<Snigfarp> You are also correct :)
Rule nr. 14 is difficult. I would translate it thus:
The castle can prevent, just like a third piece, that when a soldier stands on 2 (f.i. e4) and an enemy is on 3 (f.i.e3), it (the soldier) could be killed.
So it contains no new information.
Notice that Lin. uses the latin word "trio" wrong, and this makes an accurate translation difficult. I think my translation of the word intercludere is correct because else the rule COULD perhaps mean something like: the castle is hostile to all pieces. We don't want to go there :) Actually I think playability should be a factor when translating the rules.
Strange is rule nr. 9: "etiam Rex" doesn't mean "except for the king" (like Smith) but "EVEN the king".
Should we conclude that the king is also killed by two pieces except in and around the castle? I don't think so because it would contradict with rule 3 and 5. If two pieces were enough to kill the king, then the king CAN be killed when he is on c3 with no pieces on a3, b3, c1, c2. Namely when an enemy is on d3 and another one moves to c3. And since rule nr. 5 says the kings exit can't be prevented in this situation, the king MUST always be captured with 4 (or 3 with the castle).
So: either Linn. meant "praeter" (except for) in stead of "etiam", or he meant that even the king should be taken off when captured.
Fwiffo: my literal understanding of your initial translation (23 Jan 19:00) is that a piece can be captured by a single enemy against a central square, as some reconstructions have it. This I find undesirable. Your latter correction (23 Jan, 19:06) makes it sound like a clarification rather than a rule, and brings Brain King's rules more into line with Linnaeus's text.
As for draws by repetition, I would be happy enough if a draw was mutually agreed by the players, rather than enforced by the rules. If an unsportsmanlike Swede attempts to win by attrition, making repetitive attacks while refusing the offer of a draw, it's simple enough on this site not to play against him (or her) in future.
ughaibu: Should drawing conditions be changed, the status of archived games would be unchanged, I imagine. Afterall, a comparable change was made to the rules of horde chess (black having no legal moves was changed from a loss to a draw), but games predating that change still follow the old rule: http://brainking.com/game/ArchivedGame?g=16058
My initial translation:
The castle can PREVENT, just like a third piece, that when a soldier stands on 2 (f.i. e4) and an enemy is on 3 (f.i.e3), it (the soldier) could be killed.
I'm sorry, maybe I understand you wrong, but the literal meaning is just the opposite of "a piece can be captured by a single enemy against a central square, as some reconstructions have it."
Do you mean you find the translation of "intercludere...ut" with "prevent...that" incorrect?
"intercludere" has several meanings (http://www.dictionary-translator.com/english/Lat in-English/i/intercludere%20--%20block%20up.sh tml)
and I think a translation with "block" (the castle blocks (prevents) the killing of a soldier on e4 when an enemy is on e3) is quite literal. Indeed, I choose a translation that makes sence to me. A translation like: The castle can seperate (some-one), [...], so that if a soldier stands [...etc...] it would be killed", doesn't make sense to me in the game.
My later addition had the following rationale:
One could assume from my translation of this rule that a soldier next to the castle is absolutely safe. I THINK though, and tried to argue, that this is implausible. It just handles the situation of a soldier between castle and an enemy, and that the castle "protects its neck". It doesn't say anything about the sides (so the other rules apply).
I don't see my addition as a correction, however. It is meant as a clarification of how brainking rules and lin. nr. 14 are compatible.
I hope I didn't totally miss your point? Please tell me when I'm flooding the forum :)
I hope this discussion helps you with the book you are planning to write. It would be great when Tablut gets more attention!
Tilpasset af AbigailII (21. Februar 2005, 14:49:05)
snigfarp: As for draws by repetition, I would be happy enough if a draw was mutually agreed by the players, rather than enforced by the rules. If an unsportsmanlike Swede attempts to win by attrition, making repetitive attacks while refusing the offer of a draw, it's simple enough on this site not to play against him (or her) in future.
But what if the person making the repetitive attack (assumed forced repetive attacks, other moves leading to a loss) does make a draw offer, and the offer gets refused? You'd either have to give up the game, or play forever, hoping the other side will time out at some point. It could hold up a tournament for quite a long time.
I think that especially on a game site like this, the rules should specific (draw, win, loss, ...) what happens if the game repeats itself.
