Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Latest News

Hnefatafl Tournament Gets City of Culture Listing


17 Feb: The Hull Hnefatafl Tournament for this June has now been included on the official City of Culture web site. Taking its place among exhibitions, lectures and performances, the event is being brought to the attention of Hull residents and visitors looking for something interesting to do this June. The UK City of Culture celebrations occur once every four years, and Hull is the second city to win the title. Events are going on every day of the year, and ... (read more...)

New Date for English National Hnefatafl Championship


13 Feb: This year the English National Hnefatafl Champsionships have moved both date and venue. The first four championships having been held in July or August at Sutton Hoo, the 2017 champsionship will now be held in April, at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. The format for the championship remains very similar. On Saturday 15th April, visitors will be taught to play hnefatafl by umpire Grandmaster Tim Millar. The champsionship itself will be held on Sunday 16th. As this is the ... (read more...)

The Viking Game is Back in Stock


15 Jan: Stocks of The Viking Game have now arrived, so visitors to The Hnefatafl Shop can now pick up a copy here again. Supplies dried up just before Christmas, due to the suppliers having problems sourcing the canvas mats used for the boards. Despite The Hnefatafl Shop increasing its stock over Christmas, we still managed to run out. Hopefully the arrival of this latest batch of stock means that History Craft's mat sourcing problems are over and that ... (read more...)

Hnefatafl in Spanish


12 Nov: A new project has started to translate much of the material from the web site into Spanish. The first page has recently been published, and there will be more to follow. Jose de Jesus Deloya Martinez from Fundación Deportes Mentales contacted me earlier this week to ask permission to create Spanish translations of the material on the web site. This will help to promote the game in Spanish-speaking countries, such as Columbia where Jose is based. The first ... (read more...)

Hnefatafl Applet Re-enabled


3 Oct: 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 ... (read more...)

Leaflet for Hull Hnefatafl Tournament


3 Sep: A leaflet has been produced to advertise next year's hnefatafl tournament in Hull, England.  The  Hull Hnefatafl Tournament 2017 Leaflet  includes a full set of rules for  Tablut , the version of hnefatafl that will feature in the tournament, as well as information and contact details about the tournament itself. Designed to be printed on both sides of an A4 or US Letter sheet of paper, the leaflet can then be folded into four pages of A5. Anyone ... (read more...)

On-line World Tournament About to Start


27 Aug: The  World Tafl Federation Tournament 2016 will be starting on 1st September.  Players have a few more days to sign up to the tournament, as admissions are closed at the end of August. The tournament takes place on Aage Nielsen's Hnefatafl web site and looks to involve more than twenty players from across the world. The tournament will be held in two stages, each using a different rule set.  This reflects the large number of variants of the ... (read more...)

Hnefatafl Features on Bulgarian Television


21 Aug: Last month, Hnefatafl was featured in a television report on Bulgarian channel BNT2. The report covered Lachezar Panchev from Kyustendil, who came across the game by chance and has been promoting it in this southeastern corner of Europe. Panchev has started a club for the game, named after the Norse god Odin.  "It's a mental game... and also a war game", he said in the report. "I have not heard of a similar club in Bulgaria." The full report ... (read more...)

An update on the Scottish Game


20 Aug: A couple of months have passed since the latest attempt to reconstruct hnefatafl how it might have been played in Scotland.  Many boards found in the Scottish islands and around the coast of the mainland had seven rows of seven playing spaces, but in contrast to the Irish brandub game, had no special corner squares.  The task of finding a playable game for these boards has long been a challenge. Players on Aage Nielsen's hnefatafl site  have continued ... (read more...)

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


7 Aug: 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  Tablut ,  Brandub ,  Copenhagen Hnefatafl  and a whole host of other versions of the game.  Players can choose to limit turn ... (read more...)

History Pages Updated

6 Aug: This week the history pages have undergone a rewrite, the most extensive since the relaunch of the web site in 2013.  The old pages, based heavily on the original site from 2004, were centred around a small core of exhibits.  The new ones, while still incorporating some of the original text, are more in the form of a narrative taking the visitor through the story of the game. After the site relaunch of a few years ago, a ... (read more...)

New Academic Paper Looks at Board Games in Ship Burials


31 Jul: This month, Mark Hall of Perth Museum published an article "Board Games in Boat Burials" in the European Journal of Archaeology.  This article examines a number of boat burials across Northern Europe, and hnefatafl is of course featured heavily. The abstract of the article in full: "This contribution explores an aspect of boat burials in the second half of the first millennium ad across Northern Europe, specifically boat burials that included equipment for board games (surviving variously as ... (read more...)

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