hist-games: Gala

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Sun Jul 30 09:48:16 PDT 2006

Den 2006-07-30 17:46:12 skrev <SEDWilkins at aol.com>:

> Mats writes:
>> It is a very curious game. I have not seen anything like it before,
>> although it clearly is a relative of Hnefatafl. I am not sure I quite
>> understand
>> it.
>> http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/gala.htm
> Hmm. I thought Gala might have derived from chaturanga--four players each
> with a king, three "mounts" and four infantry, or two players each controlling
> two quadrants. Hadn't thought of it being like Hnefatafl, particularly since the
> sides are of equal strength. I wonder how you concluded they are related?
> I am not very good at games on the computer, so can't really comment on the
> play, but it looks very nice.
> Sally Wilkins
> Sports and Games of Medieval Cultures


It has the "holy" central square, as in Hnefatafl, where no other pieces than
the king can enter. Like Hnefatafl, it also has the rule that reaching absolute
squares with the king is enough for a win. It has no leaping pieces, unlike
chess and chaturanga, which has both knight and alfil (elephant). Moreover,
Hnefatafl and Tablut boards have that typical fourfold partition, i.e., a cross.
In Tablut and Hnefatafl ceratin squares modify the capturing capability of the
pieces. This is so also in Gala, but unknown in traditional chess.

So I clearly suspect this game is a relative of Tablut.


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