Full Report for Tablut by Traditional

Full Report for Tablut by Traditional

Capture the King, or help him escape

Generated at 03/05/2020, 08:56 from 1000 logged games.


Start Position


The Tafl (table) family of games are ancient, and there is some variation in rules, board size, and setup. As such, I have listed some common elements, followed by specific variants in the rules here.

Common elements


No rules changes


No rules changes

Sea Battle Tafl

Alea Evangeli




General comments:

Play: Asymmetric,Combinatorial

Family: Tafl games,Traditional

Mechanism(s): Race,Capture,Stalemate,Movement

Level: Standard

BGG Stats

BGG EntryTablut
BGG Rating6.32081
BGG Weight2.6667

BGG Ratings and Comments

WuzetusN/ACollection purge 2018 - deleting games that I don't own or don't recognize as playable anymore.
fxjohnN/Aclassic game
mrraow6Traditional game with lots of different variants. Interesting, in that it's asymmetric, uninteresting, in that it's solvable.
John McKevittN/Arules from R.C. Bell -- The Board Game Book
PapaBear736.5Interesting asymmetrical abstract game. Especially considering that it is 1,500 years old which adds to the appeal. It's viking chess! It might go up in rating after more plays.
fogus5.2[2015.02.20] My favorite of the Tafl games that I've played. I love the asymmetry.
AltugasN/A(Not played yet).
ottobre318Capolavoro assoluto tra i giochi astratti. Si tratta di un tradizionale gioco di scacchiere con la particolarità di avere pedine e obiettivi asimmetrici. Il gioco rappresenta l'assedio degli svedesi, esterni, ai vichinghi. L'obiettivo dei primi è imprigionare il re vichingo, mentre l'obiettivo di questi è quello di permettere al proprio re di fuggire. Il gioco ha un regolamento semplice ma la profondità strategia è notevole. Grande sorpresa per me.
Thorwolf5Not bad at all for a pure abstract. Interesting unbalanced sides.
Wyrmling6Variable rulesets make this game's strategy muddy, but I enjoy playing it, almost purely from a historical standpoint. Asymmetrical games are also always a fun time for me.
Boardgamist6.5There's a lot more strategy involved than when I first looked at it. I'd be up for an occasional game.
mjf71N/A2 45m
shaveandahaircut55 plays. An ancient Viking game packaged by MB. Most recent play probably in 1975 with Dave Bortz. Sold on eBay in 2003.
MikeKn8SCA: Modern release of a version of Hnefatafl
Sintonic5+ asymmetric - quite boring played only at BGA
Profecia916.5Very simple but interesting classic abstract game for 2 players
ReignsEternal6no board, just the playing pieces. pictured here: http://boardgamegeek.com/image/23246/tablut
whac36See review.
jayjonbeach6Another cool tricky little abstract. Of course I have to compare all abstracts to the Gipf series and this just doesn’t have the same kind of depth but its pretty nifty all the same. Not sure I like the draw rules but I have not played very many games thus far. Update: Alright I officially hate this game, yes that means I cant win (as gold). Hmm it’s a pure game of mistakes here just like chess, lots of back and forth in the waiting. Update: Holy shit, okay the significant depth isn’t really there BUT it took me about 10 games to beat the damn AI on BS, so it is trickier than it looks!
dancingdanslc3DIGITAL PLAY: iPad Air Old abstract game. I'm not much of an abstract game fan. I don't enjoy this game at all. Out of my collection
boulderman6Not as good as Hnefeftal
haknortN/ASwords and Shields
Teacher Of Madness7An interesting take on a typical chess or checkers type game. I don't know how many times it'll make the table, but it certainly wasn't bad.
pwarychN/Ahome-made set
Deleted0105188A great assymmetric game. Feels balanced. Simple rules give way to many viable strategies. Though ostensibly abstract, it really 'feels' like ships trying to escape - as they're surrounded, the cannons bring them down...
Taktak10Titre français : Jeu de Tablut
arguset7Very interesting game!
taragalinas6Perhaps not the most fun game, but it is extremely simple and easy to learn.
ricardofo4Included in my "Todos os Jogos" collection
latindog8Brilliant little asymmetrical abstract.
Nemo Scio8Very entertaining. After a few games you learn some strategy (like the "death triangle") and it becomes something else entirely.
