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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Thanks for your question, Heidi.

During the early stages, white cannot to lose too many pieces or else the king could slip through the gap created. Travis Fimmell is from a place near to were I grew up, and has his part nailed perfectly. If you want to follow me, then I’ll start with a look at the variety of boards the game has ruless played on.

Hi, im curious of whether or not you have a digital copy of the main rules in downloadable format. I personally favour edge escape rules, as documented by Linnaeus. In version 3, the king can be captured by 3 pieces only, if he’s standing on an edge In version 2, the king is captured like a ‘simple’ rook.

Scenario is King in first row, third square up and muscovite in first row second square.

Hnefatafl – the board game of the Vikings, game rules | Viking Chess | Kings table | Nefatavl

Only one piece can be captured in a given direction because your pieces must be on the two squares immediately next to the enemy piecebut you can capture in multiple directions at once theoretically, up to 4 pieces at once.


In most versions of hnefatafl a piece cannot be pinned against the edge of the board. Brandub is used on the 7×7.

However, if the king is not on the throne, the white warrior could be captured like this. Later, exchanges of pieces are safer for white who initially outnumbers black 2: It was probably derived from a Roman game with similiar rules and was later adopted by the Saxons. An enemy piece can move between two of your pieces and not be captured. Surrounding the king gives immediate victory to the attackers.

The size of the hnefatxfl doesn’t ruled make a difference, it’s the rule set that you play by that affects the difficulty. No piece can move diagonally, and no piece except the king can move onto or through gnefatafl throne square. All pieces move horizontally or vertically over any number of empty squares, except the king, who can only move up to three squares. Only the king may stand on the central throne and the corner squares. A piece other than the king is captured when it is caught between two enemies along a row or column.

Thanks for your enquiry, Jacob. The king may re-enter the throne square. Each community developed its own “house rules”, and used a board and pieces appropriate to the materials they had to hand.

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. All can be found hnefatafo the search feature on this site.

The king will also win the game by constructing an “edge fort”: If either player is unable to make a legal move because all movement is blocked the game is a draw by stalemate. How to move pieces: Besides, the rook cannot move on the 4 corners.


The King can be captured by three enemy warriors on one of the squares next to the ruls square throne. In his turn a player can move a single piece any number of spaces along a row or column; this piece may not jump over nor land on another of either colour.

Hnefatafl “the king game” is an ancient boardgame played by the Vikings to pass the time on their ocean voyages. A piece other than the king may also be captured by surrounding it between and enemy and one of the marked empty squares. However, you may safely move a piece between two enemy pieces. A hnefatafo warrior may be captured by being caught between a white warrior and the throne square, or between a white warrior and a corner square.

The objective of the king is to escape to the periphery of the board, while the objective of the attackers is to capture the king, preventing his escape.

Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

The image below shows how white captures 2 black rooks by playing h11 to h8. A hnefatafp of different boards have been found in Viking burial mounds and there was some variations in the rules as well.

All pieces including the king can move horizontally or vertically any number of spaces like a chess rook.