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


Spend $275 and get 25% off your order

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.

• HANDCRAFTED with pyrographed artwork
• FREE SHIPPING with insurance for Domestic U.S. orders
• 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).
• WOOD TYPES AVAILABLE: Cherry, Maple [Sample Chart included in Photos] (all woods are sealed with a satin lacquer)
• EDGE STYLES AVAILABLE: Burnt, Plain [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)
> Color Enhancements - add colorful details to your board:
> Laser-Engraved Inlays - add precise graphical elements to the playing grid
• 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.
** NEW FOR 2023: The center area of the board has a dais installed for the King and members of his guard; adding further depth and detail to the massive playing area. **

• 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.


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 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!

Reviews (2)


Excellent quality item, very happy with the size an design

Perfect piece for my historical game collection. I purchased this as the visual centerpiece of an academic paper on Anglo-Saxon culture I was giving to a group. It was the highlight of the presentation and generated considerable discussion and questions among the attendees. I plan on acquiring additional games from this shop.

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