LEGO Accessories for Board Games

A blog devoted to discussing the creation of LEGO custom components and accessories for various board games, hopefully of interest to fans of LEGO bricks and people who enjoy the hobby of creating items to aid in the organization and play of our favorite board games.

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A LEGO Accessory for Android: Netrunner

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Android: NetrunnerIt's been over a year since I really felt inspired to make a new LEGO creation specifically for a board game or card game, but that's all changed with the release of Android: Netrunner. I'm a big fan of the Android universe (mostly due to the original Android game, but I've enjoyed Infiltration as well) and this was certainly the competitive LCG that I was waiting for and could find a regular second player who would like it.

Since I really like Netrunner and plan to play it as much as I can, that's usually a good sign that I need to have some manner of solution for organizing the components, basically the little chits. LEGO worked well for the earlier Lord of the Rings LCG (I still use that chit holder, which you can see in an earlier entry), so I figured one would be good for this too.

I used an "eye of Sauron" design on the Lord of the Rings one, but I wasn't sure what would be easy to do for Netrunner that was evocative. So at the suggestion of my usual Netrunner opponent, I picked a nice simple pattern of a "Game of Life" glider (if you don't know what it is, google it). A nice simple pattern like that is always more attractive than just a plain solid color, especially if you use black predominantly (BORING!).

So in dividing up the pieces, clearly we need a big section to hold the money. I figured there's not enough of some specific types to have more than two groupings (time markers/virus markers and brain damage/bad publicity).


Here are the doors that I am building for the lower portion that will contains the two smaller groupings of components. You'll notice two different glider patterns on the front done in white 1x1 circle plates. The other two patterns will go on the upper portion that will hold the money.


Here's the start of the floor for our lower cabinet portion. I had a lot of dark gray griddle plates lying around and since we're using dark gray, they look kind of cyberpunkish, I guess.


The walls now start to go up around the lower cabinet portion which will have the doors placed in front of them.


Here's the roof of the lower portion and the bottom of the upper portion. Again more of the dark gray griddles appear. Also note the doors have been added, including a knob that can be used to lock them so they don't flap open. This is probably the only use I have ever found for this particular 2x1 silver/gold plate with the big bulge in it.


Here you can see the makings of the upper portion of our cabinet. Rather than opening in the front, it'll open on the top.


Finally we add a nice, smooth black tiled roof for the top section where we'll store the money. I also can use the remainder of those dark gray griddle pieces to make a sleek pattern on the top.


And so we're done. A nice little LEGO cabinet for Android: Netrunner. Fortunately, the glider pattern was easy enough to repeat four times and not take up too much space.


So that's it! A nice little LEGO cabinet to keep pieces organized in the box and can withstand a little shaking. Plus it looks pretty good too.

Not sure what will be next or when. I do this pretty sporadically. I'd consider making something like this for other existing LCGs just for fun, but I don't own them and I'm not even sure they have enough cardboard to justify it.

But in the meantime, I plan to enjoy this creation during many games of Netrunner!
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Mon Oct 1, 2012 6:00 pm
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Building and Re-Organizing for an Endlessly Growing Arkham Horror, Part II

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This is the continuance of my blog posting on updating my Arkham Horror card and chit rack made from LEGO bricks. With the arrival of the revised Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (I'll be using most content from both versions of the expansion) and Miskatonic Horror, the current setup of the LEGO racks was no longer sufficient. So I added a stop-gap green LEGO rack to hold some of the overflow, but I wasn't very happy with how it looked (too monochrome and it didn't fit with the other two).

I thought the easiest change would be to add some black tile trim, which I did first:


This looked a lot better, especially side by side with the existing trays. I also re-organized the contents so that the specialized monster tokens were no longer in this (they were too tall to allow for Nodens cards to be drawn) and so I swapped them with the collection of miscellaneous game mechanic pieces (first player token, gate exploration markers, etc.)

