It is my view that if perpetual check were to become a loss for White then the White King should be given the ability to act as a pawn for capturing Black pieces (an ability which does exist in some variants).
If the rules were to change to make perpetual checking by White a win by Black then the balance has changed and it is no longer Black's objective to capture the White King but merely (a word used here to create emotional rather than rational effect) to stop the White King getting to the border. For me this is a significant reduction in the task for Black. Well executed this will also eventually result in the capture of the White King, poorly executed a win by forced perpetual check. There are certainly times when the perpetual checking can be stopped by Black by moving a different piece so the result is not always White's "fault". I can also foresee times when Black's move will be coloured by the expectation of containment giving a less aggressive and more containment approach rather going for the kill which, to me, is what Tablet is about. The age old struggle of fight (Black) or flight (White), not siege and fight.
mikkyT: I can assure you that you are not alone in taking a hit with your BKR ... I did reasonably in Tablut (comparatively) but have a few other games where my hard-earned has instantly evapourated. Maybe it was the bug and I didn't deserve to be where I was but in one game type with about 250 games played I have an 84% win rate (10% draw and 6% loss) and I have a rating of about 2150 ... go figure !
Fwiffo: I would be willing to give it a go too (as a matter of interest) ... you can send me an invite to a non-rated, non-counting game ... then we can play out the moves (one by one) until we get to this position, then play for real.
mikkyT: I guess if you are trying to draw an analogy to what might have happened in an historical circumstance, the situation could b elikened to a King, having had his troups decimated retreats (advances) to a haven such as a church. He is safe there for a while but with persisitance the black warriors will eventually get him as could well be the case here.
If I understand correctly what you are saying is tht the white King is forced to move otherwise it will be captured on the next move ... but what if the move is not necessarily to the edge ... I think a draw is still valid here ... and what if white can show that any other move will eventually lead to a forced capture be it in two, three, four or more moves?
In reality the raichi situation is a draw BY BOTH PLAYERS otherwise black would not block the white King's escape in the same (similar) way. White might repeatedly threaten a method of escape but there is no requirement for black to find an alternative means of defence so I think the situation, though sometimes frustrating, should stay as it is.
The reason, I guess, is that if it were not so, the King could position itself next to the centre square and never be captured, even if it couldn't escape that way as the requirement is to place pieces on all 4 sides.
Hmmm, shall have to think more about this ... my first reaction would be 1. .. f9-f8, my memory tells me both d1-d5 and d1-d7 tend to lead to losing positions but not with the white response 2. e5-e4. If you assume 1. d5-d8 f9-f8 2. e5-d5 then I guess d1-d2 is required to end up with the 5 open squares for the white King as you say. Shall have to try this out in a couple of games and see how it pans out. I think the trump is the white pawn at c5 which white would want to lose to open up even further this side of the board and black will be hard pressed to not capture it.
Sorry, you are right, again you find out my lack of precision (LOL) ... there is little scope for a perpetual trap in Tablut (though not impossible) but voluntary repetitious movement is certainly a possibility (but how is it voluntary if any other movement would result in a loss - a scenario which might apply to equally to either black or white).
With regard to the perpetual check I do not agree ... this takes two players to repeat the moves ... why should it be white who is responsible for resolving the situation ... therefore here I think there is an equality.
With regard to the "no more legal moves" scenario I can see the logic in what you say but I think this was just poor man management on the part of black ... there were other paths of play which would have lead to a win for black.
As for the black vs white, I think you are right although (discounting games against you) I think my win:loss for black and white are similar.
I have no preference ... having followed the arguments to date I can see merit in declaring black the winner if white cannot move or if white brings about a repeat of a position board say 3 times.
I was once (when I was not quite so busy) going to check how players of equal standing faired black vs white but alas time has run away. At the time I was not fully convinced that white has a decided advantage, but with over 2000 completed games it seems reasonably certain ... all I certain of is that Ughaibu always has the advantage! :)
You see that there are no tournaments of a particular type and so decide to make then suddenly off they go ... well here is the one that started the trend ... this is your last day so sign up now at:
Tablut - Black + White #1 (Tablut)
Not sure if you were meaning me when you talked about players with better black records than white, but I can add that I have only ever played black (except for a two gamer with Harley) as this is all that has been offered in the Waiting Games arena.
Still haven't been in a tablut tournament as these never seem to attract enough players to form a quorum ... so I have made a new tournament for all to try out ... come join the fun
I must admit that I did check the rules to make sure I would get a win with the move but I probably concur that white should have been able to play the move through the centre circle and out the other side [mind you, I wouldn't have made the move if it wasn't going to win :)]
You could also consider that a situation might exist, although extremely unlikely and would require some poor play on white's behalf, where black could also still have pieces but no valid moves. In chess, this position (stalemate through lack of legal moves) is an end game strategy which can be pursued, but against an experienced opponent is rarely successful.
To be pedantic, the rules, as you say, dictate that "the (black) mercenaries surround the King". In the game in question the King moved into the position where it was surrounded by black pieces (plus centre) but the word "surround" indicates positive action on the part of black which clearly did not happen on the immediately preceeding move.
This is similar to a white (for instance) piece being placed between two black pieces. In this case the white piece is not removed from the board because neither black piece put it into that situation. If this is the case the rules in both circumstances are consistent.
It is interesting to note that had black not captured the last white soldier a win would eventually have been possible and the white piece would not have been able to capture any more black pieces (as the King cannot be used in the capturing move - a clarification which should probably be added to the rules).
I have only just started playing my first game of this and was wondering if there might be a stalemate situation if one player still had pieces but was unable to make a legal move.
I suspect that the only other way that a piece may stay on the board is if it is trapped between two opposing pieces on the edge of the board and a third piece moves to stop its movement away from the edge or a group of 4 (or more) pieces in a ectangular (square being on form thereof) cluster are trapped on all sides.