I would add that a repetitive attack SHOULDN'T end in a mutually agreed draw but in a loss for the repetitive attacker (for reasons given below). That would make an agreement even less probable. So I agree with AbigailII.
What is the point of calling "Raichi!" by the King's side player in the original rules? Obviously to announce that the King can 'see' the edge of the board. This is equivalent to "Check!" in Chess.
But what's the point? The point must be that the defensive player is alerted to this possibility and must block it. At chess, the defensive must get out of check if he can. At BrainKing we don't play Raichi and if a defender fails to spot that the king can see the edge, the king's side will win on the next move. I think games that end like that are rather unsatisfying.
Therefore I propose the following small change to the BrainKing rules and implementation of Tablut:
If the king can see one edge, it is Raichi and the defender must try to block it if he can. The interface should not allow a non-blocking move. If he has no blocking moves then king's side wins straightaway;
If the king can see two edges, it is Tuichu and the king's side wins straightaway.
I think that would be much better. Please let me know your views.
Stormerne: Is it really necessary to complicate the rules? I think, we could ignore the situation, that the black player fails to note that the king can reach the edge with the next move. So what's the difference whether black resigns immediately or just plays another move?
I would always vote for rules as simple as possible ...
Stormerne: one problem I see with this innovation is that previous games will be rendered invalid by the new rules. I also like the fact that the rules on this site, unlike many others, are completely consistent with the contemporary source. Introducing a check-like construct would change the reconstruction we have here into a variant.
snigfarp: I contest that it would be a more accurate reconstruction if we had the raichi rule, and that we are actually playing a variant now rather than the most authentic version we could be! And why would previous games be invalid?
Hm, there have been many proposals for changing the rules lately:
1) Ughaibu (and other, like myself) wants to change the 'rule' "eternal check = draw". AbigailII wants them at least specified;
2) I want to change the rule that allows jumps over the castle;
3) Stormerne wants to implement the Raichi rule, so just like check in chess it is illegal not to block;
4) I want to implement Lin. rule nr. 11.
Are there enough players who agree with the changing of (some of) the rules?
If not, should there be another Tablut (v.2) on Brainking so we can compare the two sets of rules in actual gameplay?
Fwiffo: My opinion is that we shouldn't change the rules for the existing game, but introduce a variant with the rules in force. This would be similar to the differences between Pente and Keryo Pente, where the rules are very similar but game play ends up being substantially different because of the rules differences. (Plus an added variant would have the benefit of allowing another #1 spot in the rankings to challenge Ugh for. LOL)
So my vote is for Fencer to introduce a new Tablut variant with these new rules incorporated.
Stormerne: Adding a new restriction to the game, when existing games were played without it, will mean that some of those games could not be replayed under the current rules. This would be an issue especially when new players are learning to play by example, by studying old games. And since my last message I've wondered: what would be done about games in progress under the existing rules? Unless tablut were to be "closed" during the course of those games, the two rules would have to run side by side anyway. I like txaggie's suggestion of having a new variant, as this site does for so many other games.
My preference for raichi is this: if we want to recreate an authentic "raichi", to prevent unsatisfying victories in which the opponent has not noticed the position, I think a more authentic way would be to have the system put the word on the screen somewhere, in the turn of the player who is threatened. The obligation for the threatened player to do something about it is not mentioned in Linnaeus, but having "raichi" in big letters above the playing board when you start your turn (and "check" in chess for that matter) would feel more authentic to me.
I think the Stormerne-Whisperz situation represents a valid draw. Black needs four pieces to make such a fortress plus at least one piece to protect the king, this complicates positional considerations in a way that I think probably helps balance the game. Black has to be wary of avoiding exchanges as this could lead to white creating a fortress but on the other hand too many exchanges will open up lines, in white's favour. As the strategy of both sides involves keeping an eye on fortress building possibilities as well as on the king's capture or escape, I think this drawing possibility also adds to the games complexity and depth.
The situation arose because as White I played very badly at the start of the game (and in another similar game). I was still relearning the game after all. I wanted to see if I could salvage a draw rather than be crushed to death.
I discovered that white can build a central fortress for the king. But this is not enough to draw if the rest of his pieces are surrounded and their mobility gradually reduced to zero. White would then lose because he'd either run out of moves or he'd be forced to making a losing move.
So I investigated what configurations of white pieces that could survive on the edge or in the corner and still have moves available due to an inner mobile piece. In the game with WhisperzQ I was able to do it because he didn't spot the possibility.
