Eketorp: Rules

A Game for 3-6 Viking Sovereigns by Dirk Henn


  1 game board
6 gamers' sheets
8 game pieces in 6 different colours
30 amulets
54 fighting cards
12 item cards 

items to construct coloured green (60 x foliage), brown (48 x wood), natural colour (12 x mud) and grey (6 x stones)                         


The game ends, when any player has completed his stronghold, or after 12 turns at the latest. Then the player with the most valuable stronghold wins the game.


The game board is put in the middle of the table. Every player chooses one of the 6 strongholds and thereby his colour. He receives the respective sheet and game pieces, which he puts in his stronghold. (If this becomes more different in the course of the game with a growing stronghold, you can place them beside. The important thing is that it is clear who is "at home"). With 6 players everybody gets 5 pieces, with 4 and 5 players 6 and with 3 players everybody gets 8 pieces. Every player is dealt four of the well‑shuffled fighting cards. If a player has not received at least one 4,5, or 6, he may return the cards, which are shuffled into the deck, and get four new ones. Every player gets moreover 5 amulets, a piece of paper and a pencil. The constructing items, the item cards and the rest of the fighting cards are put besides the board. The player, who visited Scandinavia the most frequently, begins the game.


The game proceeds in weeks, and every week runs down after the following scheme: (the order of the points has to be followed!!):

1. The items of this week appear.
2. Every player plans simultaneously his movements and writes them down.
3. The recorded movements are executed.
4. Fights and sieges are carried out.
5. The obtained items are built into the strongholds.
6. All Vikings recover one step. Change of the starting player. 

# 1. The starting player turns up the uppermost item card and puts it before him as reminder that he is starting player. The items on the card are put down on the plan: For every letter on the card one tile is placed on the respective spaces on the board. (Example 1, see extra page). The green tiles (foliage) will be the most numerous, but at the same time the ones an opponent can most easily take away from the stronghold, while the grey items represent stone, and can only hardly be removed when they once make part of the stronghold.

# 2. Every player writes down hidden and simultaneously how many where and if he wants to send his Vikings out of his stronghold. He may send them to the board onto field a‑g to get the items placed there, or to besiege an n opponent's stronghold. A stronghold can be besieged from three sides, A, B, or C. To send a Viking somewhere you write the respective letters on the paper. Of course you cannot send more Vikings than there are at home in the stronghold.

Example 2.: Toni (blue) has 5 Vikings in his stronghold. He wants to send two ones on d, one on field a and besiege Matti on his Gråborg from side B. So he writes down: a, d, d, GIB. The last Viking stays home to guard the stronghold.

# 3. Now the Vikings are sent off as ordered before.

# 4. The starting player has to determine one fight he is involved, that means a fight for items or a fight as a besieger, which he wants to execute first. This fight is carried out at once. Then the next player has the same choice, until every Viking on the board (a‑g) can get one item on his field, and all sieges are ended. That can be the case on some fields already in the beginning of the fighting phase. The clearness is raised when you put the wooden tiles on the Vikings on those fields where everything id through, so only the uncovered Vikings are possible fighters. (example 3)

Before every Fight
Before each of his fights a player may get rid of all the rest of his fighting cards. To do that he has to pay the same amount amulets as the number of his cards, put the cards aside and take the same number of cards from the deck. Of course that is only possible if you own enough amulets for all of the cards on your hand ‑ you exchange all or nothing. Every amulet kept until the end counts one point at the end.

Executing a Fight:
The two players involved play one of their fighting cards and uncover it simultaneously. The player with the higher fighting value on the card wins the fight and remains. The loosing player is injured and goes to the hospital (,,Lazarett"),.Depending on the difference between the two played cards, the injury is more or less bad. So he goes to the respective space on the hospital. At a tie both fighters go to "Diff 0" 0". The fighting players exchange the played cards and put them facedown on the space on their sheet. So it is clear at any time who has how many cards on his hand (example 4). A player has to play down all his cards before he may take up the four new covered cards from his sheet.

Executing a Siege:
One section of a stronghold can only be besieged by one Viking. If more than one Viking is sent to the same section, at first those Vikings fight against each other (at normal rules), until only one besieger per section is left.

The defender of the stronghold cannot begin the fight. He has to wait until he is attacked. The course of a siege is the same as of a normal fight. The player with the higher fighting value wins the fight. The loosing player is injured and goes to hospital, the cards are exchanged. Being attacked by a besieger the defender can benefit from the protection of the stronghold. Therefore he is injured one level less. He is put on the respective space on the hospital, one step lower than the difference between the played cards indicates. If the besieger looses the fight, he is injured as hard as in a normal fight.

Example 5: Besieging Matti's Gråborg Toni plays a 5, Matti a 3. Matti's Viking (as stronghold defender) is put on the hospital field "Diff 0". If Matti had played a 5, both Vikings would have gone to hospital, Matt’is to the last space "Entlassung" (dismissal), Toni's on "Diff 0".

The winning besieger may remove tiles from the besieged sector of the stronghold, up to the value that is indicated by the difference of the played cards. He always has to take items from the top, and is allowed to take one of them after his choice home. The green items are worth 1 point, the brown 2, the nature‑coloured 3 and the grey 4 points. The rest of the items torn down is put back to the stack.. (Example 6)

With an empty stronghold besieged, cards are exchanged between the besieger and the owner as usual, but the defender's card counts as a Zero.

When all fights and sieges are ended, every Viking on a‑g goes home with a constructing item, also the besiegers go home, with or without items (That can happen if a besieger just wins a fight, but the tiles on the top he would have been allowed to remove are more expensive than the fighting cards difference)

# 5. Now all new items are built in, that means they are put on one of the six places for the items (grey shaded) or on items already lying there. Maximum height is three items. Completing the third level the stronghold is ready.

# 6. All Vikings standing on the dismissal (,,Entlassung") are healed and go back to their home. All Vikings in Hospital heal one step, that means they are all pushed one space right. The starting player goes clockwise one player further.


The game ends with one player completing his stronghold. The week has to be finished. All players completing the stronghold in this week receive 5 points. Every player counts the value of his stronghold: Every green item is worth 1 point, a brown one 2 points, a nature-coloured 3 points and a grey one 4 points. Items captured beyond the requested three levels count, too. And every amulet kept till the end counts one point. The player with most points achieved gets the title „ ,,Jarl'' and wins the game.











You can also introduce the following add‑on rules if you want: 

The defender of a stronghold may dare a sally and attack a besieger in front of his stronghold with normal fighting rules. In this case he cannot profit from the protection of the stronghold and is injured as in a normal fight. He is never forced to do so, so if he has only besieges of his own stronghold left, he can wait until he is attacked.

Foliage and wood items do never exceed three items per field at a time. If the item card is turned over and the result would be more than three items on one field, those items exceeding three are not put on the field. They are rotten.

Some further remarks: Eketorp is an old stronghold of Vikings on the Swedish island Gland in the Baltic Sea. It has been constructed and given up several times. In the meantime it has been reconstructed according to excavations, as it must have looked in the second construction phase from 400‑650A.D. You can visit the site in the south of the island comprising the animals breeded as they are supposed to have been informer days. By the way, the helmets of the Vikings did not have horns, but expectations and the force of habit ... ... .

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