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.

Papillon's Escape


29 Apr: Elsewhere on the web site I've mentioned the game  Papillon's Escape , because it's an example of those hnefatafl games that allow pieces to move only to adjacent squares. Since I've been posting about out-of-production games over the past couple of weeks, I thought today that I'd tell you about the set itself. Papillon's Escape is based on the story of  Papillon  by Henri Charrière. It tells the adventures of Charrière who was wrongly convicted of murder, sent to ... (read more...)

Hnefatafl by York Archaeological Trust


22 Apr: My recent acquisition of  Dardell Games Hnefatafl , and my coverage of it in this blog, has prompted me to look at the other games I've been collecting over the years.  The idea of a "collection" series of blog posts isn't just to show off, but to let people know what out-of-production hnefatafl games are generally available, and what they would add to the collection. The game I refer to as  York Hnefatafl  comes from a set of rules developed ... (read more...)

Dardell Games Hnefatafl


15 Apr: At the end of a long search, I managed to obtain the fine Dardell edition of hnefatafl. This was produced in England in the 1980s as quite a fine version of the game. The handsome wooden board is very heavy, and doubles as the game's box. The two halves of the board fold together so that the underside of the board becomes the inside of the box. The pieces appear to be some kind of heavy-duty plastic, and ... (read more...)

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...)

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