New 'game option' : White wins at the edge.

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New 'game option' : White wins at the edge.

Post by RicardoRix »

I have proposed a new game option, to make it easier for White to win.

If it is true that Black has an unfair advantage, then the easiest coding change to make is simply to add a new rule on victory for White.
And as a game option, the original rules can still be played.

Please up vote if you agree or leave some feedback if you disagree.

Some reasons why there might be an imbalance between black & white.

1. Black has more pawns. This means that trading pieces, black get stronger.
2. To some extent all pawns get in the Kings way, which means that White should try an exchange or even sacrifice pieces, but this adds to point 1.
3. As time goes on Black get stronger. Blacks blocks and attacks right from the start which means White needs to act quickly. Black play very defensively / conservatively knowing his position is only getting better.
4. The corners are too easily defended. If White gets to a clear 2nd row then it's certain victory, but black can easily defend. Firstly 4 pawns start on all 4 2nd rows. Moving a single pawn to the 2,2 point means 1 pawns covers 2 2nd rows. Even when White looks to have attacked into a corner, Black can still put pawns on the 1,3 and 3,1 spot which makes it REALLY hard to attack. Even if white 'gets round the back' then it's often ineffectual to make any further aggressive moves.
5. In any given position, most moves for White will be the wrong move (piece just gets taken). And for Black it's just a case of enclosing, playing slowly and watching out for maybe 1 potential minor problem to defend.

All-in-all White can win, but only if Black makes mistakes. When black does blunder then it can be catastrophic which is where a lot of White wins may come from. But playing a game 'hoping' your opponent makes a mistake is not very enjoyable.

If black plays even just a reasonable game, then it is so frustrating for White and I wonder why I don't give up and start playing a different game.

The other common rule could be to allow the King to participate in captures:
In most games, the king can help to make captures like any other piece. There are some in which he can't, however. These are usually games in which he would otherwise be too strong: games where he wins on reaching an edge, and requires four attackers to capture him.
So this statement suggests that may often have either 'King can capture' or 'White edge win' rule (but not both).
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Re: New 'game option' : White wins at the edge.

Post by Anggar »

yes, it's an option, interesting option. what about not using corners and central square as a piece in order to enclose the king? There would be different options to play in any case
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Re: New 'game option' : White wins at the edge.

Post by Schachus »

Imo winnig at the edge makes the game way too easy for white.

I used play "Copenhagen Hnefatafl" (and was pretty good, at least compared to other players there). I think that particular ruleset favors black, but even there Statistics showed white won more games (though probably influenced by new players having an easier time as white).
That game actually has an edge win option, but Its much harder than just "get the king to the edge",, he also needs to be surrounded by his own pieces and ables to move, to achieve it, white must conquer a big portion of the edge. The most common way to win in that variant is still by far a corner win.

In comparison to that variation, Tablut feels a lot more like its favoring white. In particular the smaller board and lower number of black pieces (16 instead of 24), means black can hardly afford to lose pieces, since he needs at least 12 to defend all 4 corners at once, and some more if he ever wants to win, since due to the 50-move rule here, he needs some way to make progress and "close the cirle". In this Tablut, as an unexpierienced player of this variation, I would definitely choose white (with corner win only), if given the option. In particular, I strongly disagree with the person suggesting the change in saying that trades would be good for black. On the contrary, they are good for white usually imo.

Edit: I had missed one very important rule of this variant and had so far played as if it didnt exist: he fact that the King cant take part in captures(I only realised it when I tried to capture something and it didnt work That is of course a huge difference in balance in blacks favor, and therefore I would like to retract my comment that white was better.

Now I also see, that you even wrote about it, I‘m sorry. I now agree completely that white is too weak in this game. I would change the rule about the king not being able to assist capture though, not the corner rule.
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Re: New 'game option' : White wins at the edge.

Post by pepvis »

Edge escape + weaponless king is a great and sharp version of Tablut which used to be played at another site, where the top players rarely lost with black against a weaker player (I was number 2 there). In my opinion it makes for a far superior game than introducing corner escape.

See ... ablut.html
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