Sea Battle Tafl

Tafl rules
Adam
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:28 pm

Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance

Post by Adam » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:57 pm

regarding draw positions, I stand by my view that draw positions are an interesting upshot of the rules and board set up. I find the perpetual check threat in rachunek 9x9 problematic, though it seems in practice that even half decent players go for the win, and any kings side weak enough to want to force the draw might well be weak enough to beat anyway. Some games will inevitably end up with the edge shuffling ending, but black should have sorted their position better. If that's impossible against even a poor player, I say bin the variant, or by all means forbid the perpetual check if people are still fond of playing this version.

Hagbard
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by Hagbard » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:06 pm

This tafl variant turned out to go further back than the dragonheelslair site in Marseille, France, which was set up February 2011. The same variant is used since 2002 on the brainking site, which was set up in the Czech Republic by Filip Rachunek. Since Rachunek appears to have formed the variant by modifying the "Tablut rules" given by R.C.Bell in "Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations", the variant is instead referred to as Rachunek tafl.

Adam
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Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance

Post by Adam » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:26 pm

Hagbard wrote:This result is remarkably close to the statistics from our Fetlar tournament.
It struck me how close it is to the rachunek figures. We have more draws as one might expect, but not overly high considering how much attention we have focused on the draw forts.

Meanwhile I'm getting the hang of the rachunek 9x9. I feel its a simpler game than 11x11 fetlar, though I have a feeling getting good at rachuneck will have large payoffs in ones fetlar game.

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

Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by crust » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:40 am

Adam wrote: I still love playing Fetlar after 20 years. I find rachuneck plays like demanding but not particularly rewarding puzzle.
In agreement with this. I'm glad to have been introduced to this "Rachunek" form of tafl, and it does seem balanced and interesting enough to be worth playing. But it's somehow a bit dead... I think it must be the weaponless king. Also the fact that the throne is not hostile, kind of deadens the board.

It would be interesting to try out Adam's idea of naval rachunek tafl, where the king represents an unarmed capital ship, and the "throne" is just an ordinary square, with no special features (apart from the fact that the "king" just happens to start on that square). It might go down well with MaC and his colleagues in the German Navy (anyone heard from him recently?) On second thoughts, "go down well" is not a good phrase with ships... as in: "My great grandfather designed an unsinkable ship...and it went down really well!"

Maybe Aage could one day program this version...? with a blue board and little ship-icons...?
Picture is of a home-made "breakthru" set (tafl-type game).
Roderich wrote:I'm really looking forward to try out the berserk variant (my berserker rage is already growing *gr*),
Me too - I am chewing the top of my shield in anticipation. Can't seem to get it to work at the moment though. Grr

crust

Hagbard
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Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by Hagbard » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:43 pm

crust wrote:It would be interesting to try out Adam's idea of naval rachunek tafl, where the king represents an unarmed capital ship, and the "throne" is just an ordinary square, with no special features (apart from the fact that the "king" just happens to start on that square).
Yeh, I'm ready to help test this idea, a variant that could be called "Sea battle tafl"?

Maybe we could discuss a few issues beforehand to save work.

The game crust outlines, is identical to Rachunek on an 11x11 board. Only difference is the center square being an ordinary square. This is a small difference and would probably have as little influence on the game as would a small wave on the sea surface, I think. Our experience with Rachunek 11x11 is that the number of attackers are overwhelming to the defenders, who therefore loose.

If the Sea battle tafl is to be played on an 9x9 board, it is again Rachunek with the small difference of the center square. We know that Rachunek 9x9 as a game works well; we also know, I think, that Rachunek 9x9 is a rather complicated game. Adam considers the Sea battle tafl to be used at an exhibition in Norway, targeted at young children and on a 7x7 or 9x9 board with very large squares. It could of course be that the Rachunek rules would still be a fun game for children, even if we may find it complicated.

