Joined: 08 Nov 2006
| Post subject: BG's best kept Treasure - Narde
|Dedicated to the most ancient and interesting Game on Earth and the ultimate creature that inspired me, a Woman!
I do not pursue the purpose to impose my opinion, which is totally individual and based upon personal experience of three-dozens of years of playing. Neither did I try to show "monopoly on truth" in this post.
Any comments are welcomed.
If we look at attendance of posts in the game section of any forum, we'll find out that graphic, animated games cause constant interest of users. Good thing, that today's devices allow this graphics and sounds to be played on.
Backgammon remains the most ancient, interesting and popular game on the Planet!
Seven thousand years ago, when our ancestors ran after mammoths with sticks, locals in Mesopotamia were already playing The Royal Game Of Ur! Some people do think that even back then, game was an ancient relic.
It is a fight on board, game of war, competition and collision of characters. An ideal mix of luck and skill.
Anybody who is able to count up to six can play Backgammon. Better you count, better you play!
If you using a computer to play, the need for multiple calculations disappears, program will count pips and point out correct landing spots. Now players can concentrate completely on strategy and tactics.
It is the most democratic game: here, even the beginner manages to beat masters.
Until last century game was destiny of pharaohs, Babylon Wise Men, kings and aristocrats.
Today anyone can take advantage of this lunar calendar and decide how to spend and how to control time.
There are over 150 different game variations known and played around the globe. Majority of them based on rules of three games. Let's call em: "Hit-and-Run" (BG and its variants), "Run" (Narde and its versions) and "Capture" (Plakoto, Tapa).
There are many bibles written about Backgammon and variants that are based on the same principle. Hit-and-Run is popular all over the world.
Other games on board remain largely overlooked and forgotten, though they are known as more strategic and skill-based. Among them Tapa and Plakoto.
Those are played by the rules not similar neither to Narde, nor Backgammon, player can land his checker on top of unprotected opponents piece, capturing it and delaying progress.
Plakoto is very interesting and strategic game.
Narde (and its forms) considered the most ancient, purest, most classical, interesting and various game. This is Backgammon in its ultimate form.
From all basic variants, Narde has the most simple rules, but remains the most difficult to conquer. The reason for that is the fact that during the game it is possible for all 30 checkers to block all 24 points on board simultaneously, creating inconceivable quantity of possible choices.
Movement of "armies" in the same direction further complicates the game. Interaction and interlacing of checkers of contenders, in this case, on a much larger scale than in other BG games. And the whole board is used as a battlefield unlike in any other game.
Restriction on removal of checkers off the Head only adds difficulties during the game, which makes it even more interesting.
This game can be played for a lifetime, and one still may come across situations where it's simply impossible to understand HOW to play correctly!
There are local forms and variations of Narde. The majority of Runs (Fevga, Moultezim) differ in amendments to a restriction on quantity of checkers per move off the head, also the amendment to a rule about blocks of 6 and more pieces (primes).
There is a variant where both opponent's checkers move towards one another, like in BG.
There is also a game with colorful and juicy name KhachapOOri (Khach), where initial arrangement reminds more of a classic Hit, and looser pays according to quantity of checkers remained on board.
Another interesting hyper-form of Run is Gioul-Bahar.
Game has a nickname Crazy Narde for its dynamism and a seeming unpredictability.
Gioul is like Narde "on steroids". It's very fun to play, but on a real board players usually do get lost in all the doubles and who's turn to roll.
The game of Narde may seem boring to some, but its Crazy cousin always highly emotional and funny.
Besides Run, Hit-n-Run and Capture, there is a game that combines ALL variants, but differs from them. It's known to some players as Pioneer.
This is the most simple game of backgammon: opponents start entering their checkers off the board directly into their Homes and then bear off all as usual. There are two variants of Pioneer: in one of them, as in Crazy, checkers can not be moved inside home-board. At first sight - stupid game of luck. But it is a bear-off game, and there is always a separate chapter in every BG book devoted to that.
Anybody can start playing BG with Pioneer. This game will help newbies a lot!
Just like with Crazy Narde, kids do get a kick out of it.
