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 !
I have a proposal (serious one) for a new BKR, although I have yet to work out how this could be achieved.
Basically, with Tablut being a game with uneven sides and different strategies for both sides, the BKR should favour those who can win with both colours.
Certain people (referring to one individual in particular, lets call him Stuart, to protect his real identity) can only play with white. When he looses, 90% of the time it is with black. Ideally, that score should be representative of his lack of skill with the black pieces.
mikkyT: his current BKR may also reflect his skill at inveigling others to play black against him! You know how some people play only one color on the solved games, like Horde and Maharajah? How do they get people to play with them? I could never figure it out, so I guess they deserve their BKR because I could never even get anyone to take a black battleboats plus game from me.
redsales: Well, if I've been penalised for selecting my opponents based on how much BKR I'm going to gain (which is what this 'bug' was based upon) then I put forward that coercing your opponent into playing to your strengths is just as bad!
Sorry, I'll correct that last statement, I dont mean to infer that its not really a bug. I accept this. Its hard to display in simple text that I am having a bit of light hearted fun. But at the same time I do think there are important issues underlying as well.
According to the description of this tournament, "This Tablut tournament is created in order to let the top Tablut players of the moment battle each other directly."
That is a blatant lie. In my mind, you are as good as your last game. So that counts out at least one of the privately invited members. Stuarts never been a top player, so thats two.
You can't have a top players tournament without including the top players. Mirjam and Mely, for example rank higher than some of the invitees. And finally, no titans tournament is complete without king of tablut, ugiahbu!
(This post may or may not have been created in jest
Snigfarp and myself have completed the testing of Brandubh, a variant from the Hnefatafl family. Snigfarp beat me in 14 moves. I made a big strategic blunder by thinking I could just block exits and capture: but there are not enough pieces to net the king like in Tablut!
I must say I didn't like this variant nearly as much as our own Tablut. The pieces don't work together nicely and escape to the corners feels artificial. Here is the game:
Funny enough, the first Beginners Tournament was finished last! A decisive long-lasting battle between Mirjam & fungame resulted at last in a victory for Mirjam.
Although some players participated in more than one tournament, only Bratr succeeded in winning two tournaments.
Lately a lot of draws happened with me playing black, all perpetual raichi: 7 times since november.
I myself could have forced a draw under the existent rules in my latest game against ughaibu, a much better player.
The purpose of this post is to re-open the discussion on this issue.
Let me first point out a rule-change would take only a change in the description of the rules, not re-programming. This is important because it means it would take very little time for Fencer to adjust the rules. Just a text change.
What I'm trying to do is the following:
taking up the project ughaibu has started, I will try to prove white has a forced draw from the start. Maybe I will not succeed, but at least I will show the "perpetual raichi is draw" rule diminishes blacks options hugely and pervades the game in a negative way.
The move that leads the easiest to perpetual raichi is 1. d5-d8.
What are the options of the black player?
1. ... d1-d5, 1. ... d1-d7, 1. ... f9-f8, 1. ... e8-g8, 1. ... b5-b7. Those are the natural responses to d5-d8, although 1. ... d1-d7 is dubious already. Of course there is no need to explore every move, only the logical ones.
In this first part I will try to prove that in all but 1. ... d1-d5 white has perpetual raichi. In later parts I will try to do the same for 1. ... d1-d5, or at least make clear the game tree is narrowed so much when one tries to prevent perpetual raichi, the game loses much of its charm.
1. d5-d8 d1-d7
2. e5-d5 e1-d1
2. c5-c7 now white has 6 rows on which to give raichi with 4 soldiers to block. Moving e8 or e2 could reduce it only to 5 which is still perpetual raichi. The same goes for d1-d2, d9-d8, d9-d7, a6-d6. 2. ... d9-d6 fails to 3. c7-c6 perpetual raichi or win. 2. ... a4-d4, 2. ... d1-d3 and 2. ... d1-d4 will all be captured and are no reasonable defenses.
1. d5-d8 d1-d5
2. f5-f8 f1-f5 (or similar effect as the above perpetual raichi's)
3. e6-d6 a4-c4 (the other choice would be a6-c6, following later)
4. e7-e8 a6-a7
5. e5-e7 f5-f7
6. e7-b7 perpetual raichi
Fwiffo: Ty for trying to make the diffrence in the rules. I thought myself that this oppening would be easiest to show that white can get perpetual draw. Now i really hoped that Fencer would as fast as possible change the rules because now people can try take draws by following these lines.
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It's now more than three years since Fwiffo played any games of tablut here, but judging by the rules page, draws by perpetual raichi still haven't been made illegal. The reason that Fwiffo stopped playing is because this rule is quite clearly wrong. Is there any plan to change this so that the game is more balanced?
Emne: Hnefatafl...and different versions of Tablut
Has Brainking considered expanding to more tafl games? I would like to see Hnefatafl (11x11 and/or 13x13 board, with different starting positions).
More importantly, I would also like to see different versions of Tablut. The board and setup the same, but the rules need to be changed (or just have different versions available to choose from).
Currently, white is favored to win 60/40 because there are 32 spaces to escape to. With "hostile" corners to escape to, the odds are much closer to 50/50 because the king can only escape to 4 spaces and can also be captured on a side square with three attackers. However, the attackers are not too advantaged because now there are more ways they can be captured (only one defender is needed to capture an attacker against the corner--making for 8 additional dangerous spaces for the attackers). You could also allow the king to take part in captures, making the "hostile" corners version closer to 50/50.
Another really good idea is just to make the "base camps" hostile (the colored squares where the attackers start from) for all players, including the king. They would have the same rules as the castle square (once left, no one can re-enter, only cross through). This would decrease the number of escape squares from 32 to 20 (and also increase the hostile squares that attackers can be captured on). I've read an article that gives good reason to believe this may be the correct version of Tablut (and why Linne thought the edge was safe--he just assumed the whole edge).
I agree with ughaibu. Brainking needs to adopt rules to make the game more balanced...there are alot of websites that support this.
I would like to read anyone's responses in particular about the arguments made about 1) the citadels, and 2) the proposed "correct" way to capture the king. It seems hard to argue against the authors beliefs as it does seem to be supported by Linneas writing. I do like the fact that it clearly shows king escape to the corners is incorrect in Tablut (but why no explanation for the Hnefatafl corner rule?).