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Tablut

Many versions of this game exist dating back to at least 400 CE but this version is based on a Lapland game recorded in 1732. The Vikings and Saxons played a game very similar to this called “Hnefatafl” (Kings Table) which had a board up to 19x19 squares and many more pieces but we think the game is played the same way.

Tablut Board. This game was played by the Saxons and Vikings.

The game is unusual in that the players have sides or armies of differing numbers. The smaller army has 8 warriors and a King which is larger than the rest (yellow in this case). The larger army, of 16 warriors, is trying to capture the King by surrounding him on 4 sides like a cross + . The smaller side is trying to get the King to the edge of the board.

All pieces can move any distance in a straight line  that is not blocked by other pieces forwards, backwards or side to side but not diagonally.

The Central square is the throne that only the King may rest upon (others may cross it but not land on it).

A warrior may be captured and removed by catching it between 2 opposing counters  O@O  but the King must be captured on all 4 sides.

When the player with the King has one route to the edge of the board they must declare it. If there are two or more routes the game is effectively over, like checkmate in chess.

Viking-Games-and-Pastimes-

For more information on Tablut, Hnefatafl and their variants, I could not recommend a better source of information than Cyningstan where you will find a comprehensive history and discussion of the various rules used by players all over the world.

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Lore-and-Saga Living history services and resources for schools, museums and heritage sites. Viking and Roman in school sessions and craft demonstrations. teachers notes and worksheets. Vikings, Saxons, Romans, national curriculum, invaders and settlers, key stage 2, history, teachers information, living history interpreter, in school sessions, storytelling, Roman resources, educational presentations, Viking lore, runes, Roman lore, Viking saga, living history interpretation, Viking resources, Odin, Viking crafts demonstrations, Roman cookery display, Viking silverwork, Roman games, chronology, Viking games, Roman school visits, Viking runes, national curriculum history key stage two, Viking school visits
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