Traditional Board Games

Hnefatafl: Portable compact folding Hnefatafl Game, Traditional Wooden Board Game w/ novel design Handcrafted & Customizable - MADE TO ORDER


  • Details
    Portable folding Hnefatafl game board, uniquely handcrafted of hardwood and leather, with wood-burned artwork and detailing. A traditional board game of strategic maneuver and capture with a clever design allowing for easy storage and travel - an IGNITED Arts exclusive! A prominent 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 modern day. A functional piece of rustic art that is sure to bring enjoyment to players of all ages for years to come; the multiple strategies involved are as diverse and compelling as chess. This is a folding portable board game, very suitable for traveling and carrying to events, such as Renaissance Faires, LARP events, reenactment gatherings, picnics, camping trips, etc. Three game variants are available for order/production: Irish Brandub (7x7), Finnish Tablut (9x9), or Danish Skjaldborg (11x11).

    This item is MADE TO ORDER, requiring approximately 2 weeks for completion. Pictures are provided as examples of past works; your board will be made to your specifications, completely unique from the next.

    *Charts for ARTWORK SELECTION and WOOD / EDGE TYPE are located in the photos. Artwork, wood, and edge types are not restricted to those offered for any particular "MADE-TO-ORDER" item. Artwork options vary from item to item within the IGNITED shop, and are interchangeable in most cases; please message me with your specific request(s). Customer-supplied artwork is always welcomed! An online library of high resolution artwork selection charts for this listing as well as others in the shop can be found here:

    • Hnefatafl board constructed of 1/4" thickness hardwood (either cherry, maple, or walnut) and backed/hinged with leather; handcrafted and decorated with historic or historically-inspired artwork. Three game variants, dictated by the size of the play grid are available - 7x7 Brandub, 9x9 Tablut, or 11x11 Skjaldborg.
    • Gameplay gridwork and the individual panels are precisely created with a powerful laser engraver. The board's artwork is 'hybrid' in nature; the majority of the art is performed by hand using pyrography, the art of woodburning. Additional minor details are laser-engraved in complement to the overall appearance of the board - this may include designs within the play grid or on the leather hinges themselves. The outer edges of the board are carved for a rustic, traveled appearance. The board is treated with a natural oil and then lacquered with a satin finish to protect the surface and artistic details.
    • The board is comprised of four square panels, paired and hinged with durable quality leather, which also adds further resiliency and durability to the wood. The two halves of the board are magnetized on their joining edges with N52 grade magnets, to keep the halves firmly together and in place during gameplay. Size of the assembled board varies according to the grid size of the variant; for a 7x7 grid, size is 7-inches - 9x9, 9-inches - 11x11, 11-inches.
    • Board playing grid is offset so that the joints in the board do not intersect the playing squares. This allows for artwork on the two larger sides only; the other narrower sides are inscribed in anglicized Elder Futhark runic with the following: "A warrior must keep his blades sharp / Yet his wits must be sharper still". Other inscriptions can be substituted at no additional charge; please utilize the Personalization Text option when ordering.
    • Playing pieces are included. The wood pawns are produced by a local woodworking supplier, stained and finished by me in complement to each board. A muslin drawstring bag is included for storage and transport of the pieces.

    • 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 squares along the grid's outer edge, or any corner square (depending upon the variant played). 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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  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    1-2 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!