Norse Mythology Chess Set
Do you believe in dwarfs and gods?
If so, then you’ll love this chess set!
They’re based on Norse mythology and are perfect for any genre fan.
These unique sets are a must-have for any collector and make a great gift for any chess player.
So what are you waiting for?
Check them out!
See below for our selection of Norse Mythology Chess Set!
Do you like chess? Do you like Norse mythology?
Well, then you’re in luck because new chess sets on the market combine both of these things!
These sets are perfect for chess fans and mythology buffs alike, and it’s sure to add a touch of sophistication to any game.
Below we’ll show you a selection of some Chess Sets that we have managed to find online – to give you a feel of how these look like 🙂
Norse Mythology Chess - FAQ
Norse Mythology Chess
In Viking chess, black pieces move first as the attacker. This is different from traditional chess, where white pieces move first. The objective of Viking chess (Hnefatafl) is to capture the opposing king, just like in traditional chess.
Viking Chess is called Tafl or Hnefatafl. The game was played by the Vikings during the early medieval period and was popular throughout Northern Europe. Tafl involves two players, where one player controls the attacking force and the other defends a central king piece. The game is similar to modern chess but has different rules and board sizes.
A Viking Chess Set, also known as Tafl or Hnefatafl, is a board game played by the Vikings during the early medieval period. It consists of a square board and two teams, with one team trying to get their king to safety while the other team tries to capture the king. The game is known for its strategic complexity and was a popular pastime among Viking warriors.
Hnefatafl, also known as Viking Chess, is said to be over 1600 years old. The game was popular among the Vikings and is believed to have originated in Scandinavia. Today, Hnefatafl is still played as a board game and has even inspired digital adaptations.
Viking Chess, also known as Hnefatafl, has a varying number of pieces depending on the board size. For an 11×11 board, there are 37 pieces; for a 9×9 board, there are 25 pieces, and for a 7×7 board, there are 13 pieces. The most common board size has 25 pieces.
Viking Chess, also known as Hnefatafl, is a board game that can be played by two people. The game is thought to have originated in Scandinavia during the Viking Age and is similar to modern-day chess, but with different rules and gameplay.
Yes, the Norse did have a version of chess known as Tafl or Hnefatafl. Tafl was played on a board with a 9×9 or 11×11 grid, and the objective was for one player to capture the opposing king piece. This chess-like game was popular in Scandinavia from the Viking Age until the Middle Ages.
Yes, the Lewis Chessmen are considered Vikings. These 12th-century chess pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis, an island off the west coast of Scotland that was under Norse rule at the time.
These reproduction chess pieces are made from stained buffalo bone – which is fairly close to the original design. And despite their almost astonishing appearance, the pieces are very durable and should be perfect for long chess games.
An additional bonus is the fact that the bottoms are felted.
As for the board, it is not known how the original board looked , it has never been found. But in the context of historical chess, a wooden board is always a sure bet.
Truly, if you are looking for a historically meaningful chess set that will also have a great appearance, this is one of the better choices.
This norse mythology themed chess set is most certainly worth a second look. With the pieces of authentic, viking design, styled after Odin, Frigg, Loki and Borr, Jörmungandr and Thor, they are sure to enchant any norse mythology enthusiast!
In terms of material choice, the pieces themselves could well have been made centuries ago.
As for the board – it’s also wooden, but the squares on the board are a little smallish, so it could make playing this set a little bit more inconvenient, as the pieces are really cramped there. But in this set the board here is just an addition, and one may swap it for another – the real focus here are the pieces.
Of course this comment above would be of little value if the set weren’t meant to be played.
But this one is certainly meant to be played – the pieces aren’t delicate, there are no parts that could break off should they be handled improperly. And obviously their appearance is so good that the pieces themselves could be displayed on a shelf, even outside strictly the context of chess.
This chess sets, made from hand-painted polystone is certain to capture a younger Norse mythology enthusiast’s attention – the vivid colors and the clear and distinct piece design has its merits. For Valhalla!
However it should be noted that this set usually does not come with a board, and so if it is going to be used for playing chess, it shall be needed to acquire a board separately.
