Hnefatafl - the Viking Game

The Aim of the Game - for white

Article text
This diagram shows several possible routes the King might take to get to a corner.
So, let’s start with the basics – the aim of the game.

The unique thing about the tafl family of games is their asymmetry. Not only do the two players have different sized forces, but they have different aims in the game as well.

Let’s start with white. White’s aim is simple: to get the King from the centre square (where he stands at the beginning of the game) to any one of the four corner squares.

The white king may have to take quite a complicated route to get from the centre square (called the throne) to one of the corner squares. The black warriors will try to stop him and get in his way. But as soon as he reaches one of the corner squares, the game is over – white has won.