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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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.

Each community developed its own “house rules”, and used a board and pieces appropriate to the materials they had to hand. The Black player has the first move. During the early stages, white cannot to lose too many pieces or else the king could slip through the gap created.

Hi, im curious of whether or not you have a digital copy of the main rules in downloadable format. It’s not “check” as such; when the king is surrounded he’s considered to be captured. The attackers white are whoever the Vikings were fighting at the time!

Hnefatafl Instructions :WebGames

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.

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.

If the piece needs four pieces to surround it like the king in Copenhagen or Fetlar Hnefatafl then it cannot be captured against the edge of the board – it must be forced to hneefatafl away from the edge to capture it. White should cover the exposed corners while gradually advancing on all rule. An enemy rook can 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.


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 all of his forces are surrounded.

The board is an 11 by 11 grid, the centre square of which is the throne.

Black should try to keep white off-balance by switching the directions his king is trying to escape in. Hi, I haev a sert of this and teh rules I got with it say that to capture the king, you have to surroudn it on 4 sides, rather than the usual 2, but i find this massively unbalances the game in favour of the defenders.

Thanks for your question, Heidi. In most rule sets where a king must reach a corner to win, no other piece can enter a corner square. Drabant in row 2, square one. Perpetual repetition is illegal.

In most versions of hnefatafl a piece cannot be pinned against the edge of the board. Thanks for your query, Simon!

Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Once captured, a piece is removed from the board. 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. Riles version 1 and 3, white’s goal is to capture the king, surrounding him from all four sides and capture him. However, if the king is not on the throne, the white warrior could be captured like this. The game is one of pure strategy, played on a square board.


A king and a small force of defenders occupy the centre of the board. For White to win, the king must reach a corner not the board edge. The five marked squares in the centre and corners of the board are special, and only the king may land on them. All pieces move horizontally or vertically over hnevatafl number of empty squares, except the king, who can only move up to three squares.

The king may be surrounded, but he has a way out on the next move.

Copenhagen Hnefatafl Rules | Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

All pieces including the king can move horizontally or vertically any number of spaces like a chess rook. The game is played by two players on a board of 11×11 squares, one player taking control of the king and twelve defenders, the other taking control of twenty-four attackers.

The size of the set doesn’t really make a difference, it’s the rule set that you play by that hnefatatl the difficulty. Thanks for your enquiry, Jacob. I personally favour edge escape rules, as documented by Linnaeus. Notify of replies Yes No.

So in the situation hneratafl 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. A number of different boards have been found in Viking burial mounds and there was some variations in the rules as well.