If you love strategy games, it is likely that you enjoy chess, one of the oldest strategy games out there. When I was in high school, a group of friends and I got together to play chess every Friday, but I must admit that I showed up mostly for the Twizzlers and chips and salsa. Judging by his excellent LEGO rendition of a chessboard, Chris Maddison seems like the kind of guy who would have shown up to show people up with skillful moves and clever endgame strategies.
This is a very handsome and elegant board and set of pieces, with virtually no studs showing except for the eyes and throats of the knights. The anti-studs at the top of the rooks look great, but my favorite piece is the king, with a simple yet effective cross atop his crown. The SNOT (studs not on top) board looks perfect for playing; I could easily see myself being checkmated in three moves on it. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old chess set and start playing again; or better yet, I could build myself one like Chris.
Unlike building with LEGO, playing board games implies very specific elements of luck, strategy, and competition. It’s very hard to draw parallels between building with plastic pieces and spending hours over a board moving tokens back and forth. So when the two universes meet each other, the result can be absolutely unpredictable — just like 40198 LEGO Ludo Game, the new LEGO version of the famous Ludo board game. The set consists of 389 pieces, includes a small army of 16 minifigures and retails at $39.99/€39.99. And could I have imagined how much fun was hidden inside the box..?
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There are dozens of ways one can decorate their home with LEGO, either mounting Star Wars battleships on the walls, placing LEGO sculptures all over the place or even hanging huge LEGO mosaics in a guest room. Still, there is nothing quite like a brilliant grandmaster chess set built completely with LEGO pieces to be exhibited in your home library. Bonus points are for a themed chess set – just like this 6,500-piece-large masterpiece by Aniomylone.
Click here to take a closer look at the pieces!
Despite spending the first fifteen years of my life in Japan and living in the same city as one of the largest Go clubs in North America, I’ve really only admired the ancient game of Go from afar. I’ll need to correct that someday, perhaps by building one of my own Go boards from LEGO, as Kadigan did. The 17×17 board takes advantage of the tiny gaps between LEGO tiles, with 1×1 round tiles as the black and white playing pieces. He’s even created realistic wooden bowls from ball turret bases.
If you liked this, you might also appreciate the 9×9 LEGO Go board built by Joe Miller a couple years ago.
Bust out your detective notebooks because it’s time to find out who killed Mr. Boddy! The list of suspects is long and the combination of rooms and murder weapons seemingly endless. Leah G built seven fantastic little LEGO vignettes based on the classic board game of who done it known as Clue. Each vignette depicts a possible murder scenario and tons of great details.
Who do you think could be responsible for such a heinous crime? Could Tim Curry be invovled somehow? I need to snoop around a bit more for clues before I’ll feel confident opening that secret envelope. Leah has narrowed the list of possibilities down to a few of the usual suspects.
See all the possible villains after the jump
I’ve never heard of the ancient board game Ard Ri (more commonly known as Tafl or Hnefatafl), but this beautiful LEGO version built by Dan Harris and his girlfriend Dot makes me want to learn how to play. One of the oldest games in the world, Ard Ri (which means “High King” in Gaelic) was a Scottish variant of tafl played on a 9×9 board. Dan built the board structure and the stunning figurines that look like they were hand carved from ivory and wood. Dot built the incredible cheese slope mosaic which serves as the game’s board. I love the ship silhouettes and the intricate scrollwork and dragon head surrounding the king’s seat.
The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. Using 8 soldiers to protect his king, the defending player must move the King from its starting place at the center of the board to one of the four corners. If the King reaches a corner, he escapes and wins the game. The opposing player, of course, must use his 16 soldiers to stop the King from escaping. All game pieces move horizontally or vertically through any number of unoccupied squares (like a Rook piece in chess) and pieces are captured by “sandwiching” an opposing player’s piece between two of your own. (I like to imagine that each of the victorious soldiers on either side of a captured piece grabs one of the captured soldier’s elbows and politely, but firmly, escorts him off of the board in the fashion of two mall security guards escorting an obnoxious teenager out of a store.) To capture the king, you must surround him on all four sides (two security guards per elbow). The game ends when the King either escapes or his captured.
As a small child back in Japan, I used Go pieces to create serpentine roads across tatami floors for my little Tomica cars, but my family left Japan before I ever played a proper game. I still get nostalgic whenever I see Go games. Joe Miller built this fully functional 9×9 Go set completely from LEGO, using some rather complicated techniques to place the black lines on the board.
The lines themselves are the tops of 1×2 half-panels wedged into full (3-brick high) panels, combined with some serious sideways and upside-down (SNOT) construction.
Ian Spacek seems to be on a roll in the ongoing 2014 MOCOlympics contest. In a round focused on board games, he chose to recreate Clue, a classic family game that has been around since the 40’s.
I love the way Ian has captured all the woody tones of the original board, as well as packing the build with many beautiful details such as the floor patterns, furniture and props. Check out MOCPages for loads of close-up photos and a chance to compare Ian’s interpretation with the original.
TRENCH is an abstract board game that features a mechanism of movement and capturing enemy pieces that reminds me of chess. LEGO Designer Marcos Bessa fell in love with the design and built it out of Lego. You can check out this video on YouTube to learn how the game works.
Canada’s Adam Dodge (Dodge) brings the famous 1967 Milton Bradley board game Battleship to life with an emphasis on playability and portability. Although I was initially disappointed that the ships don’t look much like ships, I got over it, so perhaps the more critical among you will too. Adam should have considered subcontracting the ship design to Bruce Lowell. I vividly remember a game of Battleship gone wrong in the 5th grade that ended in fisticuffs and those little plastic pegs scattered everywhere. I’m pretty sure I moved my sub late in the game and got caught, although the specifics are hazy at best.
It should also be noted that waaaaay back in June of 2012 Kristi “McWii” (customBRICKS) posted a nice compact version of the popular game.
TFOL Joshua Christenson from Washington State finds inspiration from the classic board game Monopoly and its mascott Rich Uncle Pennybags. Based on a characature of financier and banker J. P. Morgan, Pennybags beckons you for another rousing game of bankrupting your opponents. Joshua has been on a roll with his scuptures lately and is clearly someone to keep an eye on in the coming years.