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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Back to the game. This is the “shield wall” capture.

They cannot move into a space occupied by any piece, friendly or hostile. 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. The king may be surrounded, but he has a way out on the next move.

Except the size of the board 11x11the rules are the same as for Tablut. Besides, the rook cannot move on the 4 corners. 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. An enemy piece can move between two of your pieces and not be captured. The attackers win if they capture the king.

Brandub is used on the 7×7.

Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

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. If you click 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 hnefaatfl PDF leaflets for different versions of the game.


All other pieces may move across the throne if unoccupied without stopping on it. Hnefatafl “the king game” is an ancient boardgame played by the Vikings to pass the time on their ocean voyages. However, if the king is hnefagafl on the throne, the white warrior could be captured like this.

Rules of the game hnefatafl

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 hjefatafl. The size of the set doesn’t really make a difference, it’s the rule set that you ryles by that affects the difficulty. A number of different boards have been found in Viking burial mounds and there was some variations in the rules as well.

The capturing move must be a flanking move to a square at the edge of the board. Each community developed its own “house rules”, and used a board and pieces rulds to the materials they had to hand. In that situation the white piece can safely come to rest between the two black pieces. 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. How to move pieces: Capture has to be an active move by rulles aggressor, so in this case one of the black pieces would have to move away and back again.

Online tournaments often use the Copenhagen Hnefatafl rules on an 11×11 board, though Tawlbwrdd is also popular. You can find them both on the Hnefatafl Variants page see the link in the sidebar. Then, a white warrior on the square next to the throne, with the king behind him, cannot be captured by a single black warrior.


By releasing this App, my intention is primarily to promote interest and discussion of these games, and to give people a taste as to how they could have been played strategically over years ago. My research and development in particular shows that these rules in their purest form provide an exceptionally strategic and well balanced game.

No pieces can move onto the center square. So in the situation you describe, the Muscovite when it moves into the second square on the first row would be vulnerable to capture by any enemy that can subsequently move up to the third square on that first row.

Later, exchanges of pieces are safer for white ruoes initially rues black 2: Apologies for missing your comment earlier, Mike.

The King can be captured by three enemy warriors on one of the squares next to the central square throne. Player yet developed to play these games.

The king will also win the game by constructing an “edge fort”: Only one piece can be captured in a hneefatafl direction because your pieces must be on the two squares immediately hnfeatafl to the enemy piecebut you can capture in multiple directions at once theoretically, up to 4 pieces at once.

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. How to capture pieces: