Hnefatafl board and pieces

(Yes, it’s really hard for me to pronounce and I believe the H is silent. :laughing: )

After learning about this ancient Viking game a few months ago, and being inspired by @joshnmary484 's post here, I designed my own set. It turned out really well and I was pleased to gift it to my friend’s son.

After the board was scored and masking was partially removed I used spray paint to mark the grid lines and special squares. The finished board is 10.5 inches square.

While designing the pieces for the attacking and defending teams, I decided to create second alternate designs for their flip side. So each player can choose which design they would like to play with if they want some variety.

I made some spare “soldier” pieces for both teams, and also made a special extra “king” piece, a Golden Squirrel, since my friend loves Red squirrels. We decided it looks a bit more like a Golden Hare though. All pieces were colored with Sharpie pens.



This is a very well done project. It makes me want to learn to play this game.


Like the variety of game pieces, hope he enjoys it!

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Wow, most impressive!

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A few photos which nicely show the scale.

Also a photo from after partially weeding the board before spray painting.

Lightly engraving the lines into the wood instead of painting might have been better from the perspective of wear and tear over time. I’m glad I tried this technique of taking advantage of the natural masking for painting though, as it seemed to work really well.


You should try out heXentafl, a tafl-based game played on a hex board. Try it out at and soon I’ll try to get my files for the simple set I made on my design downloads page.


Woah, that’s awesome, thank you for sharing that. Will have to see how that plays too.

wait, there was a squirrel?

An elusive little ninja!