Hnefatafl - the Viking game

Hnefatafl - the Viking game

Hnefatafl - the Viking game

The family of Tafl games is at least 1,500 years old and is most closely associated with the Vikings who brought it to all parts of Scandinavia, Britain and many parts of Europe and Russia.

The game is a fascinating game of unequal forces and different objectives. The attackers aim to surround and kill the enemy King while the defenders must protect their King as he tries to escape to a corner of the board. The game is simple to learn but can require deep thought - a classic game of strategic warfare.

The etymology of the word Hnefatafl is disputed but 'hnefi' translates as 'fist' and often referred to the king-piece and tafl in old Norse came to be a generic term for board game. Therefore a likely interpretation is King's Board or King's Table.


 




















 

Hnefatafl - the Viking game

Hnefatafl - the Viking gameHnefatafl - the Viking game
Hnefatafl - the Viking gameHnefatafl - the Viking game
Hnefatafl - the Viking gameHnefatafl - the Viking game
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Hnefatafl - the Viking game

Prod.Ref: 00H720

25.99

21.66 (ex.VAT)

Eng/Wales ETA: 4 working days


Change to: $ USD EUR

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  • Fascinating Viking game that is at least 1500 years old
  • An unusual strategic war game of unequal forces
  • Easy to learn but can require deep thought to win
  • Quality resin moulded pieces with a fabric board
  • Presented in a cardboard box with rules in 4 languages

Made in Britain

A fascinating game of Viking origin that is at least 1500 years old. Deeply strategic, it is a war game of unequal sides.

This Hnefatafl set contains moulded resin pieces in two different designs made in a simulated wood and cream colour finish and based on the famous 12th century Lewis Chessmen. The natural linen board is decorated with typical Viking patterns in the design.

The game is presented in a nice cardboard box and comes with rules (in English, French, German & Japanese) based on those played in the 9th and 10th centuries and using the Hnefatafl board of 11 x 11 squares.

Approx. Dimensions:

Box: 29.5 x 15 x 3.5cm. Weight: 0.5kg
Box: 11.6x5.9x1.4 inch. Weight: 1lb, 2oz

Contains small parts. Unsuitable for children younger than 4 years old.










 

Tablut

TablutTablut
TablutTablut
TablutTablut
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Tablut

Prod.Ref: 0006HW

25.99

21.66 (ex.VAT)

Eng/Wales ETA: 4 working days


Change to: $ USD EUR

For an immediate quote & ETA, add to the basket & select your location.

  • Hnefatafl game with a wooden cabinet board and wooden playing pieces
  • Board lifts up to reveal storage area for playing pieces
  • Nicely painted wooden playing pieces
  • Hardwood construction with hinged lid
  • Rules included

The family of Tafl games is at least 1,500 years old and Tablut, this version of the game, is based upon a game found in Lapland in 1732. This type of game is most closely associated with the Vikings who brought it to all parts of Scandinavia, Britain and many parts of Europe and Russia.

Tablut translates as "Kings Table" in Icelandic and it is a fascinating game of unequal forces and different objectives. The dark Muscovites aim to surround and kill the enemy King while the blonde Swedes must protect their King as he tries to escape to a corner of the board. The game is simple to learn but can require deep thought; some believe it is a forerunner of chess.

The Tablut box is made from hardwood and measures 22.5 x 22.5 x 5.5cm (9 x 9 x 2.25 inches). The top is hinged and opens so that the pieces and rules can be stored inside the box.

Approx. Dimensions:

Board: 225 x 225 x 54mm
Board: 8.9x8.9x2.1 inch

Contains small parts. Unsuitable for children younger than 4 years old.










The Origin of Tafl Games



Games of the Tafl family are distinguished by the unequal size of the opposing forces. The objective is usually for the force of fewer numbers to take all the members of the larger forces whose aim is generally to stop them doing so. A fragment of a gaming board of 18 x 18 squares, found in Wimose, Fyn, Denmark dated prior to AD400 is the first evidence of a game called Tafl, which also regularly appears in the early Icelandic sagas. Tafl apparently developed into Hnefatafl (which literally translates as 'Kings Table'), which was played by the Saxons as well as other Northern Europeans on the same size board and which is mentioned in Icelandic sagas from the beginning of the fourteenth century. The Vikings took the game with them on their forages which helped it to spread far and wide.

It isn't known exactly how either Tafl or Hnefatafl were played but evidence shows that the game of Tablut, described by a traveller called Linnaeus during his trip to Finland in 1732, is likely to have been very similar to Hnefatafl. The later British game Fox & Geese, still played today is an ancestor of the game converted to use a chessboard.

You can learn more about the History of Tablut from The Online Guide to Traditional Games.

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