Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Hnefatafl - the Blog

Welcome to my hnefatafl blog! Here I'll be adding random thoughts about the game, along with some entries about what I've been doing about the game. It will complement the news page, which has announcements about the site, as well as information about the activities of hnefatafl enthusiasts elsewhere in the world.

An Enemy in Your Midst, and What to Do About It

15 Oct: A comment on the  Capturing the Enemy  page has given me an idea for a new blog post this week. What happens when an enemy piece lodges itself safely between two of your own? Most hnefatafl games allow a piece to move between two others in safety. While being surrounded by two enemies is the way your pieces die, those enemies have to actively position themselves around you for the capture to take effect. A piece lodged between ... (read more...)

Tafl from Legend Board Games


1 Oct: This week my collection of hnefatafl sets was increased by a new acquisition: a Tafl set from Legend Board Games. Only recently set up, Legend manufactures a very nice looking hnefatafl set in collaboration with Thomas Jacquin  of Canada. Legend's set is marketed through a Facebook page , with publicity in both English and Romanian. The game itself is one of the more polished products available to hnefatafl fans. It is laser-cut and laser etched, and though monochrome, ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Tavlei for Android


24 Sep: Tavlei, not to be confused with the iPhone game of the same name, is an Android hnefatafl game last updated in 2015. Tavlei features a 9x9 board, which is presented superimposed on an antique-style map. The rules are a combination of ancient and modern: the king must reach a corner square to win, but the rules of capture are like Tablut : the king is usually captured like other pieces, except when sitting on or next to the castle. This ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Tafl by Jocly


23 Sep: Jocly is a web site on which a large number of games can be played against people from around the world. There is a range of hnefatafl games available there, and Jocly have taken those hnefatafl games and made a mobile app for them. Of all the apps I've looked in this blog series, this is oneof only two available for both Apple and Android. The game features 2D and 3D views, much like those available on the ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Hnefatafl 3D


22 Sep: Last week I mentioned a 3D Hnefatafl game for Apple phones, Viking Chess. Today I have found a similar game for Android phones, called Hnefatafl 3D.  It features a choice of 7x7, 9x9 and 11x11 board setups with, as the name suggests, 3D presentation. This game is purely a virtual board. It features no computer player nor on-line play against other people. It also has another limitation which could also be a feature: it does not have full rule enforcement. ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Tavlei by Sergey Surkov


21 Sep: At the end of August 2016, Sergey Surkov released Tavlei for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The game runs on any device that supports iOS 8 or better.  I couldn't find much detail on this game (and have no Apple device on which to run it) but the screen shots provided on iTunes give some clues as to the game's features. Tavley has three modes of play: two players on one device, one player against the computer, or ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Ard Ri Tactics


20 Sep: About the cutest hnefatafl game I've seen for any mobile device is Ard Ri Tactics, by Wizcorp Inc. This is for Android phones, and features teams of little cartoon knights on a 7x7 board. The game offers solo play against the computer, as well as on-line play against other people. As its name suggests, the game implements only the  Ard Ri  rules. Generally once players are familiar with the rules of hnefatafl, Ard Ri is impossible to win as ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Viking Chess by Capt Studios


19 Sep: Not to be confused by the 3D hnefatafl game for iOS, Viking Chess for Android was released by Capt Studios and last updated in 2015.  It features two rule sets, and an AI opponent. Viking Chess can be played on a 9x9 or an 11x11 board.  On both boards, the king wins upon reaching a corner square.  On the 9x9 board, the king is captured like other pieces, but on the 11x11 board he is captured by being ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Tablut Free


17 Sep: Designed for both iPhones and iPads, Tablut Free was released by Continental Laboratories and last updated in 2014.  It offers a single board size and a single set of rules, but its presentation is customisable. Tablut Free offers the 9x9 board, as you'd expect from the name. It uses the rules by John C. Ashton, featuring Modern Innovations: Hostile Base Camps . These are like Tablut described on this site, but the king is not able to land on the attackers' ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Hnefatafl by Philippe Schober


16 Sep: One of a number of hnefatafl apps simply entitled  Hnefatafl , this app by Philippe Schober is one of the most recent and most comprehensive.  It supports a number of different variants on different sizes of board, and has a 2-dimensional interface with decorative pieces. The variants range from Brandubh on a 7x7 board to Alea Evangelii on a 19x19 board, and everything in between.  These aren't just a single set of rules on different boards: there are ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Hnefatafl: Norse Warfare


15 Sep: Android phones have a number of hnefatafl games available, one of the simpler examples being Hnefatafl: Norse Warfare. This game features colourful cartoon-like visuals. Currently the game lacks a computer player or on-line play, making it a portable virtual hnefatafl set.  It does, however, feature a range of board sizes from 7x7 to 19x19.  The rules appear to be the standard modern type with a strong king winning the game on reaching the corner. Unlike some of the other ... (read more...)

Twelve Hnefatafl Games for Your Mobile Phone: Viking Chess by Justin Schneider


14 Sep: Viking Chess is a hnefatafl app for the Apple iPhone and iPad. It features a 3D board display, which is unusual on mobile devices. How this affects the ability to easily select pieces on a small screen I don't know. The program is reasonably up to date, the last update having been done late in 2015. It features boards ranging in size from 7x7 to 13x13 squares. The rules are the modern variety where the king reaches the ... (read more...)

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