Firewood Game of Ur

If you don’t already, you should go and subscribe to the British Museum Youtube channel immediately. One Saturday breakfast time a couple of weeks ago I watched the video of Tom Scott playing this game against Irving Finkel.

Now. A couple of weeks earlier, after making some firewood dice, we’d been playing with making firewood platonic solids. Tetrahedron, Cube, Octahedra… that kind of stuff. As you do.


So we sketched out the board on a sheet of paper, grabbed the big tub of dice, and started playing. It’s a fun game. We only had two wooden tetrahedra, so we used some blank dice with three dot faces and three blank faces to match the probabilities of the tetrahedra.

Robin appears to be quite good at it.

So we then move the board onto a left over chunk of oak flooring and start hitting it with chisels and whittling knives.


We also started making little dice and counters. These dice are effectively coins, and are hard to pick up. Having four of them means you can score 0,1,2,3 or 4 – which makes a change from 1-6. Burr from the log pile, plus saw, plus sandpaper = tetrahedral dice.


It’s not finished yet – but it’s a fun game. You should make one.

Quick sidebar on buying game bits. For maybe £20 you can stock up a tub with dice, counters, meeples, and other game components. Having these handy for this kind of thing on a saturday morning is fun – if the wee lads are into a new game, or want to add a feature to an existing game, being able to quickly mock them up is great. If you wait until the bits arrive the interest will have passed and life is pointless.