I have tossed around what games columns could be used for. I think they would be perfect for a Connect 4 variation. Just use two different types and their mechanic only allows them to be stacked on the bottom or existing columns. possibly a variation could incorporate a defensive move where you can remove your own column. If that column supported a single opponents column, that column would fall as well. But you sacrifice your own position. So strategically, you need to try to “lock” your columns with 2 adjoining columns as well as forming a 4 across winning move.
Maybe columns could be used for Backgammon as well? The messagebot has a diceroller utility which could help.
I don’t know the name of it, but there’s a pen and paper game where you connect dots on a grid. When you form a closed box, you win that square. This could be done with “dots” as blocks and “lines” as columns, and won squares could be marked with a gem. Note: when you close two boxes with one line, you win both boxes. Whoever wins the most boxes wins the game.
The fishing rod is great for games of skill, like golf, shuffleboard, archery and novel games created by the players like “Worm BBQ” and “Fishing for Milla” (ok, ok, that’s not really a game).
Note about protection: Yes, protection is sometimes needed to protect elaborate boards, but it isn’t always necessary at all if the board can be created easily and is simple enough. If created underground, you have a stable background to work with. Painted squares can be easily repainted if damaged.