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Built a Boardgame Table

All discussions regarding Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Holman
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Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Holman » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:05 pm

In the new house I finally have an office with room for a boardgame table! Long-term game space has been a lifelong dream.

The components are nothing special: just a 46x70-inch quality plywood surface securely fitted with IKEA legs. It's white pine, sanded but not stained. At last, though, I have a table that can host two full games at once. I could even lay out a big four-map wargame (assuming four standard 34x22 maps rectangular) if I wanted. Until today, I've done my gaming on the dinner table (temporary and inconvenient) or a 2x3-foot folding surface inconveniently placed in the living room.

My only concern is that I picked 1/2-inch thick wood. It was cheaper, and I guess I wanted to be able to move the table easily because it blocks a (deep-storage) closet door. There's no sag, but my worry is that it is just light enough to be easily bumped (shifting counters etc). I might decide to pick up another identical slab and screw it on top just for heft.

In a any case, yay me! I've wanted this for a long time.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by hepcat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:12 pm

I’ll be over this week with Fallout, Malifaux and Hordes tabletop wargames for the christening.
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Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Zarathud » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:29 pm

Pictures!

My new table from boardgametables.com is assembled and waiting for shipping to be scheduled. I expect I'll have to bar the door on hepcat, if he figures out my new address. :)
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by jackalope » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:52 am

Pictures or it didn't happen!
Congrats, though.
We use a 6' x 4' dining table from the 40's for our game room. And we're in the process of having a new surface for it built with supports that will make it 6' x 6'.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by YellowKing » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:32 pm

Congrats Holman! That's a dream of mine as well, though it will have to wait until we get a bigger house.

Right now I"m making do. Late last year I took out my wife's old computer desk in the office which she didn't use anymore and replaced it with a large folding table. However, it's very sturdy - the kind they use for large events with two U shaped brackets for each end vs individual legs. So it doesn't wobble and is plenty big enough for even my biggest table hogs.

I'm spoiled by my gaming group, though. One of the guys talked his boss into letting us use one of his company's conference rooms every week. So we play on a large conference table with a giant $200 Quiver game mat on top (not mine). It definitely hurts when I have to come back home and play on my rinky dink contraption. :D

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:13 am

Now that the kids have moved in full-time, I've lost my board gaming table most of the time. We have an extra large table in their room, and I used to steal it for a week at a time while they were away. Now that they're back, it's always in use. I'm having a hell of a time playing anything.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by RMC » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:17 pm

I built this awful looking table, but it is awesome for playing games. It is 4 ft x 8 ft, and I put it in my basement. No cutting on the plywood, just used it as it was.

Basically, I took 2 sheets of plywood, and sandwiched them together with 2x4's in between to provide stability. Then I used 2x4's to make the legs.

It works, but there are a lot of changes that I would do if I were to make a new table, and I think about doing it, but then I think that the table is working, so why throw it away and build something else. I also painted and varnished the top of the table, so it works nice and has a fairly good surface.

My wife uses it to do her sewing and quilt making, so I have to evict her stuff whenever the gaming guys come over. :)
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by AWS260 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:39 pm

Pictures! Even of the ugly one!

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by hentzau » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:46 pm

That was my old gaming table. It was extremely functional. I now have a more normal sized (like 3.5 x 5.5) table in its place, and even that seems big for my space. I have no idea how I managed the 4x8 table now.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by wonderpug » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:20 pm

I'm having trouble seeing the pictures in this thread.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by coopasonic » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:50 pm

wonderpug wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:20 pm
I'm having trouble seeing the pictures in this thread.
i think you dropped this...

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by RMC » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:04 pm

When I get home, I'll take some pictures and upload them. But man, it's an ugly table...
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. - Winston Churchill
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Redfive » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:46 pm

Keeping an eye on this thread.

We are about to break ground on a new home and I specifically designed my office area to be big enough to include a game table. Based off of several posts I've seen on reddit, a table is totally doable even by someone with no prior experience. I am not 100% without experience so I look forward to designing and building!
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by RMC » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:11 pm

Big Ugly Table:
Image

Different angle

Image

Fancy Construction techniques...

Image

Cody the dog, one of three of my dogs

Image

More Table pics..

Image

Table PICS!!!!

Image
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. - Winston Churchill
Sheesh, this is one small box. Thankfully, everything's packed in nicely this time. Not too tight nor too loose (someone's sig in 3, 2, ...). - Hepcat

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Zarathud » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:44 am

I ordered the 3.25 x 6 foot table from www.boardgametables.com and then 4 chairs from Ashley Furniture.

Enlarge Image

Enlarge Image

There are built-in cupholders on the sides that pull out, and I can clip in another cupholder on the small ends. The removable GM station drops into the vault, and the top is cut into 3 pieces for easy removal. The table is in the basement of my new place, next to the bar that my wife has taken over for her home business. At least the cooler is within reach (after it's fixed). Not surprisingly, the kids have already used it more than I have.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. - Nixon
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Chrisoc13 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:41 am

Dang! Zarathud that looks beautiful.

