Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Play Tafl Online: a New Site for On-line Play

A tablut game at Play Tafl Online
A tablut game at Play Tafl Online

Sunday, 7th August 2016

A new hnefatafl on-line play site is now available for players to join.  It's simply called Play Tafl Online, and it has recently begun to appear in Google searches, so I'm assuming that means it's "open for business".

The site features a number of variants, both historical and modern.  So players can challenge each other to TablutBrandubCopenhagen Hnefatafl and a whole host of other versions of the game.  Players can choose to limit turn time by anything from a minute to a week, so it can fit in with most people's schedules.  The site appears to work well on mobile devices, especially for smaller board sizes.

The most impressive feature is the range of different variants available for play.  Twelve preset variants are available, but a thirteenth option is Custom.  This works very much like the applet on this web site, evidently borrowing some of its terminology for the options.  This allows players to set up just about any hnefatafl game they like.

Another feature is a near-comprehensive computer player, so you can practice almost any of the preset variants before challenging other players.  This is a great feature, as it allows you to get a feel for how a rule set works, and what pitfalls await the players.  The only significant feature missing is the ability to play the computer at custom variants.

Being new, the site could benefit from an influx of players.  So if you want to practice your hnefatafl skills, the please go and visit, register and start playing!


Although I'm not behind the website (that's the inestimable Tuireann), I am behind the computer player—playtaflonline uses OpenTafl as its bot engine. (A usage I had not imagined!) I hope to have support for all the rules required for his custom rulesets by no later than the end of September. In the near future, playtaflonline should have a mechanism to export replays in OpenTafl format, for viewing and annotating.

Jay Slater - 16:17, 09/08/2016

We have 2 AIs now. One is the OpenTafl engine AI written by Jay Slater and an in-house monte carlo tree search AI called Monty. Both now support the entire range of rules available on the site including all rated variants and any custom game rule combination. Each offers a different level of difficulty.

Tuireann - 06:01, 25/08/2016

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