I'm still anticipating that I'll be honouring my pledge to JY - that I'll be making him a backgammon board. I've arrived at the possibility of making it from ply. Not only that, but I'd really like to look into laser cutting the pieces, so that I've just go to glue them together.
The only things that might muck it up are the choice of board colours (as well as how to make the "spikes") and the hinges. I might opt for leather for hinges, but then I'll be tempted to make the board look like a leather bound book. Like I say, tempting.
As fo the "spikes", I'm really tempted to do something with epoxy - maybe carve out the "spikes", then paint the carved out section and then cover the whole board with epoxy, giving it a 3D feel. On the other hand I did say I'd try to keep it simple. To go down the simple route, I reckon the best way would be to make a stamp of one "spike" and just roll paint onto it. Decisions, decisions.