April 07, 2009

The gaming table

So I got tired of losing.

I play Necrons, my son plays Tyranids.

I’ve got a shooty army, he wants close combat, so playing on the dining table (3x5 ft.) is all to his advantage. However I’ve got an ace, in the form of basic woodworking skills. So last week I decided to build a proper 4x6 ft. gaming table. I had a number of requirements:

  • it had to be easy to assemble and disassemble,
  • it needed to fit on top of the dining table (and the garden table, luckily they’re both the same width - 3 ft.),
  • it should not slip while playing,
  • and ideally it should have have a border (to be nice to Arzhel, who has a tendency to throw the dice too hard: they end on the floor and the house rule is that in that case they are ignored).

So off to B&Q I went, where I purchased some MDF, that they nicely cut in 2x2 ft. blocks for me, and in the afternoon I went to work. The results are below:

The garden table:

Garden table

The board, packed and ready to go:

Packed board

Deployed on the table:


And with the gaming mat on top:

With the gaming mat on top

Some details: I installed ‘side wings’, which are collapsible for storage, and help the board to nicely hug the table, preventing it from moving during play:

Side wings

The board upside down, to show the ‘wings’:

Side wings

The side sections are assembled using dowels, these are obviously not glued in:


I added hooks to make sure everything stays together once assembled:


Little bit of finition. I could not be bothered with using a mitre saw and box, so ended up sanding the corners.


All that’s left to do is to paint it, and play! I can’t lose now.

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