Rules of Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11.

Short overview:
King armed, captured from 4 sides.
No encirclement rule. Repetitions allowed (draw), but only when at least two attackers killed.

1.   Two players may participate. One player plays the king's side, with a king and his defenders, and the other player plays the attackers. There are twelve defenders and twenty-four attackers.

2.   The game is played on a board with 1111 squares and with initial set-up as shown:
Initial set-up.

3.   The central square, called the throne, and the four squares in the corners are restricted and may only be occupied by the king. It is allowed for the king to re-enter the throne, and all pieces may pass through the throne when it is empty. The four corner squares are hostile to all pieces, which means that they can replace one of the two pieces taking part in a capture. The throne is always hostile to the attackers, but only hostile to the defenders when it is empty.
Five restricted squares.

4.   The attackers' side moves first, and the game then proceeds by alternate moves. All pieces move any number of vacant squares along a row or a column, like a rook in chess.
Moving a piece.

5.   All pieces except the king are captured if they are sandwiched between two enemy pieces, or between an enemy piece and a hostile square, along a column or a row. The two enemy pieces should either be on the square above and below or on the square to the left and to the right of the attacked piece. A piece is only captured if the trap is closed by a move of the opponent, and it is, therefore, allowed to move in between two enemy pieces. A captured piece is removed from the board and is no longer active in the game. The king may take part in captures.
Capture of pieces.

The piece is not captured.

6.   The objective for the king's side is to move the king to any of the four corner squares. In that case, the king has escaped and his side wins.
The king's side wins.

7.   The attackers win if they can capture the king before he escapes. The king is captured when the attackers surround him in all four cardinal points. When he is on a square next to the throne, the attackers must occupy all surrounding squares in the four points of the compass except the throne.
    The king cannot be captured on the edge.
The king is captured.

The king is not captured.

8.   Draw is allowed only when the defenders have captured at least two attackers.

9.   If a player cannot move, he loses the game.
The defenders cannot move and lose.


The Fetlar rules were outlined 2007 by the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel, UK.
The game pieces in the online game were drawn by Aage Nielsen, Denmark.
The text above is modified from Sten Helmfrid's text on the Skalk variant.

Try out the game at aagenielsen.dk


Updated 14.12.2017
Copyright © 1998-2017 Aage Nielsen, All Rights Reserved;