Finding the Best Miniature Wargaming Table
One of my dreams has been to set up an area of my basement for gaming. Although that area is still a while off, I am taking a look at what sort of Miniature Wargaming Tables are available to players. Right off the top, there are a lot of considerations to take into account, such as size, height, accessories, and more. Join me while I discuss researching a miniature wargaming table.
This post will discuss my needs lists and research finds about sourcing a miniature wargaming table. I will start with my selection criteria and then move to the options that I know of on the market. We will look at pre-built, custom built and even some self built options.
While this post is specific to my user case, I hope you enjoy the read and perhaps you may find yourself in a similar situation. Even if you don’t find yourself in a similar situation, some of the options presented may be of use to you. This list is more extensive than most of the other lists that I found on the web.
As always, if I missed any table options that you feel should be here, please let us know about them in the comments below.
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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Just like when I planned my perfect hobby area for painting miniatures, I am going to have to come up with some decisions on what I need. This means lists. Unless it is an army list for a game, I am generally not a fan of lists. That said, it needs to get done. So let’s break down the must haves, nice to haves, and must not haves for this table.
Must Have List
Choosing a miniature wargaming table should be easy, but there is a number of criterion that this table has to meet. This makes it a little more difficult.
6′ by 4′
First off, I want the table to be a size that I can use for most of my wargames. I would like to be able to play on a full-sized “standard table” for my tabletop games. For many of my games, that is 6′ by 4′. Some of my games call for 4′ by 4′ tables or 3′ by 3′. To cover all of those games, I either have to obtain a 6′ by 4′ table, or an adjustable table that can do multiple sizes. I think I am going to aim for the 6′ by 4′ table to make things easier.
The Desired Aesthetics
Next, the table has to be aesthetically pleasing. Like my HobbyZone project for my modelling area, Mrs. Must Contain Minis is adding in her input. She would like a table that fits into our design. If she wants my area to look impressive and is in favour of me setting up my very own gaming space, then I am going to work with her to find something that we both like. That means something that is made of quality materials and is visually appealing.
After all, I want this table to be a great looking piece to better showcase the products that come into the website for review and discussion.
Finally, the table has to be within my budget. Right now, I have an idea of how much I want to spend on the project. I may have to stretch this one a bit to meet the aesthetics criteria. I think this will mean a lot of value and comparative shopping for me. While I am going to be showing premium tables in this post, many of them are out of my reach.
Point Form List of the “Must Haves”
To quickly sum things up, below is the criteria that my miniature wargaming table has to meet.
- 6′ by 4′ smooth gaming surface
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Within my budget
Nice to Have List
On top of the “must have” items for the table, I have a number of wishes for the table. These items would be considered bonuses and may not necessarily make or break our choice. If the sky were the limit though, I would like to have a few bells and whistles.
One of the biggest bells and whistles that I would like to have is a sunken gaming area that could be covered with leaves for wargaming. This would allow me to play board games (and small skirmish games) with friends, and if we can’t get through a session, cover things up until next time we can play. While the other game in play is covered, I can still use the surface for photography and other games. That would be a real bonus.
Plus, those sunken tables look really good!!!
Another nice to have would be the ability to add and remove attachments. I think the attachments that you see on various tables are cool, but at the same time, I don’t think there are as necessary for a wargamer. Attachments could include dice trays, drink holders, player desks and so on. I think they are more essential for a Dungeons and Dragons crowd than for miniature gamers and board gamers. A lot of the dedicated gamer tables come with these options, but side stools used as tables could provide the same functionality.
Extra storage built in would also be a “great to have,” but might be cancelled out by the aesthetics factor.
Point Form List of the “Nice to Haves”
Below are the items that I would like to have for the miniature wargaming table, but will not be deal breakers if they are not present.
- Vaulted (sunken) gaming area
- Accessory attachments
- Extra Storage
Must Not Haves
Mostly, I am after a quality table for my gaming area. Some of the things that I know will deter our selection includes the table not fitting our room’s design, the table being made of cheap materials, and the table not having a wow factor. I am going to have to trust what other people say and my gut.
I realize that I may have to bend a little on the quality of materials when budget is a factor, but I really want this to be a nice table. After all, this is the table on which I will be doing my future product showcases.
Point Form List of the “Must Not Haves”
- Seems to be of poor quality
- Lacks the desired aesthetics
Miniature Wargaming Table Options
With the criteria out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the options that I found. As a note, if a company does not have a 6′ by 4′ table for gaming, I did not list them here.
To help prep for this article I did post to Facebook and The Miniatures Page to help look for companies. So you can follow that discussion, here is a link to the The Miniatures Page post.
Finally, some of these businesses are currently temporarily shutdown or in slow production mode due to COVID-19. Be sure to investigate on your own before placing a big order. Now, let’s look at the tables!!!
Pre-Designed Gaming Tables
This is the option that I would like to go with if my budget allows. These tables are fairly expensive for the most part, but they are purpose built and look good. The companies below offer tables with names and standard configurations. Many of them also sell extra accessories for their tables.
This is one of the premium gaming table companies. When I asked around about a showcase table for Must Contain Minis, many people mentioned Wyrmwood. Their Prophecy table would certainly fit my needs. The recessed gaming area would be able to house a board game, or an under 3′ by 5′ miniatures game, in play and you can get surface leaves to make an area large enough for 6′ by 4′ gaming.
It starts at $5,000 and goes up from there. The leaves that top the table cost an extra $1,000. Look at it though. This table is beautiful!
Wyrmwood also plans to head to Kickstarter soon with a more affordable version of their gaming tables. I look forward to seeing that.
