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Anyone want to learn/play HNEFETAFL?

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by stormerne, May 5, 2001.

  1. stormerne

    stormerne Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    Anyone here play HNEFETAFL? Anyone want to learn HNEFETAFL?
    Anyone want to play HNEFETAFL games like we do on the Chess forum?

    Hnefetafl is not just one game. It's a whole class of similar board games that have been played since the early Dark Ages in most of the European countries that border the North Sea. They have different names and they vary in board size, but they all have very similar rules and goals.

    The variant of Hnefetafl I've played since I was about 9 years old uses a 9x9 board. Two people play. One player has 9 red/brown pieces, one of which is the "king" and they start on the middle 9 squares of the board (some variations use a cross shape). The other player has 16 white pieces arranged in 4 T-shaped groups on the edges.

    The goal of each player is different. One has to get their king to the edge of the board. The other must try and capture the king. Moving and capturing is very easy. But before I get onto that, does anyone want to learn and play?


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    <IMG SRC="http://www.anglo-saxon.demon.co.uk/stormerne/stormerne.gif" border=0>
     
  2. yeah sure. heard of it. how do you play?
     
  3. stormerne

    stormerne Chieftain Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for replying SC! It's a very easy game to play, and I'll teach you the most straight-forward version.

    First, make yourself a board and some pieces. I have a wooden set I brought back from Sweden, but we can improvise.

    Board: I suggest that you first take a piece of stiff paper or card and draw a square grid of 9x9 squares on it. The hnefetafl pieces are usually smaller than chess pieces, so you don't need to make the squares as big as those on an 8x8 chessboard, even though there's one extra square per side. Mark the centre square in some way and also the 4 squares which are halfway down each side.

    Pieces: I would use coins! You want 9 bronze or copper ones and 16 silver ones. One of the bronze ones is called the King and should be bigger than the other 8, or you can make it a completely different colour, like gold.

    Starting position: Place the King on the centre square of the board. Place the other 8 "red" men in the square around him so that you are using the central 3x3 squares of the board. Now place a "white" man on each of the four middle-edge squares you marked. Around each of these middle-edge men, place three more white men, one slightly towards the centre and two on the edge. You should end up with four sets of white men, one on each edge, like T-shapes with the crossbar of the T running along the edge in each case and the stem of the T pointing towards the centre.

    Moves: Everything moves in the same way: like the rook in chess. In other words, as many squares as you like in any orthogonal (not diagonal) direction provided there's nothing in the way.

    Capture: You can capture opposing men. For all men except the king they can be captured by placing two of your men on each side so that they form a straight orthogonal (not diagonal) line: yours, his, yours. His man is then removed from the board.
    Obviously this can't be done in a single move. You have to place one of your men next to the enemy and bring up the other man on the opposite site on a future turn.
    The exception to this is the king which must be captured by placing men on all four othogonal sides.
    When capturing ordinary men, it is sometimes possible to capture more than one man in a single turn. For example: yours, his, gap, his, yours might allow you to fill the gap and capture two.
    If your opponent leaves a gap between two of his - his, gap, his - then you can move your man into the gap without capture. To make the capture, he has to make the move not you! If therefore he moves one of his men away and then back again he would capture you if you hadn't moved your own again in the meantime.

    Goal of the game: The goal is different depending on whether you are playing the red/brown/black side with the King+8men, or whether you are playing with the 16 white men. The goal for the King's side is to get the king safely to any edge square. The goal for the other side is to capture the king.

    Who starts: The king's side always has the first move. Players then play alternately, moving one piece at a time. When playing a series of games, it is normal for players to alternate sides each game.

    Variants: There are lots of local variants. Obviously these have to be agreed beforehand! There are different board sizes and different numbers of men. There is a slightly different starting layout to the 9x9 game. There is a variant rule that says the king must end up in a corner not just an edge. There is a variant which says that the central square is the king's throne and only he can land on it. For the moment I suggest you consider just the straight-forward game I describe above.

    The best way to learn the game is to try it out. There are obviously different strategies for each side because the goals are different. If you're interested in playing it further, make a set (even drawing it on paper will do) and mark the columns 'a' to 'i' and the rows '1' to '9' like chess with an extra row and column. It doesn't matter if you label these differently to me because the board is centrally symmetrical.

    Interested enough to carry on further and try a game? And any questions?

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  4. Håkon

    Håkon Duke of Morpork

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    We had a hneftafl board (improvised) at our old school. I never played, I didn't understand the rules. Looked quite neat, though, maybe I'll be in for a game.

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    <IMG SRC="http://www.vg.no/vg/sport/fotball/elfot96/sbodo.gif" border=0>
    forever!!
     
  5. Cuddybuddy69

    Cuddybuddy69 Chieftain

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    Yes you can count me in on this,I have What is known as a ''Travel Set'',whereby the pieces are of different colours of stone,the ''board'' is a cloth one,and pieces and board fit into a sewn pouch.It was given to me by one who is of Viking descent,and like the ''travel sets '' of todays games was meant to be a form of the gamr they could carry around with them,and play aboard ship etc
     
  6. steviejay

    steviejay Now in Black and White!!

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    er...... dude.... I think this thread is slightly out of date.

    Always nice to see a fellow Scot though. Welcome :)
     
  7. Vincour

    Vincour A Minor Character Moderator

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    6 year bump, that's the new record I think.
     
  8. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    I've seen one from May 2001 to now, that is the record for me! ;)
     
  9. Vincour

    Vincour A Minor Character Moderator

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    May 06, 2001, 08:26 AM

    to

    April 07 2007, 10:41 AM
     
  10. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    May 04, 2001, 05:51 PM PST

    Apr 07, 2007, 06:11 AM PST

    (Note the first post is on May 4th not 6th)

    Sounds like an interesting game though.
     
  11. Cuddybuddy69

    Cuddybuddy69 Chieftain

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    Well Steve it maybe old in the forum,but it is new to me,as a first time member,plus it was whilst searching on hnefetafl links that I was led to this site in the first place
     
  12. SuperBeaverInc.

    SuperBeaverInc. Groucho

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    Generally, the mods don't approve of thread bumping, unless it is for a good reason.
     
  13. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Yeah, but I think we can let this one pass.

    Welcome to CFC!
     
  14. Cuddybuddy69

    Cuddybuddy69 Chieftain

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    Thank you Prince Scamp...and besides which I did not actually pay much attention to the date stamp on the notices to which I replied to....
     
  15. MrRats

    MrRats Back for a while

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    Stellar Converter.....does he have an account here now?
     
  16. SuperBeaverInc.

    SuperBeaverInc. Groucho

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    It would appear that it was deleted.
     
  17. Catharsis

    Catharsis I'm the slickywickywickest there is

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    Stellar Converter got permbanned and account-deletificated. He used to be a mod, I think, but TF demodded him so he started spamming. This I have seen on the CFC OT Wiki. It's on the Internet, so it must be true.
     
  18. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    That's what I knew too, he was a mod and when TF and the others decided to make him back a member, he got angry and started spamming like a mad man. :crazyeye:
     
  19. Cuddybuddy69

    Cuddybuddy69 Chieftain

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    Well Thankfully I am not Stellar Convertor or indeed any type of Convertor lol
     

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