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Viking game - Hnefatafl
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Viking game - Hnefatafl

Tafl games were a family of ancient Germanic and Celtic board games played on a checkered or latticed board with two teams of uneven strength. The size of the board and the number of pieces varied, but all games involved a distinctive 2:1 ratio of pieces, with the lesser side having a king-piece which started in the centre. The king's objective was to escape to (variously) the board's periphery or corners, while the greater force's objective was to capture him. There is also some controversy over whether some tafl games (i.e. Hnefatafl and Tawlbwrdd) may have employed dice.Tafl spread everywhere the Vikings traveled, including Iceland, Britain, Ireland, and Lapland.Versions of Tafl, comprising Hnefatafl, Alea Evangelii, Tawlbwrdd, Brandubh, Ard Ri and Tablut, were played across much of Northern Europe from earlier than 400 CE until it was supplanted by Chess in the 12th century.