Hnefatafl

Also called Tafl, Tablut and Fitchneal

Players | 2

Equipment

  • 12 white pieces
  • King
  • 24 black pieces
  • Playing board

The Basics

The goal of the game is for the white player to reach a corner square with his king and for the black player to capture the king. 

Note: the game is uneven – it is good etiquette to play 2 games, switching sides. The winner is the person who captured the most pieces totaled from both games. 

Starting

All of the pieces are placed before game play starts:

Hnefatafl 11x11 Hnefatafl 13x13

Moving

All pieces move the same way – Any number of squares in the same direction up-down or side-to-side. No diagonal moves, and no moving over/through any other pieces. The 4 corner squares are off limits to all pieces except the king. Pieces of both colors may pass over the throne (the center square where the king starts), but only the king can land on the throne.

Capturing pieces

When a piece has two markers of the opposing color on either side, that piece is captured and removed from the board.

The white pieces is captured and removed from the board:

Hnefatafl-3

A piece can safely move itself between 2 already placed opposing pieces without being captured:

Hnefatafl

 Capturing the King

Hnefatafl

In all of these cases Black captures the King and wins.

Icon of Hnefatafl Hnefatafl (170.4 KiB)