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Hnefatafl» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant rules: Brandub rss

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Damian Walker
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Here's another variant which I've built myself out of building blocks from other hnefatafl games, and a bit of historical evidence. Some people might know of a different game with the same name, but I've no reason to believe that the historical game of brandubh wasn't another variant of hnefatafl. Here goes:

1. The game of brandubh is played with a king and four defenders against eight attackers, on a board of seven squares by seven. The central and corner squares are marked.

2. The object for the king is to make his escape to one of the marked corner squares. The object for the attackers is to capture the king.

3. The attackers move first. All pieces move any distance horizontally or vertically. No piece can jump over the head of another. Only the king can land on any of the marked squares.

4. A piece is captured when it is surrounded between two enemies, or an enemy and a marked corner square. The king can take part in making captures, and is himself captured in the same way as other pieces.

Temporarily, I have a Java applet on my home page at which you can play the game. Go to the address below and click on "Games". The computer plays the king's side. At some point in the future you may find that another game has usurped the place of brandubh.

http://damian.snigfarp.karoo.net/damian/
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Fred Barrett
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Nice, simple variant, Damian. I am finding that black does seem to have the odds stacked against him. One mistake and Tuichi (or is it Tuichu?)! We talked about the border victory, the weaponless king, the 2-pawn capture of the king, but we haven't brought up "black moving first" yet. All the modern rules seem to say black goes first, but now I'm finding articles that say white should start. Hmmm. A very delicate game!
 
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Damian Walker
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Once I've set the applet up properly so that you can take either side, you'll see that one wrong move can ruin the game for white, too. It's very easy to miss potential captures on the small board. I don't know why, I'd have thought the larger boards with more pieces would have made it easier to miss things. Maybe the simplicity lulls people into a false sense of security!
 
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Fred Barrett
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I've got a Tablut game over at Brainking waiting for an opponent. Game?
 
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Damian Walker
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Despite what I said in my first message, I haven't got around to replacing Brandub with another game. Over the past week, though, I have been working on improvements to the computer player. It now plays a somewhat better game, though it takes about five seconds to think about its move. If you want to give it a try, it's at the same URL as above (click on "Games"). Once again, I can't say how long it will be there for. I do plan eventually to give it a permanent home, though.
 
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Damian Walker
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snigfarp wrote:
I do plan eventually to give it a permanent home, though.


As discussed on other threads:

http://tafl.snigfarp.karoo.net/

Click on the "Applet" button.
 
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