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$18,108 pledged of $5,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Thinking Monk Studios
$18,108 pledged of $5,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

>> Click Here for our Blog and Hi-Resolution Photos <<

There have been many companies that have addressed the problems associated with cardboard gaming boards. Unfortunately, a lot of these projects only make one game, they die out, or only give you an amazing product with their first project. In the wake of all this, Thinking Monk Studios was born. Our goal is to make solid wood board games for not just one, but many board games, and make them beautiful, one-of-a-kind, collector style works of art that you will be dying to show your fellow table-top lovers.

We decided to start with a board for Catan, one of our favorites on game night. After over 200 hours of design time, we finally have a board we feel is truly a unique and beautiful work of art.

It would be best to think of our project as not just a board for one game, but as many, many other game boards to come. For more information on our journey, please visit our Blog.

Below is our board and much more, along with the various things we have created in the process of this campaign.

Solid wood board with natural (unstained) edges
Solid wood board with natural (unstained) edges

  

Solid wood board with blue (stained) edges
Solid wood board with blue (stained) edges

 

All pieces for our board are made from hardwood (no plywood!). We decided to keep the board pieces (hexagons, and edge pieces) the same size as the original, so that all of your settlements, cities, and roads will fit proportionally with the board.

The stain on the board pieces is water-based, non-toxic, and provides a look that compliments the natural grain of the wood. After staining they are coated with shellac, a non-toxic variant to polyurethane.

The resource hexagons on ash hardwood
The resource hexagons on ash hardwood

  

The harbor tokens (aka ratio trade tokens)
The harbor tokens (aka ratio trade tokens)

The harbor tokens (aka ratio trade tokens) will have the same stain colors and shellac coating as their respective resource hexagons.

The edge piece (with ship) no stain
The edge piece (with ship) no stain

 

The edge piece (without ship) blue stain
The edge piece (without ship) blue stain

 

seafarers special edge, lengthener, sea hex, and gold hex
seafarers special edge, lengthener, sea hex, and gold hex

The edge pieces will come in two possible options, natural (no stain) or blue (stain). These will still have the same protective shellac coating as the rest of the board. There is also an edge piece with, and without a ship.

The seafarers edge pieces and hexagons can be added to your current pledge amount. For the amount to add to your pledge to receive these, see the add on sheet further down on the page.

The glasses will be etched with the following images. I still have a little editing to do on a few of them, as the way we etch the glasses is different from the hexagons. We will have some samples up of the finished glasses before the end of the Kickstarter. There are only going to be the 15 offerings for glasses (at the final reward level).

Images to be used on the pilsner glasses
Images to be used on the pilsner glasses

 

the images to be used on the shot glasses
the images to be used on the shot glasses

More information on board quality and what we are offering:

  • 100% solid wood construction (no plywood)
  • Original and unique resource designs
  • All pieces have protective shellac coating
  • Non-toxic, water based colored stains
You also have the option to pledge for the upgrade that will include felt backing on the underside of the hexagon and edge pieces. The felt helps the board slide easier on wood surfaces, without having to worry about scratching anything. It also creates an underside for the pips so they do not fall through the hexagons if you decide to lift them up. 

We also have a few stretch goals that may add some of components being offered. For more information see our stretch goals directly below our reward levels.

Reward Levels:

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  

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Below is the box prototype. It will have a sliding lid, with our logo laser engraved onto it. It is made with 100% solid wood, and held together with box joints to ensure that it will last a lifetime. The final product will be shined. We may use teak oil, rather than shellac, simply to give it a more natural shine. We might also make some minor adjustments to the box as well, in terms of how it looks. I like to get creative, so I may add a bit of artistic flair to it. Currently, the box size is 12 x 12 x 5 inches, and will fit all the pieces you would get from us. The original board, plus the 5-6 player expansion, plus the seafarers and seafarers 5-6 player expansion, the small 3 x 3 x 4 box (for holding the pips, harbor tokens, etc) and all the player bags or pouches (with game pieces); will all fit inside this box!

The box comes with the small box, plus your choice of the 6 player bags or 6 player pouches, that is included in the price for the box. Any extra shipping is also included in the box price.

The box (prototype) - made from solid wood
The box (prototype) - made from solid wood

The player bags below are made from animal friendly faux suede, and will easily hold all the pieces for the original game, plus seafarers and the cities and knights tokens, with extra room. Remember, if you buy the box, you get to choose if you want the player bags or the player pouches.

