Quick overview of tafl variants.

king captured
from sides
king wins on other
Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 4 corner Exit fort. Shieldwall rule.
Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11 4 corner Perpetual repetition allowed (draw);
however, the defenders are allowed a draw only when at least two attackers' pieces are killed.
No win by encirclement.
Berserk Hnefatafl 11x11 4 corner No win by encirclement.
Sea battle tafl 4 edge King unarmed
Historical Hnefatafl 2 edge Brandubh 7x7: king wins in corner.

General for all variants.
If no restricted corner squares: the king wins on the edge.
Restricted squares are hostile. (Except: if occupied by the king it's hostile only against attackers).
On the throne and next to the throne, the king is captured from four sides even if captured from two sides elsewhere.
Perpetual repetition not allowed (except for Fetlar).
Attackers can win by encircling all defenders (except for Fetlar and Berserk).
If a player can't move, he loses the game.



For all variants:
If the board has restricted corner squares, then the king wins in corner, otherwise he wins on the edge.
Restricted squares are always hostile. (Exception: when a throne is occupied by the king, then it's only hostile against attackers). Only the king can stop on a restricted square, but all pieces can pass through it.


Strong king

The strong king is armed and captured from 4 sides.
Copenhagen Hnefatafl

Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11.

Repetitions are forbidden, and attackers can win by encircling all defenders. Shieldwall capture. Exit fort win.

Copenhagen rules.
Fetlar Hnefatafl

Fetlar Hnefatafl 11x11.

No rule against repetitions, and no rule about encircling all defenders. In return, a draw is allowed only when at least two attackers are killed.

Fetlar rules.
Berserk Hnefatafl

Berserk Hnefatafl 11x11.

Repetitions are forbidden, but no rule about encircling all defenders (the commanders take care of breaking forts). The game has two more types of pieces: a knight and four commanders. And berserk moves.

Berserk rules.


For all variants below, repetitions are forbidden, and attackers can win by encircling all defenders.


Weak king

The weak king is armed and captured from 2 sides.
Whenever the board has a throne (forbidden square in center): On the throne and next to the throne, the king is captured from four sides even when captured from two sides elsewhere.

Saami Tablut

Historical Hnefatafl 9x9 (Saami Tablut).

Historical Hnefatafl rules.


Other weak king setups.

Irish Brandubh
Historical Hnefatafl 7x7
(Irish Brandubh).
Scottish Ard Ri
Historical Hnefatafl 7x7
(Scottish Ard ri).
Tablut Bell
Historical Hnefatafl 11x11 (Welsh Tawlbwrdd).
Tablut Parlett
Historical Hnefatafl 13x13 (David Parlett).
Tablut 15x15 board
Historical Hnefatafl 15x15 (Damian Walker).


Unarmed sea battle cargo ship.

The sea battle cargo ship is unarmed and captured from 4 sides.
Sea Battle Tafl

Sea Battle tafl 9x9.

(Sea Battle circle 9x9)

Sea Battle rules.


Other sea battle setups.

Sea Battle T 9x9
Sea Battle T 9x9.
Sea Battle 11x11
Sea Battle tafl 11x11.
(Sea Battle cross 11x11 (Dardell))
Sea Battle diamond
Sea Battle diamond 11x11.
Sea Battle circle
Sea Battle circle 11x11.
Sea Battle 13x13
Sea Battle tafl 13x13.
(Sea battle tafl 13x13 (David Parlett))



Updated 10.6.2017
Copyright © 1998-2017 Aage Nielsen, All Rights Reserved;