Monday, August 29, 2016

My own gaming table!


So let's finally talk about the most import aspect of Flames of War... where to play it?

So after 2 years of my FoW interest I decided to finally get my own new and shiny gaming table! I waited so long because in my home city there was always a place to play, so why I decided to have my own?

Why do I want to have my own gaming table:

1. It is mine - obvious reason :)
2. It is up to me to create or get all the terrains and decide how my table will look like - Do I want winter or Pacific theme? More forests and hills then houses? No problem, I'am the Master! The hidden benefit from this one is: I will also create this. So as long as you enjoy creating stuff (and this was primary purpose why I started to play FoW) you can do it as much as you can!
3. It is in my place - I can admit, I'm lazy (a little bit) and non stop going to different places to play a game is not always the "ideal" solution. + what could be better than good miniature battle with good beer in your hand? (I used to act as driver for my friends when we went playing FoW)
4. You can play more and more and more! You have a table in your house!

Ok, so now lets actually get this table. I found massive amount of articles and YT movies about it - so it pretty easy to create a plan for it. I already have my own table (low cost one)  so I'm not able to show you the process in details, but let's summary what is needed in few chapters/questions:

1. What kind of gaming table I want:

This is one of the most important questions, why? Because it will define the technique of creating table it self and all terrains on it.

 I would say we have two types for it:
- "Solid" type - so a table build as a whole (or in pieces) - but terrain on it is made as one piece, this can be done in many ways: like carve in Styrofoam etc. But it will define the final look of the table forever. This have cons and pros: so with lot of efforts putted in, it will looks so much better than modular one, but on other hand you will not be able to change it (so this hill and village will stay in this place forever :) )

- Modular type - so a table where the basic concept is to have a table and terrains separately. That will allow you to create a new scenario every time by just placing the terrains in different places. This solution also have it's own pros and cons - so you always can build a different scenario with terrains but it will not be as beautiful as solid table. But the most important part is it much easier to build and you can always change something on it.

Of course it depends on your on individual taste to what type to build. In my case I went for modular table, especially because of its "modularity" :)

2. Size of a table and free room for it

That are also very important features. First of all the gaming area, by standard it will be a 72x48 inches (183/122cm). That will also define how big your actual table be.

In my case I want for a slight bigger one so it have 210x125cm (so around 82/49 inches) that because of the most important reason: I wanted to have some additional space on two table edges for models (reserves), dices, rule book etc.

The another topic is the free space for it. So I leave in a flat, therefore I don't have much space to store it and this is why I decided to cut my table and half So I have two pieces (105x125cm). Those are much easier to store (behind a wardrobe).

What I want to say by mine example is that size of a table can vary and it should be as much big as you need and want. Just remember to have minimum size needed for specific game, but in most cases 72x48 inches is exactly what you need.

4. Terrains and table type.

That is too big topic to just summary it in one chapter.... but in short version: Use your imagination!

That is the best part of creating terrains by yourself! Of course you can always by the prefabricated ones - but at least try to create something using your own hands!

So, terrains. First we need to start from a table type, and here I refer to how it will look so: Winter, Summer, Desert, Pacific, Town, Village etc. themes. This will define what terrains you will use and how the surface of the table will look like.

In my case I decided to have Country side (Late Summer) in central Europe - that suits perfectly into my Flames of War world. So I would need some houses (a village) and a lot of terrains like: forest, hills, fields etc. Also the important factor about this type of table is..... I can make a loot of terrains with my hands! This mean more fun and lower the cost :)

5. How to create an actual table.

Ok, so with above one we should have a vision of our table. Before we will go mad and start creating forests and houses) we need to get the actual table. As you can find tons (literally - in bytes) of videos and articles about it (just go on YT) I will describe how I created mine table:

I went to "construction" store (Leroy Merlin in this case) and I bought a OSB plate (250x125x1,8cm)and asked at store to cut this into parts, so I have now two boards 105x125 (3rd renaming part I can use later).

Next step is to grind the edges. I used sand paper (two types, first hard one and the more light to "polish")

At the end I screw in hooks on both sides of plates to make sure that they will not move - and when deployed that are in "whole" but I can always un-lock the hooks and hide the table more easily.

Now the question on what to lay those plates - this needs to be a table right? For this I just used 4 wooden stands (two per OBS plate).

And that's almost all! So we have a table that costs for whole around 31 Euros.

The final piece is the gaming mat - at this point I did not wanted to make the surface of the table by my own (modularity) so I bought a gaming mat from "By Fire and Sword" system. Mat comes in perfect size (72x48 inches) and it have texture of a grass - so it looks really nice and realistic (and it cost around 38 euro.

That's it!  I hope this overview for gaming table topic will be useful for you. Soon you can expect more articles about terrains that you saw in this post (and how to create those) :)

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