Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

An Annotated Brandubh Match

Brandubh match, July 2015.
Brandubh match, July 2015.

Monday, 24th August 2015

Tim Millar has done it again! A few months after posting a Copenhagen Hnefatafl match with a full commentary, he has now analysed a brandubh match that took place at in July. The match analysis can be seen on the World Tafl Federation page on Facebook.

Brandubh (sometimes spelt brandub) is the version of hnefatafl played in Ireland in mediaeval times. A full set of rules does not survive, but the most successful reconstruction has been proposed by Aage Nielsen, and is heavily based on the rules for tablut. It is these rules that have been used for the match (I intend to update this site to use them in the near future).

The match was dominated by the king's side from very early on. The defenders made a threat in their second move; the attackers took a gamble in ignoring the threat to play aggressively elsewhere on the board. Sadly for the attackers, the gamble didn't pay off.

You can see the annotated match at - just click on the first picture and start paging through the images from there.


Thank you for featuring this, Damian, I am honoured :)

Tim Millar - 10:04, 24/08/2015

I noticed your tablut one shortly after posting this, Tim. That'll appear here too as soon as I've had time to put together the composite image :-)

Damian Walker - 16:29, 24/08/2015

Thanks for the commentary, Tim, and for alerting me to it, Damian. It's very useful in furthering my artificial intelligence work.

Jay Slater - 22:35, 24/08/2015

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