Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Hnefatafl Applet Re-enabled

The applet playing the Fetlar variant.
The applet playing the Fetlar variant.

Monday, 3rd October 2016

Through some accident or other, the web site's applet was accidentally removed from the Play Hnefatafl Here page some time in the past. I've re-added it, so that people with certain systems and browsers will now be able to play again.

The applet allows you to play against the computer, choosing from a number of common variants or setting up your own preferred variant by tweaking the rules options given in the panel. You can also set the difficulty of the computer opponent, either by allowing it to look forward a set number of moves, or by giving it a certain amount of time to think.

It's still a bit awkward to use due to Java's security settings. You need to configure Java to allow the web site to load the applet. If this sounds complicated, the comments in the Play Hnefatafl Here page contain some helpful hints (find the one from Aleks Suchecki on 20/03/2014). The good news is, once you've changed the security settings you shouldn't have to do it again.

This still doesn't work in all browsers. I managed to get the applet to work again in Internet Explorer and in Firefox, but my otherwise preferred browser of Chrome doesn't run Java applets any more.


Hi, I'm a great fan of Hnefatafl, and also an experienced Java and web programmer.

Unfortunately Java Applets are now finished as web components.  Google Chrome removed support for all plug-in components last year, and Internet Explorer requires all applets to be signed.

Even worse, the next Java release from Oracle will no longer have the JRE plugin, so anyone who upgrades Java won't be able to run an applet even if their browser would.

At this time there is no solution for really intelligent, interactive components on web pages unless you write some native code for each browser!

If you wrote the applet yourself you can probably convert it to a JNLP application, and then it will run as a "mini program" in it's own window.

Best regards


Stephen Andre - 15:46, 06/10/2016

Unity with its Web Player might be a good choice.

Fellhuhn - 18:10, 06/10/2016

I agree with both of you. Fixing the current applet is only a short-term solution to getting hnefatafl play back on this site. I do have a JavaScript replacement partly written, but with so many hnefatafl-related projects going on it's not the highest priority.

The applet hasn't gone to waste; its code forms the basis of another partly-written projects (an Android hnefatafl game). The existence of Fellhuhn's excellent Android hnefatafl game has pushed my own Android project down the priority list, though :-)

Damian Walker - 09:06, 08/10/2016

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