Viking Gaming Piece

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Viking Gaming Piece. A gaming piece used in the game of Hnefatafl.

The Vikings played a game distantly related to chess called Hnefatafl, which translates into English as The King's Chequered Table. The game was played between two players on a wooden board marked out into 121 equal squares. In the centre sits the King on a special square signifying a castle. Around him are placed 12 defensive pieces. The attacking pieces are arranged around the edges of the board in formations of six on each side. The purpose of the game for the defence is to place the King in one of the corner squares, which are also designated as castles and surround the King on all four sides preventing him from moving.