This was a step up, but in my opinion it still looked too blocky next to the other racks which had nice sloping effects, so I swapped out some of the green bricks for the black slopes and ended up with this:


This was not the end of the problems that had to be addressed. Many of the piles in the other racks were now too tall (such as spells and other world encounters). So I adjusted the backs of the racks accordingly:



The final result is shown below.


And done for now! I'm ready once again to resume my Arkham Horror solo adventures (I've played up through 31 of the 48 characters purely solo with some modified rules telling little blog posts along the way and I hope to be done with that effort by the end of summer, moving on to either playing pairs of those who survived to get relationship cards some game time or tackling some of the custom characters I have.)

For those who want to see other LEGO creations I have made to supplement board games: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/52814/my-lego-board-game-a...
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Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:51 pm
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Building and Re-Organizing for an Endlessly Growing Arkham Horror, Part I

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One of my favorite and most useful LEGO creations is my card and chit holder for the game Arkham Horror and its many components. The first iteration was designed to handle up to the Black Goat of the Woods. It was then extended to accommodate Innsmouth Horror.

Here's what these versions looked like:



Lurker was not too hard to sort of force into the existing setup, but with Miskatonic, the size of some of the stacks and the variety of some of the components has required some reinvention on my part as you can probably tell by my first attempt to just throw the new chits and cards into the rack.




In particular, those Mythos and Other World encounter stacks are getting pretty out of control.

Still my first thought was to try to address the fact that the small deck stacks are getting too big too and some are just hidden in inappropriate groups (such as Quachil-Uttaus dust cards buried in the Blessing/Status stack). So for my first reorganization to address all the content growth in Arkham, I decided a new LEGO rack was in order. Something that could at least hold the cards below (including the Personal Stories, which I had currently kept in box ... my weak excuse for that being I tend to play with custom characters when playing multiplayer and only play one investigator at a time when soloing in my current attempt to play through all the characters in a series of games loosely blogged on Twitter).



The final product doesn't really resemble the layout I planned. I decided the new Miskatonic student/alum cards should be a part of the big status deck (which includes things like Blessings, retainers, lodge memberships, etc.). I also decided that the personal stories were just too big a deck to work on this rack and I was fine with them being in the box anyway (but of course I'll have to devise a solution for them eventually).

I also decided to migrate the final battle cards into a slot here and then split the huge mythos deck into two decks on the red rack. I also decided this was a good time to move the special monster tokens (Masks, riots, etc.) to their own wells and the Deep One Rising chits too. With the extra space, I managed to fit in the new agent tokens, the revised tCotDP tokens, and the lurker tokens on the original rack.




It's a modest addition that was a pretty quick job, so I doubt I'll keep it forever. It's rather blocky-looking compared to the other racks since I don't have any green slopes on hand (they all got used up in my Descent Dice Tower), but it does still have the nice sleek look due to all those green tiles I bought at one point. I think it might look better with black tile trim as the other two racks both have that, but I need some more black tiles to make that work.

The whole set-up is far from over. The Other World encounters still are too tall as are the status stack of small cards and the spell deck (both of which I could shrink if I removed the original Dark Pharaoh cards after adding the new ones. (But I want 'em all in there!)

Sadly, I am afraid that I might be nearing the point where I will have to break this down and redesign. It's become such a space hog that despite how nice it looks, I can think of ways that could shrink the overall space by about half. So to be continued in Part II when I get the time to do more LEGO building...

For those who want to see my other LEGO creations:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/52814/my-lego-board-game-a...
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Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:53 am
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Another Step by Misstep LEGO Creation for the new Lord of the Rings LCG

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Often when I get a new game, especially one I am taken with, I immediately sieze upon what I can build for it out of the current mess of LEGO bricks I have handy. This happened recently with my purchase of the Lord of the Rings LCG core set. Taking a break from trying to win even the first scenario with a straight-up solo Tactics deck (very hard!), I decided I needed more than just a little baggie for storing the four types of chits that the game comes with. I stopped short of making a card holder this time, if only because I wanted to finally make something that could usefully store the chits while packed away in the box, even if the box was turned on its side (without lids stuff has a tendency to fall all over the place and defeat the point of the organization).