Orenda Game Tables
Orenda Game Tables is a Canadian based company that makes gaming tables. Their Pheonix Table looks like it would fit my needs nicely. Starting at $4255 CAD, it fits our aesthetics, has a sunken gaming area and comes with table covers to go over top. They also provide options for storage and accessories. This table looks to be of good quality as it is available in a selection of hardwoods.
Images from Orenda Game Tables.
Rathskellers Handcrafted Tables for Gamers
Rathskellers makes really nice looking tables, but their product comes at a premium. They have some really gorgeous tables clocking in at over €14,050. That is well out of my price range. Sadly, I can’t even consider that option. A lower level table that they make and would still fit my needs is called the Councilor, which starts at around €2,820 before add-ons.
As a note, Rathskellers plans to do their own crowdfunding campaign for an “Affordable Gaming Table” later this month.
Table of Ultimate Gaming
Table of Ultimate Gaming is a company that is more budget minded. They have an Elite Series Table with all of the possible bells and whistles that you could want plus a Game Changer Series that is even more affordable.
Custom Built Miniature Wargaming Tables
Another option is to find a local Carpenter or Cabinet Maker and to ask them to build you a table. Aside from local carpenters, there are also people out there that do custom work and can ship to you. If you are handier, you could always build your own table too. Below are some of the options that I am looking into as well.
In my area, there are two carpenters to whom I inquired about this project. Compared to the premium manufacturers above, these people can come in with competitive rates and still deliver beautiful products.
Claessens Carpentry and Reno’s
The first is Andrew Claessens. He is a gamer local to Cambridge, Ontario, Canada and he also happens to be one of the painters showcased on Must Contain Minis. If his carpentry work is half as good as his miniature painting skills, then his work on tables is going to be phenomenal. You can see some of his carpentry and renovation work on his company’s Facebook Page. Heck, you can also see his work on a custom built gaming table at Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge, Ontario – and it looks awesome!
Board + Bean
The next custom carpenter I want to discuss is Sara Bistretzan from Board + Bean. She runs a small Ontario based furniture company that Mrs. Must Contain Minis has been looking at for a while. Mrs. Must Contain Minis just loves the look of their furniture and cabinets. Looking at their pictures below, I can see why Mrs. Must Contain Minis likes them.
I have been in touch with Sara about building a 6′ by 4′ is a custom sized dining room table. This is something that they can do at a very competitive price. For those curious, they have a pricing page for their standard products. I found Sara very easy to get a hold of and she answered my questions in a timely manner.
Although the Board + Bean tables do not have the sunken gaming space (a “nice to have”), I know that they will pass Mrs. Must Contain Minis aesthetics test (a “must have”). The tables do look nice.
These next two people that I list are people that I found online who specifically build gaming tables. The first, which came highly recommended on some of the forums and websites I found out there is McFadden Tables. They are Canadian based, but I have not heard back from them yet about my inquiry. His Twitter Page seems to be the best way to see the work he does. The other is Tables by Davis. I found out about this one through The Miniatures Page. One of the tables that he builds (the Kaiser) is a huge 9′ by 5′ table. With a table that large, I bet you can play a full 4′ by 6′ wargame in the recess of the table! He also does custom work.
Self Built Miniature Wargaming Tables
Woodworking is not one of the hobbies that interests me. As such, I would rather someone else build my table than me. There are some cool ideas available out there on the web on how to self build your own miniature wargaming table. That said, below are some of my favourite ideas and best resources that I came across while doing my research.
Two of my favourite ways that I found to build your own miniature wargaming table are actually IKEA hacks. One way is to take an IKEA Bjursta diner table and build it to have a recessed gaming area. Another way is to basically attach and fix an IKEA Surface to IKEA Cabinets like Funky Skull Games did in this post. IKEA Hackers take a similar approach and make it larger and better in their post “But Wifey Boss, I NEED a gaming table.” Mrs. Must Contain Minis really likes that title; I don’t know why. Lol.
WikiHow – Miniature Wargaming Table
WikiHow has a great guide to build your own miniature wargaming table. While I like the table, it will not pass Mrs. Must Contain Minis’ aesthetics test. If she wants me to have a table I don’t have to build myself, I am all for it and happy to work with her to come to a mutual decision!!!
More Self Build Options
The easiest self-build options consist of buying (or acquiring) an old dining table and resurfacing the table surface with a 6′ by 4′ board of plywood or similar material. Some people make toppers out of insulation foam. Some people make it completely out of wood. You can acquire the material cheaply from a lumber or home improvement store and even head to Kijiji to find unwanted tables so you can give them a new (and loving) home. I’ve been told by a few people that the legs are the hard part and if you can find an unwanted table, creating a nice new top for it is not that difficult.
Seems like a justifiable way to go for sure as this would leave more money for miniatures and other hobby materials. That said, I have zero wood working experience and do not want to practice on what is supposed to be a showcase piece for my website. Whatever I get, it is going to be in a lot of future pictures for the website.
For those more interested in self-build miniature wargaming tables, Board Game Geek has a great thread dedicated to board game tables that could double as wargame tables.
Wrapping it up…
Thank you for joining me in this discussion about miniature wargaming tables. This post brings together all of my research to one spot so you may benefit too. Perhaps you are in a similar situation or just have an interest in knowing what is out there.
While I know of more options, I did not include them because they do not fit my criteria. Some companies, including Urban Mats make 4′ by 6′ folding gaming tables. I am looking for more of a showcase piece that will stay parked safely in my house. If there are tables that you would like to include in this post, please add them in to the comments below so other people can check them out too!!!
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!