Backgammon has lived through ALL other games in the world, thou till this day remains taboo, for example, in Iran. In Scandinavian countries backgammon is a part of a school program.
Multimillion-dollar companies spend money on training their top-managers on Wall Street. They trained....... to play Backgammon!
What for? So they are able to make correct decisions...
Why BG remains so popular for so long?
In a matter of fact, in reality, Backgammon - one of most graphic and animated games!
Those, who witnessed multiplayer recreational contests, know how many emotions and adrenaline they bring even in detached onlookers and bystanders, not mentioning players themselves. Ancient spells and chants still very much in use, and contenders might even go as far as having an intercourse with the dice and board!
BG game can be presented in the form of a tree.
Two captains select their teams. Usually, each has 15 soldier, tree-climbers and tries to get his men to the top first in rapidly-changing weather.
Each rise to the top is a new experience on the long and difficult way to conquest records and knowledge of the tree and approaches to it.
There are a lot of fans to this conquest of trees. For the majority, it is a backyard event or a neighborhood coffee-shop gathering.
There are fans who engaged in tree-climbing as sports. Such captains, frequently, become a pro.
Even one ascend to the top takes time. It literally takes years to get trained.
Everyone, in accordance with its abilities and talents, learn to get to the top of a tree first.
If one spends sometime in a gym of captains-climbers, it is possible to reach a decent level, sufficient to be a star of town and neighboring backyards. Some commanders will even get a worldwide recognition.
Besides natural obstacles on a way to the top, there are a lot of restrictions and rules in these races, detailed knowledge and correct use of which - the first right step to achievements.
Restrictions begin with turn-by-turn based competition where soldiers moved only to a certain distance decided by The Judge. Referee lands in turns to each captain a small charged two-barrel catapult. The force of each individual charge predetermined by Lady Luck and measured on the scale 1 through 6.
Up to 4 climbers can be catapulted in turn. Most concurrences of charges allow sending only two men, one per each charged barrel.
Concurrence of shots of identical force enables captain to use the catapult twice. As a result - the most powerful and long-range shot 6 + 6 = not 12, but 2 x (6+6) = 24.
In some competitions, for example, on Crazy or trees of Acey-Ducey type some concurrences of power-charges provide captains the right of additional shots or even cause repeated series of power shots, sometimes, even with an optional choice of force or in certain sequences (usually, on increase).
Each captain decides which climbers will be catapulted, whence and where. Here he is also initially limited by an unpredictable weather, knowledge and understanding of statistics and probabilities, rules, positions, capacity of catapult, ability of soldiers strongly adhere to the most important junctions, masking themselves under roots, branches and their shadows; in reality captains even forced to calculate correct trajectory before each shot (computer-based catapults often offer automatic laser sighting), must be able to gather and use intelligence, screw around with catapult, as well as good knowledge of the general structure of all breeds of trees; using each shot to its maximum potential within a minimum of time.
It is necessary to note that computerized ascendings to some degree decreased chances of an unauthorized adjustments of catapult itself (which is in reality - integral part of the game). But besides the use of mobile phones as remote controls, there are known cases when captains were using constant flashes and even laser rays, dazzling, blinding his rival and even creating the "25th frame effect"...
The most widespread tree on Earth is Hit-and-Run, known to most simply as Backgammon.
The tree and competition on it deeply studied and well-described in testaments and textbooks. Properties of the catapult and wood are all considered, every knothole is marked. All hummocks-springboards and endless labyrinths of interlacing roots that appear on a surface near the trunk precisely calculated, using latest laser technologies. Even angles of an inclination of each branch in relation to a trunk and other branches, with accordance to constantly varying weather conditions during competition and its influence on teams movement towards opposite horizons-poles of the intricate crown mixed on approaches with roots is carefully measured and counted with the help of latest computers.
Popularity of Hit-n-Run can be explained by natural cruelty of this type of survival competition: if single, unprotected, not-supported climber spotted, he can be brought down from a tree on the ground by an enemy soldier. This delays the rest of the team from reaching the goal.
Well-trained captain always capable of applying brought down soldiers to delay army of contender, and, as a result, get his own team to the top first. The path to it in BG is facilitated, shorten and truncated by multiplicity of initial launching site choices and the fact that both teams already scattered across the tree.