So I set out with nothing more than the general goal in mind that I wanted a closeable box for the three chit types. This blog post chronicles the wild swings of fate that accompanied the creation of the final product.




But at the beginning I had no more than this:



I had a surplus of green and black from my earlier Labyrinth dice tower, so I decided that I would use those, a decision that was born of laziness but would change over the course of this.



I began by building a small wall outlining three wells, one for each of the token types.



I then applied the tiles to the bottom of the wells (don't want any studs scratching up the cardboard chits after all).



I then grew the walls up until they were tall enough to hold all the chits, though it was the numerous wound tokens that made it grow particularly tall. I could have gotten away with something shorter based only on progress and resource tokens.



I then added a black rim and dumped the tokens in to make sure the lids would fit.



I then added the "flippy" pieces which allow for openable-closeable lids. I don't know these pieces official names, so I've always called them this.



I then finished the lids, which are made of some 4x4 and 4x6 black plates and four 1x8 black tiles atop each of them for a smooth finish.



Ta-da, finished! Beautiful and sleek. Perfect for Labyrinth...wait, I was making this for Lord of the Rings. Dammit! Why didn't Lord of the Rings have a plain black and green color scheme. This would look totally awesome then. Thanks a lot Fantasy Flight, sheesh.

As it is, this is BORING, BORING, BORINGBORINGBORING.

OK, so what can I add to it in order to make it look "cooler"? How about one of those awesome sphere icons? Yes, the Leadership elf rune is great...and it's purple. Yeah, I don't have any purple tiles and even then there's not a lot of room to work with.

What other iconic Lord of the Rings images would work? It then occurred to me that it would be an appropriate irony for the lid of the chit holder to be the lidless eye of Sauron (zing!). That is something I could probably make, especially as I have a pile of these practically worthless trans-orange small slopes that I have no idea what to do with (the result of an impulse buy at the LEGO brick wall).



So I start to work on getting the eye on there. This is a painful process and I went through a lot of kinda-iffy lame eyes before finally arriving at something good.



OK, that looks reasonably like the eye of Sauron, so we're done, right?

WRONG!

It still has all those green bricks. This will not stand aesthetically as I can't figure out any reason for the chit holder to be green. Red would work because the game box is reddish. Brown would work for the same reason (brownish-red). Black would work because black always works (and I have a lot of black).

I went with black exterior, but with nice red tiles inside.




After rebuilding the whole body of the holder in black and red, it's time to transfer the top.




Ta-da. A chit box I can be sort-of proud of. Not bad for an hour's work, especially since this was all a matter of impulse.

Now for some key points. LEGO building is a meticulous and careful process where you can screw up royally and start over again but it'll be okay. I think this gets that across as well as I can. You have no idea how many false starts and inspirations I get during building. This is a very small case study of that. So to those who think I always know what I'm doing when I start, I am sorry to disillusion you. But on the bright side, if you pursue this yourself, you shouldn't be too concerned about getting it right the first time...provided you have enough bricks, but that is another story.

For those interested in my other LEGO creations, the GeekList devoted to this is here: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/52814/my-lego-board-game-a...
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Fri May 6, 2011 3:58 am
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A Survey of LEGO Dice Towers

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So I'm back at last after being under the weather for close to a month. In this entry I wanted to expand the survey of LEGO creations outside of just my own creations to what others have achieved, while still keeping the focus on dice towers for now, since this is quite a well represented and useful application of LEGO bricks with respect to board games.

Many of these dice towers are covered in my GeekList on the subject as well: LEGO Dice Towers. Here I provide some added description as well on general speculation that might assist people looking to make their own towers.

