zero games drawed. In at least one game a row of enemies was captured using the shieldwall rule. [b:2d4e5voq]Evaluation of the Copenhagen rules set.[/b:2d4e5voq] The Copenhagen rules worked very well for the championship games, in my opinion. All rules were used and were demonstrated indispensable, and the outcome was a lot of interesting games. Also the rules set appeared to be complete with no more additions really needed (after the tournament led to a tuning of the perpetual repetitions rule in the case of "draw forts"). The general surrounding of white proved important, as almost half of the black-win games ended this way early instead of the prolonged, slow, inevitable "strangling" of white. Also the white win edge fort proved to be an important element, leading to 5 direct white wins, but in all games always present as a latent white threat. In one game Altti demonstrated how the two rules "shieldwall capture" and "white win edge fort" act together. A row of blacks were shieldwall captured, subsequently directly leading to the win edge fort. And the tournament demonstrated that draws are extremely rare, here zero out of 156 games.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1382811286 Sat Oct 26, 2013 20:14
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Championship 2013 evaluation
I agree that the Copenhagen rules performed very well once again. I was originally somewhat resistant to the shield wall rule, but it has turned out to be a very important facet of the game, especially in combination with the exit fort, and corner exits. The threat of the shield wall is often used as leverage too. Is it time to adopt Copenhagen as the official world tafl federation modern hnefatafl tournament rules ?
AUTHOR Adam

1382973666 Mon Oct 28, 2013 16:21
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
Sorry for the delay....i'm interested, i hope Epoch too. What can i do? i told to Crust about our work on history of Henfatafl in italian language...(working in progress) We have translated something about origin and rules in italian. We continue our work.
AUTHOR Sybil

1382973848 Mon Oct 28, 2013 16:24
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
So i thank you Conanlibrarian because he helps me to understand a lot of things, i started from his observations. Now i'm focused on Linneus's latin(i teach it) text within "Iter Lapponicum" about Tablut. I study Smith, Ashton and Cartier contributions, i read the other text. I have some observations. First of all i believe it's important discuss about how to study (epistomology) this source and indicate a different approach to latin text without influences (previous ideas and evaluations). Now i organize for the next week a workshop on an experimental reconstruction of Linneus' game with people who doesn't know tablut games or hnefatafl. I'd like to rec this session and to create english subtitles. I'll describe and explain results, doubts and proposals. p.s. Next step is latrunculi, i hope mt contribution help hnefatafl undestanding!
AUTHOR Sybil

1383571918 Mon Nov 4, 2013 14:31
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
What a great idea :) I'm in. I'd happily contribute with article writing and illustrations. I also have some good links with norwegian museums who hold a good number of the important tafl remains. So I would probably be able to get access to images or even rephotograph artefacts easier than most. I have been lucky enough to get my (gloved) hands on the gokstad board and game piece as part of a gokstad ship exhibition project I art directed. So perhaps a fun article might be 'the gokstad board, hnefatafl or not?' I'm also busy trying to decode/deconstruct the alea evangelii manuscript with a biblical scholar friend. So if that bares fruit there could be a fun article there in the future. I think the lulu idea is very good too. Adam
AUTHOR Adam

1383596532 Mon Nov 4, 2013 21:22
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federation
Thanks Sybil and Adam! At the moment there's nothing planned, as I've waited to see if others want to get involved. Now there are four of us that should be enough to make up a first issue. Historical articles would be welcome - I trust that crust can come up with something on strategy. I can do historical stuff, but if others are doing the same then I can easily shift to some other angle like DIY boards and pieces or computer/phone games. The best way to start would be to throw some ideas at me about what articles you could write and at what length (I'm thinking a page or two of A5 for each article, on average). That way I could make a plan of what the journal would contain, and I'd also know what articles I should avoid myself. Eight pages would be a decent enough start for the first issue, though if we have enough for more, I'll be very happy! Damian
AUTHOR cyningstan

1383692932 Wed Nov 6, 2013 0:08
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
I'm happy too! Well, your article, Adam, is very interesting! At the moment i work about some suggestions of epistemology on Linneus's game studies and the next article will be about latrunculi latrunculorum on the original sources. But i can publish them in several numbers and not at the same time! Now, in Italy I direct the web magazine of Fossoli Foundation (It's an ex lager of Second world war in the north of Italy, i work for this foundation the web magazine will be on line at december). If you need help for other stuff i'm available! I ask you if we can create a sort of team and define 2 or 3 basic ideas for this magazine. I'd like riorganize some ideas. - Introduction of the numers - Strategy - History - Narrative? (For example stories inspired by the game!) - Publish original sources? (One for every numbers) - Curiosity? - DIY boards - computer/phone games - Books or bibliografhy or sitography I agree with DIY boards and pieces or computer/phone games, but i suggest two page or three of A5 for each article, on average. This is my email: f.abespo@libero.it Fabio
AUTHOR Sybil

1383729003 Wed Nov 6, 2013 10:10
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
All good suggestions. Perhaps we can agree on a maximum/ideal word count for articles? A side of A5 can mean various things ; ) Serialising longer articles is a nice idea, though perhaps not if it is an annual publication. I think it would need to be monthly for serialisation to work well. One could have a taster or abstract of longer articles with links to the full paper perhaps? We could see what kind of material people would like to produce, and then decide how often it should be publicised. I am keen to write a short piece about the gokstad board, I have a good contact with the cultural history museum in Oslo, so can get some kind of interview with the archeologists who specialise in that piece. I also have some good and entertaining photos of the board and game piece. I would suggest we try to keep on the 'popular' side of science writing, to avoid things being too dry or laborious for the general reader, who may well be curious about the game but not yet passionate, or who may well be a young reader. Again, we could have links to more complex articles if people are interested to delve deeper. Keeping the articles fairly short would be a good way to make this happen automatically. Adam
AUTHOR Adam

1383747140 Wed Nov 6, 2013 15:12
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
Good Adam! I put yours and my suggestions in the scheme also the doubts on we have to decide. I underline them. Obviously we can modify and add everything! [quote:1oji3t0a] [b:1oji3t0a]Format:[/b:1oji3t0a] A5 [u:1oji3t0a](format pdf, blog, site?)[/u:1oji3t0a] [b:1oji3t0a]Time:[/b:1oji3t0a] [u:1oji3t0a]Monthly or bimonthly or annual or we prepare 4-5-6- numbers and after we decide when publish them.[/u:1oji3t0a] [b:1oji3t0a]Claim:[/b:1oji3t0a] to close young readers, people not yet passionate and fans. [b:1oji3t0a]Mode:[/b:1oji3t0a] popular science writing - Introduction of the numbers - Strategy - Interviews (to archelogists or other experts) - History - Narrative? (For example stories inspired by the game!) - Publish original sources (One for every numbers) - Curiosities - DIY boards - computer/phone games - Books or bibliography or sitography[/quote:1oji3t0a]
AUTHOR Sybil

1383822320 Thu Nov 7, 2013 12:05
SUBJECT World Tafl Federation name confirmation
Hello all, I've noticed that the name 'world tafl forum' seems to have gotten lodged into our consciousnesses, though we had in fact moved on from that in the poll to decide on a name, for good reasons discussed in the poll thread, and settled for World Tafl Federation. It sounds stronger, more official and is more correct in terms of what we are aiming to do as a group. Is it possible for people with thread titles containing the world tafl forum name to go in and edit so it reads federation? This will help to avoid confusion for all. We are after all setting about creating an identity now, with a proposed publication, so it's important to get this right.
AUTHOR Adam

1384080320 Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:45
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federat
I'm glad to see the idea taking off! I suggested an annual publication for a number of reasons. 1. How much actually happens with the game in the space of a month, two months or a year? In a year we have several well-publicised live tournaments around the world, though it's often difficult to get information like results afterwards (the on-line tournaments are better for this). Some more hnefatafl pieces may be unearthed from year to year at archaeological digs. Someone publishes a paper. Without just duplicating timeless content from web sites, I think this is enough to supply an annual publication, but I would be hard pressed to find new things going on every month, or even bi-monthly. If we added product releases - and I couldn't be impartial in that - then there may be enough for a slim bi-monthly publication. 2. It's notoriously difficult to keep these things going from month to month. There are countless examples of hobby productions that have folded after a few months, simply because the amount of effort needed in research, writing, typesetting is more time consuming than people expect. It's very easy for "real life" issues to take over and prevent a monthly issue coming out, but on a yearly schedule there's more slack in the timetable to keep things going. 3. Readership and viability: it's a niche subject, so we shouldn't have too high an expectation of the number of copies that would be sold. As a hobbyist I'd willingly put a few dozen hours a year into a publication that would have a few dozen readers. But I don't think I'd be willing to put that amount of time in over a month for the same readership. My only experience in doing this kind of thing has been EPOC Entertainer, a little monthly leaflet I did on the subject of games for EPOC pocket computers made by Psion. I managed to keep it going (single handed) for 36 issues, and it only folded because I took time out after an eye operation. After that I decided not to re-start publication because of low readership and even lower reader participation (in surveys and feedback and such-like). I managed to keep it going for so long by learning from others' mistakes: I deliberately kept it to four pages of A5 to limit the amount of time it would eat up. I'll stop there and leave length and content to other posts...
AUTHOR cyningstan

1384080587 Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:49
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
[quote="Adam":yihrk3bd]Perhaps we can agree on a maximum/ideal word count for articles? A side of A5 can mean various things ; )[/quote:yihrk3bd] About 500 words per A5 page isn't an unreasonable estimate, less for pages that contain artwork or large titles. A range of articles from 500-1500 words would then create 1, 2 and 3-page articles (longer if illustrated). I don't know what the professional method is, but I'd say that target word counts should be set [i:yihrk3bd]after[/i:yihrk3bd] we decide what articles are going into the issue. Then we'll know what are feature articles and what might be more light-hearted or "filler" articles. My idea of eight pages is just a minimum really. For an annual publication we wouldn't be limited on space, given that print-on-demand doesn't present any up-front costs apart from a single proof copy. If we managed to generate eighty pages or more, then so much the better, though I think that would be unlikely for a 2014 issue, given that it's November already.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1384082790 Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:26
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Forum
[quote="Sybil":2g5z7apt]I ask you if we can create a sort of team and define 2 or 3 basic ideas for this magazine. I'd like riorganize some ideas.[/quote:2g5z7apt] I like these! Particularly the narrative, which I hadn't thought of. This year we've had the Cthulhu vs. the Vikings magazine whose story has been inspired by the game. And I keep seeing on-line fan fiction come up in searches for hnefatafl. When I first came up with the idea, I had a some things in mind which I probably didn't explain very well in my original post. I'm very much wedded to the idea of timely articles. General articles about rules, strategy and history would form part of the publication but these are things that would be just as well hosted on a normal web site. The purpose of a regular publication would be to highlight things new: new research, new products, new archaeological finds, new variants. I think that at about half of the space (or half of the articles) should deal with new material, possibly including the puzzles, to prevent the publication being no more than an ossified version of the countless web sites we can already look at. Examples of timely stuff I can think of from 2013 include: [list:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]The first English hnefatafl championships, in Sutton Hoo.[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]The dicovery of the world's oldest smiley, a hnefatafl king piece (can't find this now, feels like I dreamt it or something).[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]Cthulhu vs. the Vikings kickstarter project.[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]Copenhagen hnefatafl - was this year's tournament the first real test of the rules?[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]The first publications exclusively about hnefatafl: Jesse Robinson's e-book, and a 20-page booklet by some other guy...[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]New clubs: Tromsø Tafl Laug and the Formby Hnefatafl Club[/*:m:2g5z7apt] [*:2g5z7apt]Product releases, including computer/mobile games[/*:m:2g5z7apt][/list:u:2g5z7apt] This, along with product reviews, puzzles, the coming year's calendar of events and similar was what I really had in mind as taking up the bulk of the publication. There are other things that could be added even though they didn't necessarily originate in 2013: possible wider acceptance of Cartier's tablut interpretation, a growing disbelief in the authenticity (and playability) of "ard ri".
AUTHOR cyningstan

1384095507 Sun Nov 10, 2013 15:58
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federat
Amazing! So, can we make a resume?
AUTHOR Sybil

1384748479 Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:21
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federat
Sounds good to me! I'll try to remember to check the forum more often than my current weekly visit too! :-)
AUTHOR cyningstan

1384905225 Wed Nov 20, 2013 0:53
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Review - the Journal of the World Tafl Federat
Can you try Adam to resume and to understand how can we proceed?
AUTHOR Sybil

1385932429 Sun Dec 1, 2013 22:13
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Championship 2013 evaluation
We need a set of rules to increase population. And Copenhagen rules are the only choice we have so far. Let them use for official tournaments. By the way: I still claim they are in favor for black...
AUTHOR nath

1385932786 Sun Dec 1, 2013 22:19
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
I think an important part is to measure different variants differently. Different variants have different draw chances etc. I don't think that variants like Salk Hnefatafl should be rated. maybe we should just make different ratings for each variants and display them in a different menu, but just display the rating from a main variant at the main page. Also variants with a lot of draws like 'old' Hnefatafl let look the distance between players much smaller than it looks with a draw-less variant like Copenhagen Hnefatafl.
AUTHOR nath

1385933107 Sun Dec 1, 2013 22:25
SUBJECT Re: Opening Exporer
@Hagbard: You have a database with all games. We should set a standart database and import all game in that database. We should also make a table with all "normed" (to get rid of flipping over the board) positions that have an index about the normed position and contrain game+move. We can also add the rating of the players and also make an index about the row. I'm also interested in a Hnefatafl computer engine, but I guess we need an opening book like in chess to make it strong.
AUTHOR nath

1385933708 Sun Dec 1, 2013 22:35
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
This "extra rule" actually change the Copenhagen rules - it makes the the "threatening player-rule" dispensable. But I'd like that change, because we make the rules much more simple. I guess that would be a good step if we want to go more officially.
AUTHOR nath

1386003944 Mon Dec 2, 2013 18:05
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[b:36a8t7pj][size=150:36a8t7pj]News about translation of the Linné diary (which describes the rules of tablut).[/size:36a8t7pj][/b:36a8t7pj] The Finnish linguist Olli Salmi sent me today this mail: [quote:36a8t7pj]Dab'lo=tablut Hej, Jag märkte några dar sedan att Smith's engelska översättning av reglerna för tablut har ett par fel och ett par regler som fattas. Jag har nu placerat min översättning här: [b:36a8t7pj][url:36a8t7pj]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:36a8t7pj][/b:36a8t7pj] Jag skall tänka lite mera om översättningen när jag har tid. Jag har skrivit om saken till Peter Michaelsen, David Parlett, Thierry Depaulis, Sten Helmfrid, Damian Walker och Robert Thomson. Med vänliga hälsningar, Olli Salmi[/quote:36a8t7pj] The email says: [quote:36a8t7pj]I noticed some days ago that Smith's English translation of the rules for tablut has a couple of errors and a couple of rules missing. I now placed my translation here: [b:36a8t7pj][url:36a8t7pj]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:36a8t7pj][/b:36a8t7pj] I'll think a little more about the translation when I have time. I've written about the matter to Peter Michaelsen, David Parlett, Thierry Depaulis, Sten Helmfrid, Damian Walker and Robert Thomson. Sincerely, Olli Salmi[/quote:36a8t7pj]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386034426 Tue Dec 3, 2013 2:33
SUBJECT Re: Greetings...
A little bit late - but welcome! I hope you enjoyed our games. :)
AUTHOR nath

1386043383 Tue Dec 3, 2013 5:03
SUBJECT Hnefatafl Internet Championship
Hi, I want to talk here about rules. Actually not the rules of the game, but the rules of the championship. If the game popularity increase (and I hope so) we can't continue to have Hnefatafl Internet Champions like this. Last time we had 13 participants => 24 games per player. Some games ended via timeout early, but still 20 games are pretty much. I have just one day per move and if I have a busy day I have just half an hour for all my moves. 30 mins/20 moves=1.5 minutes. Shame on me, but there're a lot of position in which I can't make reasonable moves in 2 minutes. My suggestion: We divide all players in groups of 6 to 8 players. We make rounds of with int(participants/8) groups. The groups sizes are hold as equal as possible (Ex. with 20 players we make a group with 6 and two groups with 7 players). The players are totally divided randomly over the groups. In each group each player play against each player (this are at most 14 games). After each round the better half of each group (rounded up). If the number of players would reach 9, 10, 11 or 17 we need withdraws. 3 withdraws if we would reach 9, two if we would reach 10 and one if we would reach 11 or 17 players. The best two players of the last group fight afterward a finale (two games - one with each color). This would lead to a longer tournament (like three rounds) instead of just one, but with moves of higher quality and a games that will be decided through skill and not through spent time. It's not just a small tournament, but a big event. Example: 13 players (like we had last time): They would be randomly paired into two groups of 7 and 6 players. 4+3 players advance to the next (last) round. 19 players: Paired into 3 groups (randomly) with 7, 6 and 6 players. 4+3+3+(2 withdraws) advance to the next round. Randomly split12 players in two groups of six players 3+3 players advance into the last round. 27 players. Paired into 3 groups (randomly) with 7, 7, 7 and 6 players. 4+4+4+3 players advance. 15 players are split in groups of 8 and 7 players. 4+4 players advance into the last round. We should also determinate how we sort players. We don't know what to do if we have two players with the same amount of points. Without further thinking I would suggest the following: 1. points (he archived this round) 2. direct comparison (skip this for withdraws) 3. Sonneborn-Berger (just from this round) 4. coin flip (shouldn't happen anytime) If the finale is a draw (one win for each player) the direct comparison of the last round is used. If that don't lead to a result they play again two games. If there isn't a winner, they play again two times. Afterward I would suggest a coin flip (so we don't need half a year for the whole stuff). It might be also interesting to choose just one player from the candidates tournament and let him (or her) play against the current world champion. Just some ideas. I'd be happy to get comments about it. Of course it would be some afford to organize such an event, but it's much more interesting than just a "normal" tournament at this site. I can offer help with coding/organizing if that sounds also interesting for you.
AUTHOR nath

1386043680 Tue Dec 3, 2013 5:08
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
I would also suggest to give only a k-factor of 16 (the half) if the player played a basic amount of games (20 or 30). Between Grandmasters in chess a k-factor about 10 is used. We have to fast changes if just one or two games are lost.
AUTHOR nath

1386047202 Tue Dec 3, 2013 6:06
SUBJECT Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants
Salk Hnefatafl even on a 9x9 board seems to be in favor for black. The king is just to hostile. Sea battle tafl seems to be better balanced, but much easier to play for while. Sea battle tafl leads to very fast, very tactical game. I'm still very bad at that variant.
AUTHOR nath