We currently game on our kitchen table and it gets the job done but when we move in a year and a half and finally buy a house I've informed my wife I'm getting a gaming table asap. She agreed.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by RMC » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:25 am

Zarathud wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:44 am
I ordered the 3.25 x 6 foot table from www.boardgametables.com and then 4 chairs from Ashley Furniture.

Enlarge Image

Enlarge Image

There are built-in cupholders on the sides that pull out, and I can clip in another cupholder on the small ends. The removable GM station drops into the vault, and the top is cut into 3 pieces for easy removal. The table is in the basement of my new place, next to the bar that my wife has taken over for her home business. At least the cooler is within reach (after it's fixed). Not surprisingly, the kids have already used it more than I have.
Very nice. Umm.. I have a refrigerator in the basement, for pop and stuff. I had a little one, and then found a dinged and dented one at Lowe's that was an apartment sized one, so picked that up on the cheap. So lots of places for drinks and dips and stuff. :)
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. - Winston Churchill
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:27 pm

I don't have a lot of room. I have a two bedroom apartment built in the 19th century when rooms weren't large to begin with, and it's small for that. There isn't single storage closet in the house, just two bedroom closets. The bathroom is so small that I have to walk sideways to get through it, and not because I'm fat. This is housing two adults and two teenagers full time now, so to say I'm pinched for space is an understatement. Every square foot is precious - and used.

My table is homemade. I got two half doors from Lowe's, the kind used in bi-fold closet doors. I probably paid $20 apiece for them. I laid them on the ground, hooked them together with a piano hinge, then gave them a few coats of stain/varnish. It folds up and stands in the corner of the kids room (next to their crap - and my comics!), but takes up hardly any floor space, perhaps four inches by three feet. When we play, we set it on top of the table in the living room/dining room. It works beautifully, and we've run RPGs with eight people on it.

Sorry about the clutter. We're still sorting things out from doubling the house population without increasing space.

Image

(Not me in the picture.)

Image
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by RMC » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:54 pm

Very nice, and great use of space.

I have a whole basement, and a large house, so never really worried about the need to conserve space. I have 6 bedrooms and three baths, and a full basement, and a bunch of acreage as well, so again no worries on space. :)

But I really like the portability of your idea, and I assume those are hollow doors, so they are fairly light as well? Or are they solid wood? I really want to rebuild my table, but that takes some effort, and while I have learned a ton, and want to use that new knowledge, it is easier to stand pat with what I have then make new things. But I could use some of the tools I recently bought... Hmmm..
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. - Winston Churchill
Sheesh, this is one small box. Thankfully, everything's packed in nicely this time. Not too tight nor too loose (someone's sig in 3, 2, ...). - Hepcat

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Redfive » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:24 pm

Nice map of Phandelver on the screen.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Zarathud » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:02 pm

Your table looks fine RMC for the downstairs space, and it's big. I have cupholders to avoid spills on the carpet, and the top so my wife/kids know when they can use it.

You're only missing a lip to contain the dice. But if you to build, there are some good videos about how to build a vault area and even drop in a flatscreen.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:54 pm

The table is hollow. It's awkward enough it really needs two to move it, and probably requires two to set it out, but it's light enough that I can move it while folded from room to room by myself, and I only have one good arm. The really nice thing about it is that I can place it on the dining room table (normally kept in the kids' room as in the first picture), or I can set it on the coffee table for a much lower version. That means that with the coffee table in the living room and the dining table in the kids room, I have four separate table options (high table, low table, high large table, low large table) depending on the game being played.
Redfive wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:24 pm
Nice map of Phandelver on the screen.
When I DM, I use a program called Map Tool, sort of a free version of Roll20/Fantasy Grounds. I set my laptop as the host and the TV computer as the client. I put in all of the maps and set up the fog of war in advance, then use a single token to represent the party. As they move around, I just move the token into the next room and reveal it. It beats the hell out of trying to graph-map whole dungeons, or repeating where the doors are thirty times. I also use it to display images of NPCs and enemies, and to show images of documents they find (which allows the whole table to read it at once instead of passing one copy around.) It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but I can do a two or three session map in an hour or so now.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Holman » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:02 pm

Here's mine:

Enlarge Image

It's nothing fancy at all, and it's really only seatable on two sides, but for the first time I have a dedicated surface where I can leave long-term games up for weeks at a time. This is in my third-floor office, so there's no danger of human traffic bothering it, and the dog seems uninterested.

The corner of my long computer desk is visible at right. I can do work and then spin around to think about ongoing games.

The blocked closet is deep storage and very seldom accessed, but the table is easy to move.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by conav0 » Sun May 05, 2019 5:18 pm

I think that the best board game tables are those with a niche for battlemat.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by The Meal » Tue May 07, 2019 10:27 am

I don't have a convenient photo, but here's a short video showing our old setup:
(Setting up for poker night, giving poker announcements {the red alert lighting} and then the general play). Our entire basement is dedicated to hosting poker.

