Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Frequently Asked Questions

Some questions about hnefatafl come up regularly here, on the social media feeds for this site, and around the Internet in general. As I see them, I'll add them to this page.


Hi, I am interested in the Hnefatafl game, but it looks a bit complicated to me. What is the difference between this and the Viking-Game?. And what is the best book for me to get that is easy to understand?. The more I look at the different games and sizes of boards, the more confused I become. I am sure there is an easy way round this, So I do hope you can help me. Thank you for your time.


steve - 08:57, 06/04/2015

Thanks for your enquiry, Steve.

All of these games are very similar to The Viking Game; the differences between hnefatafl games aren't that great. The 37-piece game is the closest match as The Viking Game has the same number of pieces. Currently out of stock, but I'm making some more at the moment so it shouldn't be out of stock for long!

Damian Walker - 08:59, 06/04/2015

Hi everyone

It is very difficult to find a place to buy a wooden Hnefatafl. Here in Switzerland, no shop has it on stock...

Can anyone give me some shops (online), where I can order it?

Thanks fpr your help

Martin - 07:54, 12/05/2017

I recently purchased Damian Walker's book, Reconstructing Hnefatafl.  I now see another book by him, An Introduction to Hnefatafl - is there signifcant additional information in this book not included in Reconstructing Hnefatafl?

Winston Johnson - 17:53, 11/12/2018

Thanks for your enquiry, Winston! Reconstructing Hnefatafl has more about the process of putting together an authentic and playable game. It goes further into detail about the historical sources and how they were interpreted to reconstruct the game.

It's an older book than An Introduction to Hnefatafl, so some of the conclusions differ between the books. If you're wanting to research the game rather than just play it, I recommend Reconstructing on the basis that it gives full references to its sources.

Damian Walker - 05:07, 21/12/2018

Just purchased this wooden board game at a SCA event in Michigan and came across it in a book written by Kara Morgan where she intergrated the board game in her book, she calls Hnefatafl,  the king as Hnefi, the kings guards, and the other warriors as "toefler",  I cannot find this word pronounciation or definition anywhere on the web.  Do you know what language "toefler" is from?  Not sure if this is a real word maybe Celtic or if it is made up? Thanks

Jacque - 06:09, 23/02/2019

New to the game

Can you make a move that takes your app one time and sacrifices your own piece?


Simon - 17:20, 19/01/2020

What is the proper way to signal resignation in Hnefatafl?  In chess, tipping over your king is commonly understood to signal resignation.  This would work fine for the defender in Hnefatafl.  But what about the attacker? The attacking player has no king.  Is there a common or official way to signal resignation in Hnefatafl play, especially for the attacking player?

Ralph Aquila - 19:45, 28/09/2020

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