It is finally time to start revealing the item commissioned for myself and my game group.
Since my earliest war-gaming days I have wanted something like this to allow unfinished games to be preserved for continuation at another time. It would eliminate the need of extensive documentation of piece positions and conditions, and the loss of time taking the games down and setting them up again. It also keeps pets and people off of the game board while allowing the item to remain useful for other purposes.
When considering purchasing such an item there were many options to consider. I could put in the time and effort to produce a functional, yet unappealing version on my own, or I could look around and see who out there was already producing quality work.
My search involved seeking out other gaming enthusiasts with the skills and desire to make a truly useful product that met my objectives. I found two manufacturers that met my criteria: Geek Chic and Hammered Game Tables. You can find both on Facebook as well.
Since the last time I posted about these two companies the tables offered by both have continued to evolve. New styles have become available to meet various needs, and new options for accessories and enhancements can be included. The biggest difference between them is the price and their respective target audiences.
Geek Chic's top of the line table is a work of art, beautiful, and very costly. The Sultan now has an average price range from over $14,000 to $20,000, and can go higher depending on your choices and budget.
Hammered Game Tables' top of the line table is also beautiful, and comes in well below many of Geek Chic's styles. The Phoenix has a base price of $2800, and also can go higher depending on options.
Both tables listed above are 4' by 8', a perfect size for my room and for the large groups I enjoy hosting.
Not having a budget that could absorb the price required of a Sultan, I decided to go with a Phoenix from Hammered Game Tables. I got in contact with the owner, Dan Fisher, and over the course of many months discussed options, ideas, his philosophy of design, and of course the most important aspect, games.
Early in December I gave Dan the go-ahead to begin gathering materials for building my table. I decided to go with Alder wood because of the amazing grain and other factors including sturdiness, and it being slightly lighter than Poplar wood, the current wood used in the base version of the Phoenix table.
Other options for my table included the under-lip lighting, dark walnut stain (which with the Alder wood really brings out the incredible grain), crenelations along the top of the GM caddy (an idea another customer had initiated), and some additional custom work to be detailed in a later post.
With the holiday season in full swing it was both obvious and perfectly fine with me that the table would require a longer period to complete. Since I am as much in love with the process as I am with the finished product, this provided plenty of time to enjoy the building of the Phoenix.
Here is a picture of the table and two of the amazing wood grain. More pictures will be coming in later posts and will include some from the development process.