3pic_Win7Not my favorite Tafl game out there, but it got me started in the genre. The game seems horribly uneven at first, but this improves with more developed strategy. Playing the attacking side (non-king side) takes some practice. Even with practice though, the King's side tends to win more often. (But it's close enough to be fun, especially if you switch sides.) When you switch sides, it's so different that it's almost like 2 different games in one. Kinda cool. In my opinion, Tafl games are best on an 11x11 board. Tablut's still fun though. It's the smallest Tafl game that I routinely play. Larger boards seem to work better. I'll try 13x13 Hnefatafl next.
jfeastN/AAnother game in my collection that I owe to one of Damian Walker's awesome leaflets.
th3ory310N/ACool little abstract game. I'd love to try it again.
Nap166Free Print & Play. See Hnefatafl.
touchstonethefool6The best documented Tafl game whets my appetite to try out others.
Rabbits7All games against the Dumbot on boardspace so far. Finally beat the computer on my 5th game. More depth than it first appears.
flinxofsumadaN/Ageneric - play with other parts
Narrow Gate Games7Pretty good for a 300 - 1,000 year old game.
Wolfram8Historisches Spiel
mothertruckin7played online
BeezeeN/AGAMEBook game
Joseph Hill6
CrazyCod6Such a weird little abstract. It's definitely imbalanced, but I'll play it for fun. I cut out a board out of solid bleached paper when I was going through my abstracts phase back when I was 16-17.
dougkeenan7Easy to learn, good for most ages. Games are quick and fun.
Azaka7Self made
doncoloradoN/AI purchased swords and shields in 1971 and it got away from me. I would love to have this game again.
tckoppang4Draws, or at least the possibility or threat of draws, are so easily achieved that I have trouble enjoying this game as much as I enjoy the history of the game. Perhaps with escape to the sides, I would enjoy it more.
garg3Very old, very simple, and pretty interesting. But in the long run - nothing special.
Colonnello Vincent9
AlanMorillo6Box says it was a game historically played by the vikings. In practice, its a bit like 'Fox and Hounds'
arcplayer9Another beautiful abstract from Clemens Gerhards.
Volgeus6Un antiguo juego cuyas instrucciones no han pervivido. Yo suelo jugar haciendo que el trono no se pueda atravesar ni ocupar una vez desocupado. El rey no puede capturar. Las esquinas se pueden usar para capturar. Igual que el trono. He puesto la edición print and play, pero en realidad uso fichas de damas con una dama blanca con un punto rojo cómo rey. Tablero impreso del ordenador.
dispatch1347117.3An asymmetric game, one player tries to escape and the other to eliminate. Quite enjoyable and has plenty of small things you can vary in the rules, to change things up.
Goodsound6I am not so keen on abstracts, but concerning that this is a medival game it's ok, as it can be used as a fast filler.
Liquid Identity7
Nimba6.7Self-made version, 9x9 board. Gametactics: 6 Theme and looks: 8 (dwergenschaak!) Makes me smile: 6
CDRodefferN/AAnother in the Tafl family?
Don200210I owned this game in 1972 and lost it. I would love to own it again. Swords and Shields is a wonderful game.
pulla7Seems really cool for such an old game. Based on just one play so far.
fripono6Isn't this just a cut down version of Hnefatafl?
rseater6imbalanced but still interesting; use the bigger board
Kaffedrake3Tafl game in between Ard Ri and Hnefatafl in size, and I would think also in quality. The opening seems somewhat scripted. From a beginner's point of view the balance seems heavily weighted in favour of the attacker, although games may also end with the defender exploiting a single mistake in order to win.
PAYDIRT7Based on a semi-ancient game actually found at a Viking archeological dig. Kind of fun thinking that some guy wearing horns and sailing a dragon boat might have actually played this game?
MoonAchillesN/AA homemade version.
Sentencia_JG5Lo llaman el ajedrez vikingo pero su nivel de profundidad no es comparable con el ajedrez común.
orange6ancient asymmetric two-player abstract.
Kytty6PnP One of the Tafl family of games. Like this better than Hnefatafl actually.
Kether19836Egyszerű stratégiai játék, alapvető mozgások, taktikai lehetőségek vannak benne, nem rossz.
shirtman8I own the MB version named "Swords and Shields". I assume it's the simplified adaptation of Tablut yet it appears to capture the brain-burning mechanics of this elegant abstract. It's more of a "mid-ranged" strategy game that falls between checkers and chess for me, yet I would prefer to play this to either of them. It's "thinky" but it can be played reasonably quick. After a dozen or so plays I have yet to win with the swords, so it either favors the shields or I have yet to develop a significant strategy...as more games are surely to follow I guess time will tell.
AndrePORN/APrint & Play Edition

