Hagbard wrote:I'd like to set this game of Brandubh up here for a test tournament.Tuireann wrote:the teacher; Father Stephen Hayes. ... his rule set for Brandubh was a little different than what we play here in that it was lacking a few details and had a strong king. He played a throne that was not hostile and was blocked to all except the King including the ability to move through. The corners were not hostile in spite of being the objective.
A problem with friendly corner squares has been that they can be blocked by just eight attackers (besides that the Linné diary forbidden square is hostile). But the 7x7 board only has in all eight attackers, so they might be too few to do such a blocking.
We tournament tested the Brandubh tafl as it is played at the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio, USA. With one change: a weak king instead of a strong king. A weak king is captured from two sides, except on the throne square and the four squares neighbouring the throne, where he's captured from four sides. (Whereas a strong king is captured from four sides anywhere on the board).Tuireann wrote:In the students games White won almost every game
I baptized the variant "Brandubh Ohio weak 7x7".
More test games are needed to specify the game balance accurately, but the result from 15 games was 10 white wins and 5 black wins, that is a preliminary game balance of +2.00.
This suggests that a "weak king" is easily strong enough to win the Ohio Brandubh, and that a "strong king" therefore will greatly unbalance the game in favour of the defenders.
Also, the test games showed that the corners being friendly and thus allowing attackers to block easily by occupying the squares neighbouring the corners, that this was not a problem for the game.