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Hnefatafl (The Kings Table)


Brought to early Britain in the 8th century by settlers and raiders from Scandinavia, tafl was hugely popular and played by everyone from Kings to peasants. Evolved from earlier Roman and Greek games, tafl teaches both offensive and defensive tactics in a game of pure strategy. Guard pieces protect the King, trying to move him to the safety of fortifications. While the second player attempts to take him hostage and win the game. Game pieces could be as simple as different coloured stones from the ground - to elaborate pieces of imported glass which cost as much as a brand new small car in today's money. Excavation of Anglo-Saxon and Viking burial mounds have found tafl boards and game pieces, showing how hugely important this game was. They couldn't imagine an afterlife without it!. Do you have the strategy skills of a Viking warrior? Can you take the King? Or will you find yourself kneeling asking for mercy?

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