Thursday, June 6, 2013

An old Vikings' Game

Despite what you might think, playing games is not a new idea in our modern society. Man kind has played games for thousands of years. Both in the middle east, in Africa, America and Europe.
One of these games is "Kings Pin," which I mention in my Sci-fi/Norse-mythology blend,  "Skrymers Glove."
It's an old Vikings' game in which two teams throw wooden sticks to knock down 5 pawns and a king.
Here's what this game is all about including a description on how to make the pieces to the game yourself:

Making the pieces to the game

Pawns: 10 wooden blocks, approx. 2"*2"*4" (remember sanding them to a smooth surface without splinters)
King: 1 wooden block, approx. 2"*2"*6" (for aesthetic purposes you could cut a crown in one end and color it)
Sticks: 6 wooden pegs, approx. 6" long and 1" thick
Markers: 4 wooden pegs with one end pointed

Setting up

The 4 markers are used to mark the playing field. Two markers identify each team's Base Line as shown above. Between the markers, place 5 pawns evenly distributed.

In the other end of the playing field you place team 2's Base Line in such a way that the 4 markers form a square of any size you want. The pointy end goes into the ground (though it is possible to play the game on almost any surface, grass usually is the most fun, because the unevenness makes it more difficult to hit the target.)

Finally, the king is placed in the middle of the field, that is: standing on the spot of where you put the king, the distance to all four markers should be the same.

Playing the game
In turns and standing behind their own Base Line, each team throws 6 sticks trying to knock over the opposite team's 5 pawns. When the team has thrown all of the 6 sticks, it's the other team's turn. When a pawn is knocked over, it's out of the game.

If one of the teams manage to knock over all the pawns, the king is the target.

If a team knocks over the king BEFORE all of the opposite team's pawns are knocked over, that team has lost.

If a team knocks over all the pawns of the opposite team and THEN knocks over the king, that team has won.

NOTE! When throwing your stick, you must hold it in one end and do an underarm throw like when playing soft ball and the stick is not allowed to rotate sideways.

Alternative rules
To make the game a bit more interesting, these additional rules are just the thing:

Traitor Pawn Rule:
When a team has thrown all their 6 sticks, knocked over pawns are not put aside. Instead the team owning these pawns throw them to the other side of the playing field (they must land on the other side of the king - if not, they will throw again and keep doing so, till they do)

Any team having pawns on the other side of the king, MUST knock over those pawns, BEFORE knocking over the opposite team's pawns.

Any team having 1 or more of the opposing team's pawns on their side of the field, may throw their sticks from where those pawns are standing. (That is: they no longer have to stay behind their own Base Line)

When a team knocks over one of their own pawns while it's standing on the opponent's side of the field, that pawn is set aside and is out of the game.

Chaos Rule:
When a team knocks over the last of their opponents' pawns, everyone targets the king with all they have including the team's own pawns (this means that both teams can throw at the king and win)

There you have it! Enjoy the game!

Already tried the game? Feel free to leave a comment:

Historical Note: There really is no hard evidence that this game was actually played by the Vikings, but it's an interesting idea, isn't it?