Kings is the epic outdoor game of skill and fun for the whole family.

Kings Viking Chess was the game of the Vikings. They sailed on their longboats to far off lands to raid and win new territory, to beat their enemy and conquer. Just like this game! The rules were taken from some ancient rune stones off the bottom of the sea and go something like this:

First things first, make two teams of one person or up to six people on each team. The teams don’t even have to be even, so you can play with whoever is around!

Now that you’ve got your Viking clans together, why are you raiding? Well, the goal is to knock over the King in the middle of the battlefield, and whichever team does that first – conquers! Before you get to attack the King you have to knock down all the blocks or ‘Warriors‘ of the opposing team. Be careful! If one team accidentally knocks over the King before the other team’s Warriors have been cleared, they lose the match immediately… ouch!

 

PLAYING WITH THE CARDS? USE THESE RULES TO START.

Shuffle the playing cards. Each team selects one and reveals their card. The card will tell you which team will throw first and how many spears you have for the first throw. There will also be other twists thrown in depending on the card drawn, such as moving the pieces around the field, or creating shields around your most important pieces.

WITHOUT THE CARDS? USE THESE RULES TO SEE WHO ATTACKS FIRST.

Each team hurls a throwing stick or ‘Spear’, from the same side, as close to the King as possible, without touching it. The team of Vikings that gets the Spear closest to the King has won the right to start. At this stage, if the King is accidentally knocked over, another shot is allowed – but only one. Knocking the King over again, gives the other team the right to start instead!

Go outside and find a flat area of lawn or beach and set up the ‘battlefield’. This should be 6m long x 4m wide for beginners and 8m x 5m for more experienced players. Hard surfaces like concrete and stone will wear out the pieces in your game faster – remember the Vikings fought on the beach and on the grass and you should do the same!The King is placed upright in the centre of the battlefield, and the Warriors are placed on each baseline (Base Warriors), five Warriors on each side, equidistant from each other. The baseline should run through the centre of the Warriors.

Team A now tries to knock over as many Warriors as possible by hitting them with the Spears. Spears must be held at the end and not in the middle. Throws must be under-handed, and the Spears must spin end over end. Throwing Spears overhand, sideways or spinning them side-to-side (helicopter) is cheating, and Vikings don’t cheat – they win!

When Team A is finished, Team B stands at their baseline and throws any knocked down Warriors back into Team A’s half of the field. These become known as “Battlefield Warriors”. Team B has two chances to throw each Warrior into the opposite half of the field. If they throw the Warrior out of bounds twice in a row, the offending Warrior can be placed anywhere in Team A’s side by Team A, but more than the length of a Spear from the King or Field Stakes.

Once all the Battlefield Warriors have been thrown, Team A stands them up. If a Warrior was thrown into the field and hit another Battlefield Warrior, the Warriors are stacked on top of each other. There is no limit to how many Warriors can be stacked in this way. Team B must then knock down all of the Battlefield Warriors before throwing at the Base Warriors. Any Base Warriors that are knocked down before the Battlefield Warriors don’t count, and are stood back up. After this turn, any knocked over Battlefield Warriors are taken out of the game.

If team B fails to knock over all of the Battlefield Warriors, then team A is allowed to attack team B’s Base Warriors from a new imaginary line running from the Battlefield Warrior which is closest to the King.

Play continues in this way until one team knocks over all of their Battlefield and Base Warriors. That team may then attempt to knock down the King. All attempts on the King must be taken from the baseline only (even if there is an upright Battlefield Warrior).

Once the King is knocked down, the game is over and YOU ARE VICTORIOUS! Songs will be sung of your legend for years to come… or until the next game anyway.

Every game is completely different, so you can play over and over and over, without getting bored!

Benefits of Kings for children

Some of the many benefits of playing Kings include:

  • reduced risk of obesity
  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • healthy growth of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • improved coordination (especially hand/eye co ordination) and balance
  • a greater ability to physically relax and, therefore, avoid the complications of chronic muscular tension (such as headache or back ache)
  • helps children develop social skills such as leadership and teamwork
  • enjoyment of being outside
  • improved personal skills, including cooperation and leadership.