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 squarescontained 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 squaresmight have featured in any game played on it.
With this in mind I've tried out the following: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.
1) Both players start with four pieces in hand.
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
I hope this is of some interest - and my apologies if someone has already suggested all this before.
Robert.
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