IN-STOCK & READY TO SHIP!
An interlocking puzzle-style Hnefatafl game board, uniquely handcrafted of quality ash hardwood (the wood of the tree Yggdrasil), with laser-engraved artwork and detailing. This variant, Brandub, is Irish in origin (having notable mentions in poems and stories, as well as an extant board found in Ballinderry). A traditional board game of strategic maneuver and capture with a simple but clever design allowing for easy storage and travel. This modernized version of the game, known contemporarily as "Viking Chess", is sure to bring enjoyment to players of all ages for years to come; the multiple strategies involved are very diverse and compelling. A noteworthy game that has endured the test of time, from the Viking Age to the eighteenth century, this game is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity in our present day. This is an extremely portable wooden board game, very suitable for traveling and carrying to events, such as Renaissance Festivals, LARP events, reenactment gatherings, picnics, camping trips, etc.
PICTURES ARE OF THE ACTUAL BOARDS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. Photos 4-10 are linked to the selections found in the drop-down "BOARD STYLE"; the board pictured when selected will be the board you will receive. Selections shown as "Sold Out" are typically replenished in 1-2 weeks - new designs are added regularly!
• READY TO SHIP
• LASER-ENGRAVED & HANDCRAFTED, with some minor artistic detail by hand
• LEAD TIME: 3-5 days (from time of purchase to shipping day; timeframes can be affected by workload, holidays, etc. – please refer to the Shop Announcement for posted info on creation time frames, or inquire via messages if a specific due date is needed).
• ARTWORK AVAILABLE: As represented in Photos; custom artwork requests always welcome!
• MEASUREMENTS: 7.25x7.25x.25 inches [LxWxH] (completed/assembled product)
• PLAYING PIECES/PAWNS: 13 ‘people peg’-style pawns (cotton drawstring bag for storage included)
• ADDITIONAL NOTES / INFO: This version of the Hnefatafl games is decorated entirely by a Glowforge laser engraver, based upon digital files created by me with art inspired by actual historical artefacts. The games are constructed and finished by hand from two layers of wood permanently adhered to one another with a high-quality glue specifically designed for wood; these two layers help to control warping and/or cupping of the thin material. All boards are sealed with a satin lacquer.
GAME HISTORY / HOW TO PLAY:
• Hnefatafl (pronounced "neffa-toffel") was invented by the Vikings and taken to all corners of the Viking world: from Scandinavia to Russia, Germany to the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and even as far as Turkey and Newfoundland. It was such a good game of strategy and cunning that not only did the Vikings play it but also the people they came into contact with; the Anglo Saxons, the Celts, and the Sami in Lapland all came to love the game and produced their own variants. Hnefatafl is mentioned in the sagas, and skill in the game was held as a worthy virtue in Viking society. It has been theorized that Hnefatafl predates the game of Chess by nearly 500 years. Due to renewed interest in the game and diligent research by game historians, there are now well over 100 variants available to players utilizing the Hnefatafl game mechanics; some including the use of dice to dictate movement or initiative.
• The King, starting from an opening position at the center square, wins the game if he reaches any one of the corner squares. The attackers win if they capture the King. Captures are performed by flanking or surrounding an enemy piece on two or more sides. The strategies involved in these actions can make the game more challenging than the simple rules suggest. As mentioned previously, there are also many variable rules available that can be implemented for a different game experience. A rules pamphlet is included with the game.
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PLEASE NOTE: All of my items are crafted by me, in my home studio and workshop. I am a one-man show, with no ‘production partners’ to help mass-produce any item (though I will source pawns, etc. from quality reputable dealers). Be assured that when you buy an item from me, you are getting a distinctive creation from the original maker. Given the inherent nature of the handcrafted work, time frames for more complex creations, whether the complexity is the art, the build, or a combination of both, can be extensive. Please be patient; I communicate and update customers regularly with the status of their unique creation(s).