My brother in law showed me a cool board game with a very strange name: Hneftafl. The game is an old Viking game and I really liked playing it. The rules are short and easy to explain, so it can even be played by kids. I designed my own version of the game for laser cutting and created a rules one-pager that explains how to play the game.
The graphics are based on old Viking symbols and I used a Celtic knot as the border of the game board. I found a very nice HTML5 Celtic knot generator that allowed me to get the right border thickness for my board.
The game is played with 3 types of pieces: a king with a team of 12 protectors and a team of 24 opponents. In the versions of the game that I found online, the two opposing teams are just two Viking tribes in different colors. I thought it would be nicer to have 24 knights take out the 12 Vikings and their king. So I designed simple but nice looking playing pieces. For the historians among you, I am aware that Viking helmets did not have horns, but I just find horned Vikings cooler.
The next thing I designed was a hinged box to hold the pieces and a lid that serves as the game board. When I was scavenging for hinges and box closing mechanisms, I found a website that had a very nice design. The hinge is something that I had seen on multiple other designs already, but the closing mechanism is very cool. It consists of a cutout in the lid and a stick-out part of the side that is slightly larger than the cutout in the lid. The stick-out part has vertical cutting lines, that make it somewhat flexible and allow it to be clamped into the cutout of the lid. For now I just guessed the tolerances for my design and I will evaluate my choices when I manage to laser cut it..
To make sure all my designs were correct, I exported the vector drawings to pdf, imported them in Rhinoceros and virtually assembled the box. I had to start over 3 times because I got some detail wrong on the hinge design, so the virtual assembly was very useful. Now that my designs were assembled in 3D, I made some beautiful renders with the pieces in the starting position. These are my nicest Rhino renders yet.
The designs were created for 3mm MDF. You can download the designs below or on Thingiverse:
- The rules of the game (pdf)
- The cutting files for the box (svg)
- The game board on its own: svg and pdf
Have fun making and playing the game!