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11th Nov 2009

The Cattle Raid of Cooley page 57

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The Cattle Raid of Cooley by Patrick Brown
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The Cattle Raid of Cooley page 57

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4 Responses to “The Cattle Raid of Cooley page 57”

  1. Robert W. Says:

    I agree with you that probably Fidchell was similar to what the vikings called Hnefatafl, but I think the point was that the king in the middle is trying to break out from a siege and reach the corners (This makes a lot of sense in the storyline too, “It is not right that death should take this sweet slight king on the coppery point the handsomer on this mad board”).

  2. paddybrown Says:

    From my research, some (like Eoin Mac White) think fidchell was like Hnefatafl with a king trying to break out of a siege, but others (eg Uilliam mac Eoin) think it was a battle game where the object was to take all your opponent’s pieces. I’ve gone for the second option for story reasons – because in this scene the king is not the one on the defensive.

  3. Robert W. Says:

    Oh, I see. Didn’t notice the difference between the Hnefatafl and the Fidchell board. Reading the reconstructed rules by Uilliam mac Eoin your version makes sense.

  4. paddybrown Says:

    On the other hand, my board is a kind of La Tene version of the Ballinderry board, which is very likely a Hnefatafl board. My ad-hoc reasoning is that, as well as fidchell, other board games like buanfach and brandub are mentioned in the sagas; I’ll say one of them is a variant of Hnefatafl, and all three games can be played on the same board.

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