If the Sea battle tafl is actually Rachunek tafl, it's not so much needed to program it as a new variant.

However, the detail of the unarmed capital ship bothers me. This is a Viking fleet. If the capital ship is a royal ship, it is of terrible power, largest ship on sea and manned with the king's best men, his hird. Here is one of them, manned with 100 men, the wreck was found on the bottom of Roskilde Fjord, Denmark:
The Sea Stallion of Glendalough

If the capital ship is a chieftain's ship, it's also the most powerful ship in the fleet.

If we suppose this powerful capital ship is by all means armed, can sink enemy ships and must be surrounded from 4 sides to be captured, it will easily reach the board edge, escaping into the horizons. What to do about the balance then? Ships' movements could be limited to one square per move. This is a known tafl rule from small tafl boards. Or movements could be 1-3 squares per move. Or maybe only the especially well built capital ship can move 1-3 squares per move. Something like this?

- But, I believe that the variant, which Adam is looking for for the exhibition, is precisely the Rachunek which crust outlines above, and that it will work well for the purpose.
crust wrote:Can't seem to get it to work at the moment though.
- I had live play Berserk test games against some opponents, and currently a correspondence Berserk game against Roderich. However, Roderich had to shift to the Firefox browser as Explorer did not work with this software.

Adam
Posts: 115
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Sea Battle Tafl

Post by Adam » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:44 pm

Hagbard wrote:If the capital ship is a chieftain's ship, it's also the most powerful ship in the fleet.
Quite right, I imagine it as perhaps a small merchant ship carry something of value, defended by a fleet of war ships. The idea of an any type of defenseless ship in viking times is probably absurd though.

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

Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by crust » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:44 am

There's a paradox in the idea of a piece (king or capital ship, whatever) which has no offensive capability at all, but twice the defensive capability of an ordinary piece (because it must be attacked on 4 sides instead of 2). I can't think of a real-life situation which reflects this. Unless, if we're talking about ships, the attackers are trying to capture the capital ship, rather than destroy it, and this requires 4 ships to immobilise and capture it, whereas they only need 2 to destroy an enemy warship. I think that makes sense... :x So the capital ship is a spanish galleon stuffed with gold (but with no cannons), and the attackers are pirates. Arr!

Adam
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Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by Adam » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:12 pm

thats exactly the sort of thing. Its still daft, but its a bit like when police cars box in a speeding motorist on a motorway. They could just shoot the driver, but they box them in and then decelerate them to a stop. Hmmm, JUST like a viking sea battle. (the last sentence was sarcastic).

Hagbard
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Re: Sea Battle Tafl

Post by Hagbard » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:37 am

Adam wrote:Quite right, I imagine it as perhaps a small merchant ship carry something of value, defended by a fleet of war ships.
Seen from that point of view, it does make a lot of sense! There were a number of types of ships, some were war ships (long, slim, fast, full of warriors), others were cargo ships (shorter, broader, slower, heavy, full of goods). Your picture of a fleet of valuable cargo ships (here only one), protected by an escort fleet of war ships, could indeed depict a real situation at sea. The cargo transport is then attacked by an enemy fleet of war ships, the attackers' goal being to seize the cargo ship intact. All involved war ships, both defending and attacking, being ordinary size, not royal, chieftain's or anything that special.

On the bottom of Roskilde Fjord five Viking ships were found, which included both types - war ships of different sizes and cargo ships of different sizes:
http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/exh ... ollection/

Hagbard
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:07 pm

Re: hnefatafl and the quest for balance

Post by Hagbard » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:20 am

Hagbard wrote:Seen from that point of view, it does make a lot of sense!
- and more sense, too, than the Rachunek scenery with a weaponless king. At sea there's the valuable, weak cargo ship. But which excuse could be used for a defenseless piece on land? The only one that comes to my mind is this: the Rachunek king is not present at all, but it's his defenseless wife and children, whom his loyal hird struggle to bring into safety.

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