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Hnefatafl is the name of a game frequently referred to in the Norse sagas. Vikings considered skill at hnefatafl to be a valuable attribute, and in one story one player kills the other due to a disagreement over the game. However, the rules of this game were never recorded, and only playing pieces and fragmentary boards are extant, so it is not known for sure how the game was played. As no complete, unambiguous descriptions of the rules of a Tafl game exist. However, there is enough information to make a reasonable guess as to how the game might have been played. The following is one possible reconstruction of the rules of Tablut, staying as close to the original source as possible. Starting position: Attacking pieces in black, defending pieces in white. The game is played on a 9?9 board. Initial set-up is as shown in the diagram. The object of the game for the defenders is to have the king reach any square on the periphery of the board. The object of the game for the attackers is to capture the king. All pieces have the move of a chess rook; that is, they can move any number of spaces in any orthogonal direction until they encounter an obstruction. All pieces, with the exception of the king, are captured by surrounding them on two opposite sides with enemy pieces. A capture can only result from the movement of an enemy piece; a piece moving between two existing enemy pieces is not captured. After the king has left the center square (the throne or castle) of the board, no pieces can be moved onto it (however, other pieces can move through it). The king is captured by surrounding him on all four sides, or three sides and the throne.  

 
 
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