Traditional Board Games

Hnefatafl Games: Laser-Engraved Viking Board Game w/ color accents; Irish Brandub or Finnish Tablut variants, Hand Painted, Glass Gem Pawns


$77.50

  • Details
    These detailed and colorful offerings of two popular Hnefatafl variants are lightweight and travel very well. The high resolution laser-engraved artwork has been hand painted to create an eye-catching and visually pleasing piece of functional art. Hnefatafl is a noteworthy game that has endured the test of time, from the Viking Age to the eighteenth century, with many cultural variants having been created or discovered over the centuries. Offered in this listing is the Irish tafl variant, called Brandub (or Brandubh), and the Finnish Sami variant, called Tablut. The Hnefatafl family of games are experiencing a resurgence in popularity in our present day, largely due to a renewed interest by many in ancient Scandinavian culture. This board game is very suitable for traveling and carrying to events, such as Renaissance Festivals, LARP events, reenactment gatherings, picnics, camping trips, etc.

    • MADE TO ORDER
    • LASER-ENGRAVED & HANDCRAFTED, with hand painted color accents
    • FREE SHIPPING for Domestic U.S. orders
    • LEAD TIME: 2 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).
    • ARTWORK AVAILABLE: 4 complete designs per game variant; designs elements may be swapped from board to board - please message me with your custom request!
    • MEASUREMENTS: 7.25x7.25x.25 inches - Brandub variant; 9.25x9.25x.25 inches - Tablut variant [LxWxH] (completed/assembled product)
    • PLAYING PIECES/PAWNS: 13 (Brandub) or 25 (Tablut) glass gems (+ extra in case of loss; cotton drawstring bag for storage included)
    • ADDITIONAL NOTES / INFO: These versions of the Hnefatafl games are 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 cabinet-grade cherry plywood, then accented by hand with acrylic paints (typically artist's choice, but requests for simplified, specific colors are welcomed - please message me). All boards are sealed with a satin lacquer. The combination of the resilient plywood and lacquer keeps this relatively thin board from cupping or warping under normal circumstances - i.e., don't leave it out in the rain, or play a game in the swimming pool!

    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 player initiative.
    • The King, starting from an opening position at the center square, wins the game if he reaches any one of the squares along the playing grid's edge. 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).
  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    2 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!