Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Time to Start Blogging

Botermans: The World of Games
Botermans: The World of Games

Wednesday, 10th July 2013

It was about ten years ago that I discovered the magic of ancient board games. A book in my local library, by Jack Botermans and a handful of colleagues, caught my interest. Here was a treasure trove of fun to be had, in many cases using a pen and paper, and a few coins or other household objects, games that had been tried and tested over centuries.

Looking through the pages of that book I was attracted by an impressive hnefatafl set, the impressive 19x19 alea evangelii. And next to it, the hnefatafl game from the York Archaeological Trust, and a description of tablut on the next page. The simple rules and the pleasing symmetry of the game kept my attention. And when I saw that there was so much extra research to be done about the game, I was really hooked.

Between that time and this I've done a lot of research into the game. I've been down to the British Library to look at volumes which have since been scanned and published on the web. I wrote most of a book, created a web site, distributed a draft booklet, started making and selling the games, and then returned to the web site last month to give it a whole new design.

There's still a lot of research I've done which hasn't found its way onto this web site yet. Lots of disorganised notes, half-formed opinions, gaps in information that need to be filled. So I've added a blog to the site. I added a comment feature to the site a couple of days ago; it'll be especially useful here, so feel free to join in!


Fab stuff! we playing live actually now! I am just tweeting apic! Leo our 'master' and Stan my mate and we have all had fun!

tony higignson - 20:27, 10/07/2013

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