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Subject: Recommended dimensions for a gaming table rss

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Mike Cook
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Spanaway
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So I have a friend who is a carpenter and is interested in making a gaming table for us at just about cost. I have looked at many of the really nice tables out there to get some idea of the features and style that we want, but I am a bit unsure as to the dimensions of the play area. It seems 3'x5' is the standard size, and since I want to have wide rails that is probably about what I should do. I just wanted to get some people's input on whether that proved to small for anyone or if there are any other recommendations. I am also curious as to what some people feel about how deep the inset should be. It seems they vary from 2"-3.5". Anyone have input on that as well?

Thanks!
 
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John Swanson
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The vault on my table is 2 inches deep. It wouldn't be tall enough to store certain games with tall components (which would only be an issue if I wanted to put the top on and come back to that game), but it works great for the games I have. Making the vault deeper would mean either raising the total height of the table top, or reducing the amount of space for people's thighs.

Before I built my table, the first thing I did was try out different dimensions (for all aspects of the table) with scrap plywood. I tried rails that were 2 in WIDE (not the depth of the vault, but the width of the rail); I also tried 2.5 in wide and 3 in rails. I settled on 2.5 in wide rails. 2 inches was too narrow and uncomfortable to rest my elbows on. 3 inches pushed the total width of the table too far for comfort.

If you can, I would highly recommend you get some help from your friend to make a couple of mock-ups. Try different rail widths, different vault depths, as well as different vault widths. Bigger is only better to a point - you will need to hone in on the specific dimensions that work best for you.

It's also a good idea to measure your current furniture to see what dimensions you like, particularly in terms of table-top height. 28-30 inches is standard.
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Ben Harding
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As I have been bookmarking pages and keeping notes here and there in prep for eventually building my own table, it has often occurred to me that BGG ought to have a game footprint geeklist of the same quality as the huge cardsleeve geeklist. How big of a table is needed for every game.

I'm planning a table with removable insets over a vault, which would give me an extra 8 inches of room if we play with the top on, for the really big games, but I'm still unsure of how large I ought to go. We've got an oval dining room table at the moment, and bigger guests are already pushing it into folks on the other side when they lean in to move pieces across the table. I know I need to avoid going too big, for this reason, but I want to make sure there's enough room for Eclispe, and Die Macher and Rebellion, etc.
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Darren
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I wrote a posting regarding this exact thing quite some time ago:

Game Table Design Series: What Size Should My Table Be?

The key things to think about are number of players, size of the room, and table shape. While you may want to make a table large enough to easily fit your biggest game, the resulting table size may be too big for the room making it impractical to use (i.e. it's a tight fit to move around the table when it is being used).

And as mentioned above, mock it up with plywood to get a better idea of how it will fit in the room before starting construction.
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Paul DeStefano
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I find without making tables in 3 dimensions, the only games you can play are Lovecraft games.
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Mike Cook
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Dingbat Meeplepusher wrote:
As I have been bookmarking pages and keeping notes here and there in prep for eventually building my own table, it has often occurred to me that BGG ought to have a game footprint geeklist of the same quality as the huge cardsleeve geeklist. How big of a table is needed for every game.

I'm planning a table with removable insets over a vault, which would give me an extra 8 inches of room if we play with the top on, for the really big games, but I'm still unsure of how large I ought to go. We've got an oval dining room table at the moment, and bigger guests are already pushing it into folks on the other side when they lean in to move pieces across the table. I know I need to avoid going too big, for this reason, but I want to make sure there's enough room for Eclispe, and Die Macher and Rebellion, etc.


Adding footprint info is pretty ingenious. Would be great.

I also am planning on having wider rails for leaning and cutouts like Rathskeller's "Phalanx" table and removable insets for flexibility. Also looking to have extenders like on RnPDice's "King" table to have the ability to seat more (that is the model for my top.
My current table is 30" high and we like it. It also has relatively tall rails so I think I'm fine with up to 3" deep on the inset.
I think I just need to set up the largest footprint games I own and measure. That and maybe tape off the area on our current table and see how confining it is or isn't.
 
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CalicoDave
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My dinning room/gaming table is 7' x 3' 3" and there are quite a few games that will take up the whole thing. Firefly and Game of Thrones (2nd) do a good job of this. Even smaller footprint games can benefit greatly from a larger table especially when they have individual player boards in addition to a main board; it's always nice to have room to spread things out. So, to me, 3'x5' seems a little on the small side.
 
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Cardboard Hustle
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My previous table was 3' x 5', and it was honestly a bit small. Games with large boards or larger player boards had a hard time fitting.

When I built my own table I made it 72" x 40". While the length obviously permits two additional players, the extra 4 inches to the width made the biggest difference. Everything seems to just fit better with that little extra width.
 
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Mike Cook
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That's funny because just last night I decided on a 40"x70" play area with 4" rails all around. Almost the same dimensions you have. Those are just about the dimensions of our current non gaming table and I set up a few fairly large footprint games on both ends and it fits. Will also hold really sprawled out games like Caverna just fine even with 7. It feels like the right balance to me. That means the table will be 48"x78". Really roomy for 6 and could even hold 8 without being cramped. I also plan on having extensions on the side like R&PDice's King model table for when we need more room (thanksgiving and other large gatherings).
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