Introduction: Senet Game
Some days ago I watched a YouTube video about a game called Royal game of ur which is an old board game played by people in ancient Mesopotamia and I was curious about ancient board games this curiosity lead me to the senet game an Egyptian game which is older than game of ur.i found the game very interesting and simple I decided to make a senet board myself.
You can buy senet boards online if you like but for me making one was as fun as playing the game itself.i have some scrap wood laying around so decided to make it out of wood.no power tool were used to make this but if you have any it will make the work lot easier.
Pyeropen or soldering iron
Coconut oil or wood polish
Step 1: Board Face
The game board have thirty squares arranged in three rows and ten columns.each of these squares are 3cm× 3cm in size.to make the board i am using a thin Jackfruit wood panel that's why it's yellow in color.there is no particular reason to use Jack fruit tree you can use any type of wood you have.I cut a panel of size 32cm×11cm×•5cm.a bit bigger than what we actually required Mark the boarders and cut the wood carefully.After cutting I polished the wood using sand paper and it was a lot work to polish the piece to a smooth finish.i recommend using power tools for this purpose or it will take lot of time and effort. if you don't have any machine or previous experience it took a lot of time and effort.to enhance the woods natural look decided to apply a layer of coconut oil on it,you can see the difference from above pictures and down all edges also but don't worry about under side because we will be making the panel as top of the box afterwards.
Step 2: Defining Boarders
To make borders to all different squares I'm using flat metal wire.Here I used copper wires as the Boarders I tried different type of wires before choosing copper because copper gives the board an old look.to flatten this I used a rubber sheet making machine you can use anything to flaten the wire but something similar to these machine would work perfectly but I don't have access to any so I used this one.(if you don't have anything similar to Make the wire flat use thin wood to Make Boarders) Make the wire as flat as you can and also keep it straight.we need four 35 cm long ones and elevel 15 cm ones.To connect the wire to wood piece I used Staples.first I measured and marked all rows and columns and start to attach the metal pieces.i first staple one end behind the board and bend it to secure it.but I was not sure about the strength so I soldered it on place so that it won't slip when i pull the other end.To attach the other end first pull the wire as tightas you can to straighten it,and staple it behind as we did early then solder it.Do the same for all Boarders.After completing all four of the row wire start the columns I used a different type of copper for this and while attaching the columns don't just go over the row wires but go in between them (see pictures) this will provide more strength and also will hold the shape.complete the borders by doing all rows.As a last step I soldered all joints this provides a better look also,just add a tiny bit of solder not more it will stick to the copper very well.
Step 3: Making the Sticks
We need four pieces of sticks to play the game.to make this I used 9cm×1.5cm×.8cm sized wood pieces I sanded the edges to a round shape so that the won't stand on its side.polish each piece to a smooth finish.we only need two outcomes from each stick.to make each side different I burned one side to give it a black colour I used soldering iron for this after heating the iron pass it over the wood to burn it repeat this until you get the black colour.you can draw any design over it.i etched some pattern on it using a knife.i left the other side untouched.Do the same for all four pieces
Step 4: Making Pawns
There are seven pawns for each players(atleast five)which should be different in color or shape so each players can easily identify their own pawns.it can be anything from a simple differently colored square to any shape you like.i made circular and pyramidal pawns.to make the circular ones first cut two circle of diameter 2.5cm and 2 cm from a thin smoothly polished wood piece.we need seven of each circles.then cut seven small cubes to a stick between the circles.bigger circle is our base so stick the cube over it and Glu the small one over it. Do the same for all pieces to make seven pawns.
To make the pyramidal pawns I used wood piece of size hight 3 cm,base size 1.5cm×1cm draw the pyramid shape on the wood and cut it.to make the base I used thin wood square piece about 1.5cm×1.5cm after smoothing all edges I used wood glue to stick base and top together.As a final step I applied a bit of coconut oil to enhance the look and we are done with pawns.
