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"Need advice for wargaming room / office" Topic

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Private Matter15 Oct 2015 2:57 p.m. PST

We are waiting to close on a new house we have purchased and I have been granted a game room/office in it by SWMBO. The dimensions are 16' x 14' and a closet. I am seeking advice from my fellow TMPers on design ideas for things such as gaming table, storage and layout. I need to have a work desk in the room as I work from home but if I do it right that can be multifunctional. So any suggestions, designs and/or pictures that you care to share would be appreciated. I have 40 years of gaming crap accumulated so creative use of space will be key. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Terrement Inactive Member15 Oct 2015 3:13 p.m. PST


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian15 Oct 2015 3:37 p.m. PST

First piece of advise: a permanent table becomes a catch all. Better to set up and take down to keep clutter under control. If you can try to get display type cases for the painted troops and cabinets for terrain and other projects.

Get some graph paper and play with cut outs to see how you can arrange things. remember to allow movement space around the table (2-3 feet on as many sides as you can)

raylev315 Oct 2015 3:43 p.m. PST

Two solutions I've used over the years. Support your wargaming table with bookcases all around. It gives you great storage right underneath the table.

Or, put your table on sawhorses. That way the table only uses space when you're playing. Currently I have three 4'x6' boards and six plastic sawhorses.

Depending on the size game I set up one 4x6, or a 6x8 (two boards), or a 6x12 (three boards). After use I take them down and stand the boards against the wall.

45thdiv15 Oct 2015 4:07 p.m. PST

Another thing about a permanent table. You want to have at least 3 feet of space on each side just to be able to move around the room. I think with the dize of room you are talking about, and the need to have office space, a permanent table is not the best idea. I had the same size room and put in a 10 x 5 foot table in. The room felt cramped and the table would just collect stuff that I had to clean off before every game.

I think the option to take the table down might allow you to have a larger table if needed, or a nice skirmish table set up more permanent.

One thing I did to offset floor space was to build shelves into the framing of the wall. They worked great to display the figures and easy to grab troops for the game. I also had storage under the table, but again it was permanent and left a bit of trouble moving around the room.

Early morning writer Inactive Member15 Oct 2015 5:08 p.m. PST

In theory, with your room dimensions, you have room for an 8' x 10' table but since you need a desk and because 8' is too wide to reach, I'd opt for a 5' by 8' table that folds in half so that when in playing mode the top off unfolds over the desk. That leaves plenty of maneuver room as well as room for other things in the room, like figure and terrain storage and the all important book shelves.

The advice about graph paper and scaled bits of paper to the desk and other items to go in the room is very sage advice. Ignore it at your own peril.

Stryderg15 Oct 2015 5:46 p.m. PST

Thinking out of the box here…oh wait, I threw away the box…

Hang a sheet of plywood (aka: gaming table) from the ceiling with a pulley system. Look at garage bike hangers. You'll need high ceilings (9ft minimum I would think), and track lighting around the room since a central light would get covered. Lower it to play, raise it to clear the space.

Depending on how much work you want to put into it and if SWMBO will allow…cut out the sheet rock between the studs of an interior wall. Nail in 1x4 pieces and you've got book shelves built into the wall.

Mako11 Inactive Member15 Oct 2015 6:05 p.m. PST

I also think folding tables are a good idea.

Plywood gets you the standard 4' x 8', if you want to put that on top.

Generally, I prefer at least 6' for table width.

A folding Ping-Pong table will get you 5' x 9', right out of the box, so is a decent mid-sized compromise.

Aidan Campbell Inactive Member15 Oct 2015 11:46 p.m. PST

A good way to double up on space is to make your office desk big enough to double up as the games table and have it centrally placed as an island in the middle of the room. Then have some sort of lift-off lid or cover that over lays and encloses all the clutter that usually lives on a desk to create a raised playing surface for gaming.

Depending upon your stature the extra height of the games table top might save a few aching backs?

olicana16 Oct 2015 2:19 a.m. PST

Hi, I based my table on kitchen base cabinets. Solid, built under table storage that comes off the shelf in various sizes and storage type formats – cupboards, drawers, drawers and cupboards. They are also the perfect ergonomic height for standing at – especially if you are tall. Minimum table width is just under 4 feet. Mine are a mixture of stuff picked up as bargains and home kitchen upgrade cast-offs. If you can find a friend upgrading a kitchen……..

Here's a link to table construction:



A guided tour of my room


Good luck with your project.

zoneofcontrol16 Oct 2015 4:43 a.m. PST

I recently moved out of o house that had a room that I used in a similar fashion. I too had a home office/hobby room. What I did was to put up the wall mounted wire rack shelving in the closet. I left some space under the bottom shelf for the storage of larger boxes that would not fit on shelves. A light in the closest was most helpful.

As to the room itself, for the "office" part I used kitchen floor & wall cabinets and countertop installed at desk height, not standard kitchen counter height. I left space in the floor cabinets to use as a desk for my table top computer & printer. Also included room for a rolling chair to get under the desk high counter for work purposes. Make sure you have electric, phone and cable access handy to where you need them.

Along one wall I had a folding 5-foot table to use as a hobby table. The room also contained 2 large file cabinets plus several of the plastic drawer storage units on wheels.

Where I differed from your situation is that my room was smaller than yours. I had my gaming table set up in the basement. I used a 4 x 8 roofing sheet on tall workhorses.

