My Wargame Wargames news, reviews and tutorials

22Jan/101

How to make a simple wargaming table

By Neil of Orange

Happy new year!  (Well it has been a while since my last post).

I was racking my brains over the festive season for what I could do for the next sequence of posts I would do.  I don't have the 'degree of modelling skill' that all the GW kits inform me I require (I assume Whitehorn/Rusty Dice has his diploma proudly on display somewhere) so a series of sculpting articles wasn't going to happen.  I've already done a tutorial on the army I'm currently painting, so that leaves me with the other big chunk of hobby I am currently working on - my gaming table and scenery.

Since kick starting my interest in 40k again I've realised that the scenery required to play a good game is not only more varied and interesting than that required by standard warhammer fantasy games, but it can be fun to make as well.  I intend to write a few articles on the different techniques I am trying out at the moment, hopefully to encourage and inspire others.  If I can do it anyone can.  I am very keen for hints and tips to be posted by any readers who pop by, so do take a moment if you have anything useful to share.

So for this initial post, I wanted to start with the bare bones, my gaming surface/table.  I am fortunate enough to have a room for my collection of assorted geekery (bonus points for spotting interesting things in the photos to follow) so this means I can have a table set up all the time if I wish and it can be specifically for wargaming.  The room isn't huge, so I planned for a 6'x4' table, which is big enough for most games you can play in a single evening.  This then, is my simple wargaming table guide.

Step 1.  Easy tables.

This is actually my second gaming table, but both have been based on paste tables from DIY stores.  The current set I use as seen above are heavy duty plastic, about £25 each (I have 2 as you'll see).  They fold up quite small so I can clear the space if needs be.

Step 2.  Support

My previous tables were wooden.  Sadly these didn't stand the test of time (and weight of the more generous wargamer I've had visit from time to time) due to having no central support.  These plastic tables have 6 legs, one on each corner and 2 in the middle.  I find this makes for a very sturdy table and I am very pleased with them so far.

Step 3.  Find enough space to set them up.

My room is just wide enough to set these tables up side by side and still be able to move around.  I had had slightly less junk in the room so that I didnt need shelves on every wall there would be room for chairs too...

Step 4. Table top.

You could I suppose play directly on the tables, but to give a more sturdy surface without a big crack down the middle I place boards over the top.  Each is a 2'x4' chip board that I've had for years now.  I think they were about £6 each at the time.  On a well placed table they don't move at all and provide an excellent surface.

Step 5.  Subbuteo?

I never got around to painting my boards.  I'm quite glad I didn't as I've now got a pair of cloths, a grey and a green one, so I can switch the look of the table in no time at all, there's no paint to chip and if I feel the need to start a desert or arctic table top I don't need to get any more chipboard.  Sheets are almost the perfect size for this, I got my for £5.50 each and with a little help from a relative with a sewing machine the edges are just the right length and very neat.

Well that's it, short and to the point.  In future articles in this series I will explore roads, buildings of various materials (both home and pre-made) and other gaming essentials worth a mention.  Hope you'll come back and that you spotted one or two things in my pics that made you smile (kudos if you know what the hexagons are).

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