Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Forming a Strategic Plan

Compact 37-piece Hnefatafl Game, with game in progress
Compact 37-piece Hnefatafl Game, with game in progress

The game has a basic strategy for each side. The attackers have to form a blockade to contain the king and his defenders, and gradually close in the ring until the defending forces are suffocated, capturing defenders and eventually seizing the king himself.

The defenders can stop this happening by breaking through holes in the attackers' blockade, tackling the attackers from behind, trying to widen the holes through the blockade to allow the king to break free.

As hnefatafl is a sophisticated game with many variants, there are details and subtleties to the strategy enough to keep an avid game player happy for a lifetime. The next page shows in more detail the blockading strategy of the attackers.

Next: General Strategy for the Attackers

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