Our current setup has the rails in the "nook" (on the left side of the room) removed, the black table where the red table is in the video, the red table pushed into the nook and a third, octagon table in the space immediately in front of the camera. We had to put a third table up as we are regularly getting more than 20 players interested in joining us.

You can see the first fridge in the background -- there's another dorm-sized fridge back behind that in the little hallway, and there's a full liquor hutch and movie-style popcorn popper back behind that. I'll try to come back to this thread with a video walkthrough.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by The Meal » Mon May 13, 2019 12:22 pm

At the midpoint of the left edge of that video (just to the left of Yoshi) we have another camera in the basement. The video below is from that perspective. At the end of our big end-of-season poker tournament we had this as our last hand of the evening. The video starts after the first player (on the left side) is already all in and both other remaining players have called his bet. MHS is dealing (as that's what a good host does) and I (sitting to her left) am shuffling cards between each hand. The balding player in the foreground is just sitting at the table watching (he went out in fourth place and wants to see how the evening finishes out).



It's not the craziest poker hand ever played, but it's certainly the craziest hand we've ever had to finish out our season. It's a double elimination (all three players end up all-in and the player who had the most chips ends up winning the hand). The preflop all-in player is 72% to win the pot at the time all his chip go in, and the least-likely winner of the three ends up making his hand on the end.

But I dropped it in this thread because it shows our gaming area from a different perspective. The octagon table is pushed out of its typical location (now sitting closer to the shelves), but other than that, this is how the red and black oval tables typically sit.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Mon May 13, 2019 1:51 pm

The Meal: spiffy-looking setup you have there, but I can't help wondering -- have you tried playing any Cosmic Encounter sessions in your poker room?

The reason I ask, is that it's long been one of my all-time favourites, and I suspect it'd be right up your (and Shannon's) alley. SU&SD's Quintin Smith aptly sums it up in his Eurogamer review of Cosmic Encounter:
Eurogamer.net wrote:Enlarge Image

Cosmic Encounter is, according to those in the industry capable of shouting loudest, the best board game in existence today.

I want you to imagine poker. It's not untrue to call poker a perfect game. It's also not untrue to call it occasionally boring and exhausting, and to disapprove of its chapped mathematical underbelly.

Now, imagine if poker was made for gamers. Imagine if it was wildly inventive, with a mean streak and a wicked sense of humour. Best of all, imagine if it was a different, surprising game every single time you sat down to play. Or don't imagine, and pay £40 for this set of linen-finished cards, plastic UFOs that stack like poker chips and gorgeously illustrated aliens. Odds are, you'll be very glad you did.
Last edited by Anonymous Bosch on Mon May 13, 2019 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by The Meal » Mon May 13, 2019 7:15 pm

That sounds right up our alley! Thanks for the heads-up.

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by hepcat » Mon May 13, 2019 9:57 pm

And if you’re looking for a super fast distillation of poker, look no further than Skull and Roses. You can bang out a game with 6 people in 20 minutes.

But the hate between players will last for hours...
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Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Zarathud » Tue May 14, 2019 12:28 am

Only when someone learns the hard way they can't bluff.

So cute. So good.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by hepcat » Tue May 14, 2019 6:36 am

:oops:
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by bathwalter991 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:32 am

Although the discussion has already gone far ahead, nevertheless, Holman, congratulations! Having even such a small room is great happiness. Which many can not afford, including me. The entire play area in our house is a table for my brothers' foosball. :x

By the way, does anyone play it? Although my brothers annoy me, I still love to play foosball with them and I want them to find the best version. But I don't know all the details.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:47 am

I need another table topper. I need something that I can use for solo play. I find that a standard card table just isn't quite big enough, but none of the larger tables will fit in the only room I can set up these days. I figure that 4'x4' would be ideal. I just need to figure out what is 2'x4' that I could grab two of to hook together into a folding topper.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Zarathud » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:49 pm

Shame the Game Toppers are $500+ because they offer a version where you can get a large table top that splits into two smaller tables.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. - Nixon
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by AWS260 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:31 pm

I recently got this. It unfolds from 22.5" x 40" to 45" x 40".

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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:34 pm

Blackhawk wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:47 am
I need another table topper. I need something that I can use for solo play. I find that a standard card table just isn't quite big enough, but none of the larger tables will fit in the only room I can set up these days. I figure that 4'x4' would be ideal. I just need to figure out what is 2'x4' that I could grab two of to hook together into a folding topper.
Enlarge Image

Amazon has a 48x48" octagonal folding poker table layout for $39.99 w/ free shipping.
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Re: Built a Boardgame Table

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:40 pm

Once you count the reduced area due to the shape, then the chip holders, that wouldn't really be much more usable area than my 34" card table.
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