Kolomogorov Complexity Estimate

Size (bytes)33361
Reference Size10293

Ai Ai calculates the size of the implementation, and compares it to the Ai Ai implementation of the simplest possible game (which just fills the board). Note that this estimate may include some graphics and heuristics code as well as the game logic. See the wikipedia entry for more details.

Playout Complexity Estimate

Playouts per second9410.68 (106.26µs/playout)
Reference Size1714383.68 (0.58µs/playout)
Ratio (low is good)182.17

Tavener complexity: the heat generated by playing every possible instance of a game with a perfectly efficient programme. Since this is not possible to calculate, Ai Ai calculates the number of random playouts per second and compares it to the fastest non-trivial Ai Ai game (Connect 4). This ratio gives a practical indication of how complex the game is. Combine this with the computational state space, and you can get an idea of how strong the default (MCTS-based) AI will be.

Playout/Search Speed

LabelIts/sSDNodes/sSDGame lengthSD
Random playout9,69056952,7965,2899810

Random: 10 second warmup for the hotspot compiler. 100 trials of 1000ms each.

Other: 100 playouts, means calculated over the first 5 moves only to avoid distortion due to speedup at end of game.

Mirroring Strategies

Rotation (Half turn) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (X axis) lost each game as expected.
Reflection (Y axis) lost each game as expected.
Copy last move lost each game as expected.

Mirroring strategies attempt to copy the previous move. On first move, they will attempt to play in the centre. If neither of these are possible, they will pick a random move. Each entry represents a different form of copying; direct copy, reflection in either the X or Y axis, half-turn rotation.

Win % By Player (Bias)

1: Attacker(red) win %7.30±1.45Includes draws = 50%
2: Defender(white) win %92.70±1.78Includes draws = 50%
Draw %7.00Percentage of games where all players draw.
Decisive %93.00Percentage of games with a single winner.
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Note: that win/loss statistics may vary depending on thinking time (horizon effect, etc.), bad heuristics, bugs, and other factors, so should be taken with a pinch of salt. (Given perfect play, any game of pure skill will always end in the same result.)

Note: Ai Ai differentiates between states where all players draw or win or lose; this is mostly to support cooperative games.

Levels of Play

AIStrong WinsDrawsStrong Losses#GamesStrong Win%p1 Win%Game Length
Rαβ + ocqBKs (t=0.01s)360036100.0047.2233.86
Rαβ + ocqBKs (t=0.55s)33674678.2628.2646.04

Level of Play: Strong beats Weak 60% of the time (lower bound with 90% confidence).

Draw%, p1 win% and game length may give some indication of trends as AI strength increases; but be aware that the AI can introduce bias due to horizon effects, poor heuristics, etc.


