Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Moving the Pieces

The usual powers of movement.
The usual powers of movement.

In all hnefatafl games, the pieces move horizontally and vertically, but not diagonally. The variations are in the distance the pieces may move, and how restricted squares affect them.

In most games, pieces can move as far as they like along a rank or file, like a chess rook. Some games restrict pieces to moving only to adjacent squares. This is most often used on the smallest boards. In some games, the king has a restricted move (typically one or four squares) while the other pieces are unimpeded.

Restricted squares, which are marked on the board, are usually out of bounds for pieces other than the king. Other pieces cannot land on them, and in the case of the central square they can sometimes be restricted even from passing over them. In some games, even the king cannot return to his central square once he has moved away from it.

Next: Capturing the Enemy


can u only capture black pieces in the corner in front of the kings square. 

Gabriele - 07:13, 21/01/2019

Love this game...but as you commented in the book, it seemed lopsided...skewed towards the King & defenders winning much more often than not.  I played the game with my son 10+ times and not once did the defenders win. [Even with switching sides...]. Then it dawned on me.... Let the attackers and defenders move like Rooks as normal, but restrict the King to movement like in chess---one square each turn. The game is now 50-50. In my opinion, simple fix, and way better game.  I've won both as defenders and attackers with different people playing.  By crippling the King this way, the game seems even to me.  It may not be historically accurate, but I think this solves the problem. Just a suggestion! These are our 'house rules' now.

chris mcgaugh - 02:36, 07/07/2019

New Comment

Yes No