Maerstanas 0.4.1 Help



Mǽrstánas is a free libre open source abstract strategy game by John Beers.

It was conceived in 2022 while working on Oferhlýp. As a fan of Hnefatafl, I wanted to name my games using Anglo-Saxon words to lend a quasi-historical feel to them. Both Mǽrstánas and Oferhlýp utilize the same 7x7 grid because, if they were historical, it might make sense for people to reuse an existing board, much like chess and checkers.


Players alternate placing stones within the squares of a 7x7 grid with the goal of creating connection points ("hinges") between their own pieces or the edges of the board in order to achieve the highest score.


Required components

  • Game board (tæfl)

  • Approximately 40 stones (stánas) or tokens, split evenly between two colors

Optional components

  • 1 stone of each color marked in some manner (traditionally a Þorn, or "thorn" rune - ᚦ) to designate it as a Þunor-stán ("thunder-stone").

  • 1 stone of each color marked in some manner (traditionally a ós, or "god" rune - ᚩ) to designate it as a wóden-stán ("Woden-stone").

Setup and starting the game

The board begins empty (similar to Go). Traditionally, the player using the darker colored stones would play first, but players may decide who goes first in whatever manner seems appropriate. Players then alternate taking turns.

Last modified: 18 April 2024