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I recently purchased a new game: Hnefatafl

Now as far as I'm aware, this is the game that Thud is based on, which is the real game I want to play. For reference, here is my set:

enter image description here

And here are my pieces:

enter image description here

I have twelve defenders, and 24 attackers. It looks like those aren't enough (based on the number in the wiki link), so how can I make up the numbers? Or can I play n a smaller board?

Also, what is the best way to reproduce that original board? Do I need to consider anything balance-wise if I do shrink the board/number of pieces? What else should I consider?


This is actually hnefatafl according to this wikipdia page I found
enter image description here

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think what you have bought is a Tablut set, which is a reduced version, and actually survived into the twentieth century. Viking Hnefatafl had 25 defenders and 50 attackers on a larger board, but the rules are (believed to be) the same.

And Thud, from the link, is a board game (inspired by Discworld) created by Trevor Truran. It seems a bit unfair to try and play it without buying a set, but if you do you can, of course, try out any combination of board and pieces; at what point you move into creating your own game is an interesting point.

Finally, more for casual visitors than as a real answer; the Thud Lord Vetinari plays exists only in Terry Pratchett's fertile brain. A boardgame has been officially approved, but it would be as unwise to try and follow the Dwarf King's actual strategy as it would to try and build a network of semaphore towers across the land.

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+1 for warning me off building clacks towers. The real Thud game is no longer in print, and when it was in print it 5x as expensive as this set! Thanks! –  Pureferret Jan 21 '12 at 17:27
In Linnaeus' tablut, "One player has eight blonde Swedes and their monarch; the other has sixteen dark Muscovites." Also the illustrations of it I've seen are on a smaller board (9x9 instead of 11x11). 12 defenders and 24 attackers is, to my knowledge, one of the supposed versions of Hnefatafl. –  Alex P Jan 21 '12 at 19:46
As I by the way, @Pureferret, I bought myself a Thud set at the Irish Discworld Convention a couple of weeks ago, so it looks like it's back on the market. –  TRiG Nov 17 '13 at 1:43

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