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New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:12 pm
by HotFudge
Intro: In an attempt to tackle balance issues, stalemates and alternative methods of victory that venture away from the intended sole objective of King captured or King escaped. Depending which side you choose to play.
The process began and went on for months consisting mix and matching various rules and lots and lots of sitting and thinking. I gave up a year went by and I dusted of my copy of hnefatafl and began staring at layouts, capture options, movement, special abilities and how that would affect the endgame. Weeks went by and nothing. After a long night of my 3rd shift job I came home and went to bed and the moment my head hit the pillow i had a revelation and seen an image of black and white hnefatafl units forcing their way through opposing lines and breaking formations in my head. It's been used and called few things in different games but for theme sake I'd like to call it the "force mechanic".

The Force mechanic: units of greater number forcing opposing units of lesser number back 1 space. All units involved in the offensive maneuver and units being victim from the move are all moved.
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Photo1
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Here in photo 1 are some examples of basic movement involving the force mechanic. Fig.1 the units are at a stand still as each opposing unit of men have equal numbers thus having equal strength. The same is happening in Fig.2
Fig. 3 shows white having a formation strength of 2 and black 1. White forces black back 1 space while moving with it forward 1 space. Fig.4 shows the same involving a white formation strength of 3 and black 2. And Fig.5 showing black being the aggressor with 4 units forcing the line of 3 white units back.
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Photo2
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Here in photo 2 is the end result.

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:32 pm
by HotFudge
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Here is an example where the numbers are available to perform the forced offensive maneuver but one of their own men is in the way making the desired move not able to be performed.in the photo above Fig.1 black cannot force white back because he has one man in the way but white could force the unit back if desired. In Fig.2 white cannot force the black unit back as well but could send his man on the top to move out 1 space and then after black moves. Come back in as the hammer capturing the black unit.

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:35 pm
by HotFudge
Now proceeding with the string of following photos I present another outcome of the force maneuver. In Fig.1 we see black has successfully blocked off a way of escape if playing corner escape. White forces a weak spot in blacks blockade back 1 space pinning him against the corner resulting in capture. In Fig.2 we see the same result with black forcing white back against the throne resulting in capture.
So we see the force mechanic offers new ways to capture pieces. You can still move in between two opposing pieces and be safe but if you are forced in a capture situation you are taken out.
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Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:39 pm
by HotFudge
Here we see a game in play where black has major influence on the board controlling the corners. But there is a weak spot white wants to exploit. You can see in the sequence of events white forcing a section of blacks blockade back putting two of black units in a capture situation. White takes his captives and has successfully broken through by punching a hole in blacks wall. What seemed like a hopeless situation for white has turned into a hopeful one.
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Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:42 pm
by HotFudge
Finally we see white taking the easy way out by attempting what is known as an exit fort. Unfortunately black slams whites unit into the wall creating capture with another white unit. Whites exit fort has collapsed and shield wall capture is now very possible. The King is no longer safe and is now in grave danger..
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Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:44 pm
by HotFudge
This has been tested in few games with myself and my wife only on an 11x11 board. With the following rule set.
White diamond formation.
Black T formation.
King is armed.
King captured 4 sides on throne.
3 sides beside throne.
2 sides everywhere else.
Shield wall capture allowed.
Corner escape.
Corners and empty throne hostile.

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:46 pm
by HotFudge
Would like to see you stronger players test this out from your own games for overall review. Thanks for taking the time for reading this! :)

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:12 pm
by Hagbard
So this would be Tablut T diamond 11x11, but with corner escape, and shieldwall capture added?

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:47 pm
by HotFudge
I'd say yes. But there is no victory for black if they completely surround white because the new force maneuver will allow white to breakthrough if possible. If not than black in that situation would be granted victory.

Re: New proposal variant for hnefatafl

Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:57 pm
by HotFudge
This rule set is just the one I chose to use in combination with the new additional force method in my own testing. It can be opened for minor tweaking for balance where you find that it needs. Such as King armed or not. Captured 4 sides or 2. Corner or edge victory. But the rule set I chose seemed to work very well for myself. I have a hard time seeing this new maneuver being used on boards 9x9 and 7x7. I think it's best suited most for 11x11 or maybe even 13x13. It gives the game a more gritty hand to hand battlefield experience where as the simple historic rule sets for 9x9 and 7x7 give a beautiful abstract puzzle with a war theme.