Traditional Board Games

Hnefatafl: 19x19 square grid; historic Alea Evangelii, Anglo-Saxon tafl game variant, Handmade Traditional Wooden Board Game, Customizable



$345.00

  • Details
    Hnefatafl, the game of the Vikings, also known in contemporary times as Viking Chess. This strategy board game traveled with Scandinavian explorers, traders, and raiders alike, and was adopted by many of the cultures they came in contact with. This particular variant is the Anglo-Saxon version of the game, "Alea Evangelii", meaning "Game of the Gospels". The game was conceived by the scholar Israel the Grammarian and an anonymous Frankish man, as first chronicled in an eleventh century Irish manuscript, but board remnants matching the Alea layout have been found as far as Denmark. In the original game, playing pieces were set and moved upon the intersections and lines of the grid - this more modern conception of the game conforms the pieces to play within the squares of the grid, as done with most other known variants in the Hnefatafl family. There are a great number of variants utilizing the tafl game mechanics; all ultimately derived from the original historical sources and extant finds. Hnefatafl is an intriguing way to learn strategy and tactics, as well as an excellent means to spend quality time with a friend or family member. Each board is created uniquely from the next as a functional piece of art and is sure to become an heirloom lasting many generations.

    • MADE TO ORDER
    • HANDCRAFTED with pyrographed artwork
    • LEAD TIME: 8 weeks (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).
    • FREE SHIPPING for domestic U.S. orders
    • WOOD TYPES AVAILABLE: Cherry, Maple, Poplar [Sample Chart included in Photos] (all woods are sealed with a satin lacquer)
    • EDGE STYLES AVAILABLE: Burnt, Plain, Trimmed [Sample Chart included in Photos]
    • ARTWORK AVAILABLE: 25 designs [Sample Chart included in Photos] Custom artwork requests always welcome!
    • MEASUREMENTS: 23x23x1 inches [LxWxH] (completed/assembled product)
    • PLAYING PIECES/PAWNS: 73 ‘people peg’-style pawns (drawstring bag for storage included)
    • UPGRADES / ACCESSORIES:
    > Color Enhancements - add colorful details to your board:
    o https://www.etsy.com/listing/786439555/color-enhancements-upgrade-option-to?ref=shop_home_active_8&frs=1
    > Laser-Engraved Inlays - add precise graphical elements to the playing grid
    o https://www.etsy.com/listing/865368284/laser-engraved-inlays-upgrade-item-for?ref=shop_home_active_37
    • ADDITIONAL NOTES / INFO: Board is laid out and constructed in the more modern concept of playing pieces within the grid squares, as opposed to the historical
    'intersections' game play.
    • HOW TO PLAY: The King, starting from an opening position at the center square, wins the game if he reaches any one of the four grouped squares located in the grid corners. All pieces move as a rook does in Chess; jumping over pieces of either color is not allowed. The attackers win if they capture the King by flanking or surrounding him on four sides; the King's defenders and attackers are removed when flanked on two opposite sides, either vertically or horizontally. The strategies involved, as well as modifications to the rules of capture and movement for the different variants, can make the game more difficult than the base gameplay mechanics suggest.
    This 19x19 grid board game will come with artistic detail and/or inlays denoting the opening positions for "Alea Evangelii", as well as a slightly alternative set-up, but other variants and even ‘house rules’ games can be adapted easily due to the relatively flexible mechanics of the game.
    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).
  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    8-10 weeks

    Estimated shipping times

    • North America : 3 - 5 business days

    I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

    Customs and import taxes

    Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

    Payment Options

    Secure options
    • Accepts Etsy gift cards

    Returns & Exchanges

    I gladly accept returns and exchanges

    Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

    Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

    I don't accept cancellations

    But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

    The following items can't be returned or exchanged

    Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

    • Custom or personalized orders
    • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
    • Digital downloads
    • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
    • Items on sale

    Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wholesale availability

    Due to the nature of the majority of my work, and the typical amount of business that comes through my shop, wholesale items are not available.

    Custom and personalized orders

    Please contact me before placing an order should you desire customizations not outlined or offered in any particular listing.

    Holiday ordering

    During the Christmas holiday season, I can quickly become VERY busy; typically putting in 12 hour days in order to make holiday shipping deadlines.
    Please plan ahead - I begin taking Christmas orders in late August, but due to workload, I will close the shop to further made-to-order requests the first week of December. Ready to ship items remain listed and ship as stated in their listing.

    Shipping times

    In the case of any custom or Made To Order item, I try very hard to meet the listed production/ship time for the listed item. However, I am a one-man shop, and the handcrafted nature of the work, particularly during busy periods, can cause delays. If you require your item by a specific date, please inquire first. I do not rush the work, as I want each piece to be exceptional and worthy to the person purchasing it. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and of course, your patronage!