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190427.txt

Found at: colorfield.space:70/~sloum/phlog/190427.txt


I had a lot of fun the last two days doing upgrades to Oberon, the
correspondence game system for Colorfield Space. Among other 
updates I added a new game to the system: Brandubh. That makes
three games total (after Gomoku and Isola). I had never played
nor heard of Brandubh a few days ago. I tend to like abstract
strategy games (Go/Baduk in particular, but others as well) so
I went to Wikipedia/Gopherpedia and looked at their list of
abstract strategy games[0]. Among them I found a whole family
of games under the name Tafl. These games, as a game family,
apparently pre-date chess and originate in viking culture. Super
interesting! Once I read further I became even more interested.
All of them feature an asymetrical play style: the defender has
the goal of getting their king to a specific place on the board
(the corners in the case of brandubh, the sides in some other
tafl variants), and the attackers goal is to kill the defending
king. The attacking force is double the size of the defending 
force.

I love the divergent goals concept. Having decided that this was
a cool family of games I coded up a version for Oberon in 
Python over an evening or two. Since there is no ai (two player
only) it went pretty quickly. 

I have been trying to get back in the habit of doing things
other than coding. I used to do lots of other things, but since
reorienting my career toward coding that took center stage for
a spell. I saw some cool tafl boards online and think I am going
to try to make my own. I will likely go the route of a solid 
piece of wood and then use a wood burning pen to burn in the
board/details. I will use graphite paper to help get the pattern
traced onto the board, then burn in, then light sand, then shade
the burning. Staining or varnishing is a possibility as well...
that is the only part I have no experience in so it will be fun
to pick up that skill (hopefully). I'm thinking of using either
bone or antler for the pieces. I want to look into carving either
of those materials. It may have to wait until after our move
on the 11th though. It doesnt make sense to start a project like
that while packing up our home. My wife is interested in learning
the game, so once I have a board made I will show her how to 
play. I think we will have better luck than we did with Go (she
didn't really get/like Go very much). Since Brandubh is the
smallest tafl game, the games go quickly which helps newcomers
not get overwhelmed.

Once it all gets underway I'll put up some photos :)

There are some newcomers to the server who have been posting
on gopher and in cspc. Aliasless is keeping a dream journal
on colorfield space, which is super cool!! Jboverf and mhj 
have been giving us great info about BSD and posting in chat
and cspc a good amount (jboverf has even offered to help me
clean up my golang code for bombadillo, which is so nice of
them).

Great things! Just a reminder to everyone that with the move
coming up and me hosting this server on a raspberry pi in my
living room the server will probably have a 24 - 48 hour
period of downtime (depending on how quickly my isp can get
service going in the new location). I will post separately
with details as they arise.

[0] gopher://gopherpedia.com:70/0/Tafl games



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