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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Its peculiarities are the shieldwall capture where pieces along the edge can be captured by depriving them of breathing space, like go stonesand a rule declaring the king’s cause lost when rukes of his forces are surrounded.

Note that most attempts to storm the centre are easily defeated by black.

Notify of replies Yes No. Besides, the rook cannot move on the 4 corners.

A piece other than the king is captured when it is caught between two enemies along a row or column. A white warrior may be captured in the same way, except in the case of the throne square, when the king is still in place on the throne.

The second possibility is that black pieces surround the king from three sides and the centre square throne stands on the fourth side since nobody, including the king, can move to the throne.

Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

The king may also be captured by surrounding him on three sides, if the fourth side is the marked central square. Only the king may stand on the central throne and the corner squares. A black warrior may be captured by being caught between a white warrior and the throne square, or between a white warrior and a corner square. For Black to win, the king must be surrounded on all 4 sides.

The King can be captured by three enemy warriors on one of the squares next to the central square throne. For White to win, the king must reach a corner not the board edge.

A row of pieces at the edge of the board may be captured by completely surrounding them against hnefahafl board edge, so that none of them have room to move.


How to capture pieces: If either player is unable to make a legal move because all movement is blocked the game is a draw by stalemate. 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 king will also win the game by constructing an “edge fort”: If it is a piece that can be captured by surrounding it on two sides, then two enemies are still able to capture it, by moving to either side of it along the edge of the board.

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. Perpetual repetition is illegal. Back to the game. Thanks for your enquiry, Jan! Black’s goal is to move the king to one of the 4 edges version 1 and 2 or to one of the 4 dark corner squares version 3.

A larger force of attackers, twice as numerous as the defenders, occupy positions around the edge of the board. Drabant in row 2, square one. Travis Fimmell is from a place near to were I grew up, and has his part nailed perfectly. Brandub is used on the 7×7. Thanks for your enquiry, Jacob. All can be found through the search feature on this site.

Rules of the game hnefatafl

It also includes what I believe is the strongest A. It was probably derived from a Roman game with similiar rules and was later adopted by the Saxons. A king and a small force of defenders occupy the centre of the board. The attackers also win if they surround all of the kings forces, so that none can reach the board edges. Hnefatafl “the king game” is an ancient boardgame played by the Vikings to pass the time on their ocean voyages.

Hnefatafl Instructions :WebGames

Thanks for your query, Simon! I personally favour edge escape rules, as documented by Linnaeus. If you want to follow me, then I’ll start with a look at the ruls of boards the game has been played on.

Once captured, a piece is removed from the board. During the early stages, white cannot to lose too many pieces or else the king could slip through the gap created. Other pieces may pass over the central square in the course of their move, as long as they do not land there. Online tournaments often use the Copenhagen Hnefatafl rules on an 11×11 board, though Tawlbwrdd is also popular. The attackers white are whoever the Vikings were fighting at the time! I fell in love with Vikings from the start, and with some research, very impressed by the factual basis behind the characters altered for dramatical reasons.


The king may be surrounded, but he has a way out on the next move. A number of different boards have been found in Viking burial mounds and there was some variations in the rules as well. The image below shows how white captures 2 black rooks by playing h11 to h8.

An enemy rook hnefayafl be captured by surrounding it on either side between two of your pieces In version 1the king cannot participate in captures, in version 2, and 3, the king can capture if he’s the moving piece. Version 2 and 3: White should cover the exposed corners while gradually advancing on all sides. The board is an 11 by 11 grid, the centre square of which fules the throne. The king cannot assist in capturing opposition pieces.

In that situation the white piece can gnefatafl come to rest between the two black pieces. Then, a white warrior on the square next to the throne, with the hnefatqfl behind him, cannot be captured by a single black warrior. Tawlbwrdd and Sea Battle Tafl are the easiest to learn, and both can be played well on boards from 9×9 to 13x Surrounding the king gives immediate victory to the attackers. The king wins the game if he reaches one of the corner squares.