Hnefatafl? Bless you! This seemingly unpronounceable game (neffa-taffle, if you were wondering) was invented by the Vikings and taken to all corners of the Viking world: from Scandinavia to Estonia Russia, Germany and the Low Countries, the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland and even Newfoundland in Canada. It was such a good game that not only did the Vikings play it, but also the people they came into contact with: the Anglo Saxons, the Celts, and the Sami in Lapland. In Hnefatafl a king tries to escape from the board with the help of his small force of defenders, while a larger force tries to prevent him from doing so.
Our hnefatafl game is made from birch plywood, measuring 10 inches (250mm) square. The pattern is burned into it with the pokerwork technique, so it will not fade with wear. The whole board is coated with lacquer and polished with beeswax. The pieces are glass stones: a jet black king and twelve ruby red guards against 24 icy white attackers. A black drawstring pouch is provided to hold the pieces. An 8-page A5 booklet contains the rules to two versions of the game (the Vikings never went in for standardisation).
This game is hand-made in a rustic style. Please do not expect machine-made precision; there may therefore be minor blemishes in the work. Not suitable for young children due to small pieces.
Note also: there are many different hnefatafl games available in our other shop, which specialises in the game, "The Hnefatafl Shop", at http://tafl.cyningstan.org.uk/shop.