1386216544 Thu Dec 5, 2013 5:09
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
I like the idea of rating the games separately; you could still have an overall score (counting only the games that the player has played). It would make sense to factor in the various game imbalances BUT since they're calculated on a sample of games, those numbers could be refined over a period of time, making earlier score calculations invalid.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1386217681 Thu Dec 5, 2013 5:28
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
In this Olli is following in the footsteps of Cartier (like I did when I first found the Latin version). He has some interesting additions about translations of Sami words like raichi and tuich(u/a). He also has knowledge of the handwritten version of Linnaeus' diaries, which shed some light on what changes there are even in the Swedish/Latin translation of them. I'm looking forward to a time when the manuscript gets digitised and put on-line.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1386538719 Sun Dec 8, 2013 22:38
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[b:37ahjk3d]John C. Ashton's paper was demanded reduced to half length before publication in the games magazine. The original, full paper is much more informative and [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/LinnaeusPaper-Longer.pdf:37ahjk3d]can be found here, with Ashton's kind permission[/url:37ahjk3d].[/b:37ahjk3d]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386674027 Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:13
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[b:35o1i0k4][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/tablut_translations.html:35o1i0k4]A table overview of four translations of the Linné text for comparison to be found here, with comments.[/url:35o1i0k4][/b:35o1i0k4]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386692010 Tue Dec 10, 2013 17:13
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Congratulations with the great attention for Hnefatafl in Berlin, nath! [quote="nath":2qkc5xte]This "extra rule" actually change the Copenhagen rules - it makes the the "threatening player-rule" dispensable.[/quote:2qkc5xte] The "extra rule" could make the "threatening player-rule" dispensable, provided that the threatening player in all cases will also be the first player to repeat his position three times.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386697142 Tue Dec 10, 2013 18:39
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[quote="nath":209vkol9]If the game popularity increase (and I hope so) we can't continue to have Hnefatafl Internet Champions like this. Last time we had 13 participants => 24 games per player. ... I have just one day per move and if I have a busy day I have just half an hour for all my moves. 30 mins/20 moves=1.5 minutes.[/quote:209vkol9] You have a point there. Until now with the 8, 13 and 13 participants an all-against-all tournament has been possible, and in all cases there's no doubt that the right winner was found. But a tournament method should be chosen which is able to handle whatever number of participants. You mention two clear problems with the all-against-all method: the number of games could theoretically be infinite, and the time for each game could theoretically be zero. There's another problem with this kind of tournament: In the real world a setup with several rounds, like you propose, could be carried out in a few days. This is however the internet, where things proceed terribly slowly. This year's tournament, which was only a single round, lasted almost two months, and that is normal. Three rounds would thus last six months. I would suggest to use some kind of "scarce matrix" method. (A concept from mathematics - a matrix with few squares in use and most of the squares empty). Because not all the all-against-all games are needed to find the true winner of the tournament, and so if only carrying out the important and necessary games, the whole tournament can still be completed within one round. [b:209vkol9]It could be done this way:[/b:209vkol9] All players play against players rated within +-200 rating points from themselves. And at least against the two nearest rated players above and the two below themselves. The top eight players all play against each other, and the top eight players also have double time for their games. In the simplest case the top one player would then only have 14 games, and double time for his games. "The simplest case" is when everybody performs as expected. When a player wins over a higher rated player A, he must also play against players rated within +200 rating points from A (and all players rated between himself and A), and at least against the two nearest rated players above A. Likewise if he loses to a lower rated player B, he must also play against players rated within -200 rating points from B, (and all players rated between himself and B), and at least against the two nearest rated players below B. Thus in the extreme case that the top one player loses all his games, he'll move his way down through the whole list and have to play against everybody. Likewise the bottom one player could win all his games and move his way up through the whole list and play against everybody. Everyone should play against minimum 4 opponents, therefore the bottom player would play at least against the four nearest bottom players. In all normal cases the tournament will be settled with playing against everybody not so far from your own rating. This way the whole tournament would be settled with a single round, and the true strongest player would be found after all.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386717122 Wed Dec 11, 2013 0:12
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
[quote="nath":qwxfywya]Also variants with a lot of draws like 'old' Hnefatafl let look the distance between players much smaller than it looks with a draw-less variant like Copenhagen Hnefatafl.[/quote:qwxfywya] There'll be less draws with 'old' Hnefatafl in future. 'Old' Hnefatafl and several other variants descend from the David Brown Hnefatafl, and it would be natural for them to inherit from this the win-by-surrounding-all-whites rule. [quote="nath":qwxfywya]I would also suggest to give only a k-factor of 16 (the half) if the player played a basic amount of games (20 or 30).[/quote:qwxfywya] The rating calculation can be improved especially for games against new players with unestablished ratings. [quote="cyningstan":qwxfywya]It would make sense to factor in the various game imbalances BUT since they're calculated on a sample of games, those numbers could be refined over a period of time, making earlier score calculations invalid.[/quote:qwxfywya] The game imbalances are already included in the rating calculations. The balance values are reasonably accurate, they're in most cases based on many hundreds of games and change but little. The beauty of the Elo rating system is that your rating will at all times approach your "true" number, no matter where you start - like a pendulum which can oscillate but always finds back to its equilibrium. So if for one or the other reason a player's rating is too high or too low, it will correct itself through his next games anyway.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1386863649 Thu Dec 12, 2013 16:54
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
currently the threatening player is the player that repeat his piece position one move after his opponent.
AUTHOR nath

1386865170 Thu Dec 12, 2013 17:19
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
The main problem here is that you get a medium rating (no matter where you start) by participating in test tournaments and anyways your rating is totally flipped by just loosing a two games in a row against a player that have some difference to you (for example I lost 31 points against you in just one game). The Elo system is developed for chess (I play also chess). But the change of the rating is much slower than here (if the player has such a basic amount of games). The problem is that the rating change to quickly here. In 'Old' Hnefatafl the king can't escape if you play against experienced players. I don't think that it is a good variant to rate. But also for reasonable variants I'd prefer different ratings. Copenhagen Hnefatafl and Sea Battle Tafl (9x9) are both good and interesting variants, but completely different. Since Copenhagen Hnefatafl is a game of developing pieces, Sea battle tafl is a game of fast tactical play. If I play Sea battle tafl my rating go down, if I play Copenhagen Hnefatafl my rating goes up. Why should a player that just catchs me in Sea battle tafl has a better rating than one that is a serious opponent in Copenhagen Hnefatafl for me? Different ratings are necessary.
AUTHOR nath

1386867260 Thu Dec 12, 2013 17:54
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
You already wrote the problem of your system. A new player register at this website, but he knows the game quite well. So you set parings. He easily bet some stronger players. Afterward he won, he get new opponents. Also bet some guys there. Get new opponents and bet some. Even if he not win the tournament he get new opponents maybe 5 or 10 times. So we can have 10 game-rounds (because the new game starts just if the old one ended) if we have bad luck. And if just one player lost through time-out against a weak one we have a bunch of senseless games... Your suggestion give bound to number of the played games. But not a bound to the amount of taken time. If we are unlucky we need more than a year to proceed with this. In real life chess you usually play a swiss-system tournament. At the first round you get a opponent that is as far from you skill as possible to get the players sorted in a upper and a lower class. But we obviously can't make a swiss-system tournament here. I like the idea of a central database with ratings to do something official everyone refers to. But to be honest: the validity of the rating we have here is low. At the one hand he a lot of problems I talk about in the other thread. At the other hand we are just focused on this site. We have no options the get ratings from real life tournaments (we currently have just very, very few, but that would be a important step to promote this game). With that we need rules about minimal time for player to cast a game as rated etc. I still like my suggestion, because it gives a simple bound for the maximal number of rounds (and games). Up to 16 participants 2 rounds, up to 32 participants 3 rounds, up to 64 participants four rounds (+final rounds between two rounds)...you see the number of rounds increase logarithmic. So we don't get problems if the number of players increase and we do not kick a player out because he makes a bad mistake or loose through a timeout if he wins the other games of that round. Just in the last round (8 players left) things start to get dangerous. But we have the same problem in chess. Carlsen and Kramnik both the same amount of points in the candidature tournament. The direct comparison was a draw. So Carlsen advanced because he played less draws. My suggest try to keep the amount of rounds as small as possible. I like your suggestion to give the doubled amount of time. I wold add that to my suggestion for the last round (8 players left) and the final rounds.
AUTHOR nath

1386919303 Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:21
SUBJECT Re: Rating of tafl games
All good points. I must admit that I personally like the joint overview of the total rating list very much. When you look through the list, all players are positioned absolutely reasonably. But I'll work on this problem after New Year. As for the test tournaments: In some cases the balances of some variants were completely unknown, and those tournaments were not rated. For the rated tournaments, the rating calculation is adjusted for game balance (reasonably known), and furthermore everyone plays two games of reverse colors against each opponent, so the risk is limited.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1387008209 Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:03
SUBJECT Use of tafl variants in real life tournaments
New translations are coming up of the Latin description of the tafl game Tablut in the Linné diary 1732. The Finnish linguist Olli Salmi is right now working on a translation here: [b:hrtkwf8q][url:hrtkwf8q]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:hrtkwf8q][/b:hrtkwf8q] and the subject is discussed in the forum here: [b:hrtkwf8q][url:hrtkwf8q]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=106&p=869#p869[/url:hrtkwf8q][/b:hrtkwf8q] If the historical Linné Lapp Tablut turns out to be in all probability the same as "Skalk Hnefatafl Edge 9x9", I'd suggest that real life tournaments such as those planned in Tromsø and Berlin next year add to the event a demonstration match of this game, to draw a line back to the historical tafl roots.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1387092768 Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:32
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
About Troilius: in his introduction to Lachesis Lapponica, Smith explains that Troilius' Latin wasn't too strong, so Smith had to retranslate all that himself (as I understand it). So we have Smith himself to thank for the tablut translation. Thanks also for adding my note to the bottom of the translation table. It should be noted, though, that the rules numbers I quote are from my own paraphrase, rather than Linnaeus' original - the out-of-context reference to "rule 7" confused even me for a minute. I reordered them to suit my standard rule order of begin-move-capture-win.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1387093176 Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:39
SUBJECT Re: Use of tafl variants in real life tournaments
I quite agree. In fact I'm hoping to organise a tournament here in Hull in 2017 for the Year of Culture events, if I can get the support of enough others locally (venue, publicity, participants). I'd very much like to use Cartier/Skalk Edge 9x9 type rules for it, and I'd love to keep an eye on the stats of games here to see its balance. I ought to make an effort to play more too. Currently my plans are for sea battle tafl 9x9, as we know that's a very nice, balanced game, and its rules are simple and elegant too, ideal for beginners. But my eye is very much on the latest tablut interpretations too, as I think that these will be our closest approach to the game that the Vikings played.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1387266694 Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:51
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
The fight-your-way-through-the-list idea has some drawbacks. In return your proposal can actually handle 24 players in two rounds: First round is three groups, each with 8 players; each player does 14 games. Second round is one group with best half from each of the three groups, in all 12 players. But each player already met 3 of those in the first round; left are 8 players as new opponents, and each player does 16 games here. That's all.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1387375231 Wed Dec 18, 2013 15:00
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[b:8n8l9afx]The championship schedule 2014 could be:[/b:8n8l9afx] All August participants sign up for the championship. September 1st start of first round. About October 1st start of second round.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1387448636 Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:23
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[b:3kxqms66]Olli Salmi[/b:3kxqms66] sent this mail with [b:3kxqms66]three very interesting photo copies of pages in the Linné diary[/b:3kxqms66]: [quote:3kxqms66]Översättningen på ss. 7-8 är bra, faktist bättre än den professionella översättarens version, men den senare har förstått regeln 12. Ashton borde ha utelämnat all spekulation. Jag skickar en kopia av den skytteanska utgåvan, del 1, som jag tog några år sedan. Där ser man att alla "karakteriserade" rutor har nummer. ... Jag lånade Linnés Iter Lapponicum från universitetet i Åbo. ... Dagbokstexten hade skrivits ut i sin helhet av filosofie doktor Algot Hellbom efter handskriftsfotograferna. "Han hade under ett långt liv skaffat sig stor erfarenhet av äldre handskrifter och en vana att läsa dem, och var alltså väl skickad för uppgiften". Han markerade de vädertagna förkortningarna som Linné hade använt och skrev ut Linnés egna förkortningar, särskilt utelämnade ändelser i latinorden, ..." "Algot Hellbom avled den 6 juli 1996, nittiotre år gammal. Han hade året innan slutfört sin viktiga del av textetableringen, som han hade arbetat med, skickligt och energiskt, under tio års tid." "... avsnitt i latin har översatts för kommentaren av fil.mag, Ingegerd Fries."[/quote:3kxqms66] The email says: [quote:3kxqms66]The translation on pages 7-8 [in John C. Ashtons full paper] are good, actually better than the professional translator's version [in the same paper], but the latter understood rule 12. Ashton should have omitted all speculation. I send a copy from the Skyttean edition, part 1, which I took some years ago. There you see that all "marked" squares have numbers. ... I borrowed Linné's Iter Lapponicum from the university in Åbo [Finland]. ... The diary text was transcribed in full by philosophy doctor Algot Hellbom from photoes of the handwritten manuscript. "He through a long life acquired considerable experience with old handwritten manuscripts and routine in reading them, and was therefore well qualified for the task." He marked the conventional abbreviations, which Linné used, and transcribed Linnés own abbreviations, especially the left out endings in Latin words, ..." "Algot Hellbom passed away July 6th 1996, 93 years old. The year before, he had completed his important part of the text establishing, which he had been working on, skilfully and energetically, for ten years." "... Latin passages were translated for the commentary by cand. phil. Ingegerd Fries."[/quote:3kxqms66] [b:3kxqms66]Olli Salmi's page on the Linné tablut is found here:[/b:3kxqms66] [b:3kxqms66][url:3kxqms66]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:3kxqms66][/b:3kxqms66] When the Linné copies will be shown on Salmi's site, the links will be changed to use them, but for now you can see them here: [b:3kxqms66]Two pages from the printed Linné diary with diagram and rules[/b:3kxqms66] [b:3kxqms66][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/salmi/Iter001.jpg:3kxqms66]page 1[/url:3kxqms66][/b:3kxqms66] [b:3kxqms66][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/salmi/Iter002.jpg:3kxqms66]page 2[/url:3kxqms66][/b:3kxqms66] [size=150:3kxqms66][i:3kxqms66][b:3kxqms66]Page from the original, handwritten diary of Linné with diagram and rules![/b:3kxqms66][/i:3kxqms66][/size:3kxqms66] [b:3kxqms66][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/salmi/Iter003.jpg:3kxqms66]page 3[/url:3kxqms66][/b:3kxqms66]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1387658080 Sat Dec 21, 2013 21:34
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[b:2lvkrcaj]This is an attempt to sum up the findings until now about the Linné Tablut.[/b:2lvkrcaj] During the latest few years the Linné rules were translated from Latin by John C. Ashton, Nicolas Cartier, Conanlibrarian and Olli Salmi. To this comes the translation 1811 by Carl Troilius / James Edward Smith. [b:2lvkrcaj][url=http://aagenielsen.dk/tablut_translations.html:2lvkrcaj]A table overview of four translations of the Linné text.[/url:2lvkrcaj][/b:2lvkrcaj] [b:2lvkrcaj]The translations match the tafl variant, which we've been calling "Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9".[/b:2lvkrcaj] The translations give rise to disagreement only about a few details. [b:2lvkrcaj]Base camps.[/b:2lvkrcaj] John C. Ashton interprets the attackers' base camps as forbidden areas (likewise did the translator behind the Foteviken Museum variant), but rest of the translators disagree. Conanlibrarian gives a good argument for those base camps not to be forbidden: [quote:2lvkrcaj]"This translation is straight forward, but Ashton inserts an extra reference forbidding exiting over the base camps here. Ashton makes a big deal of the fact that all exit examples take place away from the Moscovite base camp, but I think this is an artifact of the labeling. Linnaeus started by drawing the game board, then described the game setup, adding the numerical labels. When he got to describing the rules, he could not use the Moscovite starting areas in examples in an exact way, since all these squares were labeled with a 4!"[/quote:2lvkrcaj] [b:2lvkrcaj]Throne passable and re-enterable?[/b:2lvkrcaj] Ashton, Cartier and Conanlibrarian interprets rule 14 as a non-passable throne, and Ashton and Cartier interprets rule 1 as a non re-enterable throne. Salmi comments: [quote:2lvkrcaj]Cartier's interpretation that one cannot jump over the citadel and that the king cannot return to it is possible but not necessary, especially the latter. After all what is a citadel if not a place of refuge?[/quote:2lvkrcaj] [b:2lvkrcaj]Throne hostile when occupied by the king?[/b:2lvkrcaj] Damian Walker presents an effective argument for the point that the throne is hostile to the defenders, only when it's empty: [quote:2lvkrcaj]"An addition to the rules not found in Linnaeus' Latin text is the word "empty" in rule 7. This has been added because, without it, rule 11 would be completely redundant. As it is, rule 11 describes the one instance where a defending piece can be captured against the non-empty central square."[/quote:2lvkrcaj]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1388295522 Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:38
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
With that suggestion you take the advantage of the 20 day-limit for the final away again. If I loose first round (10-day limit) through a time out that might disqualify me to reach the top. My idea was to get the best players to the top. "I lost through timeout against a strong player in the first round, so I loose the third round." I hope my suggestion also promote creative play, because you have the opportunity to astonish good players with new variants at early rounds, without taking to much risk. Anyways I like a good reason for players to play against each other. If we are lucky we can get a lot of excellent games during just one tournament. What about sign up in July, start the first one 1st August and don't set a date for the second round now, but start it, when the first one is finished?
AUTHOR nath

1388296885 Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:01
SUBJECT Re: Use of tafl variants in real life tournaments
The Vikings had much less opportunity to compare good strategies then we have today. I like to draw back a line form the vikings, but I have to admit that want also promote Hnefatafl as a game itself and not only as a nice to know as part of the Vikings. And most assumptions that are made so far doesn't include any knowledge about balancing of the games. To make a statement: I'd suggest to use Copenhagen Rules for official tournaments. The reason is quite simple. I'm to bad at this game to judge whether Copenhagen or Sea battle tafl 9x9 is better balanced, but we should agree on any basic set of rules to promote this game. We could take Sea battle tafl 9x9 now. That's true. But Copenhagen rules aren't much are difficult, if we add the rule that white has to break the permutal repetition. We even don't need the encirclement rule anymore (you can construct a situation, but it's nearly impossible to reach). Of course you have two extra rules, but I guess they aren't to difficult to learn (it's a feature like the rochade is in chess). The total complex of the rules is far more easy than it is in chess and on the combinatorial side Copenhagen Hnefatafl is the complex game. At the tactic part Sea battle tafl can catch up with Copenhagen rules. But the strategic part of Sea battle tafl 9x9 isn't important, you just play tactical. I can also life with the choice to establish Sea battle tafl 9x9 as standard variant (in which our knowledge is weaker for far and that is combinatorial easier), but it would be a break regarding the the former promotion of the 11x11 board. Even if I'd take Copenhagen Hnefatafl, the most important point for me is that we agree on any variant in common. I don't want Hnefatafl to become a game that forces you to talk about the rules before you can play a game.
AUTHOR nath

1388298599 Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:29
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[quote="nath":3176osc2]With that suggestion you take the advantage of the 20 day-limit for the final away again.[/quote:3176osc2] Perhaps just as well go the whole length and use a 20 day-limit for all games of a championship tournament. If matches which were carried out already in the first round, were to be repeated in the second round, this would be an asymmetry; you'd have two matches against some strong opponents (who accidentally shared your group in the first round) but only one match against other strong opponents. [quote="nath":3176osc2]What about sign up in July, start the first one 1st August [/quote:3176osc2] The only worry is: summer holidays. If a strong player has holidays in August, he's lost for the championship tournament, which would be most unfortunate.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1388306615 Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:43
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
"Threatening player" cases are, typically, eternal checks. It is typically white who is the threatening party - the king struggles to get past black to corner or edge. In principle also black could be the threatening party, but I don't remember an example of this. "Extra rule" cases are white draw forts. Perhaps, in practice, the "extra rule" is sufficient to cover all cases of repetitions.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1388391758 Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:22
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[quote="Hagbard":3kzp1iwz]Perhaps just as well go the whole length and use a 20 day-limit for all games of a championship tournament.[/quote:3kzp1iwz]That double the needed time. If we have to many participants, that take a lot of time.[quote="Hagbard":3kzp1iwz]If matches which were carried out already in the first round, were to be repeated in the second round, this would be an asymmetry; you'd have two matches against some strong opponents (who accidentally shared your group in the first round) but only one match against other strong opponents.[/quote:3kzp1iwz]Where is the problem? I don't want to compare players. A single game can be never used to say who's the better player in general. Where is the problem if we have more than one game between players? We have some preliminary rounds with certain groups of 6 to 8 ppl. Comparing the old system each group is a "tournament" itself. Each of these rounds are just used to sort weak players out. To get candidates for the final group of 8 players. And they a tournament as known before. Each round offer totally new chances to all players. It doesn't matter what kind of mistakes he made before - he get a new start. We are much faster with this system and it's very easy, because we don't have to look at old rounds, what would be very confusing, even for players that are used to organize tournaments. I don't want to fill in a matrix - I want to sort out good candidates. I don't care about any kind of matrix. That's the reason we can use 10 days for the early round. If the players belongs to the upper players, he will not get into the lower half of a group, even if he loose one or two games through a timeout. [quote="Hagbard":3kzp1iwz] The only worry is: summer holidays. If a strong player has holidays in August, he's lost for the championship tournament, which would be most unfortunate.[/quote:3kzp1iwz]OK. I'm never at vacation at this time (I played last tournament from vacation), but you're probably right. So it should be like that: "All August participants sign up for the championship. September 1st start of first round. The second round start, when the first round ended."
AUTHOR nath

