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Subject: Gaming Table Size rss

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Chris Dunbar
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I just posted this to another user's thread on the DIY board this morning, but since this applies to General Gaming just as much as DIY, I figured I could cheat a little and get more eyes looking at it here. I hope that's cool...

I've been fiddling with a design for a DIY game table but I've been having issues deciding on the size. Right now our group plays almost 100% euros and I'm pretty sure I want a circular table, unless, of course, you guys can talk me out of it.

Anyway my original plan was to make the table itself 5 feet in diameter and have a 3 foot lazy susan set into the table that would be flush with the surface of the outer edge. I was thinking this would help with players reaching the far side of the board, as they could just swing it to their side. The outer edge would give players a foot of depth for their stuff, whether it's boards for Puerto Rico, Stone Age, or Shogun, or bits for TTR, Age of Empires, etc. With over a 15.5 foot circumference the table would easily accommodate 6 players, and should handle 8 ok. 8 is less of a concern, however, as we'd rarely have a group that large or a game that supports 8.

The question I have though..is this too big? Does anyone have a 5 foot round table they game on...if so...how does it work? How about a square/rectangle table with one of the dimensions 5 feet or larger? Does playing across that dimension work?

I didn't think it seemed too big, but the island in our kitchen is just under 5 feet long (57.5") and my wife and I sat at opposite ends of it and it seemed like we were a million miles apart. We haven't tried playing a game there yet...but I hope to soon. Any insight others can provide would be greatly appreciated though. Thanks!
 
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Wulf Corbett
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I think you are wrong about how many people can game around that table. 6 or more might be able to sit there, but what are they playing? Do they need cards in front of them? do they have to maintain any degree of secrecy from other players? Most Euro games I've seen need a bit of room for each player to lay out his/her/its game materials, and with a circular table you might have a decent length of circumference, but only a pie slice of actual area, plus it either has to sit back from the edge, or you have to lay it out in a curve... Put a big board or, worse, an expanding game map like Carcasonne or the like (incidentally, I hope you've considered a lock on that lazy susan...) and I can see you being very cramped with any more than 4.

I'd advise square or rectangular - each player can lay out their material so it actually faces them, and (with up to 4 players anyway) no-one else, and the map/board won't intrude.

Incidentally, I do thing playing across a 5' table would feel a bit distant - I have a 4' x 6' wargaming table, and even that 4' distance leaves small maps a stretch for both of us!
 
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Donald Walsh
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I don't think that round is an ideal size either. My table (DIY) is shaped like a poker table ("racetrack" shaped).

It is 84" long by 42" wide. Imagine a 42" square with a 42" diameter half-circle on each end.

It has been an ideal size. It fits large boards like RRT, and big games like TI3 and Adv. Civ. It sits 10 for poker. And playing 2P games like Twilight Struggle or Dungeon Twister, you're not miles away from your opponent.
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Mike Miller
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I agree with Wulf on every point.

The circular shape is only advantageous for games where people are holding a hand of cards and they don't want adjacent players peeking. A square table will achieve the same result, but only for up to four players.

The lazy susan seems like a clever idea that will actually prove to be a nuisance unless you have a way to lock it.

A circular table that is five feet in diameter is probably too big for most games. Your players will have some difficulty reaching the center of the board in the center of the table, and they will also have difficulty seeing detailed information on the far side of the table.

Wulf's 4'x6' rectangular table actually sounds much more practical. The only thing that might make it even better would be the ability to insert one or even two expansion sections in the middle, to fit truly large games.
 
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Jon
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Agreed. Rectangular is best. The longer, the better.
 
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Chris Dunbar
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I hear you guys about locking the lazy susan..definitely something I planned on doing, especially for games like Carc.

However, you've all got me leaning more and more towards a rectangular table now. I've never actually gamed on a circular table, but thought it made the most sense as each player is equidistant from the center. I was worried about the "pie slice" aspect of each person's area, but didn't think it would matter that much. I only started gaming this summer though, and have only played maybe 2 dozen different titles, so my knowledge is very limited when it comes to different games and how much room they require each player to have.

I think I'll take this one back to the drawing board and see what I can come up with. Thanks guys!
 
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Justin Heimburger
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From experience, I vastly prefer a rectangular table. I can only imagine a circular table working really well with a group large enough to fill it. 2, 3 or 4-player games will have the players too far apart.

What might be an interesting idea, though, is a restaurant-style table that has the round edges fold up under the table when you want to play smaller games. It would probably be about the size of a card table (34" x 34" or so), but you could fold out the round edges for a larger circle. This makes the embedded lazy susan tough, though. You might find that you get more utility from the table if you use a moveable lasy susan in any case...
 
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