Game length37.56 
Branching factor61.90 
Complexity10^66.53Based on game length and branching factor
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Computational complexity (where present) is an estimate of the game tree reachable through actual play. For each game in turn, Ai Ai marks the positions reached in a hashtable, then counts the number of new moves added to the table. Once all moves are applied, it treats this sequence as a geometric progression and calculates the sum as n-> infinity.

Move Classification

Distinct actions1210Number of distinct moves (e.g. "e4") regardless of position in game tree
Killer moves39A 'killer' move is selected by the AI more than 50% of the time
Killers: b9-a9,i6-i1,i6-i9,a7-a9,i4-i1,d9-i9,a5-a1,a5-a9,e9-i9,c9-a9,i2-i1,f9-i9,d9-a9,a2-a1,e4-e9,i8-i9,e1-i1,c1-a1,i5-i1,i5-i9,f1-i1,d1-a1,a8-a9,g1-i1,e1-a1,a4-a1,i3-i1,a4-a9,a6-a9,e8-e1,h1-i1,f1-a1,g9-i9,e9-a9,h9-i9,a3-a1,b1-a1,i7-i9,d1-i1
Good moves498A good move is selected by the AI more than the average
Bad moves712A bad move is selected by the AI less than the average
Terrible moves44A terrible move is never selected by the AI
Too many terrible moves to list.
Samples1000Quantity of logged games played

Board Coverage

A mean of 43.10% of board locations were used per game.

Colour shows the frequency of visits.

Change in Material Per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the change in material over the course of a game.


Table: branching factor per turn.

Action Types per Turn

This chart is based on a single playout, and gives a feel for the types of moves available over the course of a game.

Red: removal, Black: move, Blue: Add, Grey: pass, Purple: swap sides, Brown: other.


This chart shows the best move value with respect to the active player; the orange line represents the value of doing nothing (null move).

The lead changed on 2% of the game turns. Ai Ai found 0 critical turns (turns with only one good option).

Position Heatmap

This chart shows the relative temperature of all moves each turn. Colour range: black (worst), red, orange(even), yellow, white(best).

Good/Effective moves

MeasureAll playersPlayer 1Player 2
Mean % of effective moves97.48100.0094.96
Mean no. of effective moves65.5485.0846.00
Effective game space10^-∞10^46.2410^-∞
Mean % of good moves51.75100.003.51
Mean no. of good moves43.2185.081.33
Good move game space10^47.7410^46.2410^1.51

These figures were calculated over a single game.

An effective move is one with score 0.1 of the best move (including the best move). -1 (loss) <= score <= 1 (win)

A good move has a score > 0. Note that when there are no good moves, an multiplier of 1 is used for the game space calculation.

Quality Measures

Hot turns41.67%A hot turn is one where making a move is better than doing nothing.
Momentum16.67%% of turns where a player improved their score.
Correction52.08%% of turns where the score headed back towards equality.
Depth0.10%Difference in evaluation between a short and long search.
Drama17.56%How much the winner was behind before their final victory.
Foulup Factor93.75%Moves that looked better than the best move after a short search.
Surprising turns0.00%Turns that looked bad after a short search, but good after a long one.
Last lead change93.75%Distance through game when the lead changed for the last time.
Decisiveness8.33%Distance from the result being known to the end of the game.

These figures were calculated over a single game, and based on the measures of quality described in "Automatic Generation and Evaluation of Recombination Games" (Cameron Browne, 2007).



Opening Heatmap

Colour shows the success ratio of this play over the first 10moves; black < red < yellow < white.

Size shows the frequency this move is played.

Unique Positions Reachable at Depth


Note: most games do not take board rotation and reflection into consideration.
Multi-part turns could be treated as the same or different depth depending on the implementation.
Counts to depth N include all moves reachable at lower depths.
Inaccuracies may also exist due to hash collisions, but Ai Ai uses 64-bit hashes so these will be a very small fraction of a percentage point.

Shortest Game(s)

No solutions found to depth 5.