I also considered a ping pong table as mentioned above since it folds up rather compactly when not in use. Don't know what else you're putting in the room so you'll have to consider walking & storage clearance around the 5 x 9 table when it is set up for use.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2015 5:53 a.m. PST

When I was able to have a dedicated game room/den, I decided to make it as comfortable as possible. My table is a half Ping Pong table, 4.5 x 5 ft. Since most of my gaming is skirmish level, that provides more than enough room, as I generally only need a 3 x 3 ft. area. I've played TSATF with half units on the full table with no problem. The closet in the room creates a bit of dead space, that was large enough for my painting table. As suggested above, the game table rests on book cases, and other book cases line the walls. The room is completed by two nice cushioned arm chairs where I do my reading.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2015 7:16 a.m. PST

@olicana--where are those CD cabinets from? IKEA?

olicana16 Oct 2015 12:09 p.m. PST

@olicana--where are those CD cabinets from? IKEA?



"Then I came across the CD storage cabinets a solution I had not thought of on offer at Argos (see above) which had been reduced from £60.00 GBP to £40.00 GBP each. I quickly threw out all my existing ideas, measured my walls, and bought six cabinets sight unseen (risky!). From memory the dimensions are: Overall 51cm wide, 128 tall, 24 deep, weight 40lbs. The eight shelves, including the bottom and this was the gamble as their dimensions were not stated are just under 48cm wide and are 15cm deep. The door 'glass' is acrylic with a vertical lined pattern; I would have liked a clear plain finish but, at the cabinet price, I'm happy enough. The Argos catalogue number is 875/2570."

Buff Orpington Inactive Member18 Oct 2015 8:06 a.m. PST

The only advice I can offer is this, "Do not let your other half put anything in it, not even temporarily,"

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2015 5:22 p.m. PST

My room is 18 X 12. I built a 9 X 6 table. Couple pieces of Advice, I built the table on wheels so I can move it around the room if needed. Add LED lights if possible and I added a storage shelf under the table. Here's a picture of the room & table under construction.


Here's a picture of the completed room


(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member21 Oct 2015 2:00 a.m. PST

Here's my gaming room (links below). My room is also rather small, but through the use of storage drawers underneath the table I manage to get most of figures in there.

One of the decisions you'll have to make is whether you want a nice room for gaming, or a storage room that tends to collect all sorts of junk and which in the end will not be used as a gaming space. When I organized my room, I took the decision of having a nice room, and leaving lots of the big storage on the garage or even selling it off.


Elenderil01 Nov 2015 1:49 p.m. PST

I'm currently planning a modular table for use in a room that doubles as a spare bedroom and office. I have gone for a modular playing area as I can change the size of the table by adding or removing sections. I'm planning on using 9mm thick MDF 1220mm x 606mm. Six of those panels battened around the edges to prevent warping with the ability to bolt the panels together. The surface will sit on two folding tables which can also be used for painting or family dining. That's the plan anyway.

The beauty of this is that the whole thing can be broken down for storing.

Private Matter27 Jan 2016 11:33 a.m. PST

I got a lot of good advice and ideas from this thread so thank you everyone who had responded. While my room is in no way finished, it is now at least usable. I have more trim work to do on the table, such as molding around the base and trim around the top to prevent the terrain tiles from slipping off. I also have to put more items in the display cabinet. My wife said it best with "things are put away but they are not organized."

‌"TMP link

I'll post a better picture once I get the terrain tiles in place.

Ottoathome Inactive Member27 Jan 2016 2:02 p.m. PST

Don't even bother. Your wife will find use for the space long before you can even begin to do anything with it.

Don't make a permanent table, make it easy to take apart and knock down. That way when you lose the space you can move your stuff into he garage or he attic, where all the "stuff" you have which doesn't "fit" with her stuff or the family stuff can be banished to, along with the other vermin.

Private Matter28 Jan 2016 9:50 a.m. PST

Past history would lend to support your argument Ottoathome but SWMBO has her own art room that has been fully set up plus a walk in closet all to herself that is bigger than my last office. And my ace in the hole is that she very clearly promised, in front of our kids, that the room is my man cave and she will not infringe on my space. My one concession to the room is that I will keep it neat, clean and organized: if we have visitors she can not be embarrassed by the state of the room, only its contents.

Ottoathome Inactive Member28 Jan 2016 9:57 a.m. PST

Dear Private Matter

You have much to learn grasshopper.

When it comes to "lebensraum" all women are little Hitlers.

"This space is your space, it will be MY space…"

"Neat clean and organized?" Tee, hee, she's already got the escape clause in place.

Dream on.

TRUgamer30 Jan 2016 12:28 p.m. PST

It's a terrible thing to live in fear isn't it?

Fortunately this has not been my experience. Happily married with a history library and a gaming room all to my lonesome.


uglyfatbloke16 Feb 2016 4:08 a.m. PST

We have our table in our bedroom, which makes us tidy the room periodically when friends come over for a wargame. This is a good thing since otherwise we'd be sleeping in a total pigsty…actually, that's unfair to pigs.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member05 Mar 2016 1:10 p.m. PST

If in doubt, always invest in more wall shelves.

What types are the two old rifles on the wall, if you don't mind me asking?

Private Matter10 Mar 2016 7:22 p.m. PST

The rifles on the wall are an M-1 Garand and an 1860 Enfield.

Brian Smaller06 Apr 2016 2:36 p.m. PST

I have a much more rustic wargames room.

My biggest problem is keeping it bird and rodent proof. I somewhat failed at that….


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