Hnefatafl Viking Board Game

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  • Regular price $44.95

Imported exclusively by NorseAmerica

The NorseAmerica Viking Game “Hnefatafl” featuring playing pieces made in England out of a crushed stone and resin compound, comes complete with a designer box, cloth playing board and detailed playing instructions that were researched, designed and published by NorseAmerica. The Viking Game Hnefatafl is a wonderful gift for that hard to buy for Viking in your family.

The Viking Game "Hnefatafl" pronounced nef-ah-tah-fel, was the most popular board game of its time. In fact, it was a household word back in the day when people could actually say Hnefatafl. Referred to in old Norse manuscripts, the word Hnefatafl, means the King’s Table. During the Dark Ages in Northern Europe it was played all over the Viking world. It has been found as far away as Ireland and the Ukraine. The Viking Game preceded Chess by about 600 years. Its origins can be traced back to as early as 400 AD, but it was already well known long before then. Predecessors that may have evolved into the Viking Game can be traced back even further to ancient Greece and Rome. Like so much of the history of the Dark Ages, our knowledge of the Viking Game had become obscured. Based on archaeological research, the game has been reconstructed and can now be played as it was by the Vikings over 1,600 years ago.

Hnefatafl is a Chess like tactical warfare game and the strategy is on par with Chess. It is easy to learn and fun for the whole family. Its a game for grandparents, grandkids and everyone in between. However, it is not necessary to be a Chess player to enjoy playing Hnefatafl. Chess enthusiasts will find some aspects of the game very familiar, because every piece, including the king, moves like a rook in Chess. What’s more, there are some major differences that Chess players will find absolutely fascinating. Hnefatafl is unique since it is asymmetric. The king with his soldiers is outnumbered, but defends himself against attackers, and tries to escape. The role of the king is very different from the role of the attackers, making it like two games in one. Unlike Chess, the attack comes from all four sides. The rules are simple, yet require tactical skill to take the enemy by surprise and win the game. Chess enthusiasts will appreciate a new, or should I say old way of thinking.


The cloth game board measures approximately 11.5 by 11.5 inches, and contains 11 by 11 squares. The king is 1.75 inches tall, and the pawns are 1.25 inches tall. The compartmental game box stores all the playing pieces including the board and is decorated with a gold foil stamp.