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Subject: Building a better Monolith rss

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Rick Baptist
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So we love Nexus Ops over here, and I'm coming up on 20 games played. My friend Troy and I love the idea of the Monolith, but my copy is starting to get run down and nasty. Not only that, I lost a game once when I didn't notice a freaking Rubium Dragon looming behind the old Monolith because it's so huge and sight-blocking. Fantasy Flight's solution to this is not to include a Monolith at all. What the heck?

So Troy got to work on designing one out of acrylic plastic. Below you can see a prototype:



Those legs will be replaced with the same acrylic that the top is made of, making the entire thing a little shorter, a lot more see-through, and in our opinion, a lot more nicer to look at. It will be easy to store as the legs are pressure-fitted and can go in and out with ease, while still being of sturdy construction.

The plan is to get these out to as many geeks that are interested in them. We plan on charging a small amount for the labor and the shipping cost, but we're still designing the thing and trying to make it as nice looking as possible.

We'd love to hear ideas from you on how to improve this Monolith. Shorter? Taller? Thicker? Would you guys be interested in having one for your set?

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Scott Everts
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That's awesome, I'd love to buy one! I've been wanting something like this for awhile.

It would be nice if it had a base in black or red or something. So the table doesn't show through. Have you considered that?
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Guido Gloor
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I'd love one with transparent legs and black top surface. I agree, all transparent makes it look like there's no monolith there at all...
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László Horváth
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I'm also interested!

My suggestions would be:
1. I'd prefer if the tile itself isn't transparent. Opaque black would be nice, especially if the colour is not painted on, but in the plastic material.
2. Legs transparent, as thin as possible.
3. Should be short, to prevent sight-blocking as much as possible. I would go down to ~2 centimeters even
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Rick Baptist
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Thanks for the feedback! I'll pass this along today and see what we can come up with. Please subscribe to this thread for further updates.
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Scott Everts
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I'm actually fine with the top being clear, but having a base at the bottom being black or another color will ground it better.

Another option is there is a smoke translucent acrylic which is quite nice. You can partially see through it. I have a dice tower made in that color and it looks nice but you can still see the dice roll in it.
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JT Call
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ScottE wrote:
Another option is there is a smoke translucent acrylic which is quite nice. You can partially see through it. I have a dice tower made in that color and it looks nice but you can still see the dice roll in it.


This is actually exactly what I was going to suggest. Opaque = visual problems. Transparent = esthetic problems. Translucent = no problems.

What color are the legs in that picture? They look "glowy"... like translucent white energy. I like it.

And by the way, I'd buy two of these (one for my AH version and one for my FF version).
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JT Call
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horlaci wrote:

3. Should be short, to prevent sight-blocking as much as possible. I would go down to ~2 centimeters even


I wouldn't go down QUITE that short. It's still a monolith, right?
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Disgustipater
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talusproteus wrote:
I wouldn't go down QUITE that short. It's still a monolith, right? :p

Mine is only 5/8" tall (1.5cm) not counting the actual tile, and I think it's perfect. Not tall enough to block the other side, but tall enough to be noticeable.
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Rick Baptist
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ScottE wrote:
I'm actually fine with the top being clear, but having a base at the bottom being black or another color will ground it better.

Another option is there is a smoke translucent acrylic which is quite nice. You can partially see through it. I have a dice tower made in that color and it looks nice but you can still see the dice roll in it.


Hi Scott, that sounds really cool! Would you mind posting a picture of your tower here?

We'll get on the lookout for a translucent smoky acrylic since that seems to be the general consensus (and I love the idea, too). It's just a matter of finding a good source.
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Rick Baptist
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talusproteus wrote:
What color are the legs in that picture? They look "glowy"... like translucent white energy. I like it.

And by the way, I'd buy two of these (one for my AH version and one for my FF version).


Hi Justin,

Those are actually hot glue gun sticks! I rather like the look of them too, so we'll search for a smoky translucent that replicates it.

Also, I've seen a lot of concern over the height. I've confirmed that there won't be any problem in just asking for a particular height when you order. Just keep suggesting your favorite heights and we'll make a list of three to choose from.
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Scott Everts
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SlikkRikk wrote:
ScottE wrote:
I'm actually fine with the top being clear, but having a base at the bottom being black or another color will ground it better.

