Monday, March 30, 2009

About our Games Part 1: Hnefetafl

Hnefetafl is the Viking version of the ancient tafl games, also known as King's Table. It is a northern European style of Chess that dates back to the 8th century B.C. Hnefetafl was popular in Medieval Scandanavia and is mentioned in several Norse Sagas. However, we do not know for certain how the game was played at that time.

A game of uneven strength between sides, the players traditionally take turns being the attacker and the defender.

In the widely-accepted rules which we have chosen to include with our boards, the outnumbered Swedes try to help their king escape (to the side of the board) from the invading Muscovites. Pieces are moved in the same way as the rook in chess.

Players take turns moving, with the attackers moving first. All of the pieces move any number of spaces in a straight line along a row or column (no diagonals) until encountering another piece or the edge of the board, similar to how a rook moves in chess. Pieces may not be jumped.

A piece is captured if two of the opposing pieces are moved onto adjacent spaces on either side of it. That piece is then removed from the board. However, a piece may safely land between two enemy pieces – only the moving player may capture. The King may also be used to capture.

Hnefetafl is a two player board game

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