Puzzler board arrived
Murphy's Law held true as my board arrived Thursday when out of town and couldn't play with it. The next day, flight delays continued to separate me from my obsession.
An email exchange with the Joel Harper (the builder), reassured me that he was as anxious to hear about successful shipping as I was. Fortunately, my local Fedex and UPS delivery teams have been top notch. Opening the packaging, I found my board nicely wrapped in bubble wrap and protected by styrofoam.
Initially I was surprised that the posts weren't installed for shipping, but quickly recognized the wisdom of that choice. Joel did an excellent job "tapping" the post holes so that the rubber-tubing covered brass bolts could be easily hand threaded and tighten.
The board itself was made from a nicely finished baltic birch plywood surface, a 8-piece solid walnut stained oak side rail and a ring of mdf for the ditch. I didn't realize from the photos that the grooves and lines were routed out and nicely done and finished.
I found most of the discs clearly convex-concave and a quick spin on the surface was enough to identify which side would slide faster. Friday night, I got in several games with my 8-year son, who picked up the rules quickly.
Saturday, we got in some 4 player games with my wife, daughter, and son. The game is as much fun with 4 as with 2. The pace of play can be surprisingly quick, finishing a round of play in only a couple of minutes.