A Dice Tower for the Lazy

This competes for being my favorite LEGO creation on the site and it is certainly my favorite dice tower, a self-loading dice tower. Well, not really, you have to pull a lever, but it does beautifully lift the dice in its well and drop them into the tower with one motion. A solution for those too lazy to pick up the dice and drop them, a situation that I'm sure we've all been in, right? I encourage you to look at the image itself, by the way, as the creator has links to more information on the tower. I'm quite impressed by the mechanics of this, though I've yet to try to duplicate it myself.



Someone actually has proposed a dice tower for the extremely lazy, where the lifting and rolling of dice is accomplished by a button push rather than activating a lever. With the MINDSTORMS sets, this is possible...

Thematic Towers

One of the nicest aspects of LEGO as a medium is that you really are limited only by your imagination (and the smallest sizes of the shiny plastic elements, of course). This means that it is feasible to create a dice tower for any theme you so desire. My own inclinations run to towers for the dice-fest games like Arkham Horror or Descent, such as is the case with the two towers below.




I'm sure that if I owned War of the Ring, you'd be seeing Barad-Dur or Orthanc themed towers from me too, though I doubt either would be as big as what you'd see here: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/15606

But perhaps the easiest way to go is to build using one of the themes already available in LEGO by buying up sets in a theme to get pieces to have a consistent look, like with the Harry Potter LEGO tower.



Of course your mileage may vary depending on the theme and sets purchased. Naturally castle structures are more inclined to being made into dice towers, but you can do a lot with imagination such as with this futuristic dice "boot" that uses a lot of trans-color space pieces.



Making a "Simple" Dice Tower

Doing a themed tower is not the easiest thing in the world as it requires a lot of imagination, practice, and the right pieces. However, people have made very attractive dice towers by just keeping a consistent color theme. So if you have an abundance of a color, using it or a consistent small set of colors, will usually end up looking sleek and good for a variety of games.





Towers Made in LEGO Digital Designer (LDD)

Of course, it's quite a commitment to buy and build with LEGO, but fortunately, there's a good free software package LEGO provides that will let you build virtually (and of course upload to LEGO to buy, though the price is usually hefty). But this is still a good way to explore what can be created, and there's many instances of these virtual dice towers on the site. These can get quite impressive, like the large dragon one, but I find the dice trays interesting as well, though I prefer having a single outlet for the dice to land in.







Issues with LEGO Dice Towers

Despite how cool the dice towers look, they are not ideal. For one thing, making a dice tower with a consistent look or with a theme will require a lot of specific bricks and while there are avenues to purchase bricks that are not grossly expensive (either the pick-a-brick wall in LEGO stores if you don't mind the limited selection or http://www.bricklink.com are the first that come to mind), my preference is to just use what I have on hand, and I lack the patience for buying specific bricks in advance. This subject though is best explored in a blog entry all its own.

In addition, an experience common to my dice towers, I find it is difficult to ensure that dice will not fly out of the well after landing there. The smooth plastic tiles really tend to make dice "bouncy" and if you drop dice into most of the towers I have made a certain way, you can actually ensure dice will fly out of the well. On the other hand there are also ways to drop the dice such that they will almost certainly not bounce out, but one simply needs to be aware of this when using the dice towers. And there are some dice towers that have well walls so low, that they aren't really useable without further modification such as my zombie tower, which is really more a cosmetic lark of mine than a functional dice tower.



One way around this is to build higher walls, but that makes it harder to get the dice out. My best solution was the first I tried in the exploding cult building where the end of the tower's well was a tall gate. The walls are fairly low, but the dice rarely ever escape because the gate is tall enough to block them.

In the future, I might try my hand at creating a dice tower that only requires bricks from a single source (one of those buckets or boxes of normal bricks) and give more specific guidance on how to make it. This might be a helpful beginning point for those who want to make one, but have no frame of reference for what it takes. I know it can be more or less done, as evidence has been provided:

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Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:35 pm
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A LEGO Dice Tower Case Study for Labyrinth: The War on Terror

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And now for something new...