1388392253 Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:30
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
It is. It also covers the game between altti and me last tournament (that's the reason I didn't agree the draw), but it seems hard to test, because you have to retrace the whole game if you want to test whether the rule matters. But I would suggest to change it to "white have to find another move". You can construct position in which it matters, but it's very unlikely to get such a position in a normal game and you get massive simplification of the rules. I don't want Hnefatafl to get rules you need a study a week before you understand them. And I needed your explanation to get this rule. We ugly need to change at least the wording, but I rather suggest to change the whole rule. It's very complex and not clear for new players.
AUTHOR nath

1388394440 Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:07
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[quote="nath":2zje3ju1]It also covers the game between altti and me last tournament (that's the reason I didn't agree the draw), but it seems hard to test, because you have to retrace the whole game if you want to test whether the rule matters.[/quote:2zje3ju1] No, it's known: the altti/nath game was caught by the "extra rule". The "first rule" would've taken an eternity to detect that specific case of repetitions. [quote="nath":2zje3ju1]But I would suggest to change it to "white have to find another move".[/quote:2zje3ju1] Worth a consideration.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1388582503 Wed Jan 1, 2014 14:21
SUBJECT Re: Use of tafl variants in real life tournaments
[quote="nath":3tokauiw]I can also life with the choice to establish Sea battle tafl 9x9 as standard variant (in which our knowledge is weaker for far and that is combinatorial easier), but it would be a break regarding the the former promotion of the 11x11 board. Even if I'd take Copenhagen Hnefatafl, the most important point for me is that we agree on any variant in common. I don't want Hnefatafl to become a game that forces you to talk about the rules before you can play a game.[/quote:3tokauiw] This is where we'll not agree - the variety of different hnefatafl games is what I find so interesting. I must have something of the anarchist in me: I love brandub, tablut, tawlbwrdd, sea battle tafl, and I desperately want to love alea evangelii too. I'm less enthusiastic about Fetlar, Copenhagen and other 11x11 corner-victory games, though I'm happy that they exist and flourish. That goes for most variants I've seen... except "ard ri": the less said about that one, the better. I think it's enough that we settle on an official variant here on this site (and possibly the WTF), e.g. Copenhagen, while the Fetlar people play their version. I'm still favouring sea battle tafl for the Hull tournament. But I'd love the opportunity to organise a brandub tournament too!
AUTHOR cyningstan

1389010308 Mon Jan 6, 2014 13:11
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
So, perhaps something like this: First round groups of about 8 players, 10 moves per 10 days. Players are evenly distributed with strong and weak players in each group. Best half of each group continues to next round. ... Last round one group of about 8 players, 10 moves per 20 days.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1389102027 Tue Jan 7, 2014 14:40
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
I'm finishing my article! I don't know where i can post it ( i have to translate it in english)
AUTHOR Sybil

1389103320 Tue Jan 7, 2014 15:02
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="Sybil":2mlbpq2h]I don't know where i can post it ( i have to translate it in english)[/quote:2mlbpq2h] If it would be ok with you, I would be happy to publish the article on this site. If so, you can mail the article to me.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1389110930 Tue Jan 7, 2014 17:08
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Thanks for summarizing the current emerging consensus on the Tablut rules, Aage! I think it is great that we are reaching an understanding on how Tablut was historically played, and that this is actually an interesting, and fairly balanced game. Regarding my modest contributions, I actually have no strong opinion on weather the throne is passable or not, and I bow my head to Olli Salmi's real understanding of the language. This autumn I have not had time to play anything here, due to finishing writing my PhD (on a completely unrelated computer science topic), but now that this is almost done, I look forward to play in the current tournament. Just one suggestion: Perhaps you should remove the use of the word "Lapp", in the name of the game, since it is quite dated, and might be considered offensive by some? /Jonas (aka conanlibrarian)
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1389112273 Tue Jan 7, 2014 17:31
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="conanlibrarian":1z6fma3s]Perhaps you should remove the use of the word "Lapp", in the name of the game, since it is quite dated, and might be considered offensive by some?[/quote:1z6fma3s] Is that so? Could be replaced with the word "Saami".
AUTHOR Hagbard

1389175343 Wed Jan 8, 2014 11:02
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
[img:qsq580pw]http://aagenielsen.dk/ejhvidtdrawfort.png[/img:qsq580pw] In this Copenhagen game: Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11, 134 moves, 2014-01-07 23:48:09, black won, an end game draw situation came up, which is not seen before: White threatens to build an edge win fort along the north edge, but is prevented from doing so by a line of black pieces separating the white pieces from their king and the edge. Black probably would like to form an unbroken chain of black pieces in south and thereafter move the whole chain northwards, but hasn't enough men to do so and at the same time keep white away from the north line. The white king moved around a bit, near the edge, maybe in the hope that black will eventually lose patience and loosen up his blocking position. White is the immediate threatening player here. But the two players are keeping each other in check, because without white's edge fort threat, black would immediately be the threat with the attack chain. This fixed draw situation was eventually caught by the "extra rule" of repetitions (because the white position was repeated three times).
AUTHOR Hagbard

1389453159 Sat Jan 11, 2014 16:12
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
That's nearly my fist suggestion. Just the algorithm of contributing the players to the groups differs. We should keep the algorithm clean, but you might be right that it is better if we use the rating for distributing the players over the groups. I suggest that kind of creating the rank: [quote:38uhj4vw]1. points (he archived this round) 2. direct comparison (skip this for withdraws) 3. Sonneborn-Berger (just from this round) 4. coin flip (shouldn't happen anytime)[/quote:38uhj4vw]
AUTHOR nath

1389455307 Sat Jan 11, 2014 16:48
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
That's true. But we still see an advantage at the white color if we watch the "Measured tafl game balances". This situation only come to occurrence rarely if both players made several mistakes during the game. I wouldn't mind that. I want the rules stay easy and don't add to many exceptions.
AUTHOR nath

1389876880 Thu Jan 16, 2014 13:54
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[img:6f2f1728]http://aagenielsen.dk/board_hnefatafl13_r.png[/img:6f2f1728] This 13x13 game was tested: king armed and captured from 4 sides, wins on edge. Such rules were found not to work, the defenders always win. Mainly, 13x13 game rules can be combined from these elements: 3 types of king (unarmed captured from 4 sides, armed captured from 2 sides and armed captured from 4 sides). 2 types of wins (edge or corner). 5 types of initial ordering (37 pieces diamond, cross or Bell, and 49 pieces a couple of orderings) This makes 30 possible rule combinations, too many to test them all. Any suggestions for, which combinations might be good candidates for balanced tafl games?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1389880503 Thu Jan 16, 2014 14:55
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
It's no surprise to me that that combination of rules didn't really work: it's the same old-fashioned combination dating back to H. J. R. Murray that similarly fails to work on 11x11 and 9x9 boards (not to mention 7x7). If your trial of the cross-shaped 11x11 sea battle tafl shows an improvement in balance of that game, then I think the sea battle rules would probably work well with this size and starting layout too: the common factor is that the defenders have full ownership of two ranks and two files at the start of the game (or put another way, there are defenders that can reach the edge on the first turn). Another good one to try out may be the Linne tablut rules, if the trial tournament is successful. These have the advantage of authenticity, if the emerging consensus turns out to be correct. In both cases I'd recommend 49 pieces, so that the board has a similar ratio of pieces to open space as the 9x9 and 11x11 boards (about 30%). With 37 pieces I think that the king's task would have to be made much more difficult.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1389952241 Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:50
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
For larger boards, the Tablut (latest translations) rules do not seem well balanced. Check the tournament "Skalk Hnefatafl edge 11x11 (2013-11-09)"; the top four players in total only lost two games as black! I have some speculations on how to extend the rules of Tablut to a larger board: I suspect that the Castle (throne) and the Kings "protection zone" (the four surrounding squares) were added to the rules to improve the game balance. This principle could be extended, by making the "protection zone" larger. For 11x11, one could for instance try: [code:110aqdk5] . . . . . . . . . . % . . . . . % # % . . . % # @ # % . . . % # % . . . . . % . . . . . . . . . . [/code:110aqdk5] Here '@' is the normal Castle, and the squares '#' require three sided King capture as normal. The new thing would be the squares marked '%', where the King would have to be surrounded by [i:110aqdk5]four[/i:110aqdk5] Men to be captured. I have no idea if this kind of thing would work well, but it is something that could be tried, and although without historical support, it would be within the "spirit" of the Tablut rules.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1389953125 Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:05
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
I think that one thing that makes these larger games favour the attackers is the closed formation that people often adopt for the defenders, hence me going on about using "cross shaped" layouts above. People have been pointing out for a number of years that the king's defenders are a hindrance as well as a help, and their formation is signficant. They need to be able to seize control of a certain amount of the outer board if they're to stand a chance - but obviously not too much of it or balance sways the other way. A game with an expanded castle might work, but it would need to be marked out on a board in order to make it clear what squares are protected. That's fine for electronic games and new boards, but still leaves me wondering what game was played on boards like the Bergen and Toftanes 13x13 boards where only the single central square is marked. I'd prefer to find a starting layout that works without the need for extra innovations or board markings if possible. All of the 13x13 starting layouts we have are modern, so history is neither helping us nor holding us back there!
AUTHOR cyningstan

1389954776 Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:32
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
Yes, trying Tablut 11x11 with a cross shaped starting layout would be interesting! Perhaps time for a new tournament? ;) Regarding historical rules before Tablut, there is just so much that we do not know. For all we know, perhaps the pieces originally moved only a single square per turn, and the long (Rook's) move is a late (Saami?) invention, influenced by chess! This would also neatly explain the games almost complete disappearance once chess arrived - this kind of Tafl would be a very slow game, even compared to the (relatively slow) medieval chess. Ok, this is just a hypothesis, and I do not really believe this (I think) - but it would be consistent with the sources, and it shows how little we really know.
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1390030468 Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:34
SUBJECT Re: 13x13 Tafl
[quote="cyningstan":38053flg]I think that one thing that makes these larger games favour the attackers is the closed formation that people often adopt for the defenders[/quote:38053flg] And likewise the Bell initial ordering of the attackers must favour the attackers in a capture-the-king-from-2-sides game, because the attackers already from start have closed in on the defenders and have their men already too well positioned. The option left is the cross ordering with serifs, it seems.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1390311031 Tue Jan 21, 2014 14:30
SUBJECT Saaremaa, the Salme ships, and the Kaali meteor crater.
[size=150:1yzk0o8d]Two viking ship burials discovered in 2008 near Salme village in Saaremaa, Estonia.[/size:1yzk0o8d] Saaremaa is the largest island outside the Estonian mainland, and is a wellknown and important island through Scandinavian history, Danish name Øsel, Swedish Ösel. Ösel was the gate to the river Dvina, Eastern Europe and Constantinople. (The other possible route was through Ladoga). [img:1yzk0o8d]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Saaremaa_vapp.svg/100px-Saaremaa_vapp.svg.png[/img:1yzk0o8d] [b:1yzk0o8d]The town arms of the island is a Viking ship![/b:1yzk0o8d] And this has been long before anyone knew about the hidden Salme ships. In Salme there was a fierce battle in 700-something, and 42 Vikings were killed. They were buried in two ships along with their possessions. Among these a number of hnefatafl game pieces, some sources say 71 ordinary pieces and a king piece. The king piece was placed in the mouth of the most distinguished person, to judge from his weapons, belongings and placement in the ship, he must have been the leader. [b:1yzk0o8d]So here we have real Viking age people at sea and remembering to bring their hnefatafl games. And the hnefatafl king piece is so charged with importance that it is used by his surviving men to point out the war lord.[/b:1yzk0o8d] The hnefatafl game pieces can be seen here: [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dtxp5iCPBGo/STMpyj-9-tI/AAAAAAAAAJo/mZ4T4jYBZTU/s1600-h/gaming.jpg[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] More information about the discovery here: [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salme_ships[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://salmepaat.blogspot.dk/search/label/0%20The%20Salme%20shipfind[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://ahjaohmatkal.blogspot.dk/2009/01/ship-burial-at-salme-island-saaremaa.html[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] and the complete, scientific paper [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://www.iansa.eu/papers/IANSA-2011-02-allmae.pdf[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] (Hat tip: Olli Salmi) [size=150:1yzk0o8d]The Kaali meteor crater.[/size:1yzk0o8d] [img:1yzk0o8d]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/Kaali-crater-saaremaa-estonia-aug-2007.jpg/320px-Kaali-crater-saaremaa-estonia-aug-2007.jpg[/img:1yzk0o8d] Saaremaa is an island full of history. Another distinguished place on the island is the Kaali meteor crater. The meteor impact caused an explosion the same size as the Hiroshima bomb, and the Danish scientist Kaare Lund Rasmussen (archaeometry) and his team determined the time of the impact to be 400-370 B.C. The meteor impact was noticed by people (iron age), and eye witness traditions can be traced in historical sources. Until 1800 the name of the meteor lake from ancient times was "the sacred lake". 98 A.D. Tacitus wrote, that the Estonians worship the mother of gods, which is usually identified with Cybele, a goddess associated with meteorites. The Greek Pytheas reports 325 B.C. from an island in the Baltic Sea, "the barbarians showed us the place, where the sun went to bed". The impact is also mentioned in the Finnish Kalevala epic. [b:1yzk0o8d]The Estonian president Lennart Meri, who was also a historian, thanked personally Rasmussen for his discovery, because the time measurement 400-370 B.C. supports the Estonian legend, which tells that the myth of [size=150:1yzk0o8d][i:1yzk0o8d]Ragnarok[/i:1yzk0o8d][/size:1yzk0o8d] started at Kaalijärv.[/b:1yzk0o8d] Kaare Lund Rasmussen's scientific paper (June 5th, 2000) is here: [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1945-5100.2000.tb01493.x/pdf[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] and a lecture by Rasmussen on the same subject, sent in Danish Television June 26th, 2012: [b:1yzk0o8d][url:1yzk0o8d]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_iwXBAQ9Ok[/url:1yzk0o8d][/b:1yzk0o8d] (I visited the charming island Saaremaa in 1995 myself and saw the Kaali crater, the Kuressaare castle and museum and other historical places.)
AUTHOR Hagbard

1390466724 Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:45
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Our second test tournament of the [b:1bf2vfez]Saami tablut game (Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9)[/b:1bf2vfez] is completed, and the measured game balance as of now is astonishingly near perfect: +1.01 This balance measurement is based on a broad experience, 189 Saami tablut games done by 23 players. [b:1bf2vfez][size=150:1bf2vfez]Did we reach a tafl milestone here?[/size:1bf2vfez][/b:1bf2vfez] From the combined work by professional linguists, amateur (and professional) historians and devoted tafl players still more have been pointing towards [b:1bf2vfez]this rules set (Skalk Hnefatafl edge 9x9) being the very tafl game observed and described by Linné in Lapland 1732, or very close to it possibly except a couple of very small details.[/b:1bf2vfez] And our test games don't contradict such a theory; they support it. Another small detail in support: Enumerated alone, the result of the first test tournament a year ago was balance +1.23 (small favour to the defenders). And enumerated alone, the result of this second test tournament was balance -1.20 (small favour to the attackers). A way of interpreting this is that the attackers' strength improve with the players' growing experience. This fits in with the Linné rule 12, "When the king is taken or imprisoned, the war is over, and the conqueror takes the Swedes, the loser the Muscovites, and the play starts all over". The rule 12 indicates, that the historical Saami tablut was balanced to some degree in favour of the attackers, and therefore the weaker player gets to play this side. Let's compare all this with the competing suggestions for the tablut: From test games of the Foteviken tablut we found a game balance of +1.57, which is in significant favour of the defenders. And from test games of the Ashton tablut we found a game balance of -4.92, very heavily in favour of the attackers.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1390475632 Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:13
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
An excellent summary. It really sounds like we have hit the nail on the head. A milestone indeed.i vote for this as a tafl federation official 9x9 rule set. I particularly like the rule 12 point.
AUTHOR Adam

1390476516 Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:28
SUBJECT Re: Saaremaa, the Salme ships, and the Kaali meteor crater.
Wow!
AUTHOR Adam

1390593985 Fri Jan 24, 2014 21:06
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
[quote="Adam":28vv4kfg]Hi Sybil, if you or any of your latin students are interested, there is a lovely manuscript depicting a poorly understood version of hnefatafl called alea evangelii. I have been unable to find a complete translation of all the annotations on and around the very enigmatic diagram of the board, and I have a hope that they may shed some light onto the hnefatafl game in general, and its links to Ludus latrunculorum in particular. The full manuscript can be viewed in high resolution here: MS. 122 'The Corpus Irish Gospels', 12th century. The page showing the game board is about 5 pages in. I have read that it is an esoteric text using the game as a metaphor for the gospels. However, I suspect that with some clever reverse engineering we who have played the game for many years might find some hints for game play and rules.[/quote:28vv4kfg] Hello everybody, I subscribed to this forum mainly because I have an interested in the Alea Evangelii game. I am certainly interested in the subject proposed by Adam! First of all, I must say that I am not a game expert and I am completely new to tafl games. I have an interest in ancient allegories and in particular in allegorical games, above all games with Christian symbolic meaning. I have read what I have found online about the Alea. Of course, the best resources are the [url=http://image.ox.ac.uk/show-all-openings?collection=corpus&manuscript=ms122:28vv4kfg]manuscript[/url:28vv4kfg] and its [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page/188/alea-evangelii-latin-text:28vv4kfg]transcription[/url:28vv4kfg] and [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page/167/alea-evangelii-text:28vv4kfg]translation[/url:28vv4kfg]. Another resource that I greatly appreciated is “The greatest hnefatafl”, a 2010 paper by Andrew Perkis published in the bulletin of the British Chess Variant Society: [url=http://www.mayhematics.com/v/vol8/vc63.pdf:28vv4kfg]Variant Chess issue 6[/url:28vv4kfg], pag.5 (numbered 145). A few notes (partly based on Perkis' paper): * the manuscript has been forced into a standard tafl game, which is only partly justified by the text and the diagram in the manuscript; * the manuscript provides a very detailed description of how the pieces on the board are to be assigned to the four evangelists, but attackers and defenders are mentioned only briefly ([i:28vv4kfg]If any one would know this game fully, before all the lessons of this teaching he must thoroughly know these seven: to wit, dukes and counts, defenders and attackers, city and citadel, and nine steps twice over[/i:28vv4kfg]); by the way, does the mention of "dukes" ("duces") suggest a direct reference to the Ludus Latrunculorum? * the assignment of the pieces to the four evangelists is also detailed in the diagram by the complex but detailed notation of one, two, three, four dots associate to each piece; * the diagram in the manuscript contains some minor errors with respect to the content of the written text. It is possible to reconstruct the logic by which 67 pieces are associated to each of the four evangelists through the Eusebian canons (or Eusebian tables). The elegance of this design is noteworthy (at least for my interest in weird ecclesiastic speculations) but the most important effect of it is reproduced in the dot patterns on the manuscript board. To these 67 pieces, four more pieces are added (the “varios viros” or “variegated men”, which an inscription at the left of the board labels as related to the passion of Christ ([i:28vv4kfg]significat haec figura in alea passionem christi[/i:28vv4kfg]): they are assigned to Mark and John (two pieces each). A last piece (which I marked in white) is not assigned to any of the evangelists. Each corner and each side of the board is assigned to one of the evangelists. I am very interested in reading more on the subject and your opinions of this wonderful ancient document. Here I have colored the pieces according to the assignment to the evangelist as described in the text and labeled by the dot patterns in the diagram.
AUTHOR marc0

1390597753 Fri Jan 24, 2014 22:09
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote="Adam":hmroh685]An excellent summary. It really sounds like we have hit the nail on the head. A milestone indeed.i vote for this as a tafl federation official 9x9 rule set.[/quote:hmroh685] Much as I like sea battle tafl, I agree with this! If anything deserves to become a standard, this does. There are some pub-goers here in Hull who a friend of mine has introduced to sea battle tafl recently. If I can get them to give tablut a go, I may well organise a live tournament a few years hence. [quote:hmroh685]I particularly like the rule 12 point.[/quote:hmroh685] Whether the game favours the attackers at higher levels or not, there will always be the perception among beginners and casual players that the king's task is the easier one. Whoever it is who has it easier, it's a sensible idea to play a double-game (as one of the sagas calls it).
AUTHOR cyningstan

