Thud!

As a project for our third-year scripting module at University, we were required to replicate a boardgame. I chose ‘Thud’, also known as ‘Hnaflbaflwhiflsnifltafl’, a boardgame based on one mentioned in Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ series.
The game is fairly simple: it consists of an octagonal board, fifteen squares by fifteen squares, with a triangle of fifteen squares removed from each corner, and fourty pieces: eight trolls and thirty-two dwarfs.
Each player moves a piece in turn, beginning with the dwarfs.

Dwarfs are moved like chess queens, any number of squares in any direction as long as they do not pass through another piece. Alternately, they may attempt to capture a troll. In order to do this, they must land on a square containing a troll, by moving no further than the number of dwarfs arranged in a straight (orthagonal or diagonal) line. A dwarf can always capture a troll on an adjacent square, but in order to capture one that is (for example) three squares away, the dwarf must be at the end of a line of three dwarfs.

Trolls are moved like chess kings, one square in any direction as long as they do not land on another piece. When a troll moves, their player may choose to capture any dwarfs on the eight squares surrounding their new location. Similar to dwarfs, trolls may move further in order to capture if at the end of a line of trolls.

I was able to reproduce the rules almost precisely, but for two things. Firstly, I did not implement any system for ensuring that players could only move pieces alternately – this was due to choice rather than inability: when people made a mistake and moved the wrong piece, or when one player wished to offer the other a handicap, it seemed pointless to make it impossible for them to do so. Secondly, I made trolls capture all dwarfs adjacent to them whenever they were moved, rather than leaving it to the player’s discretion. It’s possible I could have allowed players to choose, but it would have been quite awkward to implement it, and it seemed reasonably unimportant, since there are relatively few situations where a player would not want to take their opponents pieces.

Published on January 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm  Comments (1)  

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