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Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:43 am
by Hagbard
Mike_and_Ike wrote:

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?

Best Set of Basic Rules?

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:58 am
by Hagbard
Mike_and_Ike wrote:

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.

Re: Best Set of Basic Rules?

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:56 am
by crust
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 :

Good luck :D

Re: Teaching beginners Hnefatafl

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:40 pm
by arne64
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!!

Re: Teaching beginners Hnefatafl

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:03 pm
by conanlibrarian
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 good for getting familiar with the basics of a particular rule variant.