There’s lot to be said for the satisfying feeling of dice clunking around in your hand, only fling them at the table – or into a dice tray – but there’s also a lot to be said for the clatter of cubes through a dice tower. For those not in the know, dice towers are a little structure offered from a variety of manufacturers that help with randomizing your rolls. No worries about whether they were shaken in your hand, whether they tumbled when they hit the table – the structure of the tower ensures tumblage as the dice bounce of angled plated on their way down. While I was at CaptainCon, I was handed the Smokestack Dice Tower from Tectonic Craft Studios. Behold my story.
Your kit comes with four sheets – tiles? – and no instructions. Okay then, we’re doing this the hard way!
Start by punching out all the pieces, and the bits out of the middle of the pieces, because you never know. If you’re not sure whether a piece needs to be punched out or not, look at the back of the sheet and see which lines have been burned all the way through.
You end up with a confusing pile of bits. Sort them out – there’s a bunch of similar/near identical parts, it’ll help to group them together.
I started with the base, because it was the biggest part. Identifying the two stages of the arch was easy, even if one of them will need glue to stay in place.
Next, the walls and back were added, simple enough.
The fence around the tray area too a little fudging, but wasn’t a bog challenge once I managed to hook it into the wall pieces for the base do the tower.
I clued in that the small square pieces were the caps for the top of the arch once they were put into their brace…
And soon enough, the base was almost complete, including the final ramp. Note that the slots in the ramp are actually cut out; should you be so inclined, it’d look completely boss with a flickering LED behind it to represent fire…
I started with the stack next, and reasoned that I needed to alternate between the two different types of vertical pieces to complete the shell of the stack.
Once I had them all in place, the two top rings locked it all in place. Pretty sexy, or so I thought.
Okay, so I’ve got the stack, I’ve got the first two ramps, and I’ve got the final ramp in the base… wait… how to I get the ramps inside the stack?
Yes, I pretty much had to disassemble the entire stack, because the ramp supports and ramps have to be in the rings BEFORE the slats go up for the outside of the stack. This was actually the toughest part to do, trying to keep all the pieces in place until I had enough of the slats in place to keep the shape.
And there you have it! The Smokestack Dice Tower from Tectonic Craft Studios. There’s a bunch of cogs and gears and widgets to glue on for the aesthetics, but they serve no actual function other than prettifying the tower. Those of you who follow us on Facebook would have seen the video of my rolling my 25 year old d6’s to test it, but for those of you who missed it:
Enjoy! Roll them boxcars!