Making a Go board

I like the game Go.  Wikipedia says it was invented about 2,500 years ago in ancient China.  You can read more about it here:

I was eating M&Ms yesterday and realized they would make great Go pieces.  The added benefit is that if you capture your enemy…  yum…  We got some big bags of the colorful candy and sorted them.  Note this is being done on our dining room “chess” table.


The plans were drawn up using DraftSight CAD (from the makers of SolidWorks).  It looked like this:

2015-01-09 - B130610

I imported that into VCarve Pro and generated toolpaths.  Here is what some of the gcode looks like:

2015-01-09 - B130704

I started by screwing down a leftover piece of pre-finished oak plywood and double-checking some tool measurements.  Here is a picture of the grid being cut with a 90 degree v bit.


Subsequent operations included using a 0.50″ ball nosed bit for the edges of the pockets, a 1/2″ straight bit for the center of the pockets, a v bit for the outside chamfer, and a 0.25″ carbide upcut bit for cutting the board out.


Since I lack a vacuum table, I used both onion skinning (a very thin final layer) and tabs (leftover connections you remove with a chisel) to keep the board from moving during cut out.


Here is a closeup of the grid.  I need to understand a bit more about feeds and speeds with v-bits because of the very small diameter at the tip of the bit.


Here is a close up of the orange side during game play.


And finally a view of all-out-go-combat from above.  I think orange is winning, don’t you?


Stratahex Game

We’ve invented a new board game, and it’s a lot of fun.  Stratahex combines resource collection, transportation, logistics, planning, defense, offense, warfare, and more into a simple and easy-to-play boardgame.



The basic game pieces are:

  1. Your base
  2. Supply Trucks
  3. Oil Rigs
  4. Small Tanks
  5. Artillery
  6. Standard Ammo
  7. High Explosive Ammo
  8. Coin

The board consists of 3 concentric circles with a hex-shaped hole pattern.  Parts of the board are painted light-gray, medium-gray, and dark-gray.

  • Oil rigs placed in light-gray recieve one coin per turn.
  • Oil rigs placed in medium-gray receive two coin per turn.
  • Oil rigs placed in dark-gray receive four coin per turn

You can only spend coin once it has been transported back to your base in a supply truck.  Each piece costs coin to purchase.  You have a limited number of moves per supply-truck and per weapon each turn.

Stratahex is a very comprehensive, but still simple, game to play.  The older kids, 8 and 10, have no trouble.  There is a lot of figuring, math, counting, and changing coin.

Gameplay is predictable, like chess, in that you can determine the possible moves of the opponent before his next turn.  There is no luck involved.

Plenty of fun!Image



Crayon Physics Deluxe is out!

This has to be one of the coolest games to arive since Wolfenstein 3D first came out.  If you were around for that, remember how revolutionary that was?

Crayon Physics Deluxe is is a 2D physics puzzle / sandbox game, in which you get to experience what it would be like if your drawings would be magically transformed into real physical objects. Solve puzzles with your artistic vision and creative use of physics.

This video says it all:

Find out more at