Working variants for different board sizes

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Draganov
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:59 pm

Working variants for different board sizes

Post by Draganov » Fri May 27, 2022 3:54 pm

    Hello tafl warriors,
    Let's discuss here the different tafl variants in order to find out the best working and well-balanced variants. In my opinion, the balance is not everything.Of course, the variant must be well-balanced but it also needs to be entertaining and nice to play. For example, the Sea Battle variants are amongst the best well-balanced variants but they are not popular. I think the players usually prefer to play variants that have more action, exchanges and dynamics.
    In tafl we have different board sizes -> 7x7, 9x9, 11x11, 13x13, 15x15, 17x17 and 19x19.
    We also have different variant catgories -> weak king, strong king, sea battle, tyr and berserk (I will combine tyr and berserk into one category since their main feature is the berserk move).
    It would be great if we have 1-2 working variants for each categories for all of the board sizes except 7x7 where we have only weak king variants due to the small board size and the limited initial setups.

    At that moment, for BOARD 9x9 we have 4 available for playing variants (listed in black color) and you can see my suggested variants (listed in green color):
    WEAK KING:
    • Historical Hnefatafl 9x9 (Saami Tablut)
    • Historical Hnefatafl 9x9 (Saami Tablut-w)
    STRONG KING:
    • Old Hnefatafl 9x9
    SEA BATTLE:
    • Sea battle-2526 9x9
    TYR/BERSERK:
    • Tyr 9x9
    As you can see, for 9x9 board we have working variants for all different categories except Strong king corner win. We have already tested Old Hnefatafl 9x9 and it seems to be working fine. The balance of the last tournament was 1.57 which is not so bad compared to 2.55 which was its balance before the tournament. Moreover, the games were not easy for the whites. The variant is complicated enough to give you a great mind challenge.
    With implementing Old Hnefatafl 9x9 we will have a complately playable 9x9 board with variants from every single category.

    Moving to the BOARD 11x11 we have:
    WEAK KING:
    • Historical Hnefatafl 11x11 (Welsh Tawlbwrdd)
    • Simple Tafl 11x11
    • Tawlbwrdd Lewis cross 11x11
    STRONG KING:
    • Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11
    • Copenhagen Hnefatafl Bell 11x11
    • Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11
    • Old Hnefatafl 11x11
    SEA BATTLE:
    • Sea battle tafl 11x11
    • Sea battle-204577-w 11x11
    TYR/BERSERK:
    • Tyr 11x11
    • Berserk Hnefatafl 11x11
    As you can see, we have plenty of working variants for the 11x11 board. Here I just want to imagine about playing with the Copenhagen rules on different setups. For example, Copenhagen rules on the setup of Simple Tafl 11x11. However, I still want to propose some variants for 11x11 to be tested:
    STRONG KING:
    • King anvil only edge 11x11
    • King anvil only 11x11
    Moving to the BOARD 13x13 we have:
    WEAK KING:
    • Historical Hnefatafl 13x13
    SEA BATTLE:
    • Sea battle tafl 13x13
    • Sea battle tafl 13x13 (Nielsen)
    As you can see, we don't have any variant with a strong king or with berserk movement for 13x13 board. We also have only 1 working variant with a weak king, which means the 13x13 board is not completely playable.
    That's why I would like to suggest testing this variants in order to enrich this board:
    WEAK KING:
    • Tablut 13x13 (modif. Parlett)
    • Historical Hnefatafl 13x13 (modif. Parlett 2)
    STRONG KING:
    • Copenhagen Hnefatafl 13x13
    • Fetlar 13x13 (Viking Siege)
    Moving to the BOARD 15x15 we have:
    WEAK KING:
    • Historical Hnefatafl 15x15 (Nielsen)
    SEA BATTLE:
    • Sea battle tafl 15x15
    TYR/BERSERK:
    • Tyr 15x15
    At that moment, we don't have a working strong king variant for the 15x15 board. We also have only 1 weak king variant for this board size.
    So, my suggestion is:
    WEAK KING:
    • Tablut sparse 15x15
    We can discuss 17x17 and 19x19 boards later since they are not very popular.
    To sum up, I would like to ask for organizing some test tournaments especially for these variants:
    • Copenhagen Hnefatafl 13x13
    • King anvil only edge 11x11
    • King anvil only 11x11
    • Sea battle line 9x9
    • Sea battle square 9x9
    • Sea battle-1571 9x9
    • Sea battle-1606 9x9
    • Tablut 13x13 (modif. Parlett)
    • Historical Hnefatafl 13x13 (modif. Parlett 2)
    • Fetlar 13x13 (Viking Siege)

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