Step 5: Storage Box
As You can see we have so many pawns and sticks to care about and loosing couple of them is very easy so we need to make a storage box.here i am making a drawer style storage box.To make this first I need to make a box to fit the drawer I cut two 31cm×3.5cm×.9cm(side Pieces),one 11cm×3.5cm×.9cm(back side) one 32cm×11cm(bottom panel)sized wood Pieces.use thin sized wood since I'm not going to use nails or screws I don't need to worry about wood cracking.but before assembling the box I made the wood look antique by slightly burning it.its very easy to do simply pass the wood Pieces over an open flame to burn it.its better to pass multiple times than a single slow pass.dont completely burn the wood we are looking for a black and brown combination not a complete burned black look.After burning clean the wood surface using a dry cloth to remove all excess burned material then apply coconut oil as we did earlier.Glu the wood Pieces on to the bottom panel using wood glue.but only stick the three side Pieces and the bottom piece(see picture).Apply even pressure using weight or clamps while the glue is drying.I used some heavy books as weight.To make the drawer cut another two 25cm×3cm(two side's) one 8cm ×3cm(back side)one 25cm×8cm(bottom panel) and one 9cm×3.5cm(front side) size wood Pieces.its not necessary to polish the pieces stick all pieces as in the figure and the last piece we cut for the bigger box is glued on this drawer it will be our drawer front side.Stick a simple handle on this simply cut a piece and Glu it on.The drawer should easily move inside the box so if there is anything preventing the movement sand it down.Finaly its time to attach the gameboard to the bigger box apply good amount of Glu on edges of the board and on the top of box and attach them together apply pressure as we did earlier after drying you can insert the drawyer inside the box if everything done correctly it will be a perfect fit.But as an after thought I made a small compartment inside the box for the sticks to stay its very easy cut two thin piece and Glu it inside the drawer as in the picture.Thats all we need for storage box.
Step 6: Drawing Designs
Now it's finally time to draw the designs on to the board,and for this i will be using my soldering iron.there are some products like pyeropens but it's not necessary to have when a simple soldering iron is enough.i attached a metal piece for making the designs more accurate.Attach the flatned metal wire to the soldering iron using some copper wire or just use the soldering iron it will take a bit more time to burn but it works.draw the design on the board using a pencil before using soldering iron.Draw using soldering iron over the design to burn the wood take your time to do this a dark burned black color is our goal.Do this for all designs as shown in the picture or you can make your own design there is no rules here,but be careful with thesoldering iron because its red hot and can do some damage.
Fifteenth square is called house of Rebirth draw first design there
Twenty sixth square is called house of Happiness
Twenty seventh square is called water its bad if your pawn lands here.
After that all the squares are shown the exact number you need to throw to get out of the board
Step 7: Finished
Our game board is ready now and it's time to play the game. Game rules are given below if this its unclear I found about the game rule Here
This is a race game so the players goal is to move all of his pawns to the finish place first.Game movement direction is shown in above picture.pawns are moved according to the sticks outcomes.
Place all pawns as shown in the picture and one player throw all four sticks(toss the sticks)
When thrown,out of all four sticks if all four are light sided that player can move one of his pawn four square forward and he also earn a chance to throw again
If three sides are light move a pawn three squares forward and no second throw
If two sides are light move a pawn two squares forward and no second throw
If one side is light move a pawn one square forward and player gets another throw
If all sides are dark it counted as five so player can move five squares forward and also gets a second throw
When moving forward if the square is already occupied by other players pawn you can replace that pawn with your pawn.you can do this only if the opponents pawn is not near any of his other pawn.
A square can only be occupied by one piece at a time. If you can't move any piece, the turn is passed.
The 26th square is called House of Happiness it cannot be passed over. Every piece must land upon it before moving forward.27th square is called The House of water if piece lands on this square, the piece is returned to the House of Rebirth(15th square)
Pieces can only move out of the final three squares by throwing the number indicated on the square.
The first player to move all pieces out of the box is the winner.
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