The "Process"

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from people who comment on my LEGO brick dice towers is "Do you have a life?" That one is easy to answer: no, no I don't. But a close runner-up to this question is "How do you build these dice towers?" This one is tougher to answer.

The "Process" involves a mix of planning based on a encyclopedic knowledge of the sort of pieces I have available (especially ones that I have too many of that aren't in a creation yet) and the ultimate goal. Often what I build is completely dictated by the pieces I know I need to use that are in shortest supply. After making this rough assessment and hoping that I haven't miscalculated before I get too far into building, I then consider what games I own could (A) use a dice tower and (B) could have a relevant dice tower made for them out of what I have available.

Case Study: Labyrinth Dice Tower

Phase I: Inception
At this point it is probably good to turn to a particular new example. So for this blog entry, we will be building a dice tower for the new game "Labyrinth: The War on Terror". I picked this game because I own it, I like it, it uses dice, and I thought I could make a relatively simple-to-demonstrate LEGO dice tower for it.


What drew me to choosing Labyrinth in particular is the attractive black and green cover, both colors easily reproduced in my LEGO collection. I could see a half and half black/green dice tower that looked very sharp and evoked the game nicely. Of course, that in itself would be quite boring, so we need to spice it up with some of the box cover's added flourishes. Despite the fact I would love to try to create the war-fighter on the cover, some things are too difficult to do accurately in LEGO. So instead, I focused on the nice little "White Knight" symbol at the top of the box.


Phase II: The White Knight
Even this is quite complicated to render in LEGO accurately. The smooth curves are almost impossible as the smooth curved pieces in LEGO that I own don't correspond to these. So I decided to try my best with using blocks and angles and plates that evoked the abstract shape of the knight. The result is below. Bear in mind that this simple element took more time to design than the entire rest of the tower. Getting these details right and making sure you have just the right pieces for them is very difficult!


Phase III: Groundwork
After this it was time to begin work on the tower proper. I cannot stress enough the importance of having LEGO tiles to make these towers work. These tiles have no connection studs on top and when used together make beautiful smooth surfaces. Below is the well of the dice tower. My preference would have been to use gray tiles, but honestly I didn't have enough, so instead I decided to use the black and green colors again. Fans of Labyrinth will note that these are backwards. This was to get a nice contrast with the walls which would be their reverse.


Next I began collecting the slope pieces that would serve as the ... well, slope of the bottom of the dice tower. Now, in this case I did have a nice variety of gray, dark gray, and blue gray, which I used to try to evoke the field of gray on the cover. You'll also notice that I have built the walls surrounding the well and applied a tile top to these as well.


After this, I began structuring the slope. Now for the dirty secret of LEGO building. Yellow bricks. These garish things are useful for one thing only, holding up other bricks. So most of my creations have yellow bricks lurking beneath the surface providing structural support. I welcome all ideas for a cool looking yellow dice tower, but so far, I've found this is their almost exclusive use, and LEGO sure does love doling them out in their brick buckets.


At this point, I start adding yellow arches to hold up the higher slopes.


Here you can see that I am building up the dice tower walls, which will interlock with the interior support to make the whole things hold together well and feel very sturdy.


At this point the bottom slope is complete with a nice speckling of different gray bricks and you can really start to see how the well tiles contrast nicely with the walls of opposite colors.


Phase IV: Tumblers
Next I begin to consider what I am going to do in order to handle the interior "tumblers". So I begin working inward until I can lay out supports for the slopes that will go inside.


Uh oh, I almost forgot, there's supposed to be a front to this dice tower. So I then add bricks that sort of loosely hang off the front. I then add a long gray plate to hold them together. Even though some of these bricks are only really being supported from above, the gray plate really helps well in resisting the effects of gravity.


