This upright pegboard – a former 1970s spool rack found object – and its lovely metal easel support (another found object) together evoked steampunk tendencies for its ceramic playing pieces. What else would do but interesting glazed gears with which to play two very different games, both concerned with making “trains” of them to win?

In both the older Japanese game of Gomoku and the more recent Connect5, the players attempt to both place their gears in rows of a certain length and to block the opponent, but the manner in which play proceeds asks for different strategies in each game.

Game Play


Goal: To be the first player to align five of their gears on the board in any direction: vertical, horizontal or diagonal.

Start with an empty board. The player with the darker gears begins (unless the lighter color won the last game) by placing ONE gear anywhere on the larger pegs. After this first play, using a variation that improves the fairness, in all following plays both sides will place TWO gears per turn anywhere on the board.

Connect 5

Goal: To be the first player to align five of their gears on the board.

Play starts at the bottom of the board and builds upward. A gear train is made in any direction: horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Lighter gear goes first, playing in any open bottom peg. As pegs fill, plays may be made on higher pegs. This may also be played as Connect 4 or even Connect 6. It also may benefit from the same play Gomoku does: first player plays ONE gear, all further plays are of TWO gears.