Tabletop Solutions

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Whiterook
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Tabletop Solutions

Postby Whiterook » Sun May 01, 2016 1:08 pm

So how many times have you walked away from a setup wargame on your kitchen table, to get the mail, or answer the phone, etc., only to get back to it to find the cat or kid decided they could play better than you and rearrange (or eat!) your troops? Hey...it happens. Then, there are those times when your ambitions are greater than your anticipated time allotment, and you found you just aren't gonna make through that scenario today. Then of course, there are those crazy campaign games!

Basically, you need to keep that board set up and/or protected.

Another facet: Playing at a club, convention, or private gaming group. Greasy chips. Fling chickenwing bits. Beer or soda. You've got your forces under attack by the worse kind of nuisance....your opponents!

What's a gamer to do?

A question asked for years.....and for the ASLer, the answer for many is an ASL Tabletop.

At the 2016 Nor'easterASL Tourney, I saw a few stellar examples! They looked a lot like what you can find from Derek Ritter, over at Ritterkrieg (http://ritterkrieg.com/dice-tower-home/wooden-gaming-accessories/table-tops-home/)

I'm looking at getting a rig somewhat like offered by Derek, through since his are rather pricey (up to $400 or more), I am looking t alternatives. But, as his are representative of what is in my estimation, Top of the Line, let's show these first....and then, I'll expound as I find other solutions (and you are welcome to do, too)!

From Ritterkrieg:

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Derek began making tabletops as a means to easily lift and store games that couldn’t be finished in one sitting. His first one was nothing more than a piece of plywood that I would lay some Plexiglas on top of. But then, he moved onto his first real improvements, with little round trays to hold informational counters. That's a handy addition, and helps keep oft-used counters (e.g., Prep Fire, DM, etc.) at your fingertips.

Of course for me, his best addition to his tabletops design was using micro-suede as the base material to lay the maps on, and in a nice dark color to make them pop; and then his Addition of plexiglass atop, to protect the maps. The beauty of durability in microsuade is, they don't pill like felt, and aren't typically as 'hairy'. I personally don't think there's a better material to use!

The plexiglass is another matter, and one he seemed to have had a learning curve with. It can scratch, and even fog up over time. He moved next to 1/4 inch glass, but that created issues not only with weight, but also LOS measuring, since the map was so far below the surface. It seems his latest solution to the 'glass' is Lexan, which is a superior version of plexi.

As you look at the variations he's designed below, you'll note changes to the rails at the perimeter of the frame, to accomodate variations in counter cup trays, DiceTowers, and Raaco storage systems.

PzKtable IIF – This Notice the visible brads and unstained/unfinished wood. Also upon close inspection you will see two small studs coming through the Plexiglas at opposite corners. This was a system he used to keep the plastic from sliding.

Photo courtesy or Jeremy Maciejewski.

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PzKtable IIF
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PzKtable IIIJ – This table top has sections for removable trays so players can put their dice towers and informational counters on the side of their choosing.

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PzKtable IIIJ
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Re: Tabletop Solutions

Postby Whiterook » Sun May 01, 2016 1:15 pm

PzKtable VIE – I moved away from Plexiglas in favor of 1/4″ tempered recessed glass to avoid the scratching and fogging of the plastic. There were some complaints that the height of the glass made LOS hard to read but I found using the shadow of the thread was a perfect solution. This was the heaviest of all the tabletops I made.

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PzKtable VIE
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Recessed 1/4" glass....

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Recessed glass
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...now this is where things get brilliant, in my estimation :D I think I'd do my tabletop unit with this recessed option, but use Lexan instead; and also cut out half-round's on the sides so as to be able to get your fingertips in to more easily remove the Lexan.

PzKtable VG – This next design has dedicated compartments for dice towers and Raaco trays. This is where weight came in to play, so he switched back Plexiglas using Lexan, per Doug Sheppard’s suggestion. It still tends to scratch but not as much as cheaper plastic. It is large enough to fit 3 standard ASL geomorphic maps in any direction.

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PzKtable VG
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PzKtable IIIL – My last project was slightly smaller and much lighter. The section for Raaco trays were removable and slide in to the table using dove tails. This tabletop fits 2 ASL geomorphic maps side by side.

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PzKtableIIIL
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Re: Tabletop Solutions

Postby Whiterook » Sun May 01, 2016 1:27 pm

There are things I like in each of the above, and would find useful. I know I like the darker wood; the recessed map well; enough space on the side for counters (though I'm not married to having the little round trays; and I like the idea of a space for your DiceTower.

I like the idea of it being as light as possible; however, I also like the idea of a deeper thickness to allow slide out drawer(s) for scenario cards and pocket rulebook....thought that might be pushing it.

I think the first thing I will look at first, is going back to the simple premise of a poster frame, preferably with wood frame, and see if it can be converted to accepting a base plate (bottom) with microsuade as the interior; and Lexan or glass that can slip down into the frame, rather than under the frame perimeter. I think Michael's Craft store has some nice ones at a decent price.
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