Hnefatafl which translates into “King’s table” is a strategic board game that was played by the Vikings between the 8th and 10th century. It was a popular game played in Nordic countries and it followed the Viking civilization through other parts of Europe. As chess became more popular, Hnefatafl was slowly forgotten.

I learned about the game when user Prushik posted an Instructable called “Hnefatafl Board – The Viking Board Game“. I like playing chess and I thought this would be a good game to try out. I also liked the idea of playing a game that was forgotten a long time ago.

As an amateur woodworker, I wanted to make a board that looks nice. Also, I am the kind of person who gets annoyed when game pieces are positioned partway on the lines. Although Prushik’s design keeps the pieces centred on their square, I was not entirely convinced by the pin and hole system. I started to think about another system and I decided to use magnets.

Here’s my modern take on a forgotten game from the Viking era.