Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Deluxe 25-piece Hnefatafl Game

The Deluxe 25-piece Hnefatafl Game, ready for play.
The Deluxe 25-piece Hnefatafl Game, ready for play.
Price: £34.95+P&P. Out of stock. Order:

This is the first of the "deluxe" versions of hnefatafl available from The Hnefatafl Shop. This is what a hnefatafl set should look like: simple but elegant, a quality game that invites you to play, and serves to decorate the coffee table or the study when you're too busy to give it the attention it deserves.

The board is hand-made from birch plywood, bordered with American walnut veneer. It is coated with a cellulose finish and beeswax polish to give it a smooth, glassy surface that the pieces glide across with ease. The board measures 10 inches square (250mm), and has nine rows of nine 1-inch (25mm) squares.

The board's design eschews showy decoration, aiming instead for an understated but elegant style. Being hand-made, though, it still has some rustic charm. The playing surface has a minimal set of markings, of poker-work, making for flexibility in starting positions and other rules of play.

The pieces are wooden pawns: a large, dark brown king, with his eight brown defenders. His enemies are sixteen white pawns. The pieces are kept in a wooden box which, like the board, is coated with a cellulose finish and polished with beeswax.

The booklet included with the game gives the history of hnefatafl in brief. It contains the rules for three different versions of hnefatafl: tablut, the best documented version of hnefatafl from 18th century Lapland; tawlbwrdd, a simple version from mediaeval Wales; and sea battle tafl, a modern variant which is simple, elegant and balanced, making it especially suited to tournament play.

The game comes with the same after-sales service you expect from The Hnefatafl Shop. Before and after the sale, you'll find here a passion for the game: strategic tips and alternative rules for the board on the web site, and a readiness to answer any questions about history, rules and strategy that you may have.

This game is hand-made in a rustic style. Please do not expect machine-made precision; there may therefore be minor blemishes in the work. Not suitable for young children due to small pieces.


Hello, could you please mail me when you will have the deluxe medium game back in stock? Thank you very much.

Steve Barnes - 03:12, 11/12/2013

Thanks for your enquiry, Steve. The first batch sold more quickly than I expected! I'll be making some more up today. Expect a name change too - Deluxe 25-piece Hnefatafl Game.

Damian Walker - 06:23, 11/12/2013

I received the Deluxe 25-piece Hnefatafl Game within 2 days of ordering. A very nice package indeed as described by the maker. Together,with a finely constructed perfect size playing board with a smooth, gilde like playing surface area, is a wonderful small wooden box to keep the game pieces safe in,this box also very well made with perfect dimensions. The playing pieces are simple 'pawn' like as in standard chess. The king piece obviously much larger. These pieces are all perfectly smooth and rounded and easy to pick up and place, even for the fatter finger and thumb. Finally a short concise History and Rules booklet. I recommend this package to all Hnefatafl beginners or the more experienced players of a truly marvelous game.

Steve Barnes - 18:07, 15/12/2013

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