Holmgang is a game of dice that I created in 2017, inspired by the research I did for my second novel, Hagar. It is currently only available at shows or by contacting me directly for a set. I plan to add a promo video and a link to order a set to this page in the future. For those who own a set but lost the directions, I have included them below. For those who are interested, come to a show and ask to play a game. 


Holmgang Rules v2.1

2 players

10 D6 dice (Swords)

2 D20 countdown dice  and 6 wooden discs(Shields)


You are two Vikings in an epic dispute after trading insults. By the old Norse laws, you have agreed to settle the matter by Holmgang. Grab your three shields and your best sword, step onto the sacred elk hide, and fight to first blood. May your honor bind and follow you, win or lose.  

Choosing first player

Both players trade an insult. Whoever is more aggrieved goes first, whoever has the better insult goes second. Alternatively, they each roll 1D6 and high roll goes first.

Order of play

Each turn the attacking player rolls 4D6. This is the Swing.

Next the defending player chooses any one of their opponent’s dice to be rerolled. This is called the Parry.

For any pair of numbers left after the Parry, the defending player takes that number in damage For example, two 3’s would mean 3 damage. Two 4’s and two 1’s would mean 5 damage.

For three of a kind, double the damage. So, three 5’s would mean 10 damage.

For four of a kind, triple the damage. So, four 6’s would mean 18 damage.

Also, for a straight of 4 or more, add middle two or three  numbers together for damage(ie 1234=5, 23456=12).

If any damage is done, subtract that number from the defender’s active shield (D20CD). Now it is the next player’s turn to Swing.


Each player has 3 shields (discs), which are used as counters. They start the game by placing a D20CD on only one of the shields. At the start of each round, the defending player may discard a broken shield for a new one, resetting the D20CD on a new shield; however, once discarded, that shield cannot be used again for the rest of the game. All damage received in a round can only be applied to the active shield.

Galen’s Wager - If a player’s shield is at 5 or less, the player may use 5D6 for their next Swing.

Winning the game

The first player to cause more damage than their opponent’s active shield has drawn first blood, and wins the game.


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