Right, we're supposed to have a white knight on the front of this LEGO tower dealie. I hadn't really thought about how to put the white knight on the front, so I lop off the bottom plate of the knight and place a plate that is one wider and then hook that onto the wall. I'll then build around that plate and that will hold the bottom of the knight in place. Fortunately, the top of the knight also aligns with the wall, so we'll figure out some way to connect it when we get up to it.


Here, you see as I begin the next set of slopes, in black because well, I'm running low on gray and black will look good from the top.


Intermission
And I'm running low on green bricks and black slopes. So I make a trip to the local LEGO store and buy more bricks from the wall. Yes, one of the keys to my secrets of being able to make things is going to the LEGO store and doing this. Unfortunately, though the selection is often good, you are hampered by what they had (for instance, they had NO tiles this time, which is not a problem since I bought a boatload of tiles on my last trip, but it's always a crapshoot).


Phase V: Tumblers Continued
OK, now we have enough to finish the tower, and here we see the second level completed.


From here we begin the top set of slopes which are positioned so dice can fall through, but forcing them to always hit one or the other of the tumblers.


Now we're getting close to the end as we keep stacking green and black bricks. Note that you should always try to interlock wherever possible. In places where it is not visible in the final product, the green and black bricks are interleaved to make them more sturdy.


Phase VI: The Top
And we're now at the very end, I've hooked the knight to the top of the tower by way of a 1x2 white plate. And I've applied the green and black tiles to the top and we're done ... and wait ... not everthing is tile over ... dammit, I don't have ANY green 1x2 tiles. ARGGHH... all this work for nothing! OK, there has to be a solution that won't look dreadful.


OK, perhaps we can get a 1x3 slope and use that to add smoothness and a contour to the top of the tower without having any ugly studs on top.


And Ta-da, it's done. Now we can go play Labyrinth!


The Aftermath

OK, so maybe this is not as helpful as people really wanted, but it should give you at least an idea of what's involved in building these towers out of LEGO bricks and tiles. The key points to emphasize here are that this takes A LOT of pieces. I'd estimate this particular tower is about $75-110 worth of LEGO bricks (though this is quite hard to judge as you seldom just buy exactly the pieces you need) so it gets very expensive very quickly.

Now the question I often get alongside "How do you build these dice towers?" is "How do I build these dice towers?" That is tough to say, especially if you're not already deep into the LEGO hobby. Building these things takes a lot of practice, patience, experience, and an enormous collection grown over the years. Telling you where to go to find pieces like the tall inverted white slope piece or 1x4 green tiles is difficult because my collection is drawn from sets bought for decades and broken down as well as whatever becomes available at the local LEGO store. Perhaps in my next entry I can try to give more specific advice to this point of building your own dice towers and where to go to get started.
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Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:23 am
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A Brief Personal History of LEGO Creations for Board Games

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When the boardgamegeek news mentioned that we would be able to create blogs on the site, I thought this might be a good opportunity. I have never been interested in blogging before, but given the potential audience here and the possibility of creating a focused blog on the cross-section of two of my favorite hobbies (LEGO and board-gaming), it seemed like it might be the right venue for an expanded discussion on supplementing board games with LEGO. And who am I to say no to something that could be another time-sink?

I thought I would begin with an overview of my own creations, given that most of my knowledge and experience lies with imagining, designing, and building them. Eventually I plan to go into greater depth on each of them, imparting what advice I can on how I go about the creative process of making them and trying to figure out how best to guide others who are interested in doing the same, a difficult challenge to be sure!

In addition, I'd like this blog to further explore the wonderful creations in LEGO that others have provided here. I have a few in mind, but I am sure there are still more that are as of yet undiscovered, and I have no doubt that there are many deserving of all the attention they can receive.

But for now, I'll stick with what I know and know well...

