Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Thoughts on My Game Table --

Right now I have a 5' x 10 1/2' game table. It is composed of "banquet tables" (such as those pictured to the left) . . . two 8' long (side by side) and one 5' long on the end (perpendicular to the others).

Generally I have been covering it with a green cloth, using styrofoam hills underneath to provide elevation changes . . . as you can see in the second photo (below).

But lately I've been having some "second thoughts" about this arrangement.


Because I really like the "Old School" look that Stokes has for his "Charge!" games on his Grand Duchy of Stollen blog, I'm thinking of a very easy option using what I already have.

If I were to get some thin 4'x8' sheets of MDF (medium density fiberboard) and have two cut down to 4'x5' and the third cut to 3'x5' (a total of four cuts), I could then paint them my figure-basing color on one side . . . and paint the other side a desert color for my Colonial gaming.

Then, by placing the 5' long banquet table six inches from the others . . . and putting the 3' wide section in the middle (so that a 4' section could span the gap and still have good support on the other end . . . I'd have a nice 5' x 11' gaming surface.

I could get a second set of MDF boards and paint them blue on one side, black on the other, and have tables for Naval and Space gaming too.

Which gets me to thinking.

If I got a 6' long banquet table, I could do the same sort of thing, only with 6' long sheets of MDF. Then, I could split the two 8' tables a foot apart and have a 6'x11' table . . . and if I added another 6' banquet table off of the far end, I could add one more 3'x6' MDF sheet and have a 6' x 14' table!

And, given the size of my game room, I don't think I'd want to go any bigger than that.

But while MDF is inexpensive, the banquet tables aren't cheap . . . so I'll probably start with the 5' x 11' option and see how it works out.

-- Jeff


Martin said...

Hi Jeff,

GO FOR IT! What a great idea. Definately give the smaller version a "test drive", and if it works out to your satisfaction, install the larger version.

I like the versitility, and if the room is needed for other purposes other than wargaming (Horrors of horrors! Anathema!), the whole thing can be packed up and is out of the way with very little effort. Thanks for sharing.

Gallia said...

Hi Jeff,
You can make your 5' tables 6' wide. How?
Spread out the tables making them six feet wide rather than five feet wide. This will create a one foot gap.
On your new table material screw on one or more one foot wide ridges. Flip the board(s) over so the ridge(s) can be in the gap.
Bon chance,

Adik said...

I have 3 boards, each 4ft by 2ft. As a result, I can play anything up to a 4ft by 6ft surface... which, for a Chicago apartment, is as far as I can go... sigh...

Capt Bill said...

If your table gets much bigger you'll have to use the floor!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Captain Bill,

I am quite fortunate in that my table is in a very large room . . . there will still be room to move comfortably around it.

-- Jeff

David said...

I think its great that you are updating your table. Definitely go for it! But take the opportunity to work on a terrain table rather than just a table. The look and feel of the terrain can really add to your games and bring out the figures. I hope you go for more than just paint on MDF. Maybe paint and flock the MDF at the least.

Capt Bill said...

Reich Duke Wilhelm would love to have one of your red uniformed musketeer units as part of the Beerstein Foreign Legion. Currently, there will be one yellow, one blue, and one green coated battalion. I'm using some old Russian figures in summer uniforms and red is already their main color. Best regards, Bill

Fitz-Badger said...

Stokes' setup looks great, but so does yours, Jeff!
But do what pleases you. You might as well give it a try and see if you like it.
I'm currently using 2 small folding card tables (or just one for a smaller game). One of these days I would like a standard 4 x 6 foot table (couldn't fit anything much bigger in my hobby room). I just need to figure how I want to do it and then get the materials.

tidders said...


go for whatevr you like; the more flexible the table modules are the better.

I've a 3ft x 8ft6in table, with a fixed covering of green cloth - I'm currently trying to figure out how to have lakes and wider rivers for my little boats to sail on

-- Allan

Stokes Schwartz said...

Yes, go for the bigger table, Jeff! It would be the prudent and correct thing to do as far as wargaming etiquette is concerned.

Best Regards,

Von Drosselmaier