hist-games: Halatafl - digression on hnefatafl

Huette von Ahrens huette_aliza at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 12 17:13:24 PST 2005

> Message: 4
> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 19:37:06 -0500
> From: Jane & Mark Waks <waks at comcast.net>
> Subject: Re: hist-games: Halatafl - digression on
> hnefatafl
> To: Damian Walker <damian at snigfarp.karoo.co.uk>
> Cc: hist-games at www.pbm.com
> Message-ID: <43753932.50306 at comcast.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii;
> format=flowed

> Hmm. We're talking about different definitions of
> "unequal". I don't 
> dispute that the sides are quite *different* -- all
> the information 
> bears that out.
> But the more interesting and common question is
> whether the game is 
> *fair*: whether one side has a decisive advantage
> over the other. That's 
> a topic of frequent argument among the hnefetafl
> community, AFAICT, and 
> one of the major topics in Mats' article. It's far
> less clear: many 
> interpretations of hnefetafl are wildly unbalanced,
> but some are rather 
> better in that regard...
> 				-- Justin

I have found that playing the smaller version is just
as you say. They are very unfair.  But the largest
version, which people seem to be calling "Alea
Evangelii", is much fairer and is easy or
hard, depending on the experience of the players.  

I prefer the 19 square version, even if people call it
the "Saxon version", just because a Saxon monk decided
to use the game as an allegory for whatever point he
was trying to make.  There are several fragments of
the 19 square version found in archeological digs done
in Scandinavia.  Why would the larger version then be
exclusively "Saxon"?


"While I dance I cannot judge,
I cannot hate,
I cannot seperate myself from life.
I can only be joyful and whole.
That is why I dance."
--Hans Bos

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