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CaptainFaux

The Perfect Guild Ball Gaming Table

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Hey community! I need your help!

Lately I've been getting in to carpentry and woodworking. It's saved me a good deal of money and quality, as I'm able to build what I want and need, yeah? Well I'm wanting to do the same thing with a gaming table. Unfortunately I've been unable to find any plans  that fit the bill of what I'm looking for.

Here's what I want to make:

A portable, durable table that is at minimum 3x3 for a pitch, right? I want it to be able to fold up and transport easily. Since I'm a strapping young lad, weight isn't totally an issue. I'd much rather have a durable piece of work. The biggest reason I've started woodworking is to avoid over priced products made of MDF. However this doesn't also mean that I want to go wild with hard woods; I think your basic cedar does a good enough job.

So let's look at requirements:

-foldable/portable
-3x3 area to hold a standard pitch
-affordable
-durable

This can be achieved as easily as hinging two boards together with some supports.... But I want a bit more style than that.

What would you all like to see if you could have the perfect Guild Ball table? What features and amenities and the like would make your gaming much easier or efficient or convenient?

And as much as I like suggestions, i need help with the plans. I'm still very much a novice woodworker and would greatly appreciate any solid plans or measurements that I can translate to the sawblade.

Thanks!

 

- also posted on GuBS

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Would like to do something like this myself, but I lack the skills and tools.

I would suggest 3x3 is too small though, not enough room to keep all the tokens. 4x4 would give you 6" around the perimeter so the board itself could be tidy. Maybe with some built in trays for the tokens and something to stand up the plot cards on?

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Check out Geekchic and Geek'n'son for expensive gaming tables, they're not really what you want for a transportable option but they might give you some ideas about what accessories/areas you could have.

I'd definitely agree with @CurlyPaul on the size thing, you always need at least a good 6" on either end for cards, piles of widgets and the like. 4'x4' could let you do it as quarter folds, making it a bit less bulky in terms of carrying and storage, but that means you may need to figure out a more complex support structure.

Are you thinking something with its own legs, or something that you can put on any normal table to turn it into a gaming space?

Someting that might be cool to have is a momentum and VP counter built into it, a series of labelled holes with coloured pegs perhaps? Card holding grooves are also a great idea, maybe a shallow tray so the edges are just high enough to keep the dice from escaping when rolled (though that might be too bulky because of the depth needed).

I love projects like these, so I'm looking forward to seeing your process :)

edit: I'm not great at carpentry, though I have hacked some wood about in my time. I tend to find drawing it all out on something like Sketchup helps me work out measurements and hinging points etc. 

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@CurlyPaul
 I agree that 3x3 is too small, but that's for the actual pitch area itself. The total dimenations would be alittle bigger for the reasons stated above haha. My plan is to include a ledge at the very least and have the pitch area in a recess, maybe about .5 to 2 inch deep.

 

@Mako

 Those are excellent suggestions!

This is a table that id like to have its own legs. I didn't even consider quarter folds! Adding in momentum counters, score counter and car slots are also great ideas.

One idea I had was using somethinglike a 1x4 or 1x6 and have the pitch bisect this or maybe go higher. Then, underneath, make a pullout tray or drawer or something for you to rest your tokens and sticks or whatever. I'm also cosoldering ledges because resting your arms on the edge of a table sucks lol.

Another question is should the pitch even be recessed or should it be flush?

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I think a little recessed would be fine. Nothing too deep though.

Echoing what others have said, space for tokens is a must. I don't think you necessarily need to make it a 4'x4' table though. You could have pull out trays or something potentially. A dice try might also be a good idea. Especially if you only have a 3'x3' table. 

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3 hours ago, OctaBit said:

I think a little recessed would be fine. Nothing too deep though.

Echoing what others have said, space for tokens is a must. I don't think you necessarily need to make it a 4'x4' table though. You could have pull out trays or something potentially. A dice try might also be a good idea. Especially if you only have a 3'x3' table. 

I agree with this, for sure. 4x4 is good if you're playing other games like war machine or xwing, but I don't lol. So I think 3x3 is ideal.

