Video gamers have their sweet gaming rigs. Readers have a favorite spot to curl up with their favorite books. Gardeners have their gardens, knitters have their rocking chairs, cooks have their kitchens.
What do board gamers have? Well, mostly, besides board games, we have tables. Today’s question: What do you normally play your games on? Do you have a favorite gaming surface? What would your ideal gaming table?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, namely because I’m working on rearranging some rooms and putting together a board gaming room in my house. You can’t just take any old shelf for your games, and as I found out, dining room tables are not always the most ideal when looking for a board-game-specific table. Most tables are too narrow, not leaving much space for the larger boards (such as El Grande or Ascending Empires) as well as space for the players’ tokens. The ones that are wider are often huge, spreading players out too far. Ideally, I would like a table that is between 40″ and 45″ wide, and square—but with a 20″ leaf or two to fit those extra big games or when you’re playing something with more players, such as Arkham Horror.
As it is, for now, I generally play on my dining room table. It’s made of wood, which is nice—a good, flat surface without the coldness of metal or impersonality of plastic. It’s plenty long, but fairly narrow—Ascending Empires juts barely fits—and I have to make sure to wipe it clean before setting up a game. I’m looking forward to having a dedicated table for board games, but it might be tough to find exactly what I’m looking for. I’m considering trying to custom build something—after all, how hard can it be to stick four legs to a large, flat, rectangular surface? Probably harder than I’d like.
I play my board games most often on one of two surfaces: the lunch table at work or the coffee table at home. At home, board games work on our dining room table, but playing games at the dining room table seems a bit too stuffy (how some families feel eating at the dining room table; isn’t paper plates in front of the TV good enough?). If the game fits on the coffee table, that’s typically where we play, sitting on the floor. It feels a little cosier, at least where we live currently. I also play on the lunch tables at work. Most of these are square, but if we’re playing a larger game (like Cosmic Encounter or 7 Wonders), we typically switch to a rectangular one.
I’m not too interested in the “ideal” gaming table. I like the ingenuity of board game hobbyists in trying to find a rigged solution to make everything work. Yet in spite of this, if @Futurewolfie is able to cobble together a decent custom table (a long shot, in my opinion), count me in for custom table #2.