Game HNEFATAFL was a popular board game during
the Viking age but forgotten over the years.
Based on archaeological research, the game is
reconstructed and appears as it may have been
played 1000 years ago all over the Viking world
reaching from Ireland to "Gardarike"
east of the Baltic Sea. The name
"Hnefatafl" is an old norse word
meaning the king's board or table.
HNEFATAFL is unique as it is
asymmetric: The chieftain with his soldiers is
outnumbered but defends himself against attackers
and tries to escape. In the game, the role of the
chieftain is very different from the role of
attackers. The game rules are simple, yet it
requires tactical skill to take the enemy by
surprise and win the game. The Sagas tell about
players on the illustration to the right are
playing HNEFATAFL. The chieftain in his castle in
the center of the board may save himself from the
attackers by fleeing into one of the corner
castles without being taken prisoner during the
Viking Game consists of 1 chieftain, 12 white
defenders, 24 brown attackers, and a textile
with historical background information are
included in 5 languages: English, German, French,
Japanses and one Scandinavian (Norwegian, Danish
or Swedish). Instructions in Spanish and Icelandic are also
From a Swedish rune stone.
(One of them is
probably drinking mead, a common Viking drink!)