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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Hnefetafl         Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone here plays Hnefetafl? It's a neat game, though I've only played it a few times before. I contemplated making myself a custom set using 28mm petwer figs in Norman/Saxon style, but that would be a project for another time. Anyone here a player?

M.

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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This game is pretty popular in the SCA here in the NW US, along with Nine Men's Morris and Senet, an Egyptian board game. I haven't played any of them because I'm always too busy playing chess when they are around, but Hnefetafl sounds like the most interesting of the bunch.

From what I understand Hnefetafl is one variant of a whole bunch of "tafl" game variants. Hnefetafl is based on the idea of a Viking king who is surrounded by foes and must break out, correct?

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. He's outnumbered something around 2:1, and must make his way to the corners (or edge in some versions).

M.

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Xan Stepp




Location: Ithaca, NY
Joined: 19 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I play, or at least have in the past. It's somewhat difficult to find people who do play. The strategy is a bit difficult to figure out, especially since the sides aren't balanced.
Deyr f, deyja frndur
deyr sjlfur i sama;
en orstr deyr aldregi
hveim er sr gan getur.
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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 2:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I play Hnefatafl whenever I have a chance to. I got myself a really nice set from www.vikingcrafts.co.uk (and then got them to make me a larger board soon after that). I just really like this game, but don't get enough chance to play.

A Norwegian friend of mine early on pointed out that the notion that the king has to be captured by 4 rather than 2 opponents might be a late Christian change to the game, and that in the original rules the king could probably be captured normally by two opponents. This evens the sides a lot (especially in combination with the king winning when he reaches a corner rather than a side), and makes for a much more exciting game.

IIRC this site has a nice online play function where different setups/rules can be tested:

http://tafl.snigfarp.karoo.net/tafl/

School voor Historische Schermkunsten

www.bruchius.com
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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great game, and rules are easy to explain! Happy



Some gaming boards I made, Hnefatafl is at the end, gaming pieces are from Gothic Green Oak.



Well, I'm more proud of this one, hand carved chess set, took me quite some hours Happy



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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That Hnefetafl set has fewer pieces than I'm used to seeing, but I guess it might be one of the many variants mentioned.

Well, if I find some free time and cash, I'll craft up a nice set. Selling it would probably not work so well, as it's a niche game and there are doubtlessly cheaper ones, but maybe I could donate it for the next contest we end up doing. For that, though, I'd probably have to make it pretty exceptional Razz

M.

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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, that's 9 x 9 board, I also have 11 x 11 and 7 x 7. But I think this one is the most fun, games are usually quite short, so the people don't get bored too quickly. Laughing Out Loud

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E Stafford




PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll play. I've got a board like one on top, and I wouldn't mind finding someplace online. Fun game, and I've also read that it's customary to switch sides after playing. But the, we don't have the original rules. So, that could be more modern.
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Jeff A. Arbogast





Joined: 16 Oct 2008

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a rather poor pic of a set I got from Past Times many years ago. It came with a cloth playing field, and I'm not sure which cultural version this one represents, simply being referred to as "a Viking game." I used to play it quite a bit with my daughter but she nearly always beat me, especially if she was defending the King. But I think I may not be playing it right, because the King is pretty slippery once he gets in the clear, and she usually whips me pretty quick then.


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A man's nose is his castle-and his finger is a mighty sword that he may wield UNHINDERED!
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Marc Pengryffyn




Location: Canberra, Australia
Joined: 21 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 3:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If anyone's interested in playing against software, Zillions of Games includes a bunch of tafl variants. Good way to learn or practice if you're lacking human opponents...

http://www.zillions-of-games.com/

Cheers

Marc

Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
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