As it was said earlier, there are many different hnefatafl variants.
But this is the variant of hnefatafl that is specifically called hnefatafl – that is, there are 37 pieces total on an 11×11 board. It is also quite good in terms of historical realism – there are no polymers and plastics, only wood and painted stone.
While the set below is a traveler’s set, this one is meant more to be kept in one place – perhaps even on display. Fit for a king!
What does Hnefatafl Mean?
Now, let’s squeeze in yet another hnefatafl set;
This striking hnefatafl set looks as if it could have come straight out of some Nordic saga. With the leather pouch-board, and with the horn and bone pieces it is perfect even for actual historical reenactment – or just for getting into the mood for some drinkin’, brawlin’ and pillagin’!
As for historical accuracy, with the board having 7×7 squares, and with the number of pieces available, it is perfect for one of the smaller hnefatafl variants – brandubh, for one. As an interesting note here, brandubh is supposedly a primarily Irish form of hnefatafl.
How old is Hnefatafl ?
Hnefatafl is said to be over 1600 years old and was played mainly in Nordic countries and much of North-West Europe. It probably developed from a Roman war game called Ludus Latrunculorum. It is said to be created within the historical period 1-400 A.D
There are other variants of hnefatafl played on 7 by 7 boards, however they usually require more pieces than sold with this set.
But, should you want to play one of the other variants, it’s fairly easy to replace the pieces with anything else in whichever number needed – after all, there are only three distinct piece types.
How do you pronounce Hnefatafl?
Hnefatafl in modern language pronounces ‘neffa-tafel’. Early Old Norse: [ˌxn̥e.βɑˈtʰɑβɫ̩].
Late Old Icelandic: [ˌn̥ɛ.ʋaˈtʰaβl̩].
Old Norse: [‘hneva,tavl] – “hnevatavl”. The Fs are Vs, the initial H is present.
There are many more hnefatafl variants, and many more different sets, so if you like the idea of that game, you can easily find a set to your liking. There are a couple universal sets being sold, that is sets with a large number of piece, where the board is painted in such a way that there are a couple different board outlines visible – for playing different variants.
There’s even a modern fantasy hnefatafl variant called “Thud”, sold as a board game. And also, if that’s your thing, some smaller hnefatafl variants can be played on a regular chess board, with regular chess pieces.
But that’s all about tafl games for now. Back to chess – let’s just wrap it up with one more set; this time, it’s…
Did Vikings Play Chess?
The Vikings likely did play chess, but more so they played their own version of chess “called Hnefatafl,” where “king” refers to a particular, centered piece in the game. Some say the rules resembled a Viking raid, where you win the game by defeating the opposing king. Hnefatafl translates to ‘Fist table’
Vikings are always going to be remembered as fearsome invaders, attacking, pillaging and then setting fire to what cannot be plundered. However, not always were they so lucky and sometimes they encountered strong defences.
There’s one such battle that’s always going to be remembered, the battle of Clontarf. It led to the celtic people’s victory and the wane of viking influence over Ireland – however at heavy losses to both sides. But try for yourself – maybe this time the vikings shall be victorious? Or maybe the losses shan’t be so heavy?
Now, as for this Norse chess set itself; only the pieces are sold here, without a board.
The pieces are made from polystone – a fairly popular and quite durable choice. See here to check similarly themed Celtic chess sets. There are two different versions available; one is red-and-white, while the other is in full color.
This version of the Lewis chessmen in terms of appearance is on par with the set mentioned above. However it is much more affordable while retaining good durability and playability.
Fit both for the younger Norse mythology enthusiast and for the older Norse history enthusiast.
Usually sold without a board, however it depends on the retailer, as this set in polystone is available in many different flavors from many different retailers
And with that set we shall finish for today with norse themed chess sets – and chess-like games.
Fara heil ok vel!
Wrapping It Up
When you’re looking for an exciting conversation starter, pull out one of these chess sets on your next game night.
Who knows, you might even start a new trend.
We’ll be over here admiring the intricate designs and dreaming about epic battles between gods and mortals.
What do you think?
Are Norse mythology chess sets the next big thing?
Let us know in the comments below!