1390598326 Fri Jan 24, 2014 22:18
SUBJECT Tablut problem
I've been thinking about hnefatafl problems for a long time now, since before crust's thread on the subject. I've looked into it a bit more deeply in the last couple of weeks. I knew would be difficult, but its difficulty surpassed even my expectations! After about three hours and as many failed attempts, this is what I've come up with. It uses Linnaeus' tablut rules as in the recent tournament. [code:1znb0izb] 9 - - - - - A - - - 8 - - A - - - - - - 7 D - A - - - - - - 6 A - - - - - - - - 5 - - - D + - A - - 4 D - - K - D A - A 3 - D A - A - - - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - A - - - - - A B C D E F G H I [/code:1znb0izb] (edited after reading conanlib's post below) It's the turn of the king's side, who will move three times before the attackers resign. What are those three moves, and the attackers' responses? I'm not expecting it to be very taxing for people here, but I'm hoping that there is only one solution - and that there isn't a quicker victory for the king! A prettier version of this is due to appear on my social media feeds tomorrow, unless someone finds a problem (ha ha) with it.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1390598694 Fri Jan 24, 2014 22:24
SUBJECT Re: Saaremaa, the Salme ships, and the Kaali meteor crater.
This, to my mind, is the earliest confirmed hnefatafl find, what with the Vimose board (A.D. 400) actually being Roman. Although a supposed hnefatafl find in Dorestad is earlier, I can't find any detailed information on it.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1390611082 Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:51
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
[quote:1bh6f6zm]Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations by Hagbard » 07 Jan 2014, 16:02 Sybil wrote: I don't know where i can post it ( i have to translate it in english) If it would be ok with you, I would be happy to publish the article on this site. If so, you can mail the article to me.[/quote:1bh6f6zm] I wait for the human test! And i send you. The Saami word sounds better. [quote:1bh6f6zm] Another small detail in support: Enumerated alone, the result of the first test tournament a year ago was balance +1.23 (small favour to the defenders). And enumerated alone, the result of this second test tournament was balance 1.00 (perfect balance). A way of interpreting this is that the attackers' strength improve with the players' growing experience. With really skilled players, the balance could then very well be in small favour of the attackers. This fits in with the Linné rule 12, "When the king is taken or imprisoned, the war is over, and the conqueror takes the Swedes, the loser the Muscovites, and the play starts all over". The rule 12 indicates, that the historical Saami tablut was balanced to some degree in favour of the attackers, and therefore the weaker player gets to play this side. Let's compare all this with the competing suggestions for the tablut: From test games of the Foteviken tablut we found a game balance of +1.57, which is in significant favour of the defenders. And from test games of the Ashton tablut we found a game balance of -4.92, very heavily in favour of the attackers.[/quote:1bh6f6zm] I consider it interesting, I will try (it's important for the article) to test on new players who have to read the rules and players who know to play in genral to Tabulae Lusoriae. I hope to finish this article on epistemology.
AUTHOR Sybil

1390657997 Sat Jan 25, 2014 14:53
SUBJECT Re: Tablut problem
A possible solution starts with the king going D4B4, and the next defender move being D5A5. But there is another solution (i think) starting with defender D5I5, followed up by king D4D5 (noting that the king is safe there due to being next to the throne.) Yes, it seems very hard to design water tight problems. Perhaps going through old games and looking for interesting situations is the best bet?
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1390659550 Sat Jan 25, 2014 15:19
SUBJECT Re: Tablut problem
Whoops! I made an error while transcribing the diagram, sorry. There's an attacker on G5 meaning that the D5 defender can only get as far as F5: [code:2nr82jj1]9 - - - - - A - - - 8 - - A - - - - - - 7 D - A - - - - - - 6 A - - - - - - - - 5 - - - D + - A - - 4 D - - K - D A - A 3 - D A - A - - - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - A - - - - - A B C D E F G H I[/code:2nr82jj1] The correct solution will lead to an almost certain resignation on the third white move, i.e. a direct threat on the third move which can't be countered. I can't see such a solution for D5-F5, although white can certainly break out that way in the end. The closest I can get is: D5-F5; C7-D7, D4-D5; C8-C5, B3-B5xC5 which leaves black in a weak position, but white isn't in a position to win on the following turn. As for D4-B4, I'm hoping that there's a sure solution that can't be blocked by a black move that I've not seen. Thanks for taking a look!
AUTHOR cyningstan

1390659819 Sat Jan 25, 2014 15:23
SUBJECT Re: Tablut problem
As for the general idea of looking at old games, I think I'll give that a try. Reading up about chess problems, though, has suggested that they're better carefully composed, reducing the pieces to only those that are necessary. Hnefatafl presents some difficulties in that all pieces are long-range, meaning that options can't be restricted as easily as in a chess problem. Also, the rooks move seems to make things a bit more obvious. I wittered on about this at length in a [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/news/858/on-constructing-hnefatafl-puzzles:3evvpuv8]blog post[/url:3evvpuv8] last week, after I first looked over the precipice of chess & hnefatafl problems.
AUTHOR cyningstan

1390811405 Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:30
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Olli Salmi sent this mail: [quote:2ezq40ed]Här är översättningen av Linnés regler i den skytteanska editionen av Iter Lapponicum. Ingegerd Fries har rätt om tuoiku, den finns i Wiklunds Lule-Lappisches Wörterbuch som är online. Den är prolativ pluralis, som det är lite svårt att översätta ("via those [routes]"). Annars är den största skillnaden "trio". Ny version: [b:2ezq40ed][url:2ezq40ed]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:2ezq40ed][/b:2ezq40ed] Vänliga hälsningar, Olli[/quote:2ezq40ed] Translation: [quote:2ezq40ed]Here is the translation of the Linné rules in the Skyttean edition of Iter Lapponicum. Ingegerd Fries is right about the word tuoiku, it exists in Wiklund's Lule-Lappisches Wörterbuch, which is online. The word is in the form prolativ pluralis, which is a bit difficult to translate ("via those [routes]"). Apart from this, the largest difference is "trio". New version: [b:2ezq40ed][url:2ezq40ed]http://www.uusikaupunki.fi/~olsalmi/Tablut.html[/url:2ezq40ed][/b:2ezq40ed] [/quote:2ezq40ed]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1390850526 Mon Jan 27, 2014 20:22
SUBJECT Alea Evangelii
Hello everybody, I have read the amazing work that this community has done on Linnaeus Tablut rules: I am impressed and I am certain that with your help it will be possible to understand something more of the mysterious [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/download/file.php?id=67:1i57z9v9]Alea Evangelii[/url:1i57z9v9] game. I have written a few preliminary notes in [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=196#p910:1i57z9v9]another thread[/url:1i57z9v9]. In the manuscript, immediately above the illustration of the board, there is the sentence that seems to be the most directly related to the rules of the game (I follow the translation and transcription on [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page/167/alea-evangelii-text:1i57z9v9]tafl.cyningstan .org[/url:1i57z9v9], adding two of the seven items that were lost in the transcription): [quote:1i57z9v9] [i:1i57z9v9]Si quis voluerit scire hanc aleam plene, illi ante omnia hujus discipline documenta hec .VII. scire animo necesse est: duces scilicet et comites, [propugnatores et impugnatores], civitatem et civitatulam, et .IX. gradus bis.[/i:1i57z9v9] If any one would know this game [aleam] fully, before all the lessons of this teaching [hujus disciplinae documenia] he must thoroughly know [scire animo] these seven: to wit, dukes and counts, defenders and attackers, city and citadel, and nine steps [gradus] twice over. [/quote:1i57z9v9] I have not found on-line any hypotheses on the meaning of these seven points. Does anybody have ideas on all or at least most of them, or can you point me to some page discussing these seven items in detail? I add here what I have understood of the labels on the board diagram: it's not much, but I hope it is enough to start a discussion. The numbers with the cross are related to the Eusebian canons, and are well explained in the text. Here is what I understand of the rest: [i:1i57z9v9]1A – Resurrectionem [et?] regnum . [???] adfiadar matha[/i:1i57z9v9] “Resurrection and kingdom” - the last two words do not seem Latin to me (any ideas anybody?), but (by analogy with 2A, 3A and 4A) I think they mean “as written by Matthew” or something similar. [i:1i57z9v9]1B – Tres t[er] bis e[t] bina adiectione hic intelliguntur [?] in matheo[/i:1i57z9v9] “Here one understands twice three three times with two addictions (3*3*2+2=20) in Matthew” As explained below in the manuscript, Matthew has 20 “men” i.e. pieces in the game. [i:1i57z9v9]2A – Nativitas in luca[/i:1i57z9v9] “The Nativity in Luke” [i:1i57z9v9]2B – Tres t[er] bis cum singulam dediactione hic intelliguntur [?] in luca[/i:1i57z9v9] “Here one understands twice three three times with a single subtraction (3*3*2-1=17) in Luke”. As explained below in the manuscript, Luke has 17 “men” i.e. pieces in the game. [i:1i57z9v9]3A – ioha[nni?] gene[a]logia in iohan[n]e[/i:1i57z9v9] “The genealogy of John [the Baptist?] in John[/i] [i:1i57z9v9]3B – Tres [???] [???] utroque [???] [?] in iohan[n]e[/i:1i57z9v9] I cannot read this sentence. By analogy, I think it explains why John has 15 pieces. [i:1i57z9v9]3C – Adiectio et detractio[/i:1i57z9v9] The :- sign seems to link these two words to “utroque” in 3B. “By both addition and subtraction” [i:1i57z9v9]4A – Perfecta [profecta?] in Marco[/i:1i57z9v9] “Completed in Mark” [i:1i57z9v9]4B - Tres [???] [???] utroque [???] [?] in marco[/i:1i57z9v9] This seems the same sentence as 3B. This would make sense, since Mark and John has the same number of pieces (15, or 17 counting the “variegated men”). [i:1i57z9v9]5 – Signifi[c]at haec figura in alea passionem xpi [christi][/i:1i57z9v9] “This symbol represents on the board the passion of Christ” The symbol associated to this label is that of the “variegated men” (“varios viros”). I think that a better translation would be “different men”. The manuscript says “varii sunt et non nigri sicut ceteri”: they are different, not black like the rest. In conclusion: Inscriptions A seem to underline some peculiarity of each gospel. They also label the corner of the board belonging to each evangelist. Inscriptions B summarize what is described in the manuscript. They also label the side of the board belonging to each evangelist. Inscription 5 is the most interesting to me, since it adds a symbolic meaning to the variegated (or different) men.
AUTHOR marc0

1391166818 Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:13
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Hi Marco, really exciting stuff. I have been looking hard at this too just recently. I will have a good read of both your posts and then post my thoughts. I too have spent some time trying to decode and colourcode the manuscript. I'll post my work in progress ideas when I have a bit more time!
AUTHOR Adam

1391196510 Fri Jan 31, 2014 20:28
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Adam":j5mqynln]Hi Marco, really exciting stuff. I have been looking hard at this too just recently. I will have a good read of both your posts and then post my thoughts. I too have spent some time trying to decode and colourcode the manuscript. I'll post my work in progress ideas when I have a bit more time![/quote:j5mqynln] Hello Adam, thank you very much for your reply! I am thrilled at the idea of discussing this subject with people more knowledgeable than myself in the field of ancient boardgames! I am looking forward to read the preliminary results of your research! I want to add a comment about a specific point. I have read in a few interpretations of the game (for instance on [url=http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/:j5mqynln]the bredband.net page[/url:j5mqynln] by Sten Helmfrid) that the “primary man” (“primarium virum”) is identified with the king at the center of the board: [quote="Sten Helmfrid":j5mqynln]In the description, we are told that there are 72 men, called viri in the manuscript, and one [i:j5mqynln]primarius vir[/i:j5mqynln]. These numbers are almost consistent with the number of playing pieces in the drawing, and the primarius vir, placed on the central intersection, of course corresponds to the hnefi.[/quote:j5mqynln] Actually, the text says that there are 67 men associated to the Eusebian canons, four “variegated” or “different” men and a “primary man” for a total of 72 pieces. In addition, there is a “unary man” (“unarius”) which “in the middle of the alea signifies the indivisible substance of the Trinity”. The position of the “primary man” is described in the context of Canon IIII, the last of the canons composing the line of men surrounding the central 16 men of Canon I. This “primary man” is the one I marked in white on the board. It is highlighted by a label which unluckily I cannot read. Canon IIII is described from the bottom to the top (the description goes clockwise through the “circle” composed of Canons 2, 3 and 4). [quote:j5mqynln]Can 4 begins with Mt in the first angle of the triangle under a cross and the no. 4, with Mc on his right and Jo on his left. [In the diagram the cross and no. 4 have been wrongly placed at the preceding triangle.] Now we pass the variegated man, and we find Mc in the first angle of this triangle, with Mt on the right and Jo on the left. In the first angle of the triangle which is turned the other way we have Jo with Mc on the left and Mt on the right. And here next Mt is the place of the "primary" man.[/quote:j5mqynln] The “primarius” is next to a piece belonging to Matthew (a black square marked with a single dot) and one of the "variegated men", at the end of Canon 4, closing the circle with Canon 2. It is distinct from the “Unarius” at the center of the board.
AUTHOR marc0

1391844031 Sat Feb 8, 2014 8:20
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Thats exactly right. And by a remarkable coincidence I came to the same conclusion some weeks ago! I finally read carefully through translation Damien Walker had posted. So the primary man, who is singled out for special attention may be a special piece, or the one who makes the first move, but is certainly not the king in the centre. Have you managed to decipher the abbreviated codings next to the 'variagated men'? Are they simply references to the gospels again?
AUTHOR Adam

1391881716 Sat Feb 8, 2014 18:48
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Adam":2bbtxth7]Thats exactly right. And by a remarkable coincidence I came to the same conclusion some weeks ago! I finally read carefully through translation Damien Walker had posted. So the primary man, who is singled out for special attention may be a special piece, or the one who makes the first move, but is certainly not the king in the centre.[/quote:2bbtxth7] Hello Adam, I am happy to know that we came to the same conclusion! I have no idea about the possible special gaming role of the "Primary Man", but I am sure that it is important to understand that he is distinct from the King. [quote="Adam":2bbtxth7]Have you managed to decipher the abbreviated codings next to the 'variagated men'? Are they simply references to the gospels again?[/quote:2bbtxth7] [attachment=0:2bbtxth7]v200.jpg[/attachment:2bbtxth7] The four "different" or "variegated" men are labelled "mr", "io", "io", "mr" which stand for Mark, John, John, Mark. In [url=http://image.ox.ac.uk/show-all-openings?collection=corpus&manuscript=ms122:2bbtxth7]this manuscript[/url:2bbtxth7], lower case 'r' looks something like a 'p' or 'n': it is difficult to read. The [url=http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page/167/alea-evangelii-text:2bbtxth7]text[/url:2bbtxth7] says twice that those four pieces are assigned to Mark and John: [quote:2bbtxth7] [i:2bbtxth7]Add then together 20 of Matthew, 15 of Mark, 17 of Luke and 15 of John, and they make 67. [b:2bbtxth7]Add on the four "variegated" men, who belong to Mark and John[/b:2bbtxth7][/i:2bbtxth7] "Atque his junge . IIII . varios viros qui a Marco et ab Iohanne possidentur" [attachment=1:2bbtxth7]mr_io.png[/attachment:2bbtxth7] [i:2bbtxth7][b:2bbtxth7]Now the four variegated men who are seen at separate points belong to Mark and John[/b:2bbtxth7]. They are variegated, and not black like the rest, because Mark and John put forth no canon without another Evangelist.[/i:2bbtxth7][/quote:2bbtxth7] While the assignment of the other pieces is simply indicated by the dot patterns, for these "different pieces" a more explicit labeling has been provided.
AUTHOR marc0

1392199770 Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:09
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Thanks Marc0, that clarified things for me. So, my main angle for looking again at Alea, is that the presently accepted proposed set up for the game leads to a dull game where white is hopelessly surrounded from the start. My idea is that the variagated men can be thought of as squares with special properties, like a throne square in hnefatafl, and not as 'pieces' at all. This could fit in quite nicely with the variagation idea, as a throne square can be used in a capture by either side. This could also fit with the reference to city and citadel, which implies to me board zones, or physical structures. The citadel might be the central part of the board, the city the board as a whole with the corners as its exits. I have a theory that the hnefatafl board is inspired by the layout of viking trelleborg earthworks. The Alea board set up actually mirrors this layout even more accurately. A fact that I find rather compelling. I will post some pictures showing the boards and a trelleborg superimposed. I am also looking at ways of incorporating other types of playing piece with reference to the dukes and counts. My main source of inspiration for this is Aage Nielsen's Berserk Hnefatafl, which in turn was inspired by some enigmatic glass hnefatafl pieces from Bergen Museum in Norway. They seem to show special pieces, which Aage has used to create the commander and knight pieces in Berserk, whose special moves are based on both tafl reconstructions and roman latrunculi type games. Take a look at the post in 'strategy and rules' called 'Berserk Hnefatafl' where Aage has explained his careful logic, with a picture of the glass pieces. I am also assuming that the Alea manuscript shows a game which is underway, so 7 pieces have been removed from the board. I also take account of the pieces that are given special labeling, using this as the starting point for the special pieces on both sides. I feel its important to say that while what I am working on could be called a reconstruction, and while all my choices have their starting points in the historical sources, that this would be a modern interpretation of the game, with the primary goal of making a game that is entertaining to play, and robust enough for tournament play, just like Copenhagen rules or Berserk rules, and not claiming to be historically accurate. At some point one has to take a leap and fill in some blanks, using hnefatafl play experience (23 years in my case), and the many excellent and keen players on this site, to fill those blanks in. I will post some pictures presenting these ideas for discussion.
AUTHOR Adam

