a new tafl-variant?

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:37 pm

Hello all,

Up until now, I did post via the small forum, due to log-in problems, but the administrator has fixed it so now I can post on this forum... My name is Luk Martens,aka 'Masterluke'. That being said, I'm far from a 'Master' if one regards my playing... My nickname has to be interpreted with a serious amount of irony.
Anyway, some of you may have already seen in the gallery section that I like to make my own Tafl-games. I've made some in real life, as well as computer-designed models for 3D-printing. Just today, Aage added my version of the 'Alea Berserk' pieces in the gallery. Feel free to comment.

At this moment, I'm intrigued by the Alea Evangelii variant, as it's the most 'complete' Tafl game. Of course, some monk wrote it down way back in the 11th century... but I can't help but wonder why it is set up on a 19x19 board, rather than a 17x17 board, which makes more sense if you compare the number of pieces (including king) in relation to the amount of squares on the other variants: 13 pieces on a 7x7 board; 25 pieces on a 9x9 board; 37 pieces on a 11x11 board; 49 pieces on a 13x13 board (Parlett setup) and 61 pieces on a 15x15 board (Damian Walker setup).

So I began thinking (I do that sometimes, which leads to various results :D) about a 'new' variant which should combine the best of all worlds. The Alea-Berserk variant on this website, thought by mr Bartley is very enjoyable. Then I discovered several websites discussing and explaining the origins, the meanings and countless interpretations of the Alea Evangelii-game. For all we know, it may be not even intended as a game, but pure an allegoric text - albeit heavily related to Tafl games...
I really like the Berserk-move. The Variegated men and Commanders are also a brilliant treat! At 'dragonheelsliar' and 'boardgamegeek' I found out about the 'guards'. Herewith I enclose a pure fictional - for now - game set-up, on a 17 x 17 board, combining all these features. I call it 'Total Tafl', whithout the slightest amount of modesty :D; see attachment. But since I favor in general the 'old hnefatafl rules', with an armed king which is captured from 2-sides and edge-escape, I applied these... hopefully resulting in a kind of allround game, disconnected from any historical or religious meaning. I deleted the knights, though... The commanders, variegated men and guards do add enough complexity in the game... Besides, in the Viking-era (or early middle-ages, for that matter) 'knighthood' was in its infancy and had yet to develop... There were just 'warriors', with a very small minority seated on a horse. ;)

Let it be understood: historical accuracy is the least of my concerns here! I wonder if this could work? I'd like to find out and maybe some of you have something to say about this?

GreetingsImage
Luk
Attachments
total-tafl.jpg
total-tafl.jpg (240.87 KiB) Viewed 2118 times

Fishbreath
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:13 am

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Fishbreath » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:47 pm

Fascinating! I don't have support in OpenTafl for the guard-type taflman yet—is that your own invention?—but I don't think it would be too hard to add. Next time I have some spare cycles, perhaps I'll see about implementing your ruleset for some quick testing.

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:19 pm

Testing would be great, for I don't know how it's gonna work out. I did not invent the guards myself. I read about them on the boardgamegeek-website, this is the link:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/348662 ... ng-nirvana
My merits in 'inventing' this game is bringing together different kinds of tafl-variants in one. ;)
If there's something completely new, that would be the 17x17 format...
Greetings
Luk

Fishbreath
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:13 am

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Fishbreath » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:39 am

Here's a development release of OpenTafl which implements guards and this rule set:

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi ... 2858414108

I played a game against the AI (although a 17x17 board is well beyond its capability to play with any real skill), and thought it was engaging. The guards are an interesting wrinkle—invincible blockers can make getting to an open rank or file easier.

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:32 pm

Hi,
I downloaded your link but unfortunately, I'm a complete noob when it comes down to installing or running software. Being a graphical designer/illustrator, I enjoy working on a Mac in conjunction with a Wacom graphic tablet, but when something 'technical' is to be done, I always call help form an IT person. It's like "I'm Lewis Hamilton, and I'll win the race for you, but don't ask me to change a tyre on my car... :)"
Of course, as a Mac user, I'm spoiled by applications that immediately work just by double-clicking them. I should open the 'OpenTafl.sh' file (for Mac) in Terminal and then what??

Anyway, thank you very much for your testing and remarks... :)

Fishbreath
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:13 am

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Fishbreath » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:39 pm

Does the OpenTafl game window open when you run OpenTafl.sh? If not, you'll need to install Java. Playing around on a Mac I have handy, opening a Terminal window and typing 'java' should request that Java be installed.

Once that's done, running OpenTafl.sh should work.

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:28 am

After some testing with Hagbard, we found the game too favourable for black. So I altered the rules a bit: Now there are only two guards and two variegated men in the white army, while I added 4 variegated men in the black army. Therefore, the image herewith is also slightly altered.
As of this writing, testing is still going on...
Attachments
total-tafl.jpg
total-tafl.jpg (172.06 KiB) Viewed 1986 times

Fishbreath
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:13 am

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Fishbreath » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:17 am

I still see six of the variegated men on the white side—I suppose by 'the white army' you mean the inner diamond? Or is that a mistake in the graphic?

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:27 pm

You're absolutely right about that, it's a mistake in the image. Thanks for noticing it!
Herewith is a graphic. The starting position of the 2 white V-men and the guards is altered too (it's an ongoing process)

Greetings
Luk
Attachments
totaltafl.jpg
totaltafl.jpg (133.64 KiB) Viewed 1923 times

Masterluke
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:44 pm

Re: a new tafl-variant?

Post by Masterluke » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:52 pm

After some tweaking and test games, this should be the final set up of the 17 x 17 Alea Berserk (Martens). The commanders are rearranged, for they seemed to be too vulnerable.
Attachments
Schermafbeelding 2020-01-27 om 20.48.55.png
Schermafbeelding 2020-01-27 om 20.48.55.png (89.13 KiB) Viewed 1883 times

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