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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Top attack!
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Top attack!
A fast-paced "put 'em up and knock 'em down" action game using many small LEGO finger tops as both targets and attackers
About this creation
Please feel free to look over the images and skip the verbiage.

At the July, 2018 DENLUG meeting, I got fellow members to help me test my latest LEGOŽ finger top game...



The game's quick to set up, a ton of fun to play, and relatively easy and cheap to build on your own. The rules:

A. Prep: Set up the arena and give each player a dozen or so "target tops" and several "attack tops".

B. Fill the arena: On signal, players launch their targets into the arena as fast as they can. Filling ends when the last target goes in. The goal of filling is to maximize the number of targets standing when the attack begins in Step C. Toward that end, each player turns to restarting fallen targets when the last of her own targets goes in.

C. Attack: When the last player runs out of targets, everyone starts launching attack tops against the targets -- now with the goal of downing all the targets as quickly as possible. Attack tops are retrieved and relaunched until the last target falls.



The game officially ends there, but play seldom stops on its own, as by then, the mayhem has usually taken on a life of its own.

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Optional: Building your own

Arena: The 45 x 90 cm arena in the main video is a good size for the number of targets in play (52). But the fence is too low to contain some attackers and too flexible to reflect attacker energy back into the arena efficiently.

Better for the fence to contact attack tops at rotor level and to stay put when struck. Otherwise, any hard fence will do.

∨ Launch methods: The main video shows targets and attackers being launched in 2 very different ways: The "overhand" launches used for targets are the usual kind for finger tops. The "underhand" launch below is reserved for attackers.



Controlled overhand launches minimize target-target collisions, while aggresive underhand launches ensure that attackers enter the arena with as much translational and rotational kinetic energy as possible.

Tops: The rest of this page focuses on some key similarities and differences between target and attack top designs. These details may not be obvious in the main video, but they can have big impacts on play value.

All of the tops are small, inexpensive LEGOŽ finger tops made from parts I purchased on BrickLink. I recommend at least 12 identical targets and 4 identical attackers per player.

Every top here includes a rotor (the widest part), a central axle, and a tip in contact the table. Depending on the rotor and axle, an attacker may also need a bush to keep the rotor from sliding down the axle on landing. Expect to spend $0.20 to $0.30 per top depending on the chosen rotors and target tips.

Rotors: Both top types use small LEGOŽ wheels with central axle holes for rotors. I recommend a target wheel OD of 30-40 mm and an attack wheel of equal or slighter larger OD.




Small Znap wheels (3219, upper left, red) make excellent target and attack rotors if you can find them. But many readily available wheels also work well -- including the old 30.4x14 "solid smooth" wheel (32146, upper left, black), the 20x30 "medium balloon" (6582, upper right), the unreinforced 30.4x20 (54087, lower left), and the 20x30 Technic wheel (4266, lower right).

Not shown are the treaded hard plastic wheel (22410) and the small balloon wheel (6580). Respectively, these make excellent and decent attack rotors, but the former will need an axle adapter.

Note that the Znap wheel carries nearly all of its mass well away from its center. This ideal mass distribution benefits targets and attackers alike, as it maximizes the top's axial moment of inertia (AMI) per unit mass. Better to use an attack wheel with a little more mass than the target wheel if possible, but wheel mass distributions should get top priority.

NB: Don't add rubber tires to any of your rotors. Tires add mass, AMI, and AMI per unit mass to any rotor, but they dissipate way too much energy on impact. Maximum fun calls for elastic collisions.

Axles: All of the targets in the main video use plain 6L axles, while the attackers used stopped 4L, 5L, or 5.5L axles depending on the rotor.

Axle length limits rotor height in attackers. My most effective attackers are a Znap wheel on a 5L axle and a 22410 or medium balloon wheel on a 5.5L axle. The 54087 wheel works best with a stopped 4L axle.

∨ Tips: An attack top should always spin on a bare central axle, as this tip geometry promotes (i) rapid travel toward targets, (ii) a strong self-righting tendency, and (iii) the ability to survive multiple impacts without falling. These are all highly desirable traits in an attacker.



A target, on the other hand, should maximize spin time while minimizing the chance of target-target collision during arena filling. The latter, in turn, calls for minimal precession and travel.



Hence, best to cover the bottom end of a target's central axle with a smooth, rounded tip. A Technic ball (32474, right) works well here, but the smaller the tip's radius of curvature, the better. I cut the black part of the fine "antenna tip" on the left from the end of a round-tipped 4L antenna (3957).



∨ Rotor height: Target rotors should ride as low to the table as possible to maximize spin time and minimize precession. Attack rotors should ride much higher to promote the desirable traits already mentioned.

Tread relief can have a huge impact on collision outcomes when rotors at the same height above the table meet at speed (e.g., here). But attack and target rotors should really be at different levels in this game.

When you raise a top's rotor with no other change, you're really increasing two important parameters at once: (i) Center of mass (CM) height above the table, and (ii) transverse moment of inertia about the tip (TMI). Each has a profound effect on top behavior.