1392406614 Fri Feb 14, 2014 20:36
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]Thanks Marc0, that clarified things for me. So, my main angle for looking again at Alea, is that the presently accepted proposed set up for the game leads to a dull game where white is hopelessly surrounded from the start. [/quote:owvp9v9p] Hello Adam, given the limited information we have about this game, it makes perfect sense to evaluate reconstructions on the basis of the quality of the resulting game. Being very ignorant of these aspects, I am very happy to have the opportunity to discuss Alea Evangelii with you! Perkis (I attach his paper) considers the reconstructed game to be unbalanced in favor of the defenders: [quote="Andrew Perkis":owvp9v9p] We found that 19x19 Hnefatafl, when played according to the general interpretation of the rules as handed down since Murray, can easily be won by the royal player, even, as it turns out, if the more difficult objective of reaching a corner point is adopted. … The opening position for the biggest Hnefatafl, as reconstructed by Murray, and generally accepted since, has one serious flaw. As Alain Dekker has pointed out, Black can easily construct a fortress around his King during the first few moves of the game, and there is nothing White can do about it. [/quote:owvp9v9p] Perkis' proposed solution of the playing problems seems to me rather arbitrary (from the historical point of view). In my opinion, analogy with other tafl games suggests that attackers and defenders are not mixed in the initial layout: [attachment=0:owvp9v9p]perkis.png[/attachment:owvp9v9p] [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]My idea is that the variagated men can be thought of as squares with special properties, like a throne square in hnefatafl, and not as 'pieces' at all. This could fit in quite nicely with the variagation idea, as a throne square can be used in a capture by either side.[/quote:owvp9v9p] In the manuscript, pieces are called “men” (“viri”). I think the “variegated men” (“varii viri”) are pieces (since they are “men”), likely special pieces, since they are “different” ([url=http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?keyword=varii:owvp9v9p]“varii”[/url:owvp9v9p]). [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]This could also fit with the reference to city and citadel, which implies to me board zones, or physical structures. The citadel might be the central part of the board, the city the board as a whole with the corners as its exits.[/quote:owvp9v9p] I agree with your analysis: “Civitas” (city) and “Civitatula” (“citadel” or “small city”) seem to point to two distinct areas on the board. I also agree that the two locations likely include each other, with the Citadel inside the City. A problem is that there are at least four concentric layers in the diagram: A. the central spot occupied by the single Unary Man B. Canon I (defined by the position of the 16 central men) C. the “circle” of Canons 2,3,4 D. the whole board. I think the Citadel is the “throne” A (or, less likely, B). Also Limneus calls the “throne” “citadel” (although using a different Latin word: [url=http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?keyword=arx:owvp9v9p]“arx”[/url:owvp9v9p]). The City can be any one of B, C or D. If (as you suggest) one interprets the Citadel as A and the City as D we are back to standard Hnefatafl, without the need to create new special rules for the two areas. I think this is the most reasonable interpretation. By the way, an element that we can safely conclude from the City and Citadel mentioned in the manuscript is that the game represents a siege, not a naval battle (as stated, for instance, on [url=http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/33693/alea-evangelii:owvp9v9p]boardgamegeek[/url:owvp9v9p]). It is amazing that the text of the manuscript has been so often ignored or misinterpreted. [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I have a theory that the hnefatafl board is inspired by the layout of viking trelleborg earthworks. The Alea board set up actually mirrors this layout even more accurately. A fact that I find rather compelling. I will post some pictures showing the boards and a trelleborg superimposed. [/quote:owvp9v9p] I knew nothing of trelleborg. From the pictures I have found with a google search, your idea seems very promising to me. I am looking forward to see your pictures and to read more on the subject. [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I am also looking at ways of incorporating other types of playing piece with reference to the dukes and counts. My main source of inspiration for this is Aage Nielsen's Berserk Hnefatafl, which in turn was inspired by some enigmatic glass hnefatafl pieces from Bergen Museum in Norway. They seem to show special pieces, which Aage has used to create the commander and knight pieces in Berserk, whose special moves are based on both tafl reconstructions and roman latrunculi type games. Take a look at the post in 'strategy and rules' called 'Berserk Hnefatafl' where Aage has explained his careful logic, with a picture of the glass pieces. [/quote:owvp9v9p] Thank you for pointing out Aage's Berserk Hnefatafl! It is relevant both as an example of a reconstruction from fragmentary evidence and as a parallel for the Alea Evangelii game: both games include special pieces and one could argue that the four evangelists assigned to the board sides are analogue to the four viking boats in Berserk Hnefatafl: [i:owvp9v9p]”Four Viking long boats, each with a commander and his crew of warriors, has landed on the coast of a foreign country, near a castle where a king has barricaded himself with his warriors.”[/i:owvp9v9p] I definitely agree that presence of different kinds of pieces in the original Alea Evangelii game is likely: * the manuscript mentions [url=http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?keyword=duces:owvp9v9p]“duces”[/url:owvp9v9p] (“dukes”, or “leaders”) and [url=http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?keyword=comites:owvp9v9p]“comites”[/url:owvp9v9p] (“counts”, or “soldiers”); * four of the pieces are referred to as “different men”. While MS CCC 122 testifies the presence of special pieces other than the King, their nature can only be conjectured by analogy. Expert gamers like you and Aage are the most qualified to formulate sensible hypotheses. An economic assumption would be to identify the “dukes” with the “different men” and the “counts” with the ordinary pieces. In this way, only a special kind of pieces is needed. One could also take inspiration from other games. For instance (according to [url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/2847098:owvp9v9p]this paper[/url:owvp9v9p]) chess “bishops” are named “acclini comites” (“inclined counts”) in the “Versus de Scachis” poem (X Century). Girolamo Vida (Scacchia Ludus, 1527) uses “duces” for chess kings and “comites” for chess pawns. And of course there are the “duces” from “ludus latrunculorum”... [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I am also assuming that the Alea manuscript shows a game which is underway, so 7 pieces have been removed from the board.[/quote:owvp9v9p] Your idea provides an alternative to the assumption that the diagram contains quite a few errors. Still, given that I think that the “variegated men” were “men”, i.e. pieces, I find it difficult to image a sequence of play that would produce the configuration we see in the diagram: the defenders (i.e. the pieces in the central area) are all at their place. It would also be interesting to know if there are analogues for this hypothesis, i.e. ancient manuscripts representing a game situation different from the initial layout. Since the diagram likely is an illustration of the text, and the text describes the initial layout, in my opinion it is acceptable to assume that the diagram also represents the initial layout. [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I also take account of the pieces that are given special labeling, using this as the starting point for the special pieces on both sides.[/quote:owvp9v9p] This seems to me a sound approach, but there is an excess of options, so I guess it will be necessary to choose a subset of the labeled pieces. 22 of the 73 pieces (70, in the diagram) have special labels: [b:owvp9v9p]* 1[/b:owvp9v9p] - the Unary Man at the center (marked with a big I); [b:owvp9v9p]* 1[/b:owvp9v9p] - the Primary Man, in a weird asymmetrical position (marked with an unreadable label); [b:owvp9v9p]* 4[/b:owvp9v9p] - the four “different men” (drawn in red, labeled with Mark / John and associated with the passion of Christ); [b:owvp9v9p]* 13[/b:owvp9v9p] - the men at the beginning of each Canon (one for each of Canons 1..9 and 4 for Canon X); all these (but Canon IX, certainly a copyist's error) are also marked by a cross; another error is the placement of the number and cross of Canon IIII; [b:owvp9v9p]* 3[/b:owvp9v9p] – the other men at the corners of the central diamond corresponding to Canon 1 (the top corner is also marked with the cross of Canon 1; the other three are only numbered II, III, IIII). [attachment=1:owvp9v9p]ae.png[/attachment:owvp9v9p] In general, an assignment of the pieces to attackers and defenders that were consistent with the structure of the Canons would seem to me an improvement with respect to Perkis' proposal. [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I feel its important to say that while what I am working on could be called a reconstruction, and while all my choices have their starting points in the historical sources, that this would be a modern interpretation of the game, with the primary goal of making a game that is entertaining to play, and robust enough for tournament play, just like Copenhagen rules or Berserk rules, and not claiming to be historically accurate. At some point one has to take a leap and fill in some blanks, using hnefatafl play experience (23 years in my case), and the many excellent and keen players on this site, to fill those blanks in. [/quote:owvp9v9p] Yes, this is a very important point. In order to have a playable game it is necessary to fill the gaps, and in Alea Evangelii there are a number of gaps! It is also important to create a reconstruction that is as faithful as possible to the available evidence. A clear idea of what is based on evidence and what is “gap filling” is not something to give for granted. We already discussed how the “Primary Man” has been confounded with the “king”. This remark in the paper that Damian linked [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=209:owvp9v9p]here[/url:owvp9v9p] is another example of the issues that can arise when studying the subject: [quote="Lewis":owvp9v9p]a comparison of the text with the diagram reveals that the alea evangelii required a board containing 18X18 squares... The “king” stood on the central point, and was defended by twenty-four men placed at various points in the middle of the board. Around the edges, forty-eight attacking pieces were disposed. The proportion of the sides is thus the same as in tawlbwrdd and tablut, and there can be little doubt that the Game of the Gospel belonged to the same group.[/quote:owvp9v9p] Lewis makes the error of taking Murray's reconstruction hypothesis as documentary evidence: the proportion of the sides is not specified in the manuscript (neither in the text nor in the diagram). The result is a circular argument: * by analogy with tawlbwrdd and tablut, Murray assumes that the proportion of the sides must be 2:1. * according to Lewis, since Alea Evangelii has the same proportion of the sides as tawlbwrdd and tablut, it is proven that the three games belong to the same group. So, I clearly understand your worries about drawing a clear distinction between evidence and reconstruction. I think that, as long as one does not lose sight of what is evidence and what is not, it is possible to create a reconstruction that is both historically accurate (i.e. consistent with the available documents) and enjoyable when playing. [quote="Adam":owvp9v9p]I will post some pictures presenting these ideas for discussion.[/quote:owvp9v9p] I am looking forward to read more of your ideas! Thank you again for sharing your thoughts!
AUTHOR marc0

1392926357 Thu Feb 20, 2014 20:59
SUBJECT The inventor(s) of the Alea Evangelii allegory
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lapidge:fa8lnhp0]Michael Lapidge[/url:fa8lnhp0] has identified the author of the Alea Evangelii text and diagram with “Israel the Grammarian”. Only a few fragments are known about the figure of Israel. From them, Lapidge has assembled this tentative biography in his 1992 paper [url=http://books.google.it/books?id=tjxAMYawu7IC&lpg=PA97&ots=2zWhuySNVW&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q&f=false:fa8lnhp0]Israel the Grammarian in Anglo-Saxon England[/url:fa8lnhp0]. [quote:fa8lnhp0]Israel was born in Britanny, perhaps ca. 900. Where he received his earliest training is unknown; at some point he studied in Rome, perhaps with an Italian scholar named Ambrose. During the course of his studies he acquired an impressive knowledge of Greek. During the reign of King Athelstan, when because of political turmoil in their homeland many Bretons were welcomed to the English royal household, Israel too came to England under Athelstan's patronage. With him he brought copies of the “Rubisca” and the “Saint-Omer Hymn”, both perhaps composed by him and provided by him with glosses in Breton. While a member of Athelstan's household, Israel and a Frankish colleague devised the Alea Evangelii or “Gospel Dice”, a copy of which was subsequently taken back to Bangor by an Irish visitor at Athelstan's court, Dub Innse. At that time, too, Israel began collecting a dossier of Greek materials, including the Greek litany and “Sanctus” found in Athelstan's Psalter. With Athelstan's death in 939, Israel was forced to seek a new patron. He composed his poem “De arte metrica” while still in England (this would account for its preservation in English manuscripts, a fact otherwise difficult to explain) and dedicated it to Rotbert, archbishop of Trier, intending it as a plea for patronage. His plea was successful; Israel left England for Trier, but not without leaving behind him copies of his poetry and his dossier of Greek materials. Through his contact with Rotbert, Israel became tutor to Bruno, later archbishop of Cologne, and he was present with Rotbert at the synod of Verdun in 947. During this period his expertise in Greek attracted him to the writings of John Scottus Eriugena, and he began assembling another dossier of scholarly materials, including some items from the earlier, English dossier but reflecting more his growing interest in Greek philosophical and theological terminology; it is this dossier which is preserved in the Leningrad manuscript and which Edouard Jeauneau has analysed so comprehensively. Toward the end of his life Israel withdrew from the world and became a monk at Saint-Maximin in Trier, perhaps in order to devote himself to study. It was there that he died, perhaps ca. 970, secure in his reputation as one of the most learned scholars in Europe.[/quote:fa8lnhp0] Lapidge's presentation of the initial lines of [url=http://image.ox.ac.uk/show-all-openings?collection=corpus&manuscript=ms122:fa8lnhp0]MS 122[/url:fa8lnhp0]: [quote:fa8lnhp0] [quote:fa8lnhp0]Incipt alea euangelii quam Dubinsi episcopus Bennchorensis detulit a rege Anglorum id est a domu Adalstani regis Anglorum depicta a quodam Francone et a Romano sapiente id est Israel. [i:fa8lnhp0]Here begins the Gospel Dice which Dub Innse, bishop of Bangor, brought from the English king, that is from the household of Athelstan, king of England, drawn by a certain Franco (or: by a certain Frank) and by a Roman scholar, that is Israel. [/i:fa8lnhp0][/quote:fa8lnhp0] … Israel was described by Dub Innse as a “Roman scholar” (Romanus sapiens). This observation squares with what we know of Israel from other sources. In one of his brief tractates on the soul (preserved in the Leningrad manuscript and edited by Jeauneau), Israel refers to his recollections of “the sojourn which he spent at Rome in a bygone year” (conuersationis meae quam transacto anno habui Romae nunc reminiscor). Israel had apparently spent some time at Rome, therefore, and it may have been during this Roman sojourn that his tutelage at the hands of Ambrose took place, for such evidence as we have suggests that Ambrose was Italian. In any event, if Israel had spent time studying at Rome (whether with Ambrose or not) [i:fa8lnhp0]before[/i:fa8lnhp0] he arrived at Athelstan's court, he may well have seemed to his colleagues there as much “Romanus” as “Britto”. [/quote:fa8lnhp0] In [url=http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9780470656327_chunk_g978047065632710_ss1-11:fa8lnhp0]The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England[/url:fa8lnhp0] Lepidge gives this shorter biography: [quote:fa8lnhp0]Israel the Grammarian, a scholar of Breton origin who spent some time at the court of King Æthelstan (924–39), probably as a refugee from political turmoil in Brittany; he subsequently returned to the Continent where he served (from c .940 onwards) as tutor to Bruno, later archbishop of Cologne (953–65), and ended his life as a monk in the monastery of St Maximin in Trier. Israel was an accomplished grammarian and poet, and one of the few scholars of this time to have first-hand knowledge of Greek. His presence in England is recorded in a brief text known as the Alea euangelii (‘Gospel Dice’), and is reflected in various texts which passed through his hands (such as the Greek prayers copied in the last folios of the Æthelstan Psalter) or which were composed by him (such as, probably, the immensely difficult poems Rubisca and Adelphus adelphe ) and transmitted in English manuscripts (such as the poem De arte metrica , which was dedicated to Archbishop Robert of Trier). [/quote:fa8lnhp0] [i:fa8lnhp0]NB: I am indebted to Michael J. Hurst (a researcher in ancient art and [url=http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.com:fa8lnhp0]allegorical games[/url:fa8lnhp0]) for bringing to my attention Israel the Grammarian through a quote from [url=http://books.google.it/books?id=GcicU-6AmVcC&q=alea&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false:fa8lnhp0]“AEthelstan: The First King of England”[/url:fa8lnhp0] (2011), by Sarah Foot, pp. 104-5.[/i:fa8lnhp0]
AUTHOR marc0

1393271494 Mon Feb 24, 2014 20:51
SUBJECT Two Kings Tawlbwrdd
I offer creating new games with two kings, that's to say, the one is white and the other king is black. I offer a two-edged Tawlbwrdd variation whose the size is 11x17. Black beginning's position might be Classic, Bell or Lewis and White beginning's position might be Diamond or Cross, it depends on you. There will be the same rules as Tawlbwrdd multiplied by two because each King can win either by catching the opponent's king, by encircling all opponent's warriors or by reaching the edge of the board. Each king have at its disposal 30 warriors whose 12 around the king (for example: Diamond formation) and according to the White kingside 18 at the top, at the bottom and on the right of Black kingside and, conversely according to the Black kingside, at the top, at the bottom and on the left of White kingside. In this version I would prefer that White begins.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1393402644 Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:17
SUBJECT Re: Two Kings Tawlbwrdd
Could you show a diagram of the set up?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1393500853 Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:34
SUBJECT Re: Two Kings Tawlbwrdd
I don't know how to create a diagram.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1393506169 Thu Feb 27, 2014 14:02
SUBJECT Modern Alea Evangelii
I offer creating a new Alea Evangelii variant with the following rules: King has to reach one of the four corner squares to win, all pieces have the same positionning as Alea Evangelii Tablut (and Sea Battle), the king has at his disposal 20 common warriors and 4 guards who're placed arround him, a Guard have the same possibility as the King, that's to say, he's captured only if he's surrounded by 4 black warriors, 3 black warriors on the edge of the board or of the throne when it's empty (the throne is always hostile for black but hostile for white when it's empty) and 2 black warriors next to a corner square except that the king can't be captured on the edge of the board and next to a corner square. In my varriant, there is the shieldwall rule. On the other hand, I don't know if it would be good to accept the edge fort as a White win.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1393534901 Thu Feb 27, 2014 22:01
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
I just received from the library a copy of [url=http://dearteilluminandi.blog.com/?p=404:2w6azqtz]L’enluminure et le sacré[/url:2w6azqtz] by Dominique Barbet-Massin: a scholarly book (in French) which includes an extensive discussion of Alea Evangelii and MS 122. I also found an online source ([url=http://books.google.it/books?id=5arSAgAAQBAJ:2w6azqtz]The Irish Invented Chess![/url:2w6azqtz] By Brian Nugent) which provides a complete translation of the labels on the diagram. Barbet-Massin's work seems much more detailed and reliable, but here are a few preliminary information (and a diagram) derived from Nugent's book. [img:2w6azqtz]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/download/file.php?id=72[/img:2w6azqtz] The “primary man” inside the board is labeled [b:2w6azqtz]“fer gabala”[/b:2w6azqtz], which in ancient Irish means “the taking man” (“homme de l'invasion”, “the man of the invasion”, according to Barbet-Massin). I can also correct and complete my previous notes: [img:2w6azqtz]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/download/file.php?id=69[/img:2w6azqtz] Top left corner: [i:2w6azqtz]MAT – P[rorsum] et r[etro][/i:2w6azqtz] "Matthew – Straight forwards or backwards" (according to Nugent, these words are Gilbert's interpretation of what looks like a modern style “p t r”, the source is John Thomas Gilbert “Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland”) [i:2w6azqtz]1A – id est resurrectionem vel [?] regnum . Quis [?] [b:2w6azqtz]adfiadar matha[/b:2w6azqtz][/i:2w6azqtz] “Resurrection or kingdom - [b:2w6azqtz]as Matthew relates[/b:2w6azqtz]” (the last words are ancient Irish) [i:2w6azqtz]1B – Tres t[er] bis cum bina adiectione hic intelliguntur id est in Mattheo[/i:2w6azqtz] “Here one understands twice three three times with two addictions (3*3*2+2=20) in Matthew” [i:2w6azqtz]2A – Nativitas in luca – N id est [b:2w6azqtz]noi[/b:2w6azqtz] – L id est [b:2w6azqtz]Lauta[/b:2w6azqtz][/i:2w6azqtz] “The Nativity in Luke” [i:2w6azqtz]2B – Tres t[er] bis cum singulam detractions hic intelliguntur id est in Luca[/i:2w6azqtz] “Here one understands twice three three times with a single subtraction (3*3*2-1=17) in Luke”. [i:2w6azqtz]3A – iohannes id est gene[a]logia in iohan[n]e[/i:2w6azqtz] “John i.e. the genealogy in John” [i:2w6azqtz]3B – Tres quinquies sine utroque contemplatur id est in iohan[n]e[/i:2w6azqtz] [i:2w6azqtz]3C – Adiectio et detractio[/i:2w6azqtz] “We see a three five times without either one (addiction and subtraction) i.e. in John” Bottom left corner: M A P[rorsum] et R[etro] “Mark - Straight forwards or backwards” [i:2w6azqtz]4A – Profetia in Marco[/i:2w6azqtz] “The prophecy in Mark” [i:2w6azqtz]4C - Tres quinquies sine utroque id est in Marco[/i:2w6azqtz] “A three five times without any of the two, i.e. in Mark.” [i:2w6azqtz]5 – Signifi[c]at haec figura in alea passionem xpi [christi][/i:2w6azqtz] “This symbol represents on the board the passion of Christ”
AUTHOR marc0

