hist-games: Brandubh ("Black raven")

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Fri Aug 11 00:00:28 PDT 2006

The Brandubh representations on the Internet employ an awkward
setup. I took for granted that it was correct until I learnt that there
exists no historical information about the setup. I tried the natural
setup, a cross, which works much better (the other one gives too
big advantage to white). The cross setup makes it a very balanced
game. It is much more likely that this is the correct setup because it
rhymes with the cross setup in Tablut and Hnefatafl. What surprised
me was how difficult this game is, despite the few pieces and the
small board. I let it run on two minutes per move on a 1.6 GHz
computer. One game was one by Black, the other by White. Apparently,
a relatively strong computer is not able to control this game.
Comparatively, Zillions plays checkers very strongly. I suppose the
complexity of the larger board variants should be beyond the capacity
of human players, if they haven't played it since early youth. This is
similar to Go. Brandubh would be ideal when starting to learn this game.
Tablut (9x9) is for masters. But I don't understand how they could master
the bigger boards.


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