LEGO and board games -- the early years

Before I was really into board games, I was really into LEGO, but the game obsession was there lurking and waiting to find form. I made several large scale Wild West towns out of what is still the best theme the company ever ginned up, and these frequently were the scene of violent dice based shoot-outs between various gangs of hoodlums who took shots at one another as well as hitting any of the fleeing townsfolk (good times, those). It even ventured into a pseudo-RPG territory when the town entered the modern era and the newcomers that moved in brought frozen zombies with them (that didn't end well). Sadly, the town is packed up for now, but perhaps pictures will emerge should I discuss these first forays in greater detail.

My first real taste of mixing actual board games (you know, the kind with "rules") and LEGO probably involves extensive use of figures and accessories (guns, knives, and dynamite, for instance) to supplement chits and cardboard tokens in games that couldn't possibly contain all the characters and creatures and what not they needed any other way. In particular I am thinking of the old "Betrayal at House on the Hill" here, which ended up being a box populated by LEGO versions of practically everything that came up in the game, including custom characters, my favorite being my choice for the Madman, who ended up always being a poor guy in a rabbit suit. (Don't ask what set I bought to get the rabbit.)



But never did it occur to me that I might want to build something to supplement the board game, until I ended up with Android.

Building out of necessity

When I bought FantasyFlight's Android I knew immediately that I had to find some way to organize the completely unorganized components or else I would not play the game all that often. So I took a weekend along with a supply of blue and yellow bricks and some gray tiles to produce a nice small set of racks that could fit gently into the original box and keep all the pieces in order.



But even during this phase, I had something else in mind. Yes, my first major project in designing a LEGO accessory for a board game was driven purely by my desire to be able to play the nightmarishly component-laden Arkham Horror more. I loved the game, but was too lazy to set it up every time. So like any good "lazy" person, I spent hours and hours working feverishly to ensure that I had a holder for the cards and chits that would allow me to leave Arkham out for vast lengths of time while still keeping it in relative good order. This is still the most involved undertaking I have done with LEGO (if you limit it to the stuff for board games anyway) and the most useful. There are a great deal of bricks tied up in these two racks.



I went on to do the same for other games with mixed results. Race for the Galaxy has one that I still use to this day and Descent's ... well, that one is nice, but it really was infeasible given that I couldn't make something to handle all the cards, plastic monsters, cardboard, etc. AND fit back in the box (I admit, I now use tackle boxes for Descent).





Building out of a need to make sure we couldn't say "that roll didn't count"

I love dice-heavy games, but I hate when I roll the dice and it just falls flat on the table, doesn't roll or bounce and reveals ... ta-da... a "1". So I turned, like so many, to the idea of having a dice tower. If ever a game needed one it was Arkham Horror, where cheating is second only to forgetting that there's an environment in play...

I can't tell you where I got the terrible horrible monstrous idea for my exploding bloody alien monster in a cult house dice tower, but it did turn out great. I still use it to this day, even if there's not much in the way of a randomization inside tower itself (just a bumpy red slope).



My next ideas of a chthonian tentacle creature bursting from a chimney and a rendition of an open mouth inside an open gate at the Black Cave turned out nicely too.




I even tried my hand at making a zombie dice tower for Last Night on Earth (poor guy looks kind of like Homer Simpson with a black wig).



By the time I made an enormous castle-themed one for Descent and Runebound, I was really just showing off. This one has two wells and two towers, one a bridge over a ruined waterfall and the other a crumbling tower, which has the most intricate interior I have yet designed.



And as for what I have coming next? There are some ideas rolling around in my head. I think the next is likely going to be understated and hopefully one that I can provide some guidance on building.

Building just because

So this final image really had no utility at all. It's just one of my many failed experiments in LEGO, a dice tower that was just too damn wide to work, but I think it still makes a nice set piece for the Last Night on Earth game, and I haven't the heart to tear it down yet, even though I need the red tiles.



At any rate, I hope I am far from done with my creations, and if I ever figure it out, I'd love to find a way to pass on what I've learned in my decades long experience to others interested in the medium.
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Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:53 am
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