Comments

  • I don't understand this idea of a gaming table. If I want a dry marker surface like the one in the photo, why should it be built-in and unchangeable? What's wrong with unrolling a sheet of plastic, chosen among many differently marked ones? Why should I compromise the design of the table for so little benefit?.

    When I had a "gaming" table a few years ago, it was the everyday living room table, with a large extension and a rather casino-grade green felt cover. It worked perfectly, simply because it was very large and there was room for any reasonable amount of food, beverages, manuals, character sheets and maps.
  • I'm still looking for a compromise between using a large space to have all the things we need to play on the table or using a smaller table to focus better on the game conversation. Buying a gaming table feels like a stretch to me in that sense.
  • What you want is modularity - say four square 4-person tables that can be folded, stacked and stashed out of the way. That way you can set up an intimate or expansive play-space as necessary, and use the space for other purposes when a game's not on. The only trickier bit is to find tables that are both sufficiently sturdy and sufficiently stashable. Plus, the ideal gaming space, of course, which is a much more difficult issue than the furniture.

    All that being said, I can see the utility in a custom gaming table. I'd probably build/customize it myself, though, to get it to my specs. Everybody tends to have their own specific needs after all.
  • The only trickier bit is to find tables that are both sufficiently sturdy and sufficiently stashable.
    Do you think the IKEA Norden table, possibly with wheels, is "stashable" and flexible enough? Two of them are worth four 4-person small tables.
    I personally prefer wider tables, but it's very convenient to open and close compared to assembling detachable legs and sturdier than camping tables.
  • edited August 2017
    I actually game at an IKEA table, so no shade, but consider investing in actual heirloom furniture-making craftsmanship. These folks make an amazing product for the domestic US market using skilled local workers and there may be something similar near you.
  • I think Jason's on point here. Every space and every game table will likely have wildly different needs and preferences.

    Why not hire someone local to you to build a table? It'll be a special experience, you'll support a local craftsperson, and have a good story/conversation piece.

    It will be more expensive, sure, but it's a pretty special opportunity, too, to invest in something special and to support a local artisan.
  • I'm with Jason an Paul on this. Also, Ikea's strength is mass-production, its prices are so competitive because of the sheer number of instances of the same item they can sell. I could be wrong, but I doubt that a game table could attract a market share big enough to Ikea even bother.

    Maybe it would be more useful to share several designs to give to the local craftperson? Maybe as a crowdfunded project? Those 23000 people that signed the petition will gladly pledge to the project, right? With just an €/$ each, they could found a brainstorming of designers.
  • Norden doesn't look bad, but I don't think I've seen it in nature.

    Here are two Ikea tables that I've used for gaming. First is "Lack", a low coffee table perfect for living room gaming.
    image
    One Lack fits say two roleplayers at most, so it's not very large. They're even and sturdy enough, though, so you can use several side by side to enlarge the table as appropriate. They're stackable, too. A friend of mine has a pile of them stacked in one corner of his humble living room, where they're easily available when gaming night rolls around. It's been field-proven to work well for OSR gaming - four or six make ample room.

    My second recommendation is better for boardgames and such, where you need ordinary table height. The "Triangle" table has slightly flimsy legs due to its light-weight construction (as in, there's minor wobbling when you bump it), but it'll hold up as long as you don't want to dance on it.
    image
    The main selling point of the table is that while its full size is square suited for a 4-player game (one player on each side), you can also fold it into a triangle-shaped half-table. In practice this means that if you have two in a modest apartment, you always have the choice of an intimate 4-player story game table, or you can extend the two into a long dinner table arrangement that fits a heavyweight gamer boardgame. I lived with just such an arrangement for a few years in Helsinki, and it was just about perfect for the premises.

    The argument illustrated by these two tables is that while a big, heavy dinner table type solution has its advantages, many gamers may find that light, modular tables that get out of the way are more practical for them. I mean, I have quite a bit of room here in the country, and I still prefer tables that get out of the way, as that way you can use the media room as a gaming room without having the table in the way when you want to watch a movie.
    Maybe it would be more useful to share several designs to give to the local craftperson? Maybe as a crowdfunded project? Those 23000 people that signed the petition will gladly pledge to the project, right? With just an €/$ each, they could found a brainstorming of designers.
    Yes, this idea I like. As I intimated above, I would be more inclined to build my own "perfect gaming table" if I wanted to get a big, beautiful flagship boondockle. Having ready-made design plans and ancillary ideas for it would be quite useful, whatever degree of customizations you wanted for it. With plans on paper it's much easier to get friends to help, too. (I'm thinking of furniture craftsman friends here, obviously.)
  • This is a matter to which I have given great thought. My situation is that I have a limited space and a love of big-box board games. I have used an expandable IKEA table to great effect. The problem is that most expandable tables expand along the long axis. This is not idea for board games, as the space it adds isn't always usable. I did finally find a medium-sized table that expands into a four-foot square. As a small table, it's perfect for a 4-person RPG or a game like Splendor. Expanded, it's big enough for a full game of Scythe. I have not yet seen a mass-produced table that expands into a square though.
  • I have not yet seen a mass-produced table that expands into a square though.
    There are some obvious and relatively common classes: rectangle doubling across the long side (e.g. https://youtube.com/watch?v=WtNoUUmpCCc), square with 4 triangular wings, expanding to a square of double area (e.g. http://www.lago.it/design/tavolo-loto), various circle to quasi-circle mechanisms (e.g. https://youtube.com/watch?v=IQfklF8btTA).
  • I use the Norden and find it to be a decently capable gaming table, provided you don't expect more than 6 people. It folds up to a tiny footprint and has storage for books, supplies, and dice
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