So the main board should be 3x3 with a small recess; something along the lines of .5" to keep dice and figures in the table.

Then we want to figure out how to incorporate space for devices, cards, dice, widgets, and drinks. Do we do this through ledges, trays, or drawers?

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I think a pull out tray or drawer might be a good approach. I've never done woodworking though, and I was rubbish in shop class though. So take my advice with a grain of salt. I remember seeing a gaming table (a fixed one, not a traveling one). Where the sides were built in such a way that they could fold down from the siding and you would have a tray or compartment for dice, tokens, cards. Not sure if thats feasible here but its an idea.

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I think I could figure it out haha. YouTube is an amazing source for information. After that its just practice. My biggest issue is making the formula and plans, right? But I'll figure that out.

The most important part right now is figuring out what to do! That's why I need y'alls help haha.

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Many years ago I built a "portable" folding Warmachine table, which is 4'x4'.  It's bit on the heavy side, but I mainly needed portability around the house, though I have brought it to a few friends' houses over the years.  Scaling it down to 3'x3' would make it a lot more portable.  Anyway, I thought maybe it would give you some ideas.

http://handcannononline.com/blog/2012/01/23/how-to-build-a-folding-warmachine-table/

Folding-Table-Complete-300x225.jpg.17bc702e1cd4e5897b9f31f8b60fa31e.jpg

The table is basically a recessed frame to allow any number of different tops to be dropped in.  I made a basic grass top, but you easily imagine just laying in a section of hardboard and putting a play mat on top.

http://handcannononline.com/blog/2012/01/25/folding-warmachine-table-making-a-grass-top/

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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Depending on how portable you want this If this is a foldable table I would make a lip around the edge that comes up at least an inch. This will keep dice from falling off and if your folding it so that the pitch is on the inside it will help protect it when it closes.

As far as extra's go you could always put a way of keeping score whether it be a dial or a rod with blocks/beads on it. 

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On 08/14/2017 at 10:53 AM, DieselDM said:

Many years ago I built a "portable" folding Warmachine table, which is 4'x4'.  It's bit on the heavy side, but I mainly needed portability around the house, though I have brought it to a few friends' houses over the years.  Scaling it down to 3'x3' would make it a lot more portable.  Anyway, I thought maybe it would give you some ideas.

http://handcannononline.com/blog/2012/01/23/how-to-build-a-folding-warmachine-table/

Folding-Table-Complete-300x225.jpg.17bc702e1cd4e5897b9f31f8b60fa31e.jpg

The table is basically a recessed frame to allow any number of different tops to be dropped in.  I made a basic grass top, but you easily imagine just laying in a section of hardboard and putting a play mat on top.

http://handcannononline.com/blog/2012/01/25/folding-warmachine-table-making-a-grass-top/

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Well hot damn! Funny running in to you here! I've looked at the blog and instructions for quite a while, even last year! How's it holding up?

As you can see, there's a lot of ideas around. If I go down to 3x3, then it's best that I include some sort of dice and auxiliary tray. Got any good methods to make that happen?

On 08/14/2017 at 11:17 AM, Lord Antoine said:

Depending on how portable you want this If this is a foldable table I would make a lip around the edge that comes up at least an inch. This will keep dice from falling off and if your folding it so that the pitch is on the inside it will help protect it when it closes.

As far as extra's go you could always put a way of keeping score whether it be a dial or a rod with blocks/beads on it. 

That was my idea, yeah. Folding inwards to protect itself was one aim because then you can even make a fancy top of some kind and have handles that come together for carrying.

Id love to include momentum and score counters, too.

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On 12/08/2017 at 11:22 AM, Mako said:

Check out Geekchic and Geek'n'son for expensive gaming tables, they're not really what you want for a transportable option but they might give you some ideas about what accessories/areas you could have.

Just an FYI Geek chic went out of business months ago. 

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13 hours ago, CaptainFaux said:

Well hot damn! Funny running in to you here! I've looked at the blog and instructions for quite a while, even last year! How's it holding up?

