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Thread: Hnefatafl: The Ancient Germanic Strategy Game

  1. #11
    Senior Member IlluSionSxxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    Maybe not this particular game, but board gaming in general remains a significant part of Germanic culture
    In my area, traditional games are usually larger than board games. For example, I can think of shuffleboarding and "kegelen" (a variation on bowling).

    We do have some old board games that are or were popular in our area, though. However, I don't think any of them are typically from Flanders. I can think of the Goose board, Mens-erger-je-niet (variation of Ludo), triktrak (variation of Backgammon) and numerous playing card games.







    Goose board



    Mens-erger-je-niet



    Checkers


    Chess


    Triktrak

  2. #12
    Senior Member Leof's Avatar
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    I love playing Hnefatafl. The 4 way king bit though is in error as sources clearly indicate otherwise. It is a very well balanced game and more fun than the one-track minded chess games.

    In answer to Illusion's question, Hnefatafl was dropped in favor of chess in the medieval transition. Board games were such a part of ancient Germany that they are mentioned in the Poetic Edda. Back in the golden age, the gods had little better to do than play board games. After the seeress prophecy however they set about preparing for the final battle. After Ragnarok, Baldr and Hodr will return from Hel and find the game pieces the gods played back then; a poetic motif connecting this period as a return of the golden age.

    Considering the harsh weather conditions of winter. People found ways to entertain themselves while they waited out the unending darkness and cold. Drinking, feasting, singing and games of skill had thus become celibrated aspects of tradition and culture and Hnefatafl was a part of that.

  3. #13
    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    I like a lot of modern board games too.

    Reiner Knizia has designed a lot of excellent ones, with rules that are fairly easy to learn but complex strategies (Colossal Arena and Ra are probably my favorites)

    http://www.knizia.de
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    Senior Member Brynhild's Avatar
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    That game looks like fun. I like playing draughts (checkers), chess and backgammon as well sometimes. Before now, though, I'd not heard of it.
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    Senior Member SlíNanGael's Avatar
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    This game is also considered the forebear of the Celtic games Fidchell(Ireland) and Tawlbwrdd(Wales)

    a cloth Fidchell board:



    it can also be played online here.

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    The final of the World Quickplay Hnefatafl Championships, held on the island of Fetlar, Shetland on August 16th 2008.

    World Quickplay Hnefatafl Championships 2008


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutwölfin View Post
    Hi

    I Tried the above link, but when the game loads, I need an opponent in the same room. Is there a version where my opponent can be anywhere in the world?

    KR

    Donagh

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    A friend of mine recently introduced me to this game. Apparently, they can be bought at a decent price at the Danish National Museum (I cannot remember the exact price).

    It is a quite amusing game. There are a lot of nuances and stratagems available in a typical game, and unlike chess the game can be played quickly, making it suitable for occasions where you do not have time for a time-consuming board game.

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