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Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred by David Erik Nelson

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Chapter 8. Small-Board Go/Tafl

Unlike Shut-the-Box (Chapter 6), which might have a romantic historical pedigree, the Tafl family of board games have bona fide Viking credentials. Go, similarly, has an established place in the strategic and tactical thinking of Japan’s shoguns, samurai, ninjas, and robot geishas.

Both Go and Tafl rely on the tension between strategy, which is the players’ over arching goal, and tactics, the immediate actions that need to be taken to achieve that goal. Go is a symmetrical game, in which both players have the same goal, pieces, and repertoire of tactics, while Tafl-type games are asymmetrical, fought out between unequal forces with differing capabilities and intentions. It is left as an exercise for the reader to ...

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