This is my solution for a changeable gaming surface.
I have some textured (4'x4' and 4'x6') surfaces for traditional war gaming but for using printable tiles or for drawing out encounters for skirmish games or RPGs, I like the glass top. It's durable, dice roll well on it, minis slide easily across it, it isn't susceptible to bumping and you can draw all over it with a dry erase marker (we keep track of initiative and damage right on the tabletop).
It also works well for board games (tired of someone's elbow rearranging the Twilight Imperium universe? Put all the tiles under glass). With a 30"x46" usable playing surface it can accommodate most games.
As a side note, when you are sitting at the table, glare is not nearly the issue that it is in the photos.
So the regular hex mat (with some minis and drawing, it's hard to see the grid, but it is a 1" chessex hex mat)
Ready to switch? Clear of the top, lift the glass (it rests on a hinged frame) and put the supports in place, there is one on each side).
Shuffle through the pre-printed/assembled maps, stored under the glass ready to use, or toss in some freshly printed tiles.
Align the chosen map on top of the stacks of maps
Put the glass down and game. This is a portion of World Works deep space map.
Need a change of venue, swap out the maps again (this is skeleton key games desert bluffs)
I can see using this for quite a few board games as well.Formula D, Tanhausser, Frag, War of the Rings, etc.
The 'on the fly' mapping with the Chessex is great. Really makes those tedious map changes for RPGs (mostly) a thing of the past. You've get the next best thing to a Microsoft Live Table. You just need some (suction cups for the mini's), LED side and bottom lighting and you'd be set!
Post by glennwilliams on Apr 22, 2010 21:23:31 GMT -9
Acrylic comes in thinner thicknesses and is available at just about any of the DIY stores like Lowes or Home Depot(look either in windows or the ceiling light fixture area--where the "egg crates" are). It scratches, but your gamer buddies canna break it.
My wife goes to a local glazier for window glass for pictures, and it's dirt cheap.
I honestly can’t remember how much I paid for the sheet of glass; it was about 10 years ago. I’ve used the glass over a hex mat since I bought this piece glass but it is only this year that I built the hinged top to go with it.
The glass is pretty heavy, but the frame is mostly aluminum (with steel brackets) so it doesn’t add much weight. It’s easy enough to lift but transporting it is a bear. I imagine it will sit in my game room until I move.
I also have a piece of acrylic glass I use when I go somewhere else to game and it is lighter thinner and cheaper. If you’re looking for a cheap way to accomplish the same goal a thin piece of acrylic works great and is way easier to transport and lift up to monkey with maps underneath. However (as mentioned by glennwilliams) it does scratch pretty easily. I’m on my second piece in about 3 years (still probably cheaper than the money I have tied up in this table top). Also the acrylic is lighter and prone to slipping around over the maps. It’s a minor concern, but it does make me prefer the glass.
It’d be pretty hard to break the glass (on accident anyway) I have, it’s relatively thick. However the glass used for framing might be a bit too fragile to use.
I’m not sure how small the pieces are for Formula De, but we play ASL with the map under the glass without much trouble, once and a while you have to stand up and look straight down on it and those hexes are pretty small.
That's a great table my friend. I know I'd love to have one. Descent, Heroquest and Duel of Ages would also be fun with that board.
I have a smallish piece of acrylic it's about 3/16" thick and it works fine for FDMini (it's not big enough for the full track FDe). Much thicker though and yes it would require you to look straight down on the board to see if you were aligned in the proper space.
At some point I'll be doing a gaming table, and it will most likely have a sheet of Acrylic covering (most) of it. I wonder what the additional cost of a protective coating for it would cost... ? I was thinking a 4x4 or maybe just a 3x3 with a gutter around the edges for stat sheets, pencils, drinks, cell phones etc. I have a few dice towers. But I tend to like a nice felt lined wood-box for dice rolling(or game box in a pinch). Nothing beats the shake and throw for dice rolling it really is an extension of the game play.
For war gaming I was really wanting to try a table that could be raised and lowered (raised to be put up and out of the way of cats, small children) so that a game could be left mid-play and returned to later. Though a recessed table (like a pool table) could also work...but really all of these ideas would require a lot of time (which I do not have) & work. The pulley lifted table would be shaky at best when raising and lowering... The recessed table would be best, but would eliminate getting down to eye view of the ground level figures (and then everyone would need one of those tabletop periscopes)...
Ah well, some elegant and simple solution will present itself when the time comes.
Post by godofrandomness on May 6, 2010 1:17:48 GMT -9
Seems like a great idea, as long as no one is using metal dice. My friend's got a glass dining table we use for our gaming, but every time my steel dice hit it too hard, we freak. Also I noticed that the glass is so hard that it will cause the points on my dice to flatten out, even when rolling on top of my friends chessex grid matt.
This does seem like a great way of doing a game table though!
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." - Stephen King, The Dark Tower I - The Gunslinger
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