Concept: Link Board

by theauthorm


Problem: Tiles have to be uniform and tessellating.

This one gets a little technical, so I’m gonna go ahead and hand it over to my assistant.

“In mathematics there are many types of tessellating patterns. Board games commonly use regular periodic tessellations, patterns that repeat and use the same shape. Hexagon and Square are the most popular tilings in modern board games, used by such major games as Catan and Carcasonne. Regular periodic tilings are often known as grids (square grids or hex grids) because the are homogenous regardless of scale. Notions of “direction”, “diagonal”, and “orthogonal”. However, asymetric non-periodic tessellations exist as well, and with them their own notions of “directional physics”.”
-Mackenzie Cameron’s Assistant

A simple question: would Risk be as fun played on a grid? I submit that it would not! While Risk might suffer from tedious gameplay, it’s board is actually fascinating in all it’s little intricacies. For example Ukraine touches 6 other spaces, while Japan only touches 2. Other countries touch 4 or 5. Personally I try to only touch one country at a time, at least since my last international incident.

Variety is the spice of life, and, in a game that is otherwise quite monotonous, an interesting board is innately satisfying. Each space becomes interesting not only because it is technically different from other spaces, but it also has strategic interest in relation to those other spaces.

But the Risk board is always the same, which is the strength of tiles, tiles can be rearranged, different every time, except of course that they must always fit together the same way. Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were some way to combine those two strengths? Get the best of both worlds!

linkboardimagesPresenting Link Board.

Link board tiles have four outgoing connectors and four incoming connectors. This results in tiles that tessellate in more than one orientation. Uniform tiles that can fit together in non-uniform ways. Don’t let Euclidean geometry tell you what to do, Euclid has been dead for two thousand years, he won’t mind. Link Board will allow you to construct a playing field that is both fluid and dense with asymmetry. In the immortal words of Blilliam Wake (William Blake’s Game Designer Dopplehanger)

Link Board, Link Board, burning bright / On the tables of the night, / What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful geometry?