This is The Viking Game otherwise known as Hnefatafl (pronounced ‘neffa-taffle’) meaning: ‘The King’s Table.
(I’ve recently discovered the TV Show ‘Vikings’ so forgive me if I get carried away with everything Viking at the moment.)
This game was produced c.1980 by History Craft Ltd for that wonderful shop and a favourite of mine, ‘Past Times’ which is sadly no more.
This is quite a simple game to learn but one of those games which can be difficult to master. The game is a 1500 year old forerunner to chess and was popular in the Viking homelands as early as AD400. It was played from Ireland to the Ukraine.
The game consists of two sides fighting a battle. The sides are of unequal strength one trying to defend and the other attacking. The bigger army sits around the edge of the board trying to win their attack. The smaller army are defending. Ragnar, … sorry, I mean The King sits in the middle trying to make his way to one of the outside corners to win the game. The attackers just need to block him in a position where he cannot move to win.
This is a very enjoyable game which I have played a few times now.
This is a vintage set, and although the exterior of the box is a little worn and discoloured, the linen ‘board’ and the pieces appear never to have been used.
A great game for all ages.