- Made in the UK.
- 1 cream King.
- 12 cream Defenders.
- 24 red Attackers.
- Linen playing surface.
- Rules and Historical information leaflet.
- Deluxe 12-inch Spanish wooden board
Hnefatafl was at its most popular during the Dark Ages in Northern Europe and ranks as one of history's greatest board games. As early as AD400 the game was popular in Viking homes and naturally carried to the lands they conquered.
The attacking force has the advantage at the start of each game and this, more than likely, mimics the success of these Viking raids. The Viking chiefs' presence in battle is indicated by the King.
Over the years, the game was developed and adapted, and as such, different versions have been found on archaeological sites. Hnefatafl literally means ‘Kings Table’ and manuscripts have revealed how to play the game properly. There is no doubt that various types of boards and pieces, along with different versions of rules, existed in different places and at different times. The rising popularity of the chess set saw the Viking Game’s popularity decline in the 11th century.
Looking at this Hnefatafl set, it brings to mind the famous Isle Of Lewis
and with the "board" printed on woven textile, there is that nice medieval feel to the set. Most pieces found to date are more basic in design than this, giving evidence of just how popular the game was among the common people who could not afford to indulge in the finer things in life. Its popularity declined in the 11th century however with the rising popularity of the chess set.
The Viking Game, also known as Hnefatafl, The King's Table or simply Tafl
, is one of those rare games with two unequal sides.
Positioned around the border, the attacking side (red) is positioned comprises 24 infantry in four groups of 6. All pieces move like the Rook in chess and pieces are captured by "sandwiching" i.e. moving a piece so that your opponent's piece is trapped horizontally or vertically between two of yours.
The game starts with the defending team (cream) in a cross formation in the centre of the board. This team comprises twelve soldiers and a king. Their objective is for the king to escape by reaching any of the four corner squares.
There is an extensive amount of information available online about Hnefatafl, including many rule variations that are worth experimenting with. Whichever way you play, it’s a really great game.
Due to the huge popularity of the bronze and cream version of The Viking Game, in 2020 Regency Chess commissioned Rechapados Ferrer in Spain, to create a wooden board for it and they didn’t let us down. Based on the linen design, this 12-inch board is crafted from high-quality Sycamore veneer with a screen-printed playing area and like the original version, this board adds a touch of luxury to this already well-presented product.
Perfect gift idea - but why not buy two and keep one set for yourself?
Also available without the wooden board. or with the bronze pieces.
The chess board in this set has been expertly crafted by Rechapados Ferrer in Spain using precision laser cutting techniques and stunning wooden veneers combined with expert lacquering and finishing. The underside of the board is finished in a satin veneer that is a different colour from the playing surface of the board. The veneers used for the underside may vary in colour from batch to batch.