hist-games: Celtic Board Games - Specifically Brandubh

mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU
Thu Dec 3 18:46:43 PST 1998

I know the game Brandub, and in my opinion it is not related to the
Hneftafl games (fidchell, etc) as the fundamentals of play are very
different, much more like modern chess.  Unfortunately y, I have no
documentation of rhfor the game other than what little nbit came with the
game that I purchased some years back at the Grandfather Mountain Highland
Games.  The following is my own handout that I use in games clases and
tournaments here in Atlantia.  Please pardon the bad ASCI art.  But feel
free to distribute these instructions to anyone interested far and wide,
just please keep my name attatched to them (and feel free to fix any
spelling errors--I am on a laptop computer and have clumsy fingers!)


Brandub (pronouncd bran-DOO) is a Celtic board game played on a 7x7 board
with 13 peices.  It is based on playing peices and boards found in ruins
in Ireland and Wales.  It is a tactical gmae at least 10 centuries old.

One player has eight peices called BARONS.  These are represented by the
dark peices on the board (O's in my ASCI version).  The other player has
four PRINCES and a KING, represented by the lighter peices (X's), the king
being marked by a "K".  The barons make the first move.  Each player may
move one peice per turn.  Peices may move one space in any direction.
Barons and princes (but not th eking)may move two spaces on a straight
diagonal line if they are are on light spaces and providing no other
peice, friend or foe, lies in their path.  (I cannot show it in ASCI, but
the board is checkered light and dark, with the four corner squares
being dark).  You may not capture a peice with this move.

A peice is captured by moving onto the space it is occupying and removing
it from the board.  By the divine right of kkings, the king may never be
captured.  He is immortal.  ("it's good to be the king!")

The center peice, where terhe king begins play, is called the TARA.  No
peice but the king may ever move onto or over the TARTA.  The four corners
are also important.  If a prince (but not a baron) remains onone of these
four spaces for three consecutive turns, he is considered "lost in the
woods" and is removed from the board.

The barons win when all the princes are removed from the board.  The
king/princes win when all of the barons have been removed from teh board.
The barons have the advantage of numbers and should try to press the
princes, not giving them a chance to move their king.  The barons can
often afford to sacrifice a peice to take a peice.  The princes should try
to stay out of danger and let the king do the dirty work.  For
tournament play, have each player play each side one time.  If this
results in a 1-1 tie, the player who won by the largest margin (had the
most peices remaining on the board) may choose sides for the tie breaker.

 - - - - - - -
| |O| | | |O| |
 - - - - - - -
|O| | | | | |O|
 - - - - - - -
| | |X| |X| | |
 - - - - - - -
| | | |K| | | |
 - - - - - - -
| | |X| |X| | |
 - - - - - - -
|O| | | | | |O|
 - - - - - - -
| |O| | | |O| |
 - - - - - - -

Based on Irish and Welsh artifacts dating back at least 1000 years.

This instruction sheet was prepared by:
Eogan Og Mac Labruinn, AoA, CP
Barony of the Sacred Stone
Kingdom of Atlantia
Quarterly Or & Vert, two lions combattant, tails knowed, in base a mouse
couchant, all within an orle of roundels Argent.

           "I brought ye to the ring.  Now dance best ye can."
   Matthew Allen Newsome            |	    Lard Eogan Og Mac Labruinn
   curator/historical consultant    |       Sangster of Scotland&Atlantia
   Scottish Tartans Museum          |	    Chronicler, MSoB
   & Heritage Center	    	    |	    Companion of the Pearl
   http://intertekweb.com/tartans/  |	    Clan Og, SCA
   <tartans at dnet.net>               |       "IT'S ONLY A GAME!"
    --------------------"Bring Forrit The Tartan"---------------------

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