I learned about a tabletop board game called Quoridor from my friend Bill Wilson, who is never at a loss for great woodworking project ideas. He sent me pictures of sets he has been making. Here’s a mini-version using dowels and push pins for the pawns.
And another board!
I like the idea of adding slots in the frame to hold walls that are not in play. I decided to keep my board simple and leave them out. I made mine using walnut for the frame, walls, and pieces; cherry plywood for the play grid.
To make the grid, I glued a hardwood “key” onto my tablesaw. This allowed me to position each groove without having to measure each cut. In retrospect, I think it would be easier and accurate enough to simply measure each cut an inch apart and mark them with a pencil.
I rarely have a reason to use my lathe, so it was fun to turn the game pieces. I especially liked that all four are different, which made the turning much easier and more free-form. Still, it took me over an hour to turn them. I know guys who would crank them out in 5 minutes!
There are 20 walls and they are each two grid squares wide.
These are very basic plans that you will probably want to alter depending on your setups. Start by making the grooves. These can be any width and spaced however you like. Once the entire grid is made, you can measure for the frame and cut the walls to their thicknesses. If you are going to use store-bought game pieces, get them first and measure their bases before cutting anything.
Playing Quoridor is simple, but the strategy is fascinating. Two to four people can play, although I think is is probably most often played by two. To win, you need to get your pawn to the opposite side of the board. Each turn you can either move your piece one square or place a wall to block your opponent. To learn more and see a complete game played, here’s an informative video.