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From the undubbed anger of a persnickety man and those of the miserly posterior.

To the edge or the center, where best to place?
Weak and strong towers, concentrations of strength.
Roads now walled off, to the capital crush.
When we go slow there's beauty, no need to rush.

To what does this poem refer?

First hint:

It's fairly obscure

Second hint:

It's relatively very recent

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  • $\begingroup$ Regarding the hint, relative to what? Everything in recorded history is relatively very recent relative to the lifespan of the universe $\endgroup$ – Gordon Allocman Jun 15 '16 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonAllocman Relative to the category of things to which the solution belongs. Sorry it's so vague. $\endgroup$ – Michael Plotke Jun 15 '16 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ Something about this has a board game "feel" to it. $\endgroup$ – APrough Jun 15 '16 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ Given the hint that "it's fairly obscure", should you consider adding the trivia tag? $\endgroup$ – Roland Jun 15 '16 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Roland Not sure the trivia tag fits precisely, especially the "popular culture" bit. It's more of a tricky research project than something you would know beforehand. The title, first line, poem, and hints should all help reduce the avenues of investigation. $\endgroup$ – Michael Plotke Jun 15 '16 at 20:37
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I wonder whether this is

the board game Tak,

which is published by

Cheapass Games ("miserly posterior").

A fantasy duel, your mind your weapon

It's an abstract game for two, so (1) a fantasy duel in the sense that whatever wranglings you might take it to symbolize are in your head; it's derived from a fantasy novel so it's (2) a fantasy duel in a more literal sense. And of course your mind is your weapon just as it would be if you were playing chess, go or Scrabble.

From the undubbed anger of a persnickety man and those of the miserly posterior.

Second half is definitely Cheapass. First half, I'm not sure. The game is inspired by a book called "The Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss; the actual game design is credited to James Ernest and Patrick Rothfuss. I don't see how any of those names quite fit the first half yet.

To the edge or the center, where best to place?

One of the primary game mechanics is the placing of new pieces on the board.

Weak and strong towers, concentrations of strength.

Pieces can be moved on top of others, forming towers. Taller towers have longer-range influence.

Roads now walled off, to the capital crush.

The goal of the game is to create a road from one side of the board to the other. One category of pieces is known as "walls". Another is called "capital stones".

When we go slow there's beauty, no need to rush.

I guess this just refers to the fact that strategy games may be played slowly and (for aficionados) a good game can be a beautiful thing. Or is there something else going on? ... I see that their Kickstarter campaign was titled "Tak: a beautiful game" which is maybe part of it.

First hint: It's fairly obscure

Well, it is. I'd never have found it if I hadn't suddenly spotted the Cheapass reference.

Second hint: It's relatively very recent

Subject of a Kickstarter campaign that finished just a few weeks ago.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice one! I think this answer is a much better fit than mine. (And now I'm laughing at "miserly posterior"). $\endgroup$ – Tonkleton Jun 15 '16 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ For the first line, I think maybe "persnickety" -> "fussy" -> Rothfuss. $\endgroup$ – Tonkleton Jun 15 '16 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, could be (though for me the word "fussy" doesn't really even register when I see "Rothfuss"; presumably it actually means Redfoot). But whence the "undubbed anger"? Live ire? Real crossness? There's gotta be a good pun going on, but I don't see it. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 15 '16 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Totally irrelevantly, I'm sure I've seen that exact same tower-moving mechanic somewhere else before. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 15 '16 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ I bet the questioner had something punnier than that in mind. Maybe he'll tell us? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 15 '16 at 22:28
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Here's my (improbable) guess:

The board game Go.

To the edge or the center, where best to place?

A strategic trade-off in the game Go is whether to aim for sure "territory" on the sides of the board, or influence toward the center which can lead to big territory there.

Weak and strong towers, concentrations of strength.

Big, straight chains of stones are sometimes formed which are quite powerful on the board and hard to be captured. These concentrations of stones are sometimes called walls (as in castle walls) so extending the castle analogy to towers isn't too far a stretch.

Roads now walled off, to the capital crush.

Towards the middle and end of the game, options for pressing from one's own sphere of influence become more limited as the positions solidify. At a certain stage in the game, one of the last options for the player that is behind is to make a risky invasion or reduction in the biggest, most open part of the opponents sphere of influence.

When we go slow there's beauty, no need to rush.

Go is thought by many players to be an aethetically pleasing game, but also there is said to be "beauty" in the moves of the strongest players. Taking plenty of time for each move leads to better play and, ideally, a more "beautiful" game.

Title:

Go is a battle of minds. Also, it's compared to martial concepts but all that's really there is stones on a grid, so the battle is "fantasy".

From the undubbed anger of a persnickety man and those of the miserly posterior.

No clue.

Hint #1:

Go is sort of a niche game to Western audiences.

Hint #2:

Recently, the game between Go professional Lee Sedol and the DeepMind AI made by Google captured worldwide attention.

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