∨ Putting it all together: Small Znap tops like these are my best targets, as they combine a high AMI per unit mass and a low CM with a fine rounded tip. They can stay up 60-70 s with an overhand launch if undisturbed.



In contrast, this highly effective yellow attacker combines a high AMI per unit mass with a high CM and a bare-axle tip. It can stay up [] s with an underhand launch if undisturbed.



The red top spins longer, but I find its CM too low for this game.

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Comments

 I made it 
  July 31, 2018
Quoting Caleb Lang Looks entertaining, but there's no system deciding a winner? Personally I feel competition leads to making a game really fun, otherwise you play once, maybe twice, and then you get kinda bored cause it's the same thing over and over. I more or less skimmed this so if I missed something please let me know.
No, you didn't miss it. Still working out how to score a competition between individual players, as cooperation must be rewarded somehow during the initial target-loading phase. Much easier to do that in a competition between teams. Stay tuned.
 I made it 
  July 31, 2018
Quoting Nils O. Cool! It looks like everybody has a lot of fun! :-))
Thanks! Good to see that folks enjoy it in the form shown in video, but on to some improvements.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2018
Looks entertaining, but there's no system deciding a winner? Personally I feel competition leads to making a game really fun, otherwise you play once, maybe twice, and then you get kinda bored cause it's the same thing over and over. I more or less skimmed this so if I missed something please let me know.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2018
Cool! It looks like everybody has a lot of fun! :-))
 I made it 
  July 29, 2018
Quoting Daniel H. Dang, I want to play this!
Excellent! That was the hoped-for effect. Make your own. For each player, I recommend at least 4 attack tops and at least 12 target tops at $0.20 to $0.30 per top, depending on chosen wheels and target tips. (Many good wheel options besides Znap.) Arena fence need not be LEGO.
 I like it 
  July 28, 2018
Dang, I want to play this!
 I made it 
  July 28, 2018
Quoting Henrik Jensen Looks like a game of great fun, Jeremy! By the way, I really enjoyed that very calming classical music on the "Small Znap wheel tops spun by hand"-video, what is it?
Thanks, Henrik! Menuetto (3rd?) movement of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, No. 41 -- one of my favorite classical pieces.
 I like it 
  July 28, 2018
Looks like a game of great fun, Jeremy! By the way, I really enjoyed that very calming classical music on the "Small Znap wheel tops spun by hand"-video, what is it?
 I made it 
  July 28, 2018
Quoting Jimmie Martinez Brilliant presentation once again Jeremy. Every detail of this great game is covered to the nth degree. so that the viewer gets the most information and enjoyment from it. BOAJDTAP 100/100 And keep on brickin my highly technic friend.
Many thanks, Jimmie! Couldn't resist adding the section about the tops as a leg up for folks who might want to give the game a try.
 I like it 
  July 28, 2018
Brilliant presentation once again Jeremy. Every detail of this great game is covered to the nth degree. so that the viewer gets the most information and enjoyment from it. BOAJDTAP 100/100 And keep on brickin my highly technic friend.
 I made it 
  July 27, 2018
Quoting Seaman SPb You know how to have fun! :)
Very kind, Seaman! Play value's very important to me. I take that as a high compliment.
 I like it 
  July 27, 2018
You know how to have fun! :)
 I made it 
  July 27, 2018
Quoting Gabor Pauler Oh, based on the title I belived that this will be attack of women's dressing top... That could be your next top project: how to create top from tops.
Now look what you've started: https://youtu.be/3Q8CuV9EOLM
 I made it 
  July 27, 2018
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Sounds like a cool game! Awesome!
Thanks, Clayton!
 I like it 
  July 27, 2018
Sounds like a cool game! Awesome!
 I made it 
  July 27, 2018
Quoting Sven ;o) Looks like lots of fun there :) Pretty cool stuff. Really liked the ones who were spinning upside down XD
Many thanks, my friend! I feel the same way. Compared to the conventional overhand launch, the underhand launch gives a small top =much= more rotational and translational kinetic energy. Control may suffer some, but the energy boost opens up many new play opportunities. Designed these upside-down "underhand tops" to take full advantage of that.
 I made it 
  July 27, 2018
Quoting Gabor Pauler Oh, based on the title I belived that this will be attack of women's dressing top... That could be your next top project: how to create top from tops.
As a serious top-maker, I strive to explore any and all design options: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBs340eSm7g&t=135s . Quite sure that 99.32% of all viewers first see these 2 dark tan "shell tops" through an "anatomic" lens, and many never get past that. Now, I would normally have been in the 99.32%, but the anatomic implications somehow escaped me here. Until I shot the video. And then it was, "Wow, these babies aren't just great tops. They're R-rated, too!" At family-friendly LEGO shows, I just put out the one with the dark green tip.
 I like it 
  July 27, 2018
Looks like lots of fun there :) Pretty cool stuff. Really liked the ones who were spinning upside down XD
 I like it 
  July 27, 2018
Oh, based on the title I belived that this will be attack of women's dressing top... That could be your next top project: how to create top from tops.
 
By Jeremy McCreary
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Top attack!


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