• #### The Ockelbo board

From robertreid1878@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Fri Feb 10 04:40:32 2017
The Ockelbo game board (see Google images) is usually assumed to be a schematic depiction of a tafl board, but it could equally be an accurate representation of a board for a quite different game. The board consists of five clearly defined squares
contained within a perimeter square - one at each corner of the perimeter square and one in the centre. The corners of the central square are connected to the corners of the other four squares along the perimeter square's diagonals.

Assuming that each of the five squares is large enough to accommodate a playing piece on each of its corners, the board has a total of twenty intersections available for play. Its pattern also suggests the possibility that the formation of squares might
have featured in any game played on it.

With this in mind I've tried out the following:

2) They place these by turns, one at a time - as at merels - on any unoccupied intersection.
3) When all eight pieces have been placed on the board, the players take turns in moving them -again as at merels - along a line to any adjacent unoccupied intersection.
4) Pieces cannot jump over each other and there is no capturing.
5) The player who first occupies one of the five squares wins the game - you occupy a square by placing a piece on each of its corners.
6) You also win if you immobilise your opponent's pieces.

This game has no historical basis, of course, and since I'm no games inventor, it's probably flawed in some way! But perhaps it does demonstrate that, if we view the squares on the Ockelbo board as squares per se, rather than simply markers like those
on the Ballinderry board (see Google images), we can turn it into a functioning game board, if not for this, then for some other game.

I hope this is of some interest - and my apologies if someone has already suggested all this before.

Robert.

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• From M Winther@21:1/5 to robertreid1878@gmail.com on Wed Feb 22 14:22:23 2017
On 10/02/2017 13:40, robertreid1878@gmail.com wrote:
The Ockelbo game board (see Google images) is usually assumed to be a schematic depiction of a tafl board, but it could equally be an accurate representation of a board for a quite different game. The board consists of five clearly defined squares
contained within a perimeter square - one at each corner of the perimeter square and one in the centre. The corners of the central square are connected to the corners of the other four squares along the perimeter square's diagonals.

Assuming that each of the five squares is large enough to accommodate a playing piece on each of its corners, the board has a total of twenty intersections available for play. Its pattern also suggests the possibility that the formation of squares
might have featured in any game played on it.

With this in mind I've tried out the following:

2) They place these by turns, one at a time - as at merels - on any unoccupied intersection.
3) When all eight pieces have been placed on the board, the players take turns in moving them -again as at merels - along a line to any adjacent unoccupied intersection.
4) Pieces cannot jump over each other and there is no capturing.
5) The player who first occupies one of the five squares wins the game - you occupy a square by placing a piece on each of its corners.
6) You also win if you immobilise your opponent's pieces.

This game has no historical basis, of course, and since I'm no games inventor, it's probably flawed in some way! But perhaps it does demonstrate that, if we view the squares on the Ockelbo board as squares per se, rather than simply markers like those
on the Ballinderry board (see Google images), we can turn it into a functioning game board, if not for this, then for some other game.

I hope this is of some interest - and my apologies if someone has already suggested all this before.

Robert.

Hi Robert!

Long time no see! Your document "Thomas Hyde's Subjugatio Rebellium: An Attempted Clarification of the Rules" is no longer online. Please tell
me if you upload it so that I can link to it.

My objection is that Tablut, Brandubh, and Large Hnefatafl, have these
squares marked, too. So it is likely a Tafl game. http://mlwi.magix.net/bg/tablut.htm

Mats Winther

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• From robertreid1878@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Wed Feb 22 06:44:07 2017
Hello Mats! I may have the document in PDF somewhere, in which case I'll send it to you; although your subsequent interpretation of the capture rules superseded what I suggested there.

As for the Ockelbo board, it's the diagonals that make it unique - are there any surviving boards that have them? Some reconstructed game boards do, but then these are based on the Ockelbo board! I agree that corner markings are found on the Ballinderry
board and the Alea Evangelii, but Linnaeus' tablut board doesn't have them.

I admit the idea is speculative, and the fact that this pattern is one of a kind (so far as I know) is not a good sign. However, although it looks strange, the board does seem to function in the way I described. There is always the possibility that here
we have a pre-existing game from which tafl took the idea of privileging the corners and centre of the board. But this is even more speculative!

Robert.

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