I agree with ughaibu that this strategem (which may have been previously undiscovered) adds complexity and depth. The central fortress is easy to set up but can prove useless in the face of a patient opponent. But the edge or corner mobile group is very hard to set up, and will be even harder now everyone knows about it!
<Nevertheless, we now have a rationale behind lin. rule nr. 11. Reconstruction and gameplaying are perhaps separating here.
I like the way stormerne introduced a novelty, especially against such a good player as WhisperzQ.
Ugh> I understand that this makes the game deeper and more complex, but I don't really understand how this would balance the game more. White allready had a slight advantage to my knowledge, and now it has even more advantage...
furbster: Perpetual raichi is where the white king attacks the edge (=raichi) and black can do nothing but interpose a piece. White then moves the king along the edge to attack a different part of the same edge, and black moves (usually) the piece he moved last time to cover. White moves back to attack the first edge square and so it oscillates. White can keep it up forever and the game can be nothing else but a draw. This can happen when the king can move along a single file or row to attack N edge squares where there are less than N defenders that can be scrambled to interpose.
ughaibu would like to make it part of the rules that perpetual raichi should not mean a draw for white and that instead white should lose. He has the following good reason for this: if (as seems may be possible) white can force perpetual raichi right at the start of the game after only a short sequence of forced moves, then the game as we know it is flawed and not viable. (The same would be the case if either side could force a win from the opening.) I agree, but my take on it is slightly different, namely that I believe there should be drawing resources available in the game, even if they continue to be used in less than 3% of total games as at present. For instance, if white plays really badly in the opening and is fighting for his life then I believe that perpetual raichi should be permitted to save the game.
But how to determine when perpetual raichi would be allowable? I have suggested elsewhere that white might be permitted perpetual raichi as a draw after X moves, where X might be 10 or more. ughaibu thought about that and suggested x = 20. However, he also thinks that it would be tedious to keep track of the move count over the board (if you ever play face to face). I disagree since it is easily possible to have a extra counter that could march down outside one (or two) edge(s) of the board, and which it is black's responsibility to move, and which could easily count 9, 10, 18 or 19 by its position.
An alternative would be to say that perpetual raichi is possible only when white has fewer than Y pieces left, where Y could be 5 (king extra). A further suggestion is that any such draw forces a immediate replay with colours reversed, though this latter suggestion would be no good if we could prove that a draw could be forced from the outset as the match could then go on forever!
So in conclusion, I believe that perpetual raichi should sometimes result in a draw and sometimes in a win for black, but I am yet undecided as to what should determine the threshold between those two states.
I dont see why white should be granted a drawing resource as a let out if they played "really badly". If in this situation black has played well why should white have a draw in hand? If, on the other hand, black also played badly then the side who played least badly should win. I think you would need to suggest a drawing mechanism for black to exploit (had they played really badly) if white is to be allowed such a resource.
ughaibu: You have a point in that there is no reciprocity, black vs. white, in terms of drawing. And if one sides plays badly right through then losing is a fair result. But in other games, even chess one often has the opportunity to claw back some honour in the result. The oriental game of Go is a perfect example of where you can screw up early on in one part of the board and still have good chances elsewhere and in the game as a whole. The most satisfying games of chess I have ever played have all been hard fought draws so perhaps I appreciate drawn games more than most. Tablut is unbalanced by nature and though it is a shame that black does not, on the face of it, have the resources to force a draw, there can still be times when he cannot capture the king and so will be happy with his side of a perpetual raichi.
ughaibu: Yes it does, provided (a) that we don't include the rule 11 that Fwiffo has mentioned, and (b) that white has at least one other piece that can stay mobile outside the black enclosure of the fortress.
The fortress is very easy to set up - easier than perpetual raichi. (For those that don't know what a fortress is, imagine the white king on f6 and a white guard on f5. These cannot be captured with the rules in their current state.) Keeping at least one other mobile white piece is IMHO much harder since he has no raichi threats, and when white runs out of moves he loses.
So in summary, I feel that a fortress draw will very rarely be an option anyway, though of course I yield to those who have much experience than me in evaluating that.
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.
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?
I dislike fussy rules so I'd simply make perpetual raichi a loss for white. Assuming all draws at BrainKing would've been wins for black by this rule, white would still have won a significant majority of the games.