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Tablut is a Saami (natives of northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland) game. It is probably descended from the Norse game Hnefetafl, differing in a few minor details and perhaps in board size. The dark pieces represent the Muscovites, and the light pieces the Swedes.
The object of the game is to capture the Swedish king, or to get the Swedish king to escape by reaching a board edge.
All pieces move in a straight line along a row or column (no diagonals, much as a rook moves in chess). The light square in the center is called the "king's square", and only the king may land on it or move over it. Pieces may not be jumped. Ordinary pieces (but not the king) are captured by being bracketed (called custodial capture) by two enemy pieces across from each other. The king's square can also be used (in place of a piece) to capture, although the king may not be used to capture. A piece may safely move between two enemy pieces, though; only the moving player may capture.
The king may be captured by being surrounded on all four sides by enemy pieces or the king's square.
Muscovites move first.
Copyright © 1998, Leif Bennett. All rights reserved.