If you don't have a hnefatafl board yet, and you fancy trying out the game with a friend, print-and-play files are a good way to improvise a set. The files on this page are all designed to fit onto A4 paper, using multiple sheets for the bigger boards. They include the pieces too, along with assembly instructions and suggested rules.
The print-and-play games work best when printed onto paper and glued firmly onto thick card. They're very cheap and cheerful, but they're good enough for you to evaluate the game before investing time or money into making or buying a better set. They also make great educational and crafting projects: a whole class of students studying mathematical games could each have their own hnefatafl board at virtually no expense.
Feel free to download and print as many as you like for whatever purpose. You are also welcome to distribute the PDF files as long as the copyright notice remains intact.
Size 44kb, downloads 6360.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with an 11x11 layout with central diamond and outer pentagons. The board and pieces fit onto three sheets of A4 paper, with the assembly instructions and suggested rules on an additional sheet. The suggested rules are tawlbwrdd. These are the same rules as used in the tawlbwrdd leaflet from the Traditional Board Game Series, which you might also like to download. (read more...)
Alea Evangelii Print-and-play
Size 71kb, downloads 3686.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with an elaborate 19x19 layout for 73 pieces. The board and pieces can be printed onto six sheets of A4 paper. A seventh sheet contains the assembly instructions and game rules. The rules are for the only known hnefatafl game on the 19x19 board, alea evangelii. The rules borrow much from the most recent reconstruction for tablut, with modifications to take into account the "citadels" in the four corners. (read more...)
Size 45kb, downloads 6804.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with an 11x11 board, marked with a diamond-and-T starting layout for 37 pieces. The board and pieces fit onto three sheets of A4 paper, with the assembly instructions and suggested rules on an additional sheet. The suggested rules for this file are the rules devised on Fetlar in the Shetland islands for their annual tournament. The rules are popular and have been used for other tournaments, and implemented on a number of on-line play web sites. ... (read more...)
Size 61kb, downloads 4471.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with a 15x15 board and elaborate starting layout. The board and pieces fit onto six A4 sheets of paper, with the assembly and play instructions on a seventh sheet. The suggested rules are adapted from those given for tablut, with a king that is captured like other pieces when away from the central square. (read more...)
Size 46kb, downloads 3888.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with a 7x7 board and elaborate starting layout. The board and pieces fit nicely onto one A4 sheet of paper, with the assembly and play instructions on a second sheet. The suggested rules are Magpie. This idea was created by Nigel Suckling for his book The Leprechaun Companion, and is based on the ancient Irish game brandub. A leprechaun has found a sack of gold, and must get it home with the help of four friends, ... (read more...)
Size 39kb, downloads 4570.
Hnefatafl print-and-play file with a 9x9 board, and a starting layout with defenders in the form of a square. The board and pieces fit nicely onto two A4 sheets of paper, with the assembly and play instructions on a third sheet. The suggested rules are those used by the Ealdfaeder Anglo-Saxon re-enactment group. A king in the centre of the board must escape to one of the four corners with the aid of eight defenders, while sixteen attackers try ... (read more...)
Copenhagen Hnefatafl Print-and-play
Size 1626kb, downloads 5150.
King Harald is holding a feast for his nobles and his vassals in his hall. But little does he know of his vassals' treacherous intent! This is a setting for the game of Copenhagen Hnefatafl, a modern variant used in tournament play. The king must escape to a corner exit with the aid of his twelve defenders, while 24 attackers try to capture him. This is a colour print-and-play, though the instructions tell how a black and white printer ... (read more...)
Santa Claus & the Gang of Naughty Children
Size 712kb, downloads 2649.
Santa Claus is about to set off from the North Pole to deliver presents to all the good children around the world. Imagine the scene: Santa Claus, jolly and fat, being helped into his sleigh by eight faithful Christmas elves. But wait... what do we see approaching from the snow-covered woods? Oh no! It’s a gang of sixteen naughty children! The naughty children have arrived, and they have come to capture Santa and steal the presents intended for the ... (read more...)
York Hnefatafl Print-and-play
Size 1599kb, downloads 3798.
The year is A.D. 954, and King Eric Bloodaxe is ruler of York. But not for long! The Northumbrians are approaching York to drive him out. Eric is outnumbered and will not hold the city, but if he manages to escape, then he has the chance to retake his city and his kingdom in future. Will he manage, or will the Northumbrians capture him and end his ambitions for good? This is a setting for Hnefatafl as published by ... (read more...)
Size 960kb, downloads 3091.
Brandub is the version of hnefatafl popular with the Irish. A king tries to escape to one of the four corner squares of a board of seven rows of seven squares. He has four faithful defenders to help him. Against them are eight attackers, who have to try to capture the king. This is a colour print-and-play, though the instructions tell how a black and white printer can be used. The game prints onto standard A4 or US ... (read more...)
Sea Battle Tafl Print-and-play
Size 775kb, downloads 2748.
It is 1943. A Japanese aircraft carrier has become detached from its fleet, and is steaming to catch up. Suddenly, out of the clouds, a squadron of U.S. bombers appears! This is a setting for the game of sea battle tafl. The aircraft carrier must escape from the board with the aid of its eight fighters. The sixteen bombers must sink the carrier by surrounding it on all four sides, so that it cannot escape. This is a colour ... (read more...)
Size 1164kb, downloads 3612.
Tablut is the version of hnefatafl preserved among the Saami people of Lapland until the eighteenth century. A king tries to escape to the edge of the board with the aid of his eight defenders. Sixteen attackers lie in way to capture him. This is a colour print-and-play, though the instructions tell how a black and white printer can be used. The game prints onto standard A4 or US Letter sized paper and card, which can be laminated or ... (read more...)