The Ned Kelly Game has evolved from an idea to adapt Hnefatafl into a game, based on Australia’s most famous bushranger – it happened in Brisbane one balmy night back in 2003. Cliff Clohessy was watching his daughter Myee and son-in-law, Ketil, play the Viking game by drawing lines on a sheet of paper and using buttons for pieces. He remarked that the set-up of the ancient strategy game reminded him very much of the Siege of Glenrowan. They added extra twists to the rules and a true Australian flavour using Ned Kelly and the police to the game that had been played in the Nordic regions from as early as 400AD and created a new game full of strategy and challenge.
For Ned Kelly to win the game he must escape from the Police and enter the safety of any one of his corner hideouts marked with the shamrocks. The role of the Gang is to protect Ned on his escape by stopping the Police and if necessary sacrificing themselves for their hero’s safety. Please note that as the Gang’s leader, Ned has the advantage of being the only piece that can stand on the black circle (although both the Gang and Police may cross over it) and he is the only one who can enter a shamrock square. The Police have the prime objective of capturing Ned, ”Dead or Alive!” They have a difficult task and must use clever tactics to guard all possible escape routes and at the same time try to pursue the outlaws. If the Police directly surround and capture Ned Kelly on all sides they have won the game. Please note that the Police can capture Ned if he is standing against the edge of the board with three policemen.
The game is well packaged with a printed cloth mat and pieces made of pewter or a simpler version in plastic that all rolls into a cylinder – nice and neat – easy to store and keep clean.