Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

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I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of thanks for putting together this very excellent website. It's always good to know that there is a community out there trying to keep some of the old ways alive!


Philip Piercey - 13:36, 21/03/2017 - Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Brandub: Doomed or Not?


yakasasura - 13:18, 05/03/2017 - Hnefatafl Puzzles

Ladnar: On your recommendation I checked out Thrones and Bones.  I think I would have loved the book when I was younger but I'm not as into fantasy as I once was.  I did really like the game, though.  By making the sixteen attacker start squares into "barrows", it really changes the feel of Tablut.  It's a lot harder to move around, and that's intriguing. I did love the way he incorporated the "story" of the game into the actual story.  I checked out the other two books from the library, and while I haven't read them, they seem to do the same thing with those two games.  I like the idea of Queen's Champion, which is chess-like but includes a challenge involving dice that reminds me of Magic the Gathering.  

While I'm commenting, I really love this site as a whole.  Decades ago my brother bought a little Tablut game, which he eventually gave to me.  The board is a photocopy of an embroidered leather board copying the Linnaeus design.  Since then I've marked out a Brandubh board on a sturdy square of wood, and I play that with nice chess pieces.  I like it better than Tablut, I think.  

Because I'm so bad at strategy and tactics, I'm able to play these games solitaire, playing both sides.  I blunder into my own traps and never stop surprising myself.  If I were a better player I think I wouldn't have nearly as much fun.  I also enjoy playing Asalto the same way, taking both sides.  The first time I did that I creeped myself out; those invaders kept marching in like a zombie apocalypse.  But if I think of them as chickens trying to get into the henhouse it's not quite as creepy.

KarenSDR - 13:16, 28/02/2017 - Tablut

Two pieces would have to be placed immediately adjacent to the exits to block them. Most rules with a corner victory allow pieces to be captured against the marked corner squares. This makes a blocking formation with only two pieces vulnerable to easy capture.

Damian Walker - 14:42, 27/02/2017 - General Strategy for the Attackers

Why does it take 3 pieces? if diagonal movement isn't allowed, wouldn't two be enough to cover each exit?

Seton - 20:11, 26/02/2017 - General Strategy for the Attackers

Thanks for your enquiry, Jan! The size of the set doesn't really make a difference, it's the rule set that you play by that affects the difficulty. Tawlbwrdd and Sea Battle Tafl are the easiest to learn, and both can be played well on boards from 9x9 to 13x13. You can find them both on the Hnefatafl Variants page (see the link in the sidebar).

Damian Walker - 12:40, 04/02/2017 - A Rule Book for Hnefatafl

For a rank beginner to games of strategy - which set do you recommend (more pieces or fewer)?

Jan Sheldon - 17:39, 03/02/2017 - A Rule Book for Hnefatafl

Hello Donna!

There is a sister site to this one,, that deals with a number of games from 3000 B.C. to A.D. 1900. You'll doubtless find a lot of interesting information on there.

Damian Walker - 22:26, 02/02/2017 - Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings


I am in a reanactment group that covers 1066 till about 1720.  Currently, I am hosting an event that is called "Its all fun and games.."

In this event, we will be researching games that were created durring those times, we are creating them and entering them for prizes.  I have been looking for information on various games to share with the other members.  Is there other sites available that would help us?

Many thanks


aka ben seyr Alistrina Lannoon Amragosso

Donna - 21:54, 02/02/2017 - Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

For the benefit of Gary, Greg and anyone else wondering about this game: it is now back in stock again.

Damian Walker - 07:32, 21/01/2017 - The Viking Game

Can you please let me know when these are in stock as I would love one myself. Cheers. Greg

Greg - 03:55, 20/01/2017 - The Viking Game

Thanks for getting in touch, Eddy! There has been a delay in getting hold of these since before Christmas. Thankfully a supply has arrived now, and will be in the shop in the next couple of days.

Postage to the USA is a little under £11. It takes 5-7 working days after posting; I tend to send them out on a weekend, as this is a hobby business that I work around a day job.

Damian Walker - 14:39, 10/01/2017 - The Viking Game Now Available Here