Predecessor of all trees, also the highest and most branchy tree on Earth is Narde. Until today it remains remote, insufficiently studied and still the rarest.
Under seeming simplicity of appearance and climbing rules, in a kind of density an odd, freaky interlacing of branches and players mixed with them, nature often hides from people the structure of the tree itself, at times, leaving unanswered even to a pro - where players, where branches, where roots, and where trunk(s)....
Competitions to climb Long Narde are very much localized.
Besides locals, more often, real addicts of complexities, purists and True Connoisseurs of the game take part in them, rather than commercial players.
Detailed knowledge of all trees and all junctures of intertwined branches, roots and a trunk are necessary for captains to be able estimate and study a structure of the most unique natural riddle, which have got to us from the pre-dinosaur epoch.
The Game is practically limited and largely overlooked because of full absence of literature concerning Narde. As in pre-historic times, tactics and skills of captains here still transferred and exchanged the old-fashion way: mouth-to-mouth.
Captains-masters very precisely follow laws of statistics and probabilities, changing tactics with regard to prospective results on each separate situation during the game. Abilities to calculate all positions on a tree and general position of teams with relation to each other and the top, together with detailed knowledge of future outcomes on each given situation of competition and all game - the integral quality of any educated captain.
Everyone, in accordance with its own abilities, experience and education, somehow understands an overall aim of the competition, methods, strategy, tactics and ways of achieving treasured victories. Everyone in its own way perceives his tree-climbing addiction. Perceptions of fight, victories and defeats uniquely individual too.
To drive a car almost everyone is capable of, to be a professional driver that operates multi-axle truck with several trailers - not an easy task to accomplish!
The good captain will always draw conclusions from all previous competitions, having processed games in all details during or even after events. Special attention will be given to mistakes of captains-contenders, their miscalculations in decision-making, including very important miscalculations of prospective outcomes.
Ability to make right decisions in ever-changing conditions is a major basic characteristic of any decent player. Every captain is unique so is his view of concept "correct decision".
Many musicians do play not knowing notes at all. In Backgammon, many playing not knowing key rules in all their details, no less than all intricacies of arithmetics, let alone presence of diplomas in algebra. Most of the time, it does not prevent talented and skilled players in their abilities to stay at high level in relation to the majority of others. Their knowledge and down-to-earth subconscious perception of the game, logic of strategy and tactics, understanding of statistics and probabilities can cause interest in future conquests among all.
A seeming simplicity of racing competition, general understanding of purpose to conquest the top, ability to predict the future, an ideal opportunity to be trained on mistakes, match compressed into a few minutes, lead to occurrence of set of various sights and views at Backgammon, and cause strong dependence and need for constant games in the majority of people, whenever they once felt what is it to be a True Captain of the Time Machine!
Everyone can become Schumacher in these races, Mozart in this music and Alexander The Great in this war! (Though, in reality, very few are capable of reaching these heights)
As well as in case of BG, here any talented captain can lift itself up to a sufficient level in several months of constant training with other teams, or against a computer-simulator and detailed studies of each competition in retrospective, using newest technologies of calculations and knowledge of all captains ever shared their bits of skill, either during competitions or in "nonexistent" books about Narde.
The name of the tree (Long Narde) comes from initial positions of teams in the competition when all 30 participants of simultaneous fight for conquest of the top are built in two long symbolical towers (sometimes called KolbasA, but, mostly, the Head or the Hand) on both sides of this giant sequoia.
Strange interlacing of armies, trunk, roots and branches, create a unique mosaic of became-alive crown, shaken by a storm; compared, perhaps, only to variety of music on the basis of only seven (7) musical notes, where soldiers-participants - part of these few-minute rapid changes between them, as in any other game...
The never-ending cannonade of shots accompanied by colorful fire-works, laser criss-crosses, explosions of thunder and a stroboscope of lightning gives to a short-lived competition and its participants corresponding dozes of adrenaline and emotions, makes the game unique.
There are few ways to delay opponent: from direct contacts between enemy soldiers, when they go hand-to-hand combat during BG competitions, to capture and imprisonment on Plakoto trees.