1393671396 Sat Mar 1, 2014 11:56
SUBJECT Re: Two Kings Tawlbwrdd
I advice you placing a weaker base position about the three detached goups of the starting color in order to counterbalance the game.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1393713355 Sat Mar 1, 2014 23:35
SUBJECT 17x17 Alea Evangelii?
In her book [url=http://dearteilluminandi.blog.com/?p=404:21pmofay]L’enluminure et le sacré[/url:21pmofay], Dominique Barbet-Massin presents the following argument (p.360): [quote:21pmofay]Le dessin du damier tel qu'il est représenté, montrant des pions disposés autour d'un pion “unitaire” au centre, ou défendant les quatre cases d'angles, est en effet celui d'un jeu de damier celtique ou scandinave, dont on peut rectifier facilement les erreurs de placement des pions. Il s'agit en fait d'un damier à nombre de lignes impaires , 17x17 lignes en tout [footnote:210], les pions étant disposés sur les lignes. Si on reprend la méthode de calcul indiquée précédemment: 1 + (4xn) pions contre 2 x (4xn) pions adverses, où n est proportionnel à la taille du damier (n=1 pour le damier a 7 lignes, le plus petit), n aura comme valeur 6 pour le damier à 17 lignes, on aboutit à un damier de 73 pions (72 pions plus le roi au centre). On retrouve donc exactement le nombre de pions indiqueés dans l'Alea Evangelii, en tenant compte du fait que ce jeu n'inclut pas le I central comme soixante-treizième pion. [210] Et non 19 comme indiqué généralement. Voir E. Mac White, “Early Irish Board Games”, C. Sterckx “Les Jeux de damiers celtiques”. Il y a confusion de lecture, en effet, entre les bords du damier, où les pions peuvent avoir l'air d'etre disposés, et les lignes horizontales ou verticales où ils sont réellement disposés. Les pions ne sont jamais sur les lignes extérieures (les bords) du damier.[/quote:21pmofay] My attempt at a translation: [i:21pmofay] The layout of the board, as it is represented, showing some pieces placed around a central “unary” piece, or defending the four corner cells, actually corresponds to the layout of a Celtic or Scandinavian board-game, in which it is easily possible to correct the errors in the placement of the pieces. Actually, this is a board with an odd number of lines, totally 17x17 lines [footnote:210], the pieces are placed on the lines. If one considers the method of computation previously presented: 1+(4xn) pieces against 2x(4xn) adversary pieces, where “n” is proportional to the size of the board (n=1 for the 7 lines board, the smallest), “n” will have value 6 for the 17 lines board, one gets a board for 73 pieces (72 pieces plus the central king). So one finds exactly the number of pieces specified in the Alea Evangelii, considering that the game does not include the central I as the 73rd piece. [footnote 210] And not 19 as generally stated. See E. Mac White, “Early Irish Board Games”, C. Sterckx “Les Jeux de damiers celtiques”. Actually, there is a confusion between the borders of the board, where the pieces may seem to be placed, and the horizontal and vertical lines, where they are really placed. The pieces never are on the external lines (the borders) of the board. [/i:21pmofay] The author also presents an illustration from an VIII Century Irish manuscript of the Gospels (Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. I.2.4° 2, folio 2r). The illustration is based on the two words “Evangelia Veritatis” (Gospels of Truth). The starting “E” is at the center of the diagram, while the final “S” is presented in the four corners. [attachment=1:21pmofay]evangelia_veritatis.jpg[/attachment:21pmofay] Her opinion is that the illustration presents interesting (but possibly coincidental) similarities with Alea Evangelii (p.377): [quote:21pmofay]On a donc ainsi un point central, nettement souligné, entouré d'un petit losange, puis d'un deuxième plus grand et mis en valeur. Les angles du carré sont aussi clairement identifiés. Si on compte les lettres par ligne, on s'apercoit également qu'elles sont au nombre de 17. Le verso du folio 2 montre d'ailleurs que le dessin a été construit selon un quadrillage de 18 carrés qui a servi à placer les lettres de facon régulière. L'ensemble du diagramme présente donc de fortes ressemblances avec le damier du jeu de l'Alea Evangelii. Le dessin lui-meme se présente en regard d'un poème sur les tables des canons.[/quote:21pmofay] [i:21pmofay]One thus has a central point, clearly marked, surrounded by a small diamond, and then a second one, larger and highlighted. The corners of the square are also clearly marked. If one counts the number of letters per line, one can see that they are 17. The back of sheet 2 also shows that the design has been built on a grid of 18 squares that was used to place the letters in a regular way. So the whole diagram shows strong similarities with the board of the Alea Evangelii game. The drawing itself is presented in the context of a poem about the tables of the canons.[/i:21pmofay] The following is my interpretation of Barbet-Massin's arguments for considering the Alea Evangelii board as 17 x 17. 1) By comparison with other known games, a game with 73 pieces should be played on a 17x17 board. This is more clearly expressed by Damian Walker's formula (“Reconstructing Hnefatafl”, p.32). [b:21pmofay]p=6w-29[/b:21pmofay] (where p is the number of pieces and w is the width of the board) w=(p+29)/6 for p=73 we get width=(102/6)=17 2) The 19x19 grid of the manuscript includes the borders, which should not be counted as playing spaces. In the diagram, the pieces are never placed exactly on the outer lines: they are always shifted towards the center of the board. But pieces that are not near the boarders are placed exactly at the intersection of two lines. The diagram includes two rows and two columns that contain no pieces. Those lines are redundant. [attachment=2:21pmofay]border.png[/attachment:21pmofay] 3) If we interpret Alea Evangelii as a 17x17 game, we obtain a diagram that is similar to another ancient Irish illustration related to the Canonical tables of the Gospels (Evangelia Veritatis). From what I understand, Barbet-Massin's hypothesis is that the original Alea Evangelii layout was something like this, where the dark blue border is not included in the playing area: [attachment=0:21pmofay]alea_evangelii_17x717.png[/attachment:21pmofay] Unless I missed something, the author does not explain how the expression “nine steps twice over” (IX. gradus bis) in the description of the game could be interpreted in the context of a 17x17 board. MS 122 also states that “324 squares are contained in the table; for 18x18=324".
AUTHOR marc0

1393847072 Mon Mar 3, 2014 12:44
SUBJECT Re: Two Kings Tawlbwrdd
For example: Black three detached groups have Classic base position and White (the starting color) three detached groups have Lewis base position.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1393965807 Tue Mar 4, 2014 21:43
SUBJECT Re: Modern Alea Evangelii
About the Alea Evangelii Tablut, I offer this variant that it seems to me to be an amelioration: _ _ A _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ A _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ N _ N _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ A _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ A _ A _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ O _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ D _ D _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ N _ _ D _ D _ D _ _ N _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ O _ D K D _ O _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ N _ _ D _ D _ D _ _ N _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ D _ D _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ O _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ A _ A _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ A _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ N _ N _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ A _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ A _ _ A _ _ A=attackers, D=simple defenders, K=the king, N=knight and O=ogre The goal of the both players is the same like in Alea Evangelii Tablut except that the king has at his disposal 8 knights (like in Berserk Hnefatafl but there aren't the berserk rules) and 4 ogres. The ogres move like all others pieces and can be captured by two men like knights, simple defenders and the king, they may participate to ordinary captures like all other pieces, that's to say, by sandwiching an opponent's man but, in more than that, they may capture (or you can say "eat" as it's an ogre) a piece by making a short move into the piece's square as long as the ogre is on an adjacent square of the piece. A knight may participate to a sandwich capture at the end of a jump capturing and an ogre can participate to a sandwich capture at the end of its move capturing.
AUTHOR plantagenêt

1394210448 Fri Mar 7, 2014 17:40
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Interesting discussion! The Alea Evangelii set up can be tried in the online games with weak (tablut) king and unarmed king, and in both cases the defending side seems hopeless. Strong king might have a chance to get through to the edge. But the Alea Evangelii board has marked corner squares, so the strong king should be expected to win in corner. This would be impossible as the attackers on a3, a6, c1 and f1 blocks the corner a1 in four easy moves, forming the blocking line a4, b3, c2, d1. Likewise in the other corners. So something must be missing to get the Alea Evangelii set up to work. Plantagenet put forward interesting ideas for special pieces in this thread: [url:xbp8am9u]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=227&p=937[/url:xbp8am9u] [quote="Plantagenet":xbp8am9u]The ogres move like all others pieces and canbe captured by two men like ... simple defenders and the king, they may participate to ordinary captures like all other pieces, that's to say, by sandwiching an opponent's man but, in more than that, they may capture (or you can say "eat" as it's an ogre) a piece by making a short move into the piece's square as long as the ogre is on an adjacent square of the piece.[/quote:xbp8am9u] This ogre character is interesting, although I see not an ogre, but instead what's in Danish called a kæmpe; the English translation "giant" is not accurate. The king's kæmper were extraordinary fighters, whose names are often remembered to this day, fx. one of king Rolf Krake's outstanding men Bjarke, who killed a bear. The idea of the usual custodian capture is that men are equals, so that it takes two to kill one. But an outstanding fighter, a kæmpe, would kill a lesser man alone. It would be natural for such a piece to move like Plantagenet proposes: when next to an enemy (ordinary men), he can kill the enemy and take his place. I suppose that if there are such fighters in the game, the king will have to be one such also, if the balance allows it. The diagrams uploaded by marc0 show four attackers' front lines, where the center piece of each line is special, an evangelist (f6 etc., "variegated men"). Also the four top points in the king's inner diamond are specially marked with Roman numbers (j7 etc.). I'd say that those four attackers and four defenders could be such outstanding fighting men. [quote="marc0":xbp8am9u]The "primary man" inside the board is labeled "fer gabala", which in ancient Irish means "the taking man" ("homme de l'invasion", "the man of the invasion", according to Barbet-Massin).[/quote:xbp8am9u] It seems to me that the label refers to the evangelist Marcus which is next to the label. The evangelists are missionaries, outstanding fighters, they capture souls for Christianity. And in the very center perhaps God himself?
AUTHOR Hagbard

1394211673 Fri Mar 7, 2014 18:01
SUBJECT Re: Modern Alea Evangelii
I like these ideas! I commented on it in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=224&p=938
AUTHOR Hagbard

1394620195 Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:29
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Hagbard":2b8w2piw]Interesting discussion! The Alea Evangelii set up can be tried in the online games with weak (tablut) king and unarmed king, and in both cases the defending side seems hopeless. Strong king might have a chance to get through to the edge. But the Alea Evangelii board has marked corner squares, so the strong king should be expected to win in corner. This would be impossible as the attackers on a3, a6, c1 and f1 blocks the corner a1 in four easy moves, forming the blocking line a4, b3, c2, d1. Likewise in the other corners. So something must be missing to get the Alea Evangelii set up to work.[/quote:2b8w2piw] Hello Hagbard, thank you very much for this nice summary of the current situation! Could you please post the links to the two online versions you mentioned? [quote="Hagbard":2b8w2piw]Plantagenet put forward interesting ideas for special pieces in this thread: [url:2b8w2piw]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=227&p=937[/url:2b8w2piw] [quote="Plantagenet":2b8w2piw]The ogres move like all others pieces and canbe captured by two men like ... simple defenders and the king, they may participate to ordinary captures like all other pieces, that's to say, by sandwiching an opponent's man but, in more than that, they may capture (or you can say "eat" as it's an ogre) a piece by making a short move into the piece's square as long as the ogre is on an adjacent square of the piece.[/quote:2b8w2piw] This ogre character is interesting, although I see not an ogre, but instead what's in Danish called a kæmpe; the English translation "giant" is not accurate. The king's kæmper were extraordinary fighters, whose names are often remembered to this day, fx. one of king Rolf Krake's outstanding men Bjarke, who killed a bear. The idea of the usual custodian capture is that men are equals, so that it takes two to kill one. But an outstanding fighter, a kæmpe, would kill a lesser man alone. It would be natural for such a piece to move like Plantagenet proposes: when next to an enemy (ordinary men), he can kill the enemy and take his place. I suppose that if there are such fighters in the game, the king will have to be one such also, if the balance allows it.[/quote:2b8w2piw] The manuscript mentions two types of pieces: “duces” (“leaders” or “dukes”) and “comites” (“soldiers” or “counts”). I agree that the King could have the same characteristics as the Dukes. Plantagenet's ogre / kaempe pieces could make the corner squares accessible for the defenders. I wonder if [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludus_latrunculorum#Bell.27s_conjectural_rules:2b8w2piw]Bell's rule[/url:2b8w2piw] for the homonym “ludus latrunculorum” “duces” could be an alternative. If those pieces are able to jump over enemy pieces, they should help in breaking the a4-d1 line of the attackers: [i:2b8w2piw]“5. The dux can move like the rest of the pieces, or can jump over an enemy piece that is in an adjacent square. The jumped piece is not captured by the move. Of course, the move can have as consequence the capture of another piece”[/i:2b8w2piw]. [quote="Hagbard":2b8w2piw]The diagrams uploaded by marc0 show four attackers' front lines, where the center piece of each line is special, an evangelist (f6 etc., "variegated men"). Also the four top points in the king's inner diamond are specially marked with Roman numbers (j7 etc.). I'd say that those four attackers and four defenders could be such outstanding fighting men.[/quote:2b8w2piw] The four “variegated (or different) men” do not correspond to the four evangelists: they belong only to Mark and John. Yet they are the most prominently “special” pieces in the diagram (but for the central Unary Man). I agree that (as already noted by Adam) identifying special pieces with some of the labeled “men” on the diagram makes sense: I find your proposal of considering as special the four points of the diamond (Canon I) and the “variegated men” consistent with the evidence we have. [quote="Hagbard":2b8w2piw] [quote="marc0":2b8w2piw]The "primary man" inside the board is labeled "fer gabala", which in ancient Irish means "the taking man" ("homme de l'invasion", "the man of the invasion", according to Barbet-Massin).[/quote:2b8w2piw] It seems to me that the label refers to the evangelist Marcus which is next to the label. The evangelists are missionaries, outstanding fighters, they capture souls for Christianity. And in the very center perhaps God himself?[/quote:2b8w2piw] As stated above, in my opinion, the “variegated man” cannot be identified with Marcus: 15 ordinary pieces and two of the variegated men (F14 an N6) are assigned to this evangelist. So there is no single pieces which “is” Marcus in the Christian allegory. The fact that [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/download/file.php?id=72:2b8w2piw]“fer gabala”[/url:2b8w2piw] refers to the “primary man” (E13) is rather clear, since the piece appears between the two words “fer” and “gabala”. Nugent and Barbet-Massin (the two sources discussing “fer gabala” I am aware of) agree on this point. I think that [url=http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/download/file.php?id=78:2b8w2piw]the image by Nugent[/url:2b8w2piw] makes a good job at making more readable the manuscript diagram while being faithful to the original. I agree that the central piece (being associated with the Trinity) can be identified with God.
AUTHOR marc0

1394700500 Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:48
SUBJECT Sparse set ups
Damian Walker deduced a formula for the usual number of tafl game pieces p as a function of board size w: [quote="Damian Walker":2jwy241x]Many layouts conform to a simple formula: p = 6w - 29, where p is the number of pieces and w is the width of the board, in playing spaces. This gives a ratio of pieces to empty space of approximately 30%. More open space tends to favour the king by giving him and his forces more routes to escape; consequently less open space favours the attackers who will find it easier to make blockades. There are many layouts which do not follow the formula, but these generally require adjustments in rules or layout to create a balanced game. For instance, more crowded games sometimes work better when pieces are restricted in the distance they can move, while sparse games like the alea evangelii compensate by having the attacking blockade in an advanced state at the beginning of the game.[/quote:2jwy241x] Quoted from: [url:2jwy241x]http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/page/238/other-board-layouts[/url:2jwy241x] Sparse set ups such as these, with fewer pieces than the Walker number, are sometimes proposed on internet sites: [img:2jwy241x]http://aagenielsen.dk/board_hnefatafl36cross_r.png[/img:2jwy241x] [img:2jwy241x]http://aagenielsen.dk/board_seasparse13_r.png[/img:2jwy241x] [img:2jwy241x]http://aagenielsen.dk/board_tablutsparse13_r.png[/img:2jwy241x] [img:2jwy241x]http://aagenielsen.dk/board_tablutsparse15_r.png[/img:2jwy241x] Test games showed, that all these initial orderings work poorly. Regardless of the king's type - king captured from 4 sides, armed, wins in corner - king captured from 4 sides, unarmed, wins on edge - king captured from 2 sides, armed, wins on edge the defenders always win.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1394703854 Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:44
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="marc0":28yndwyf]Could you please post the links to the two online versions you mentioned?[/quote:28yndwyf] [b:28yndwyf][url:28yndwyf]http://aagenielsen.dk/tafl_humans.php[/url:28yndwyf][/b:28yndwyf] Invite for a new game. More variants. Choose "Hnefatafl edge 19x19", "Sea battle tafl 19x19" or "Tablut 19x19".
AUTHOR Hagbard

1394828397 Fri Mar 14, 2014 21:19
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Hagbard":17lo3pxl][quote="marc0":17lo3pxl]Could you please post the links to the two online versions you mentioned?[/quote:17lo3pxl] [b:17lo3pxl][url:17lo3pxl]http://aagenielsen.dk/tafl_humans.php[/url:17lo3pxl][/b:17lo3pxl] Invite for a new game. More variants. Choose "Hnefatafl edge 19x19", "Sea battle tafl 19x19" or "Tablut 19x19".[/quote:17lo3pxl] Thank you Hagbard! It occurred to me that (if I understand correctly) the Ogre/Kaempe rules applied to the king would make it impossible to capture him by sandwiching (since he can "eat" any adjacent piece). I think that it would be interesting to have four such pieces for both the attacking and the defending side, but I think that the King would still behave as an ordinary piece. Or have I got something wrong?
AUTHOR marc0

1394836043 Fri Mar 14, 2014 23:27
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="marc0":3v1n6tkn]It occurred to me that (if I understand correctly) the Ogre/Kaempe rules applied to the king would make it impossible to capture him by sandwiching (since he can "eat" any adjacent piece).[/quote:3v1n6tkn] Yes, of course you're right. It slipped my mind. The king has to be unchanged.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1394889997 Sat Mar 15, 2014 14:26
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
[quote="Hagbard":11xdtppw] The diagrams uploaded by marc0 show four attackers' front lines, where the center piece of each line is special, an evangelist (f6 etc., "variegated men"). Also the four top points in the king's inner diamond are specially marked with Roman numbers (j7 etc.). I'd say that those four attackers and four defenders could be such outstanding fighting men. [/quote:11xdtppw] So, if I understand correctly, the proposed layout would be like this, where the pieces marked with a cross (as the "variegated men" in the manuscript) represent attacking and defending ogres / kaempe / duces. [attachment=0:11xdtppw]alea.png[/attachment:11xdtppw]
AUTHOR marc0

1394895148 Sat Mar 15, 2014 15:52
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Yes. And another question is: which type of king would be the most likely to balance such a game? Armed and captured from 4 sides, armed and captured from 2 sides, or unarmed and captured from 4 sides? If the marked corners are used as escape points, the king should be armed and captured from 4 sides; anyway that's how it is in the other variants.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1395928623 Thu Mar 27, 2014 14:57
SUBJECT Re: Linnaeus Tablut and Translations
Well, sorry for my absence but i take care the publication of my book on Charles Darwin http://www.mimesisedizioni.it/Filosofia ... l?Itemid=0 Nowsorry for the english translation but i can send you the sketch of my article. Salmi's translation and article anticipated me...and maybe it will be not "innovative", but i'd like to give you some indications. Within this summer i hope to donate you the article! Sorry!
AUTHOR Sybil

1395928915 Thu Mar 27, 2014 15:01
SUBJECT Re: Ludus latrunculorum
Marc sorry but i didn't read your post. I take time to read it...it seems very interesting!
AUTHOR Sybil

1395929240 Thu Mar 27, 2014 15:07
SUBJECT Re: World Tafl Federation name confirmation
But....how can i join the federation?
AUTHOR Sybil

1401363027 Thu May 29, 2014 13:30
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
I think White has no chance to win if both players make good moves. To my mind, it would be fairer to create a new tafl's variant which would have the same rules than Copenhagen hnefatafl but with less Black warriors. The new setting would be this: e _ _ b b _ b b _ _ e _ _ _ _ _ b _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ b _ _ _ _ w _ _ _ _ b b _ _ _ w w w _ _ _ b _ b _ w w k w w _ b _ b _ _ _ w w w _ _ _ b b _ _ _ _ w _ _ _ _ b _ _ _ _ _ b _ _ _ _ _ e _ _ b b _ b b _ _ e b = black warriors, w = white warriors, k = the king and e = escape case.
AUTHOR Dufays

1405409614 Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:33
SUBJECT Game balance and starting player
Hi everyone, Does anyone have experience with switching which side starts the game, and how it changes game balance? I play Tablut (Saami Tablut 9x9) now and again with my wife, and last time we played we changed it up so that white (defenders) went first. After a long struggle white won. Neither of us plays very well, so it is hard to get a feeling for how large an effect the change has. But for rules where black have the advantage (like Tablut and Tawlbwrrd), giving white the first move might be the right thing to do. Who goes first is not clear from the rules as given by Linneaus. /Jonas
AUTHOR conanlibrarian

1405946043 Mon Jul 21, 2014 14:34
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[size=150:1my4ryya]Draft for the 2014 internet Championship tournament.[/size:1my4ryya] [b:1my4ryya]Rules:[/b:1my4ryya] Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11. [b:1my4ryya]Sign up:[/b:1my4ryya] all August. There will be a facility for signing up for the tournament. [b:1my4ryya]Start:[/b:1my4ryya] September. An average game lenght is 60 moves. If a tournament takes 3 rounds and 2 days per move is allowed, then the whole tournament could last for more than a year! To avoid this, the tournament could start with preliminary rounds of only one day per move. [b:1my4ryya]Example:[/b:1my4ryya] 24 participants. First preliminary round: 4 groups of each 5 players. One day per move. 2 winners from each group continue to the next round. (4 highest rated players do not participate here). Left are now 12 participants. Second preliminary round: 2 groups of each 5 players. One day per move. 3 winners from each group continue to the next round. (2 highest rated players do not participate here). Left are now 8 participants. Final round: 1 group of 8 players. Two days per move. Same games are not repeated over again, that is, if player A already met player B in an earlier round, then the result is transferred to the following rounds. [b:1my4ryya]Example 2:[/b:1my4ryya] 24 participants. Preliminary round: 4 groups of each 6 players. One day per move. 2 winners from each group continue to the next round. Left are now 8 participants. Final round: 1 group of 8 players. Two days per move.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1406158776 Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:39
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
I think if we short up things during the first rounds, we shouldn't punish a player making a weak move due lacking time. So as I told before I really don't like [quote:1pmwuh4a]Same games are not repeated over again, that is, if player A already met player B in an earlier round, then the result is transferred to the following rounds.[/quote:1pmwuh4a] I must admit I am not to sure about your second system. We should define the rules very proper before beginning the tournament. I would use the rating mainly to create the groups. I would suggest to "cut" the list so we have different rating strengths in every group. For example if we want 4 groups out of 25 players we can subdivide: The first four players build groups A, B, C, D. We take the players from place five to eight and shuffle them over the groups (each group get one). We take players from nine to twelve...and finally the last subgroup from place 21 to 25 (one subgroup has one player more - we can also determinate this one random, or choose by default A). I still would want to talk about the Tie-breaking ranking. It might be not necessary, but we should make things clear.
AUTHOR nath

