Simple rules of the ancient Scandinavian board game Hnefatafl.

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 24 attackers and 12 defenders.

2.   The game is played on a board with 11x11 squares and with initial set-up as shown:
Simple Tafl 11x11 board

3.   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.
move a tafl piece
Moving a piece.

4.   All pieces are captured if they are sandwiched between two enemy pieces 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. The king participates in capturing like all other pieces.
    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.
tafl piece captured tafl piece captured
Capture of pieces.
tafl piece not captured
The piece is not captured.

5.   The objective for the king's side is to move the king to any edge square. In that case, the king has escaped and his side wins.
hnefatafl defenders win
The king's side wins.

6.   The attackers win if they can capture the king before he escapes. The king is captured like all other pieces.

7.   If the attackers surround the king and ALL remaining defenders, then they win, as they have prevented the king from escaping.
efatafl attackers win
The attackers win by encircling all defenders.

The text is modified from Sten Helmfrid's text on the Skalk variant.

Updated 14.3.2019
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