In Narde, delay can be reached only by boundary contacts between enemy soldiers, no hitting-no capturing here. The only method to delay is to build constant blocks of a few men in a row (primes).
If obstacle six (6) players-long is built, the catapult not capable of over-shooting such length, and one of the teams can be effectively blocked temporary or for the rest of the game.
Detailed knowledge of calculations up to 6, skill to operate and increase blocks to adjust process of the whole game with these blocks, using them as sluices, besides good knowledge and understanding of the Tree structure itself, constantly varying situations on it - very few qualities that Narde captains inherent.
Learned by bitter experience of mistakes-defeats, understanding how much time it takes to become the True Conqueror of the Game, majority of Narde-masters very jealously store and keep their secrets about strategy and tactics used in competitions.
It makes sense - unwillingness to loose titles, medals and records, at occurrence of such competitions and market on it.
Which only emphasizes an aura of mystery and low popularity of Narde among all tree-climbers on Earth.
Welcome to the most ancient, most fascinating game of luck and skill, the game of passion and hazard, that got to us through thorns of time, governors, kings and civilizations, which are long gone in a sends of time!
Among famous admirers of the game: Nicole Kidman, Sean Connery, Madonna, Lewis Carroll, president Putin, well-known chess players Karpov and Kasparov, many others.
There are two types of people in the world: one - plays Backgammon, others can follow anti-hazardous and anti-passionate formula: Do not play - and you will never lose
All nardoholics of the world are about to have a never-ending surprise in the form of The Ultimate Backgammon Treasure - Long Narde!
Rules of The Game.
This is the most difficult and most interesting variant to play. BG in its purest, ultimate and superior form.
Narde rules are the simplest of all major BG games.
Both players must bring all their pieces home moving them around the board, divided onto 24 points in a counter-clockwise direction in turns to a corresponding numbers on dice, and then take them off the board. Player who gets all his men off the board first - wins the game.
There is no hitting in Narde. Point taken is a point blocked. Players may use only empty points or those that are occupied by THEIR pieces.
Only one(1) piece off the Head (starting point) per roll. The first roll of the game for each player may be an exception: if player cannot complete his move, because he bumps onto opponents piece, then two(2) checkers off the Head permitted (for example, when 3x3, 4x4 and 6x6 rolled).
Player cannot put six(6) or more men in a row (called a Prime), see picture unless there is an opponents piece(s) on the other side of the prime. See picture
This prime is illegal.
Doubles played as usual, four(4) times.
All rolls must be played to the full extend. See picture
If only one of the dices can be played, the higher number chosen as a rule.
Crazy Narde (Gioul Bahar) played by the same rules. It also has a few of its own:
No movement in homes. Players not allowed to move men inside their own home-boards. Same goes for bear-offs, no movement. You play only numbers rolled (that is if you have men on corresponding points)
If player cannot play his roll or cannot complete his move, his opponent gets to play those rolls before rolling dice for himself.
If player gets a double, then he plays not only that double, but also all the doubles that follow it increasingly. For example, 2x2 causes a streak of doubles that will follow: 3x3, 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 - all must be played.
Some rolls that cannot be played will be played by opponent. Other variation of CN allows opponent also to take over the rest of the streak.
In reality, Backgammons rarely scored. Gammon called Mars . And they call 1-pointers Oin.
Dice cups and doubling cube rarely used. Most Narde players still look at them as exotics.
Narde is a game for serious player, who don't afraid of complexities and difficulties, for those who likes solving never ending puzzles.
Its Crazy version has totally different reputation. The game has its name
You can either love it or hate it. Children just adore it!
There is nothing like Snowie or Gnu for Narde yet, but there are few programs in existence:
Namik Mustapha-zade Nards game.
And though they are far from being perfect in all respects, but they will serve anyone who's interested.
For those who wants a quick opponent on the go 24:7 right in their pocket:
Megasoft2000 does it.
Hope You will fall in love with The Game!
Lucky rolls to all nardists!
P.S. I would like to apologize for my poor and limited tongue. English is not my native, so translation isn't perfect.
Feel free to correct me.
Thank You, everyone, who always reaches for the top of an endless tree of knowledge.
Last edited by narde on Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:37 pm; edited 3 times in total