|| If there is one thing the Tak community is known for besides the game itself, it is the beautiful boards on which we play. Since the earliest prototypes of the game, players have been designing and building incredible boards in their homes, backyards, garages, and woodshops. Tak is remarkable in how it has inspired hundreds of players to pick up their tools and raw materials and use their skill and time to craft such elegant tributes to the game we all love.
Below is an attempt to recognize some of the beautiful Tak boards that were shared with the community during 2021. This list certainly misses some excellent creations, but it is an attempt to highlight 7 boards with a creative design or with high quality craftsmanship.
#7. Quarantine Project by MayDay1111
This DIY board shared by Redditor MayDay111 has a clean look, a clever ridge around the edges to keep your pieces from slipping off when playing 6x6, and a gorgeous red felt interior to store your stones. Any Tak player would love to grab this on their way out to the pub, over to a friend's house, or on a trip.
#6. Farmhouse "Patherfinder" by Ngajoe
#5. Asceric's Board
This board has a rustic yet still elegant presence to it and would pair well with both high-end metal pieces (as shown below) and with plain wooden ones as well. A 6x6 game is easily played, and the coloring and thickness of the board gives it a durable quality. It near perfectly captures what a good, solid board should be.
#4. Leather Travel Set by Inktoedge
This clever travel set incorporates wood, leather, and stone pieces, and has the character of having traveled thousands of miles across desert, mountain, and forest, yet still has many miles left to go. The stitching of the leather and rugged carving on the wooden caps is just excellent in giving it an ancient and earthy look.
#3. The Braam Tobacco Pouch Set by AWCookson
Simply a gorgeous leather set that would fit-in well both on the road and in a more sophisticated setting. Clean, simple, and elegant; reminiscent of a leather journal.
#2. The Artificer's Travel Tak Set by Bill Leighton
Words can hardly do this mechanical wonder justice. While many elements are certainly beautiful, overall it is just a downright cool board. Bill clearly put both thought and incredible skill into the smallest of details. The board's industrial theme of gears and levers is a fresh and interesting take on Tak. You can check out Simmon & Co. unbox this remarkable board over on his Youtube channel. And for some extra pictures and background on this project, check out Bill's blog post on building the Artificer's set.
#1. Short Run by EssenceOfAaron
The tradition of high-quality, gorgeous Tak boards started years ago by Wyrmwood Gaming has been more than aptly carried on by EssenceOfAaron. You can see more of his work featured in the article Interview with Master Tak Craftsman Aaron Schmersal (EssenceOfAaron). His 2021 "Short Run" of 4 Tak boards is a perfect portfolio that would leave any would-be purchaser wishing they could have one of each.
This collection of wonderful Tak boards is a testament to the beautiful game's enduring ability to inspire remarkable works of art and craftsmanship. As with any list, this one is certainly incomplete and I have no doubt missed some great boards that should be recognized. Please share them below!