My first “real” post on this blog is going to show my gamer-geek side. Today, my girlfriend and I took delivery of our long-awaited (and totally worth the wait!) piece of gaming kit: a Geek Chic “The Portal” gaming table. Geek Chic has been awesome throughout the (long) process of ordering, manufacturing, and delivering this thing… kudos to the entire crew there! This is some seriously high-quality furniture — I’m very impressed with the build quality. Can’t wait to play some D&D on this sucker!
And now, for some eye candy.
Here’s a picture of the table in “dining table” configuration. Looks just like a regular dining table, right?
Now we peel off the 5 leaves that comprise the table top and voila — we reveal a recessed gaming surface! Geek Chic calls this area the “vault” of the table. The vault on our table is 2.25 inches deep. To give you an idea of the size of this table, the INSIDE gaming surface shown here is 4×6 feet!
Looking a bit closer at the vault, you can see that the interior is definitely designed for gaming! What you see here is actually 3 layers — the “floor” of the vault is a sheet of bamboo (which is an upgrade we bought — the standard is just white), above that is a pre-printed sheet with a 1-inch grid (perfect for D&D! This was also an addon that we bought), and above that is an acrylic sheet, which protects everything underneath (and is safe to use with dry-erase markers!).
The neat thing about this table is that it’s modular. If you want to wage epicly huge battles (say, for Warhammer or BattleTech), just take the leaves off and you have a 4×6-foot playing surface. However, most games don’t need quite that amount of room, and it’s nice to have room to put other things, like dice bags, source books or snacks! By purchasing the “leaf desk” upgrade kit, you can add a “border” around your table, shrinking the size of the Vault and giving your players a bit more room to work.
However, we’re not done yet! One final feature of this table (and all of Geek Chic’s tables) is that they have a modular rail system built into the sideboards. You can add things like little “desks”, cup holders, bins, counter/dice holders… you can even buy an “entropy engine” (i.e. dice tower) that sits in the modular rails!
Of course, we sprung for a bunch of these upgrades as well. At the edge nearest to the camera, you can see a desk with a shelf underneath it — this one is meant for the GM! — and a burgundy-lined bin and a cup holder. On the right side, you can see 2 player desks (without a shelf underneath) and a counter holder. We have more desks and bins/holders on the other 2 sides as well!
The quality of craftmanship in this thing is pretty impressive. The delivery guys (who have been on a week-long trek across the northern USA and some parts of Canada delivering 18 of these things!) said that each table is built buy a single craftsman from start to finish. From cutting the lumber to size right through to final assembly, each table is only touched by 1 person until it hits the delivery crew. This process lets that single person have absolute control over every detail of your table, giving you a higher quality product than just assembly-line style construction.
The delivery guys are great too — they’re far more than just “delivery”. They assemble the whole thing for you in situ and stick around to show you how to use (how to insert/remove accessories, leaves, etc) and care for your table properly (even going into details like which wood wax to use!).
And I can’t forget the support staff, for example the “Valet” who helps you place your order. They’re very knowledgeable in helping you pick out things like “which accessories should I get if I play game X?”, as well as keeping your apprised of the progress of your new wooden beauty throughout the whole process (including sending you in-progress pictures!).
In fact… let me just cut this short by saying that the whole crew at Geek Chic are great.
I’m totally excited to have this table (even if it does mean reorganizing that room now, because as you can see, we don’t have room for chairs around it right now!). I’m sure it will soon be the envy of our entire gaming group. 😉