Another option is there is a smoke translucent acrylic which is quite nice. You can partially see through it. I have a dice tower made in that color and it looks nice but you can still see the dice roll in it.


Hi Scott, that sounds really cool! Would you mind posting a picture of your tower here?

We'll get on the lookout for a translucent smoky acrylic since that seems to be the general consensus (and I love the idea, too). It's just a matter of finding a good source.

Fortunately I posted an image of the dice tower awhile back!

It looks solid on the white tablecloth but you can see things through it. The baffles are covered with a thick brown felt to make it quieter.

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Mark Jackson
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im looking at buying a set of these things from litko



and building a base with some UV leds in it to illuminate whoever is on top. i dont know if i'll be able to get sufficient power from batteries though, and i dont really know a lot about this kind of thing. getting a little carried away with the idea, since my ebay copy of the old AH version of the game hasnt even arrived yet.
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mar hawkman
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that looks really cool
 
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JT Call
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I figured it's probably about time that I post my own solution to the monolith dilemma (too tall? too opaque? blocks the pieces? too short? too transparent? not enough theme?).

Behold...



I took an old display stand (for a fitbit wristband) and whittled it down until it would fit the bases (top and bottom) that I wanted to use.



The piece at the bottom is the AH original monolith (which I liked because it was so clear which units could not move on to the monolith). The top is either clear plastic (to keep from obstructing view of the rest of the board) or a separate piece that clicks on to the top of the clear stand (using FFG's more thematic monolith hexagon and some black foam core to provide a raised lip, which serves to enlarge the piece and also keeps units from accidentally sliding off the top of the monolith if the table is bumped).



Here it is in action:



So yeah. I used both the FFG and AH copies of Nexus Ops (and a clear stand) to create one monolith that (IMHO) is kick-A. Some may not like the height, but I do (it's frickin' MONOLITH...plus it hollers back to the original AH concept).

YMMV.

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mar hawkman
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how many troops can it hold?
 
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Mark Jackson
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man that is awesome. good job!


i ended up ordering some fleet stands from litko, and some leds and whatnot. going to try my hand at something like this guy did for the base



with holes in it for LEDs and the legs of the fleet stand.

going to make this for the LED, hopefully its bright enough to light up the platform/look cool.



link, its an LED powered by watch batteries that has an on/off switch and doesn't require any soldering or anything.
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JT Call
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Ah_Pook wrote:
man that is awesome. good job!


Thanks!

marhawkman wrote:
how many troops can it hold?


Depends on which troops, I guess (Rubium dragons take up the most room). I'll have to see how many I can cram on there and then post pics.
 
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Mark Jackson
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couple of WIP shots of the monolith im building with the Litko fleet stand and teaLEDs. ive got longer legs for the stand that I might end up going with, and I haven't put the sides/finishing on the base yet. still though, im pretty happy with how its going thus far



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mar hawkman
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looks cool! What are you using for the sides?
 
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Mark Jackson
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marhawkman wrote:
looks cool! What are you using for the sides?


i used chipboard w/label paper. it ended up not fitting together quite as well as i had hoped, so i put black duct tape around the edges etc to make it look more finished.



what it looks like turned off and taken apart


bonus cat shot


overall i think it came out quite well. the fleet stand from litko is a little wobblier than i would have thought it would be, but its still totally usable.
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mar hawkman
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Looks nice. and it's cat approved.
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Dave Maynor
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A question... idea..... I guess....

We finally picked up a copy of NO, my wife friggen loves this game. We didn't order an AH copy (though she did want the black light effect), so we have the new FFG version. I am considering doing something for the monolith.

However, just having one raised tile in the middle doesn't really seem logical for lack of a better word. Has anyone tried making a mound for this? My thought is to buy some foam... maybe 1/4" think or so, and make a platform that will hold the tiles of the first ring just surrounding the monolith, then in the center of this platform give another 1/4" for the center hex. This way the whole thing looks like a slow incline upwards toward the middle. I don;'t think there would be major visibility issues, and I think the effect would look pretty cool while a game plays.

Has anyone seen anything like this or tried anything like it?
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Haven't seen it.
I don't see why this would be a problem in any way.

Go for it, and post some pics when you're done.
 
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Aaron White
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That sounds awesome with the raised tiles, yes please for photos.
 
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