|Project by vipond33||posted 04-25-2012 02:40 AM||8126 views||96 times favorited||32 comments|
As yet another wood game comes screaming off the assembly line here at Vipond woodworks, I fancy I hear some of you saying to yourselves “Haven’t I seen this somewhere before?” Why, yes you have if you’re an old fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For this is Terrace, the game often seen being played in the crew member’s lounge. It was a permanent prop on the series.
For their purposes it was made in space age-y “puhlastick” (did I say that right?) and featured brightly coloured hemispherical playing pieces.
Not being a big fan of petrochemical products I have re-done this attractive playing board in stone age wood with slightly higher risers and, having taken a vow in my youth never to consort with tempting hemispheres or shiny seductive paint (but still trying to be true to the spirit of the show), made the men out of wood as well, but in a menacing Borg cube style.
Back to the future, back to reality.
Playing this game is simple with only four basic rules so it’s good for kids too and it may be thought of as a combination of checkers and easy chess. The object of the game is to move your specially marked smallest piece from one corner diagonally to the other, capturing or avoiding your foe along the way. The difference from those games is in the levels or terraces, as you have capturing power only from above. Larger pieces over smaller, higher ground over lower, that’s really quite intuitive.
If you decide to make this board, there are three possible approaches. One is to cut individual squares and glue them together (tough but do-able), another is to cut varying length strips and profile them to make squares, or, you may lay up planes of wood as I have done here with notching and grooving. You might like to use different woods for a traditional checker board effect. My board has all outside surfaces veneered to conceal the layers and grooves.
Hemispheres are really at your own discretion (though turners may delight!) You could also substitute machine nuts, lithium cells or buttons for the pieces but probably not Federation super magnets no matter how cool they would look.
The wood used here is a fabulous rich Honduras mahogany, formerly the drawer bottoms from a very old desk that I re-configured at work; they were marked by the original wood shop as being made in: “Niagara Falls -1926” (in the local space-time continuum). The playing pieces are maple and ebony.
The appropriately terraced and mitred holding box(s) are made with snug fitting recesses and have a crown of heartwood with sapwood streaked ebony.
Finally, in the repetition sweepstakes that I so gamely play, this one’s a real contender. 696 miniature rebates to be cut, sanded and edges broken, with somewhere around 2960 movements altogether including fitting of the cubes. Don’t talk to me about why I didn’t round over each little corner. I suppose there’s a limit to the universe somewhere out there, but you know I think Steve Palm may have a good case here.
All detailing was done with a 10”x250 tooth x 2mm, hollow ground, HSS metal cutting blade.
Board -sanding sealer. Tower box -spray shellac. Cubes -wax only on the buffing wheel. Goddard’s wax throughout.
This is an absorbing game for pre-teens up to dotards and is easy to learn, however it did earn a Mensa award, so, if you’re not real careful, you might find yourself suddenly locked in a tractor beam as your young grinning opponent annihilates your fleet. May the farce be with you.
11 1/2” x 11 1/2” x 2 3/4” Board (1 7/16” squares)
3 3/4” x 3 3/4” x 9 1/2” Box tower
3/4”, 7/8”, 1”, 1 1/8” Cubes
About 32 hrs, maybe more.
Build on LJ’s.
rules, trivia and online game play
Download the game.
This is very old but it works just fine. Amazingly, with it you can play a friend over a phone line if you have a 1200 to 9600 baud modem! You’ve got to love and thank the people that keep this stuff alive.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.