Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Tafl rules
Hagbard
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants

Post by Hagbard » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:43 am

conanlibrarian wrote: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.
Hagbard wrote:To achieve more certain experience with the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 variant, I suggest a test tournament as soon as possible.
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?

arne64
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Post by arne64 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:23 pm

Hagbard wrote: It seems that the Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is after all fairly balanced, and future games can be rated?
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..


conanlibrarian wrote:Question is if rules forbidding draws should be included?
I agree: draws should be excluded from this variant!

(13.1.2016 Hagbard comment: The suggested variant is Tablut Bell 11x11!)

crust
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:29 am

Re: Balanced 9x9 and 11x11 tafl variants

Post by crust » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:16 pm

arne64 wrote:I don't think Scandinavian Museums Edge 11x11 is balanced!
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

arne64
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Post by arne64 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:11 pm

crust wrote: Perhaps a rule change could improve it?
'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?
Last edited by Hagbard on Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

conanlibrarian
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Post by conanlibrarian » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:25 pm

arne64 wrote:
crust wrote: Perhaps a rule change could improve it?
'What's about changing the starting formation of black?
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: Select all

  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

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?

arne64
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Post by arne64 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:01 pm

This would give a starting position as:

Code: Select all

   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
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.
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?
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: Select all

  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

cyningstan
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 am

National Library of Wales

Post by cyningstan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:30 pm

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 here or skip directly to the paper here. I hope people find it useful!

Damian
Last edited by Hagbard on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

conanlibrarian
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Hnefatafl Article at National Library of Wales

Post by conanlibrarian » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:53 pm

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?

conanlibrarian
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: 13x13 Tafl

Post by conanlibrarian » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:32 am

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.

Adam
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:28 pm

Re: Tawlbwrdd 11x11

Post by Adam » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:22 pm

Tawlbwrdd i feel sure will prove to have the same problem as linneus, which turned out to be a translation issue. I think the translation needs to be redone in light of our much deeper gaming knowledge. I have been in contact before with the welsh national library who hold the original. They can offer a new translation, I think it was around £125 or something. Very reasonable. I am still considering an exhibition proposal to Kultur Historisk Museum Oslo, and part of the proposal could be getting funding for a translation collaboration with the welsh national library and and museum there with tafl artefacts.

I did have one suggestion though, I think it would be good to put those stripes on the tawlbwrdd board. It bothers me that people keep saying that its for decoration purposes. I believe it would be very distracting in a tafl game with 4 fold symmetry, giving a strong sense of board direction. Putting it in and then seeing how players react to it could be interesting.

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