Player Bags - made from faux suede - brown, green, red
Player Bags - made from faux suede - brown, green, red

 

Player Bags - made from faux suede - orange, blue, white
Player Bags - made from faux suede - orange, blue, white

The player pouches below are currently made from 100% animal friendly faux leather, and will easily hold all the pieces for the original game, plus seafarers and the cities and knights tokens, with extra room. All 6 of these will fit inside the box (on update 11 we were still not sure)! Remember, if you buy the box, you get to choose if you want the player bags or the player pouches.

Player Pouches (prototypes) - made from faux leather
Player Pouches (prototypes) - made from faux leather

 

Player Pouches (prototypes) - made from faux leather
Player Pouches (prototypes) - made from faux leather

Our stretch goals are explained in the graphics below. If a stretch goal becomes unlocked on the last couple days of the campaign, or more importantly, on the last day/hour, the item will be placed on our website at the same 25% discounted Kickstarter rate for 30 days. You will not be required to pay extra for shipping, as long as, of course you were one of our backers and you purchase it within that 30 day window.

 

What we want to deliver:

Something we do not believe in anymore for making wood board games, is plywood. To us, plywood is basically a very small step up from cardboard. It warps easily, is brittle on the edges, and when you laser cut images into it, those images can actually peel off just by brushing your finger over it; even with the "good" plywood meant specifically for laser cutting. While plywood is great for certain projects, a piece of art is not one of them. That is exactly what we want to deliver to you, a beautiful work of art that we hope you will love as much as we do. We are only going to use solid wood for our game pieces. That wood currently is solid Ash Hardwood. We also hope to add the option to select from a few other hardwoods and, with your help and support, will be able to.

What we are currently working on:

Seafarers Expansion: Finished!

Blue Stained Edge Pieces: Finished!

Robber Design: Finished!

Glasses/Shot Glasses: Prototypes Finished!

Coasters: Finished!

Box Add-on: Finished!

What others are Saying about our Board!

Beasts of War - "I’m beyond impressed..."

The Review Board - "I love this wooden board." 

Indietabletop - "This project doesn’t just open the doors to a sturdy Catan board experience, this company is looking to expand this idea toward more games"

BoardGame Stories - "Apart from its top-notch quality and essentially being a piece of art, check the images to witness its beauty for yourself..."

Shipping:

We ship to anywhere in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. We will only be shipping boards to Europe however, and none of the glasses, coasters, and shot glasses. The cost is just too high.

You may also pickup on site in Elizabethtown, KY. You will have to pay shipping up front, but will be refunded the full shipping amount on pick-up. This makes sure that if people end up not picking up the reward tier, we have the money from them to ship it, just in case.

Disclaimer:

This is an unofficial accessory that can be used with the game Settlers of Catan, therefor you MUST purchase or have a copy of the full game first before you will be able to use our board. We are in no way associated with Settlers of Catan, Mayfair Games, Asmodee, or any company or subsidiary thereof.

Kicking-it-forward

Risks and challenges

This project's biggest challenge at this point would be warped wood. The reason for this is because the wood is affected from start to finished by various factors. We want to ensure that every single board and product we send out is the best quality possible. To fix this, we are creating each board over a several day process, giving it time to dry between coats of stain, laser cutting, shellac coating, and even gluing the felt to the back. This makes sure there is not too much moisture applied to the wood at one time, giving it time to adjust without warping. We will also be monitoring the pieces very closely, and if at any point they do begin to warp, we will be fixing it with a flattening process that puts the pieces between 2 flat surfaces and clamps them down. Once they dry flat, they will not warp (unless you store them improperly).

Our next biggest challenge is if something happens to our laser machine, it could take a month or two to get it up and running again. Our hope is that, with enough funding, we can get a second machine, that way if anything happens to one machine, we still have a backup.

The CEO of Thinking Monk Studios, Max, is a project manager. He understands very well what it takes to fulfill a customer order, as he has managed projects in the millions of dollars. We already know exactly how long it takes to make an entire board from start to finish, and, since we are making everything ourselves, we do not have to rely on a 3rd party for fulfillment of our customers orders. We are a family run business that takes our customers very seriously, and are willing to hear any suggestions that they may have.

A lot of Kickstarters have some pretty complicated funding processes. We wanted to keep our first one very basic so that it makes the process easier for everyone to understand when it comes time to fulfillment of pledges.