It's help up very well. We use it for everything from table top miniature gaming to assembly LEGO.

13 hours ago, CaptainFaux said:

As you can see, there's a lot of ideas around. If I go down to 3x3, then it's best that I include some sort of dice and auxiliary tray. Got any good methods to make that happen?

I never made an external accessories to mine, but I did put some initial thought into it. Presumably you want removable accessories to keep that portability, so one option would to drive in some T-Nuts (http://www.rockler.com/3-prong-t-nuts) into the table frame and then you have locations to literally bolt on anything you want. 

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1 hour ago, DieselDM said:

I never made an external accessories to mine, but I did put some initial thought into it. Presumably you want removable accessories to keep that portability, so one option would to drive in some T-Nuts (http://www.rockler.com/3-prong-t-nuts) into the table frame and then you have locations to literally bolt on anything you want. 

Interesting point! That might work better than the drawers I had in mind. The problem would be carrying around the things to bolt on, right? Ideally I want to make this as portable as possible. As in you carry your table and your miniatures bag and that's it. Everything else is in one of those two things

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21 minutes ago, CaptainFaux said:

Interesting point! That might work better than the drawers I had in mind. The problem would be carrying around the things to bolt on, right? Ideally I want to make this as portable as possible. As in you carry your table and your miniatures bag and that's it. Everything else is in one of those two things

Yeah, portability + accessories is an interesting problem. If the accessories are things you will always want, then they aren't accessories, but built-ins at that point.

I just had a fun thought... You could add hinged flaps on the two play sides that fold closed over the top of the board, but when you get ready to play you flip them out toward each player forming a small tray for cards, etc.. You could either go with a long piano hinge down the entire side(which would look awesome and be really strong, or a couple smaller separate hinges.

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I know that Walmart has a 48" Round Bi-Fold Folding table for around 60 or 70 bucks. If you game with a Guild Ball mat that might work. Must be something out there that you could create a bit of a lip on the outer edge to keep dice from rolling off. Just a thought.

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The problem with tables like that is their either flimsy, not what I want, or both. They're usually over priced. Like I can still probably build a better, more durable table with all the fixins for less than that. Wood is cheap enough. Metal bits are a bit more difficult and the finish can be pricey lol. I built my pc L shape desk for like $40 out of 2x4s. Its a crsp piece, but it was my first build ever lol. It's sturdy and does the job well.

@DieselDM

 I think that is a brilliant idea! I can have the momcounter, dice tray, cup holder and whatever else built in to it. I'd also give it some supports underneath via wood bits that rotate. I tend to lean on the table when I play and hinges don't like weight haha. Could probably do 2. I saw it on a small kitchen table that had side leaves. You'd deploy them and just rotate a bit of wood to keep them up

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3 minutes ago, CaptainFaux said:

I'd also give it some supports underneath via wood bits that rotate. I tend to lean on the table when I play and hinges don't like weight haha. Could probably do 2. I saw it on a small kitchen table that had side leaves. You'd deploy them and just rotate a bit of wood to keep them up

Yep, all about the supports.  Still be careful with the leaning or people setting heavy bags (more of a Warmachine issue there) on the sides. Being lightweight and portable the table doesn't have a lot of counter-weight.  For mine the sides without the folding legs are the most tippy, but you really have to lean right on the frame edge.  Being 3x3 will help reduce leverage, but then adding flaps might make it even worse than the 4x4 because they will be so far past the leg attach points.

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I don't imagine it would be too bad. The ledges might ahould be less than 6". Even if I use a 1 or 2 x 6, it'll be 5.5". I think that's good enough. With two under supports per ledge, it should be fine..... i.hope lol.

I'm also thinking of routing a 1/4 or smaller slot for cards haha. Where you don't have to worry about them flying away or something.

If I do a 2" thick player side board I could route a pretty good space for dice. There's also the option of putting the dice trays on one or both of the other sides and have those fold over as well. I'm thinking for the sake of visibility. And if you streamed on the table you could easily set up a pip over the dice tray (because that's one thing folks complain about in streams and want to see).

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