1406159460 Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:51
SUBJECT Re: Game balance and starting player
It's a very hard question. At the one hand white doesn't have obviously deadly moves, because black has no weakness in the starting position. At the other hand the opening phase is very fragile. A single move means very much. We see in proceeded games that between advanced players single move quite often mean loss or win of the game. I noticed few games where I felt very bad about my position and my opponent made a silent move and I was instantly back in the game.
AUTHOR nath

1406160672 Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:11
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
I still can't see the huge advantage of black. I agree blacks position looks strong, but it's far beyond my ability to make it to a certain win. I guess the reason is also psychological. If we loose with black we usually see how white crushed us down and what defending moves we missed. We instantly we what kind of weakness we had. While playing white we don't get that instant feedback. Most times we played to passive or sometimes even to aggressive (which lead to a loss of important pieces). I guess quite often we got a weakness during the opening. Maybe the third or fifth move. I don't have a clue about the opening but I guess it's very hard to tell whether the move was actually a mistake or not. White winning variants are short and cruel. We can instantly tell. Black winning variants are much more complicated. The crazy thing is that we jump from one side to the other. Some guys are arguing for white, because we get simple straight wins to counter black mistakes (this also leaded to a higher amount of white wins between new players). We can obviously see that from the stats Hagbard created. Other side is to tell black is to strong, because if don't make a mistake he always wins. I can't see (against single player, but not in general) which color I should prefer.
AUTHOR nath

1406189110 Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:05
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
If players in rating order are A, B, C, etc., the grouping is 1 2 3 4 A B C D E F G H I J K L . . . . . . . . In the preliminary games with one day per move, player A would pay special attention to games against players E and I, because most likely one of these players proceeds to the final. In the final with two days per move, player A meets the strongest players B, C and D for the first time. Score: 1 for win, 0 for loss, 0.5 for draw. If the final ends up with a tie fx. between players A and B, but A won his games against B, then A wins the tournament. If the games A-against-B were also a draw, then A and B take new rounds until one wins.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1406210704 Thu Jul 24, 2014 16:05
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
Even in the preliminary rounds? If we are unlucky player A, E, I are in the same group, 2 players should advance, but player E and I both got for example 8 points and both won the black game against each other. I suggested this [quote:2ggmj9v0]1. points (he archived this round) 2. direct comparison (skip this for withdraws) 3. Sonneborn-Berger (just from this round) 4. coin flip (shouldn't happen anytime)[/quote:2ggmj9v0] You just suggested 1&2. In the final round, I agree with you to make further head up games. But in the preliminary round we shouldn't loose to much time - even if have to use a coin. You don't know at all what players will be in the final. You can't judge a player from the rating. I recommend to make at least at the final round new games. In general I wouldn't mind to participate more often against single players. Of course it's boring to face the same player again each round. But we get interesting games and aspects from playing more games against strong players. Note: only strong players make more games than necessary: the lower half drop out after the first round. I would appreciate more games between strong players. We're lacking of that currently. Such a tournament could be a good opportunity for that.
AUTHOR nath

1406381286 Sat Jul 26, 2014 15:28
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
Sonneborn-Berger is a clever principle. So: 1. points scored in this round in case of a tie: 2. direct comparison of the games of the tied players (for this round) 3. Sonneborn-Berger score calculated for this round in case of still a tie: 4. preliminary round: both players proceed. Final: new rounds until one wins (only to find the tournament winner). [quote="nath":2wmyclvo]You don't know at all what players will be in the final. You can't judge a player from the rating. I recommend to make at least at the final round new games.[/quote:2wmyclvo] True. Though while you as a top rated player would find it perhaps only a little boring to repeat some games against the same opponents, I fx. as a lower rated player would find it more like exhausting to repeat games several times against the same much stronger players. So in case other players think this way, too, that's why I proposed not repeating games. But your argument, that we always can use more fine example games between the strong players, is of course a good one.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1406536671 Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:37
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
Your suggestion for ties is a good idea. That should be more fair. I like also your idea of smaller groups for the preliminary rounds. What kind of system do you suggest exactly? I think it is kind of interesting to make groups out of 5-7 players with a focus on five (13 players a group of 6 and a group of 7, 16 players a group of 6 and two groups of 5). If we let advance the upper half rounded down the most dissatisfying would be 18 (3 groups of 6) ? 9. In that case we would need one wildcard and a additional round just to kick one player per group out. Of course we need wildcards anyways. If we start with 13 (12) players (6+7) we need 2 wildcards to get to 8 in the final. But maybe it's a good solution to make a final round with 9 players instead of adding a extra round in this case.
AUTHOR nath

1406831286 Thu Jul 31, 2014 20:28
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
[quote="nath":dj6t57k6]I like also your idea of smaller groups for the preliminary rounds. What kind of system do you suggest exactly? I think it is kind of interesting to make groups out of 5-7 players with a focus on five ... If we let advance the upper half rounded down[/quote:dj6t57k6] As an average game length is 60 moves, each preliminary round will take more than a month. Since we want to see a result, it would be better to restrict the tournament to one single preliminary round, if in any way possible. Smaller groups of 5-7 players, upper half rounded down, would be efficient. Whatever division to give the most efficient round when given the number of participants.
AUTHOR Hagbard

1407270229 Tue Aug 5, 2014 22:23
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Ultimately it's the long term stats that decide. Hopefully lots of players, old and new will join this years tournament, which will strengthen or weaken the case for Copenhagen accordingly. For the record, my money is still on Copenhagen.
AUTHOR Adam

1407271255 Tue Aug 5, 2014 22:40
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
This looks great! I've been away from the forum for a long while, glad to be back. I was going to suggest a new alea board set up using berserk rules and pieces, it looks like you guys have headed in a similar direction. I would tentatively suggest trying Copenhagen rules, if pieces can't jump, and berserk rules if some can, my logic being that on the 11x11 these rules work very well. I have other thoughts and suggestions for what the variegated men could be, though I agree now that they should be men, and not extra throne squares.
AUTHOR Adam

1407273388 Tue Aug 5, 2014 23:16
SUBJECT Re: I dont know
This would only be a problem if one was required to capture all pieces to win. That's why I was initially hesitant about the shield wall rule, as I felt it was superfluous. However, incorporated into Copenhagen with the edge fort, it has taken the game to new heights making end games far more complex.
AUTHOR Adam

1407362760 Thu Aug 7, 2014 0:06
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Owing to the fact that it seems to be difficult for white to get an advantage even in the Copenhagen rules, I offer a new rule in addition of these ones. To my mind, it would be useful to improve Copenhagen Hnefatafl and I suggest the sacrifice's rule. That's to say, the king can sacrify one of his own men by moving on the sacrified piece's square as long as he starts his move from an adjacent square of this one.
AUTHOR Dufays

1407631455 Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:44
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
We should name a committee of judges. If something is not clear or seems unfair to anyone, we need people to decide. As crust already suggest I'd take more than just one guy, and maybe an odd number to avoid ties. Thus I think 3 is a good number. We should also consider to name a fourth judge as replacement so nobody has to make a decision about his own game. I would recommend crust and Hagbard for these positions without thinking to much.
AUTHOR nath

1407631623 Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:47
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
I think with this sacrifice rule, it's nearly impossible to defend even the corners with black. I don't see much ways for black except defending the corners by blocking the king by his own men that prevented black from taking these fields by himself.
AUTHOR nath

1408547830 Wed Aug 20, 2014 17:17
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
In my last six copenhagen games with Crust white won all but one game, where black didn't spot the three sides+throne takes king rule. So at least for me and Crust, black is harder just now. As Nath said, an individual players likelihood to win or lose as black tends to swing with improvements in skill and learning new strategies. That's why I say we should trust Aage's statistics, but not personal experience. This years tournament will certainly give us lots of new data. I hope everyone who joins manages to complete all their games.
AUTHOR Adam

1408828976 Sat Aug 23, 2014 23:22
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
SO after a long break from this, and much thought, here is my suggestion for an Alea game that might be 1) playable and 2)really good fun in spite of a potentially long playing time. Put simply, its Aage's Berserk Hnefatafl applied to the Alea manuscript. Originally I tried with the variegated men as throne squares, but I am persuaded by the language arguments here that these should be men. I rather hope 'variegated' a plausible translation because variegated means 'exhibiting different colors' This presents an interesting way of helping white out at the beginning, being that they are otherwise hopelessly surrounded in Alea. Imagine these game pieces as Othello counters, black on one side, white on the other. When they are taken, they are flipped, like mercenaries who change sides the moment things look bad for the side they are on. I have had to partly ignore the placing of the specially marked men, though not entirely. So, aiming to retain a four fold symmetry, and ignoring the temptation to create the more chess like two fold symmetry indicated by the gutters at the top and bottom of the board, Ive put in 8 black commanders, 4 white commanders. The white commanders are spearheading the escape across the earthworks of a trelleborg. (see my next post for an overlay of tafl boards on a viking trelleborg) The variegted men or 'mercenaries' we can imagine have just revealed their allegiance to white deep within the ranks of the enemy. The primary man is a berserk knight. White also has a knight. Blacks commanders are placed strategically to defend the large corner exits. The rules I propose are Berserk rules, provisionally including berserk moves. This will make for a nail biting game. Imagine letting the black knight get into that central formation, white would be wiped out! Likewise with blacks open formation. Berserk Alea promises to be a bloodbath from the start. Most excitingly, if this proves to be balanced, its not difficult to see that the mercenaries could be decisive in flipping advantage from one side to the other during the game. I should point out that I enjoy the other ideas proposed here for alternate pieces and simpler games, all worthy of testing. I think there is a good argument for my version having too many types of special pieces, but my logic is that the dukes and counts are the commanders and knights. The regular soldiers not seeming worthy of mention by the scribe, taken as read. I am also splicing this very much with the Bergen pieces that inspired berserk tafl. The variegated mercenaries seemed to solve problems rather than create them, hence their inclusion. I look forward to any feedback!
AUTHOR Adam

1408829418 Sat Aug 23, 2014 23:30
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
Here, as I promised a long time ago, are some images where Ive overlayed tafl boards onto a viking trelleborg. I think its rather compelling. On the 11x11 it lends weight to the corner escape rule. With Alea I find the match almost perfect with the groupings of longhouses in the centre. Here the board corners make less sense as exits of course, but one could think of them as reinforcements or safe havens.
AUTHOR Adam

1414834634 Sat Nov 1, 2014 10:37
SUBJECT Re: Alea Evangelii
I see my proposal has been viewed many times, I would love to hear if people think berserk alea is worth a try. Of course many of us are tied up in the Copenhagen tournament just now. Hopefully this thread will reignite after the tournament. I had a think about Plantagenets ogres or kjemper, with a vertical or horizontal taking move they would be impossible to attack, one would have to hope that the ogre placed himself next to a man while exposing himself to being captured. What if he could take like a pawn? A diagonal take. Even so, I suspect such a piece would make corners near impossible to defend. One would have to take out all the ogres to have any hope of winning. Worth a trial though.
AUTHOR Adam

1420289775 Sat Jan 3, 2015 13:56
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
This is my bid for an evaluation of the Championship Tournament 2014: [size=150:2v9wdqfh]What worked well.[/size:2v9wdqfh] [list:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]A month of signing in before the tournament.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Tournament start at September 1st, which is after summer holidays.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Splitting the tournament into a Preliminary Round 1 and a Final Round 2, and splitting Round 1 into four subgroups and Round 2 into three subgroups. This way the whole tournament was done with 308 games instead of 600. This year 25 players participated, and the method can handle many more, splitting into more groups if necessary.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Using the Thue–Morse sequence to distribute players for Round 1 resulted in very even groups.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Transferring completed games directly from Round 1 to Round 2 saved time and ressources.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]An Asgård Final with the strongest players, and that all players had their Round 2 Final.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]That everybody can join the tournament. We had this year several new names, who turned out to be strong players.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Use of the Sonneborn-Berger principle a.o. in case of a tie, as described in this note (not needed this year): [url:2v9wdqfh]http://aagenielsen.dk/hnefataflforum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=220&p=971#p958[/url:2v9wdqfh][/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]We remembered this year to have an umpire (Tim Millar). Not much to do for the umpire, though, which reflects that it's not easy to find holes in the rules.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]The new Facebook site, which reported and commented on interesting game positions.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]We found again the right winner, as usual. [i:2v9wdqfh]Congratulations to World Tafl Federation Champion 2014, Schachus, Berlin, Germany![/i:2v9wdqfh][/*:m:2v9wdqfh][/list:u:2v9wdqfh] [size=150:2v9wdqfh]What must be improved next time.[/size:2v9wdqfh] [list:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]The sign in for the tournament must have an Are-You-Sure step.[/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]Players who time out much in Round 1 must not continue to Round 2. There should be a rule: [b:2v9wdqfh][i:2v9wdqfh]"A player who causes more than half of his Round 1 games to time out, cannot proceed to Round 2."[/i:2v9wdqfh][/b:2v9wdqfh][/*:m:2v9wdqfh] [*:2v9wdqfh]The timeout method must be changed. This year the timeout limits were: "10 days for latest 10 moves" in Round 1 and "20 days for latest 10 moves" in Round 2. It worked fairly well for Round 1, but resulted in a much prolonged Round 2. Next time the limit will probably be [b:2v9wdqfh][i:2v9wdqfh]"1 day per move and Round one 8 days buffer, Round two 15 days buffer."[/i:2v9wdqfh][/b:2v9wdqfh][/*:m:2v9wdqfh][/list:u:2v9wdqfh] [i:2v9wdqfh]Thanks to the 25 players for a long row of fascinating tournament games! And many thanks to Tim Millar (crust), Adam Bartley (Adam), Arne Roland (nath) and Schachus, who were a great help in planning the tournament! And to Tim Millar for being umpire of the tournament.[/i:2v9wdqfh]
AUTHOR Hagbard

