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Viking / Celtic Portable Hnefatafl Game Set - LB25399

Viking / Celtic Portable Hnefatafl Game Set

Retail Price:$25.84

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The Viking and Celtic game of Hnefatafl is reproduced here with a gameboard of leather which easily folds up and cinches into a transportable and wearable leather pouch which carries all the game pieces - an excellent way to have a traditional and ancient ‘’pick up and play’’ game at the ready when at your reenactment camp, the Ren Faire or around the hearth and campfire.

The Tafl gameboard is made from supple suede leather and its playing board and decorative design are all painted onto the leather. It comes with all the colored glass pieces needed for a game as well as a few spare pieces if needed or when experimenting with new house rules. A simple leather cord can be pulled taut to cinch up the board and transform it into a wearable leather pouch - extra length on the cord can be used to tie it to a belt after it has been fastened. Printed Rules are included and they can also be seen in the product photos.

This is an ancient game with a premise centered around a defensive player who must use his pawns as bodyguards to allow his King to escape a larger attacking force who seek to capture the King at all costs. The origins of Hnefatafl likely go as far back as the Roman Empire - Through the Dark Ages and into the Medieval period Tafl could be found played by Vikings, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Anglo Saxons and more and it lasted well into the 18th century in rural Sweden and Finland - every locality had its own version of rules and the game lends itself to being easily modified to suit new types of rules and playstyles. The version reproduced here is a version that began to be played in Ireland after the arrival of the Dublin Vikings who likely brought this form of the game with them to Ireland.

This form of Hnefatafl with a 7x7 gameboard is the ‘’Brandubh’’ version (Brandubh means ‘’Black Raven’’) which is easier to learn and play than the larger variants of the game, making this an ideal beginning into playing Tafl and for having a game that does not look intimidating and difficult to learn to newcomers when you challenge them to a round. The larger versions can also be modified to work on this smaller board as well.

Game Board is 12'' x 12'' when laid flat

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