L-Lists Logo L-Lists logo (words)
The collaborative list making website by
StatisticalConsultants Ltd
Search for lists:
Follow L-Lists:
Also by Statistical Consultants Ltd: Unlisted Videos - A website for unlisted YouTube videos.

List of Tafl variants

List started by: StarTrekWarsGateOcean
List contributors: StarTrekWarsGateOcean
Date started: 20 Dec 2014
Last updated: 20 Dec 2014
Keywords: board games, tafl


Tafl are a family of ancient Germanic and Celtic strategic board games. The original rules aren't known for certain. One player has a king piece and some soldiers, and starts the game in the centre of the board. The other player has a greater number of soldier pieces and starts outside of the centre, surrounding the other player's pieces. The player with the king, wins the game if their king escapes. The other player wins if they capture the king.


Row # Title Image Description
1 Tablut Tablut Tablut, from Sápmi, is the best documented version of tafl. During his 1732 expedition to Lapland, Carl Linnaeus recorded the rules and a drawing of the board in his journal. His description (in Latin) was incomplete, as he did not speak the Sami language of his hosts and described the game only from observing the players. The game was played on a 9×9 mat. In his journal, Linnaeus referred to the light (defending) pieces as Swedes and the dark (attacking) pieces as Muscovites.
2 Hnefatafl Hnefatafl
Hnefatafl was a popular board game in medieval Scandinavia and was mentioned in several Norse Sagas. The rules of the game were never explicitly recorded, and only playing pieces and fragmentary boards have been found, so it is not known for sure how the game was played. It is possible that a dice was used.
3 Brandubh Brandubh
Brandub was the Irish form of tafl. The rules for this version are uncertain, but according to two poems, it was game of five men versus eight. A number of 7x7 boards were found.
4 Ard Ri Ard Ri
Ard Ri was a Scottish tafl variant. It was played on a 7×7 board with a king and eight defenders against sixteen attackers. It is the least documented of the known tafl variants.
5 Tawlbwrdd Tawlbwrdd
A tafl variant played in Wales. Robert ap Ifan documented it with a drawing in a manuscript dated 1587. His version was played on an 11x11 board with 12 pieces on the king's side, and 24 on the opponent's side.
6 Alea Evangelii Alea Evangelii Alea evangelii (which means game of the gospels), was described along with a drawing, in the 12th century Corpus Christi College, Oxford manuscript 122, from Anglo-Saxon England. It was played on the intersections of a board of 18x18 cells. The manuscript describes the layout of the board as a religious allegory, but it is fairly obvious that this was a game based on Hnefatafl.

Related Lists


Add to this list

  • Each row in the following text fields represents one entry in the list.
  • Each list entry must have a title and/or URL. Entry descriptions and images are entirely optional.
  • The submitted link URLs would be automatically standardised. This will mean that it doesn't matter whether or not you include the https:// (or https//) at the beginning or a / at the end.
  • Don't worry if a title, URL or description takes more than one line in the input form.  Regardless of whether the input was entered manually or copied and pasted, this website can distinguish between whether the input going to a new line was due to its long length or from the use of the enter key.
  • New list entries are added to the bottom of the list. Chronologically ordered lists should be ordered from the earliest to the latest.
  • If an image is too wide or tall, it would be automatically scaled.

Not registered? Register here.

Link Titles Link URLs Link Descriptions

List Entry Image URLs

Report this list

Not registered? Register here.

Junk list Irrelevant or broken links
Spelling, grammatical or formatting errors Factual errors or opinionated descriptions
Out of date information Suggest related lists or alterations
Forbidden content/links Other


Receive Notifications

Receive notifications via email, whenever new list entries are added to this list.

Not registered? Register here.

Help - Terms of Usage - Privacy Policy - Contact
© Statistical Consultants Ltd 2012 -