1420794750 Fri Jan 9, 2015 10:12
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Hello everyone! This is sqAree from Berlin, first of all I want to say hi to the aagenielsen/World Tafl Federation community. Many thanks to Hagbard for running this great playing site and to nath for introducing me to the tafl game. I personally like the Copenhagen variant a lot and can see its advantages over other tafl variants (of course it's also a matter of taste). Having said this, there have been more and more dicussions about the rules in the small chat lately and I'd like to contribute to the game by taking part in them. I will refer to the rules as described here: http://aagenielsen.dk/copenhagen_rules.html. Please note that I haven't read every single post in this thread, just point out if I write something that contradicts earlier posts. As for the translation I recently offered: I will work on it as soon as we settled on some final formulation of the rules. Alright, let's get right into it: I think rules 1,2,3,5,6 are well worded and need no further reconsideration. [b:1vwpihqn]About rule 4:[/b:1vwpihqn] Contentwise fine, however it's a bit confused regarding redundance with rule 8. As there are multiple ways to win the game (for either player) we should possibly structure them so that no longer incoherent winning conditions for both parties are within one rule. Furthermore we might consider rearranging all the rules in way such that we have: (A) Definitions and preparation (covered by rules 1,2,3). (B) Moves and overall game mechanics (covered by rules 5,6,7 and also the first part of rule 8). (C) Goals of the game respectively winning conditions (covered by rules 4,8,9,10). I know, usually (B) and (C) are transposed, but here the move mechanics are mandatory for the explanation of the winning conditions. I'd suggest to start with the white winning conditions (corner escape and edge fort), proceed with the black winning conditions (king capture, drawfort and encirclement, although the latter possibly will become dispensable as a consequence of the eventual immobility rule and is only there to finish a game faster) and conclude with general outcome rules (immobility and perpetual repetition). [b:1vwpihqn]About rule 7:[/b:1vwpihqn] At first I'd like to know a definition of "taflmen". Nath recently told me that the king cannot be captured by the shieldwall capture (which is consistent as otherwise a single king could die by being bracketed between 2 attackers on the edge), so there's something wrong here: Either "taflmen" are "attackers, defenders and king" or "attackers and defenders". However, the king may participate in the "shieldwall" but not as a "victim". Of course we could rework the definitions now, but I simply suggest to add below: "The king may take part in the capture, either as part of the shieldwall or as the bracketing piece. The king cannot be captured using a shieldwall." [b:1vwpihqn]About rule 8:[/b:1vwpihqn] Again contentwise fine, just the same as for rule 4, maybe split and rearrange. If immobility becomes a rule of its own, incirclement may stay as a special case (with the pure reason to shorten games as should be mentioned). Also I wonder if the immobility rule has any significance in respect of a black loss. If black is indeed immobile, it seems that white can easily achieve a corner escape or an edge fort, because white has too few pieces to block every black piece in case the corners are secured. What about this position (king:f11,black:e11,e10,f10,g10,g11,h11,white:d11,d10,e9,f9,g9,h10,i11). According to immobility white would win even though his king is surrounded. Of course white has a trivial win anyway by moving a piece, putting black into zugzwang and finally escaping with the king. That makes me think of the following position (king:f11,black:d11,e11,f10,f9,g11,h11,e10,g10,g9). The king cannot move, fine. The black structure can never be captured, also fine. Now we distinguish between several cases (initially taking no account of loss by repetition of position): Case (a): White doesn't have additional pieces. --> Undeniably black wins with either player to move, according to immobility. Case (b): Black has no additional pieces, white has no more than 7 additional pieces. --> White cannot encircle the black pieces, so black will never be immobile. It's perhaps possible to put black into zugzwang but I guess white would lose pieces without uncaging his king then. That means, white would maybe win the game although his king certainly will never reach a corner or an edge fort. Case (c): Black has a few additional pieces, white has no more than 7 additional pieces. --> As long as black's additional pieces don't get trapped, neither player can accomplish anything. Case (d): Black has no additional pieces, white has enough pieces to encircle the black structure. --> This is an easy one: White blocks black and wins again by immobility despite his king being trapped. Case (e): White has encircled the black structure, but black has additional pieces outside. --> 12 white pieces are not sufficient to savely block the black structure without losing pieces if black has enough additional pieces. But, say, black got one piece (beyond his 9) and white as well (beyond his 8). Black continually tries to threaten the black heap but the one defender is always preventing a capture. A funny position would be (king:f11,black:d11,e11,g11,h11,j11,e10,f10,g10,h10,i10,f9,g9,white:c11,d10,e9,f8,g8,h9,i9,j10,j9). Black would be immobile if he hadn't constructed a black fort. I will take up on this later. [b:1vwpihqn]About rule 9:[/b:1vwpihqn] As earlier mentioned in this thread, consider a position where white's only piece is the king and black has secured all corners using 3 pieces each. Technically white would win, if the king has contact with the edge, because he is able to move and cannot be captured really. Well, as for this rule I do understand how it is supposed to work, it's just the wording that is ambiguous in my opinion. We would need to clarify if it's "impossible for the attackers to capture him in the next move" or "impossible for the attackers to capture him in the course of the game" or "impossible for the attackers to capture him after any amount of moves assuming that white passes all the time". Of course only the latter would be right and it's also my suggestion for a reformulation, because when reading the actual rules as is, every of the above interpretations could come to one's mind. However, there is still an issue, namely the cases where the king is part of the fort structure, because this situation is supposed to be a black win. My final suggestion for a reformulation is as follows: "The defenders win if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, it is impossible for the attackers to capture him after any amount of moves assuming that white passes all the time, and it is impossible for the attackers to render white immobile assuming that the king is forced to move at least once." I hope this is correct. Anyway, it's anything but descriptive, so an alternative would be: "The defenders win if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for the attackers to win the game if they control their pieces plus the king while the defenders don't move." At least this would save us defining precisely what an edge fort essentially is. In any case I recommend adding a few more examples of edge forts. Really, not a single formulation of rule 9 is intuitively accessible so far. [b:1vwpihqn]About rule 10:[/b:1vwpihqn] To start with a few questions: (Q1) Does this rule apply for both players? (Q2) If yes, who is the "threatening player", how is he determined? (Q3) Is this a sudden death or is the move that would lead to the repetition just banned? (of course the answer doesn't matter as in case of no sudden death the immobile rule would do the job) My further reasoning will depends on the answers. I think, this is the point where it comes down to defining what copenhagen Hnefatafl is all about. Everyone would agree that white's goal is to let his king escape to a corner. Now what should black's goal be? It can be "capture the king" or the contradiction to white's goal. Given that it's the former, the idea of forts pops up immediately: A white structure that can live autonomously prevents the king capture. If I recall correctly those forts are counted as draws in Fetlar Hnefatafl which is quite reasoned; neither player can reach his goal. Now we distinguish between edge forts and usual forts, probably because reaching the edge is somewhat more of an escape then a draw fort in the centre of the board. Alright, so edge forts win for white and other forts should be truly worse. It can't be a draw though because white would have a trivial draw from the starting position then. Concluding the non-edge forts count as losses for white. So far, so good, this was just a small recapitulation of what I think the chain of thoughts was when designing copenhagen tafl. Now let's pose this question once again: What should black's goal be? Let's say it's "capturing the king". --> Corner escape (white win), king capture (black win). Edge fort (white win), but draw fort (black win)? Both of the forts accomplish two things, that is, preventing the king from being captured and getting rendered immobile. In this case both forts should count as a draw actually, because no player has a chance to reach his goal. Even if we put edge forts aside; there are still cases where black simply can't win by capturing the king, but rather by encirclement. Not to mention the positions I described under rule 8. What if black wins by ensuring white doesn't reach his goal? Would be my first choice when designing a game, because it just sounds too logical. Note that there is no contradiction to any of our working copenhagen rules; every case that is covered by them would have the same outcome under this assumption. Now we have cases (b), (c), (d), (e) (see my comment for rule 8) as well as the case where black has secured each corner and both players have very few pieces left (as described in the small chat, let's call it (f) for references) plus maybe the black fort (g). Let's now start applying the gathered points and rule 10 to those cases: (b) No matter if white got at least 4 attackers or not, the outcome will be decided by which player goes out of non-repetetive moves first (assuming Q1 is answered yes). Since black has no additional pieces and needs to sustain his structure, he will most likely lose. (c) Actually the same as (b), the outcome will depend on Q1 and the number/arrangement of each player's pieces. (d) Nothing would change, it's still a white win. I find this kind of counterintuitive though. (e) Again the outcome depends on Q1. If only white is not allowed to repeat positions, it's a black win. Otherwise Q2 gets interesting. (f) Technically white would lose according to the draw fort rule if he has at least 4 defenders and can't build an edge fort. But it might take so many moves that it's impossible to finish the game in practice. If he has 3 or less defenders, maybe the perpetual repetition would be effective eventually (Q1,Q2). (g) Black can only move one piece back and forth. Once again Q1 and Q2 will decide. So, quite a lot depends on Q1. If the answer is "yes" the example positions are a mess to deal with, because the result will almost always be revealed only after a long time. And even if we decide to allow draws (it's still not in the rules and admittedly I'm against draws) there remains a lot of work to decide the outcome arbitrarily for those border cases. That's why I propose to make it possible only for white to lose to the perpetual repetition rule. Of course this can be abused in the midgame by repeatedly threaten the king and winning as black without capturing him. But I think this might actually be a nice tactic. So, let's look how the cases behave under this ruling: (b) Black wins if he manages to uphold his structure. Success might be difficult to prove, but not impossible. I believe that white wins comparatively fast if he has a win, so an "after x moves black wins"-rule could help to detect the outcome. In chess it's standard that the umpire sets a match's result if one player does not try to win (in his opinion). Either of those rules could be applied here. (c) Black moves his other pieces and wins because white will have to repeat a position at some point. Seems fair to me. Get a referee to end the game faster. (d) Although this seems counterintuitive it's not really arguable that it's a white win. This might be the only situation where white does not win reaching one of his main goals. Though as if this position will ever occur anyway.. (e) Would be a black win analogous to (c). (f) Nath mentioned this somewhere in the small chat. If white has 3 or less defenders, he loses (just a shortcut for the perpetual repetition rule). If he has 4 or more, however, I can't see how black can secure every corner and let at a max 2 squares per edge for white while he has too few pieces to win the game.. Let's just say, analogous to (c) and (e) white loses after a fixed amount of moves (he should get a chance to build that edge fort at least) or if an umpire decides so. I am deeply convinced that it should be a black win, because white hasn't accomplished anything: No corner escape, no edge fort, no encirclement of black pieces. (g) Interestingly this would be a black win, obviously. The black fort's charme is quite decreased because now he wins in the other cases as well. What a pity.. All in all, it seems like a rule analogue to the Fifty-Move-Rule in Chess (maybe a different number, depends on how many moves it will usually take to build an edge fort, and a black win instead of a draw) would resolve all cases. I agree that chess is a bit flawed because there are positions that would be a win without the Fifty-Move-Rule, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_endg ... forced_win, a position with white to play and force mate in 549 moves. Then again we have endgames like Bishop and Knight against King that win within 50 moves but it's okay to punish a player if he fails even once. We might want to compute a number x, such that an edge fort - if possible - can always be built in x or less moves. Alright, I was writing for hours and am extremely tired, but I said anything I wanted to say - for now. I guess my text will be flawed as hell, please bear with me, I'm only a beginner. Greetings, sqAree
AUTHOR sqAree

1420794850 Fri Jan 9, 2015 10:14
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Hello everyone! This is sqAree from Berlin, first of all I want to say hi to the aagenielsen/World Tafl Federation community. Many thanks to Hagbard for running this great playing site and to nath for introducing me to the tafl game. I personally like the Copenhagen variant a lot and can see its advantages over other tafl variants (of course it's also a matter of taste). Having said this, there have been more and more dicussions about the rules in the small chat lately and I'd like to contribute to the game by taking part in them. I will refer to the rules as described here: http://aagenielsen.dk/copenhagen_rules.html. Please note that I haven't read every single post in this thread, just point out if I write something that contradicts earlier posts. As for the translation I recently offered: I will work on it as soon as we settled on some final formulation of the rules. Alright, let's get right into it: I think rules 1,2,3,5,6 are well worded and need no further reconsideration. [b:3cn7ffvc]About rule 4:[/b:3cn7ffvc] Contentwise fine, however it's a bit confused regarding redundance with rule 8. As there are multiple ways to win the game (for either player) we should possibly structure them so that no longer incoherent winning conditions for both parties are within one rule. Furthermore we might consider rearranging all the rules in way such that we have: (A) Definitions and preparation (covered by rules 1,2,3). (B) Moves and overall game mechanics (covered by rules 5,6,7 and also the first part of rule 8). (C) Goals of the game respectively winning conditions (covered by rules 4,8,9,10). I know, usually (B) and (C) are transposed, but here the move mechanics are mandatory for the explanation of the winning conditions. I'd suggest to start with the white winning conditions (corner escape and edge fort), proceed with the black winning conditions (king capture, drawfort and encirclement, although the latter possibly will become dispensable as a consequence of the eventual immobility rule and is only there to finish a game faster) and conclude with general outcome rules (immobility and perpetual repetition). [b:3cn7ffvc]About rule 7:[/b:3cn7ffvc] At first I'd like to know a definition of "taflmen". Nath recently told me that the king cannot be captured by the shieldwall capture (which is consistent as otherwise a single king could die by being bracketed between 2 attackers on the edge), so there's something wrong here: Either "taflmen" are "attackers, defenders and king" or "attackers and defenders". However, the king may participate in the "shieldwall" but not as a "victim". Of course we could rework the definitions now, but I simply suggest to add below: "The king may take part in the capture, either as part of the shieldwall or as the bracketing piece. The king cannot be captured using a shieldwall." [b:3cn7ffvc]About rule 8:[/b:3cn7ffvc] Again contentwise fine, just the same as for rule 4, maybe split and rearrange. If immobility becomes a rule of its own, incirclement may stay as a special case (with the pure reason to shorten games as should be mentioned). Also I wonder if the immobility rule has any significance in respect of a black loss. If black is indeed immobile, it seems that white can easily achieve a corner escape or an edge fort, because white has too few pieces to block every black piece in case the corners are secured. What about this position (king:f11,black:e11,e10,f10,g10,g11,h11,white:d11,d10,e9,f9,g9,h10,i11). According to immobility white would win even though his king is surrounded. Of course white has a trivial win anyway by moving a piece, putting black into zugzwang and finally escaping with the king. That makes me think of the following position (king:f11,black:d11,e11,f10,f9,g11,h11,e10,g10,g9). The king cannot move, fine. The black structure can never be captured, also fine. Now we distinguish between several cases (initially taking no account of loss by repetition of position): Case (a): White doesn't have additional pieces. --> Undeniably black wins with either player to move, according to immobility. Case (b): Black has no additional pieces, white has no more than 7 additional pieces. --> White cannot encircle the black pieces, so black will never be immobile. It's perhaps possible to put black into zugzwang but I guess white would lose pieces without uncaging his king then. That means, white would maybe win the game although his king certainly will never reach a corner or an edge fort. Case (c): Black has a few additional pieces, white has no more than 7 additional pieces. --> As long as black's additional pieces don't get trapped, neither player can accomplish anything. Case (d): Black has no additional pieces, white has enough pieces to encircle the black structure. --> This is an easy one: White blocks black and wins again by immobility despite his king being trapped. Case (e): White has encircled the black structure, but black has additional pieces outside. --> 12 white pieces are not sufficient to savely block the black structure without losing pieces if black has enough additional pieces. But, say, black got one piece (beyond his 9) and white as well (beyond his 8). Black continually tries to threaten the black heap but the one defender is always preventing a capture. A funny position would be (king:f11,black:d11,e11,g11,h11,j11,e10,f10,g10,h10,i10,f9,g9,white:c11,d10,e9,f8,g8,h9,i9,j10,j9). Black would be immobile if he hadn't constructed a black fort. I will take up on this later. [b:3cn7ffvc]About rule 9:[/b:3cn7ffvc] As earlier mentioned in this thread, consider a position where white's only piece is the king and black has secured all corners using 3 pieces each. Technically white would win, if the king has contact with the edge, because he is able to move and cannot be captured really. Well, as for this rule I do understand how it is supposed to work, it's just the wording that is ambiguous in my opinion. We would need to clarify if it's "impossible for the attackers to capture him in the next move" or "impossible for the attackers to capture him in the course of the game" or "impossible for the attackers to capture him after any amount of moves assuming that white passes all the time". Of course only the latter would be right and it's also my suggestion for a reformulation, because when reading the actual rules as is, every of the above interpretations could come to one's mind. However, there is still an issue, namely the cases where the king is part of the fort structure, because this situation is supposed to be a black win. My final suggestion for a reformulation is as follows: "The defenders win if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, it is impossible for the attackers to capture him after any amount of moves assuming that white passes all the time, and it is impossible for the attackers to render white immobile assuming that the king is forced to move at least once." I hope this is correct. Anyway, it's anything but descriptive, so an alternative would be: "The defenders win if the king has contact with the board edge, is able to move, and it is impossible for the attackers to win the game if they control their pieces plus the king while the defenders don't move." At least this would save us defining precisely what an edge fort essentially is. In any case I recommend adding a few more examples of edge forts. Really, not a single formulation of rule 9 is intuitively accessible so far. [b:3cn7ffvc]About rule 10:[/b:3cn7ffvc] To start with a few questions: (Q1) Does this rule apply for both players? (Q2) If yes, who is the "threatening player", how is he determined? (Q3) Is this a sudden death or is the move that would lead to the repetition just banned? (of course the answer doesn't matter as in case of no sudden death the immobile rule would do the job) My further reasoning will depends on the answers. I think, this is the point where it comes down to defining what copenhagen Hnefatafl is all about. Everyone would agree that white's goal is to let his king escape to a corner. Now what should black's goal be? It can be "capture the king" or the contradiction to white's goal. Given that it's the former, the idea of forts pops up immediately: A white structure that can live autonomously prevents the king capture. If I recall correctly those forts are counted as draws in Fetlar Hnefatafl which is quite reasoned; neither player can reach his goal. Now we distinguish between edge forts and usual forts, probably because reaching the edge is somewhat more of an escape then a draw fort in the centre of the board. Alright, so edge forts win for white and other forts should be truly worse. It can't be a draw though because white would have a trivial draw from the starting position then. Concluding the non-edge forts count as losses for white. So far, so good, this was just a small recapitulation of what I think the chain of thoughts was when designing copenhagen tafl. Now let's pose this question once again: What should black's goal be? Let's say it's "capturing the king". --> Corner escape (white win), king capture (black win). Edge fort (white win), but draw fort (black win)? Both of the forts accomplish two things, that is, preventing the king from being captured and getting rendered immobile. In this case both forts should count as a draw actually, because no player has a chance to reach his goal. Even if we put edge forts aside; there are still cases where black simply can't win by capturing the king, but rather by encirclement. Not to mention the positions I described under rule 8. What if black wins by ensuring white doesn't reach his goal? Would be my first choice when designing a game, because it just sounds too logical. Note that there is no contradiction to any of our working copenhagen rules; every case that is covered by them would have the same outcome under this assumption. Now we have cases (b), (c), (d), (e) (see my comment for rule 8) as well as the case where black has secured each corner and both players have very few pieces left (as described in the small chat, let's call it (f) for references) plus maybe the black fort (g). Let's now start applying the gathered points and rule 10 to those cases: (b) No matter if white got at least 4 attackers or not, the outcome will be decided by which player goes out of non-repetetive moves first (assuming Q1 is answered yes). Since black has no additional pieces and needs to sustain his structure, he will most likely lose. (c) Actually the same as (b), the outcome will depend on Q1 and the number/arrangement of each player's pieces. (d) Nothing would change, it's still a white win. I find this kind of counterintuitive though. (e) Again the outcome depends on Q1. If only white is not allowed to repeat positions, it's a black win. Otherwise Q2 gets interesting. (f) Technically white would lose according to the draw fort rule if he has at least 4 defenders and can't build an edge fort. But it might take so many moves that it's impossible to finish the game in practice. If he has 3 or less defenders, maybe the perpetual repetition would be effective eventually (Q1,Q2). (g) Black can only move one piece back and forth. Once again Q1 and Q2 will decide. So, quite a lot depends on Q1. If the answer is "yes" the example positions are a mess to deal with, because the result will almost always be revealed only after a long time. And even if we decide to allow draws (it's still not in the rules and admittedly I'm against draws) there remains a lot of work to decide the outcome arbitrarily for those border cases. That's why I propose to make it possible only for white to lose to the perpetual repetition rule. Of course this can be abused in the midgame by repeatedly threaten the king and winning as black without capturing him. But I think this might actually be a nice tactic. So, let's look how the cases behave under this ruling: (b) Black wins if he manages to uphold his structure. Success might be difficult to prove, but not impossible. I believe that white wins comparatively fast if he has a win, so an "after x moves black wins"-rule could help to detect the outcome. In chess it's standard that the umpire sets a match's result if one player does not try to win (in his opinion). Either of those rules could be applied here. (c) Black moves his other pieces and wins because white will have to repeat a position at some point. Seems fair to me. Get a referee to end the game faster. (d) Although this seems counterintuitive it's not really arguable that it's a white win. This might be the only situation where white does not win reaching one of his main goals. Though as if this position will ever occur anyway.. (e) Would be a black win analogous to (c). (f) Nath mentioned this somewhere in the small chat. If white has 3 or less defenders, he loses (just a shortcut for the perpetual repetition rule). If he has 4 or more, however, I can't see how black can secure every corner and let at a max 2 squares per edge for white while he has too few pieces to win the game.. Let's just say, analogous to (c) and (e) white loses after a fixed amount of moves (he should get a chance to build that edge fort at least) or if an umpire decides so. I am deeply convinced that it should be a black win, because white hasn't accomplished anything: No corner escape, no edge fort, no encirclement of black pieces. (g) Interestingly this would be a black win, obviously. The black fort's charme is quite decreased because now he wins in the other cases as well. What a pity.. All in all, it seems like a rule analogue to the Fifty-Move-Rule in Chess (maybe a different number, depends on how many moves it will usually take to build an edge fort, and a black win instead of a draw) would resolve all cases. I agree that chess is a bit flawed because there are positions that would be a win without the Fifty-Move-Rule, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_endg ... forced_win, a position with white to play and force mate in 549 moves. Then again we have endgames like Bishop and Knight against King that win within 50 moves but it's okay to punish a player if he fails even once. We might want to compute a number x, such that an edge fort - if possible - can always be built in x or less moves. Alright, I was writing for hours and am extremely tired, but I said anything I wanted to say - for now. I guess my text will be flawed as hell, please bear with me, I'm only a beginner. Greetings, sqAree
AUTHOR sqAree

1421011480 Sun Jan 11, 2015 22:24
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
Regarding the championship itself I'd like to have a final (I suggest at least two matches e.g. four games) between a challenger and the world champion. They can also run paralell (with for example 10 days offset). We could generate the challenger as the winner of a mass tournament like we did this year. That would further decrease the randomness of timeouts. Even if you can qualify though timeouts as challenger you still have to proof yourself as superior player against the champion. This year we have a superior winner, but I'd prefer a duel. That would also gennerate top level games between very strong players and fun to watch. For hnefatafl interested people outside of asgard itself it will likely not be fun to watch 72 Asgard games, but 4 final games at a even higher level could be interesting for a bigger audience. I also doubt that the time control with 0.1 days buffered per move is a good idea (like I wrote in the chat). I personally can't deal with that.
AUTHOR nath

1421920246 Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:50
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Great to see new enthusiasm and such thoughtful analysis of the rules SqAree. I need to find more time to read and respond fully, but one point that jumps out for me is your point about what black and whites respective goals are. I agree that this is fundamental to refining the rules and resolving our grey areas in the game. As it stands blacks goal is clear, to capture the king. Anything less is failure as the siege simply continues. We could indeed change this to 'prevent the king from escaping''. This would make blacks job simpler. I would like to clarify one thing, we should refer to edge forts as 'exit forts'. That way it is clear that it is not a stalemate position. The boards impenetrable edge is breached by construction of the exit fort. I like to imagine that the fort buys them time to dig an escape tunnel! Black covering corners is absolutely a draw position and not a win, given the present agreed goal for black. The effect of black only needing to prevent escape would make this draw position a black win, providing white is down to 3 soldiers making an exit fort impossible, or that the edge is not reachable. I'm not certain that this will improve the game, only simplify it and favour black. Maintaining a siege doesn't conclude the situation. Perhaps we need stronger language, like: blacks goal is regicide! Discuss :)
AUTHOR Adam

1421950644 Thu Jan 22, 2015 19:17
SUBJECT Re: Hnefatafl Internet Championship
I like the idea of a four game final 'clash of the titans'. Though it could result in a draw, so there should be a play off in such an event. One thing I wonder about: if the reigning world champion plays in the mass tournament, and is thrashed by superior players, what advantage is there to that player then having a rematch with the new strongest player? I don't really buy this idea of a mass tournament being won by someone getting lucky with timeouts. If players commit to playing a tournament game, its their lookout if they can't keep to the clock and finish their moves on time. Its seriously doubt it is randomness, more likely its poor time management with a hint of bad luck thrown in some cases. Of course things may crop up unexpectedly, leading to a time out. That's life. People die during live chess tournaments (actually true, happened this year) maybe the dead guy deserved to win. But if you can't take part, you can't win. If you can't finish your games, you can't Be the champion. Timeouts are an annoying but inevitable part of online gameplay as being overly generous with time is open to abuse. Non tournament games could in principal have infinite time as an option. But tournaments surely need regulation that applies to all?
AUTHOR Adam

1422210002 Sun Jan 25, 2015 19:20
SUBJECT Re: Copenhagen Hnefatafl
Regarding Q2, the threatening player is defined as the player who is the first to create a repeat in board position in an exchange of repeat moves. Put simply, the one who started it.
AUTHOR Adam