Our last challenge would be if our Kickstarter campaign does amazing. At that point, we would need to arrange for a second and possibly third laser machine, as well as dedicate more time to ensuring fulfillment of orders. We have already arranged for additional help, if needed, in crafting the boards. And lastly, in an effort to keep all our Kickstarter patrons up to date on the latest news, we placed dedicated a person to be in charge of responding to your questions.

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Single Hexagon of Choice

    Your choice of a single Hexagon unfinished made out of 1/4 inch ash wood. The hex is the same size as normal board hexagons.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Resource Themed Shot Glasses

    This set of 6 resource themed shot glasses will cover all 5 resources plus the desert, with a picture and a phrase common to game humor on reverse sides.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    All the Hexagons!

    This is for those looking for a perfect gift for board game lovers. You may choose to have them stained or not, and whether or not you want the pip hole cut in. This reward level gives you 1 of each of the following hexagons:
    1 Wood
    1 Wheat
    1 Sheep
    1 Ore
    1 Brick
    1 Desert
    1 Sea (water)
    1 Gold

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Hardwood Stained Board Kit

    This is the basic laser engraved game board for playing with up to 4 players. All the pieces are made from ash hardwood (no plywood or glued together pieces). All the tiles will have a layer of stain and shellac on them. If you do not want the stain and shellac on, let us know. It will cost the same though as this is something that is free exclusive to our Kickstarter! Comes with the following:
    - 20 Color Stained Resource Hexagons
    - 1 Desert Hexagon
    - 6 Edge Pieces
    - 20 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 9 Ration Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $205 or more About $205

    Early Bird - Felt Hardwood Board Kit

    This is the basic laser engraved game board for playing with up to 4 players. All the pieces are made from ash hardwood (no plywood or glued together pieces). All the tiles will have a layer of stain and shellac on them AND come with a soft felt backing that makes getting pips out easier, and stay in when you lift the hexagons up. Comes with the following:
    - 20 Color Stain Resource Hexagons (with felt)
    - 1 Desert Hexagon (with felt)
    - 6 Edge Pieces (with felt)
    - 20 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 9 Ration Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    Early Bird - Level 5 + Expansion

    This is the reward level #5, (NO felt), plus the expansion. This reward level comes with the following:
    - 30 Color Stained Resource Hexagons
    - 2 Desert Hexagon
    - 6 Edge Pieces
    - 4 Expansion Edge Pieces
    - 30 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 9 Ration Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $260 or more About $260

    Board + 5-6 Player Expansion (NF)

    This is the reward level #5, (NO felt), plus the expansion. This reward level comes with the following:
    - 30 Color Stained Resource Hexagons
    - 2 Desert Hexagon
    - 6 Edge Pieces
    - 4 Expansion Edge Pieces
    - 30 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 9 Ration Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Early Bird - Level 6 + Expansion

    This is the full game plus expansion (WITH felt on back). This reward level comes with the following:
    - 30 Resource Hexagons (with felt)
    - 2 Desert Hexagons (with felt)
    - 30 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 6 Edge Pieces (with felt)
    - 4 Expansion Edge Pieces (with felt)
    - 9 Ratio Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $295 or more About $295

    Original Board + 5-6 Player Expansion

    This is the original game plus the 5-6 player expansion (WITH felt on back). This reward level comes with the following:
    - 30 Resource Hexagons (with felt)
    - 2 Desert Hexagons (with felt)
    - 30 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 6 Edge Pieces (with felt)
    - 4 Expansion Edge Pieces (with felt)
    - 9 Ratio Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    Early Bird - I Want It All!

    This is the entire game plus expansion, with felt on the backs, plus:
    - 6 shot glasses
    - 6 pilsner glassed
    - 6 coasters.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Resource Themed Pilsner Glasses

    A set of 6 unique resource themed glasses. Each one will have a large etched resource on it, with water below, covering half the glass. You will receive 1 of each resource plus 1 of the desert.

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    Reward no longer available 0 backers
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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Early Bird - Hardwood Stained Board Kit

    This is the basic laser engraved game board for playing with up to 4 players. All the pieces are made from ash hardwood (no plywood or glued together pieces). All the tiles will have a layer of stain and shellac on them. If you do not want the stain and shellac on, let us know. It will cost the same though as this is something that is free exclusive to our Kickstarter! Comes with the following:
    - 20 Color Stained Resource Hexagons
    - 1 Desert Hexagon
    - 6 Edge Pieces
    - 20 Pips (Number Tokens)
    - 9 Ration Trade Tokens
    - 1 Robber (Thief)
    - Choice between blue edge pieces, or plain

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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