Hnefatafl. The Viking Game. The Fetlar Rules. For boards 11 squares by 11 squares. The Game. There are two sides. The attackers arranged in groups of 6 at. Dragonheel’s lair: Free online boardgames. Play hnefatafl online. Hnefatafl (“the king game”) is an ancient boardgame played by the Vikings to It was probably derived from a Roman game with similiar rules and was later.

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They cannot move into a space occupied by any piece, friendly or hostile. The corner squares can act as capturing pieces for either side, though. If you want to make your own set, to use hnefatafl as an historical reenactment activity, or to hold a tournament, then you would benefit from a deeper understanding of the rules and variations.

You can find them both on the Hnefatafl Variants page see the link in the sidebar. The king moves and captures like any other piece he can participate rulea captures regardless of whether he is the moving piece or the non-moving piece.

A larger force of attackers, twice as numerous as the defenders, occupy positions around the edge of the board.

Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

For White to win, the king must reach a corner not the board edge. Except the size of the board 11x11the rules are the same as for Tablut. The king hnwfatafl be surrounded, but he has a way out on hnefatatl next move.

The attackers also win if they surround all of the kings forces, so that none can reach the board edges. The Black player has the first move. A number of different boards have been found in Viking burial mounds and there was some variations in the rules as well. Player yet developed to hneatafl these games.

The King can be captured by three enemy warriors on one of the squares next to the central square throne. The five marked squares in the centre and corners of the board are special, and only the king may land on them. All pieces including the king can move horizontally or vertically any number of spaces like a chess rook.


Some versions of the game say that the king himself can’t capture attackers, so it’s best to check the rulesheet for the particular version you’re playing. If you hnedatafl on the “Rules Leaflets” link on the “Related Pages” sidebar of this page to the right on desktop screens, or at the foot of the page on Mobilesyou’ll see a range of downloadable PDF leaflets for different versions of the game.

A row of pieces at the edge of the board may be captured by completely surrounding them against the board edge, so that none of them have room to move. But the difference rlues board size and number of pieces makes a different feel than Tablut. Drabant in row 2, square one. It’s not “check” as such; rukes the king is surrounded he’s considered to be captured.

The game is played by two players on a board of 11×11 squares, one player taking control of the king and twelve defenders, the other taking control of twenty-four attackers. No piece can move diagonally, and no piece except the king can move onto or through the throne square.

During the early stages, white cannot to lose too many pieces or else the king could slip through the gap created. Only the king may stand on the central throne and the corner squares. Thanks for your question, Heidi. Hbefatafl tournaments often use the Copenhagen Hnefatafl rules on an 11×11 board, though Tawlbwrdd is also popular. However, if the king is not on the throne, the white warrior could be captured like this.

If the same move or sequence of moves is repeated three times, the game is a draw by repetition. Notify of replies Yes No. The board is an 11 by 11 grid, the centre square of which is the throne.

The king hneffatafl also win the game by constructing an “edge fort”: There’s no agreed standard yet.


hnefatatl There are minor variations on these rules, as the game was spread across northern Europe in an age before the printing and mass communication necessary for international standardisation. Note that most attempts to storm the centre are easily defeated by black. If the board position is repeated three times, the player in control of the situation must find another move.

The size of the set doesn’t really make a difference, it’s the rule set that you play by that affects the difficulty. The Copenhagen rules were formulated at http: The second possibility is that black pieces surround the king from three sides and the ru,es square throne stands on the fourth side since nobody, including the king, can move to the throne. The capturing move must be a flanking move to a square at the edge of the board.


A Rule Book for Hnefatafl | Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

An enemy piece can move between two of your pieces and not be captured. In the same place as the “Rules Leaflets” link, there’s a “Print-and-play Downloads” link too, with PDF game sets that also include the rules. All other pieces may move across the throne if unoccupied without stopping on it. White should cover the exposed corners while gradually advancing on all sides.

The defenders black are the Vikings, trying to get their king to the safety of the perimeter squares. The game is one of pure strategy, played on a square board. Perpetual repetition is illegal. Apologies for missing your comment earlier, Mike. The capture of the king is slightly different, in that he must be surrounded on all four sides by white pieces – or when his only escape is to the throne square.

The defenders can rulrs just like the attackers do.