Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Interesting Sea-battle Tournament Concludes

A new starting configuration for sea battle tafl.
A new starting configuration for sea battle tafl.
Copyright (C) Aage Nielsen 2016.

Saturday, 13th February 2016

There's been an interesting tournament going on at which concluded earlier this week. Players at Aage's site tried out a new variation on Sea Battle Tafl.

Sea Battle Tafl is a hnefatafl game where the king piece is a strong but unarmed cargo ship, while the other pieces are warships. The king piece needs to be surrounded on all four sides to succumb to the attackers, or to reach the edge of the board to achieve victory. it cannot take part in capturing other ships, and there is no special "terrain" on the board, which instead represents the open sea.

The new variation was a change in starting layout. Attackers are normally grouped together in four squadrons of four ships, all the pieces together forming a serif-cross. But in the new version, the attack ships are spread out in a circle. Aage reports that the circle version is more balanced than the cross-shaped version, giving both players a more even chance at victory.

Sea battle tafl itself is relatively new, having about a decade of history behind it. Whether this new version will replace the old one is debatable, but it has certainly provided an interesting experience for those who took part.

The latest tournaments on the site can be viewed at


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