Game table with recessed playing surface and movable map

  • I have been playing around with different configurations for a custom table and wanted to note some things I’ve landed on that I really like. A main one thing is having the map mounted so that it can slide around as needed on top of a bigger playing area. My table is 65” x 95” in total with a 5.5” arm rest around the outside and the middle is a recessed neoprene surface. I have the OOB Global map mounted on 1/2” rigid foam with a 1/2” aluminum frame around it. This allows the map to slide up close to whoever’s turn it is, but then be in the middle so both players can roll dice In front of them without disturbing the map and in easy view of the other player. (Plus we like lots of room to roll the bones). This ability to adjust the surface along with a standing height, makes it comfortable for long uses because you can move around more and don’t feel as tied down.
    Things I’ve learned and changed from original design - I originally used too big of a frame for the map and mounted it on too high of a foam block (you can see these pictures at the bottom) - it made it hard to see the other player’s dice and the big frame took up too much real estate. My global map is mounted on much thinner foam (the framing is bad, you can see if you look closely) but I also used much thinner aluminum angle for the frame. This gives just enough grip when needing to move the map around (I use furniture slides on the bottom, which glide very nicely on the neoprene) but doesn’t make the whole thing too bulky. Having it an inch or so off the surface keeps the dice off, but isn’t so heigh that you can’t see the other player’s dice rolls. When playing other versions (such as Zombies) the board is much smaller, but it can easily swap in and out on the same table since it can move around where ever it is needed or be pushed aside.
    I originally made it normal table height, but found long reaches while sitting were harder and it just felt cramped. Standing height with a bar stool is a great way to have the best of both worlds.
    The 5.5” rim around the table itself gives you a nice arm rest that doesn’t interfere with the gaming surface. I’m playing with how to best add some cushion to this part - open to suggestions. Sometimes I just lay a piece of leftover neoprene on it.
    Dice bounce nice on the neoprene and stay off the floor. It also feels nice and has enough give to allow things to slide but be picked up easily. Wouldn’t definitely go with neoprene again as a surface covering.
    I made the drawers open to the inside of the table so you can stay hunched over the action while accessing and stowing stuff away. 50/50 on whether I would keep this if I were to do it again. If I were doing it again, I might try to build customer drawers form scratch using actual drawer glides, but that was beyond my ability when I first did this, so I just used clear plexiglass boxes with aluminum pulls mounted on them. It’s nice having them clear, and I was happy with how the pulls came out, but without glides they can be a little fussy sliding in and out of their slots.
    I originally designed the table so that I could put a cover surface back on top when not in use, but find I don’t really ever do that, so if I were to do it again, I might not mess with that part (I never even finished staining those as you can see in the pictures).
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