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"What Size Table" Topic

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3,182 hits since 27 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Guthroth27 Nov 2017 12:17 p.m. PST

I'm facing an enforced downsizing in my playing habits and I'm looking for some advice. I have to assume that my days of 6x4 or 5x7 tables are behind me, but 3x4 or smaller are looking good. I have a sizeable collection of 15mm (ancient/Biblical)and 28mm (VSF, Dark Age, Pulp) figures and some 6mm Napoleonics, but some of them have to go as well.

So leaving aside DBA and HoTT (and that family of games) what games can I play on 3x4 or 3x3 areas/tables ?

For 28mm, IHMN (Blood Eagle and Daisho), Saga and Test Of Honour are looking good, but what other games go well on 3x4 tables ?


Jozis Tin Man27 Nov 2017 12:34 p.m. PST

I play mostly on a 3x4. Keep your 6mm stuff and you can play almost any rules at half scale. I prefer my one hour war game mods, but have done it with black powder.

1/600 is a good option for moderns or ww2.

For 28mm you are on the right track for skirmish games. Only down side is storing terrain takes a bit of space. But for something like ihmn with a dozen figures per side, that is plenty of space

You may find yourself playing more games in your smaller space as set up and tear down takes half the time.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

HANS GRUBER27 Nov 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

15mm ADLG is about 4x3.

Guthroth27 Nov 2017 12:48 p.m. PST


advocate27 Nov 2017 1:31 p.m. PST

Art de La Guerre.
Also To the Strongest with 4" squares.
And other gridded games, such as Rommel or PBI2.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 2:25 p.m. PST

Peter Pig ECW plays on a 3x4 if that helps. regiment of Foote

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

Mad Dogs with Guns fits those sizes well. I use a 30x40" table.

The Portable Wargame fits that as well. Again my board is 20x32.5"

Johnny Reb had some scenarios using a 3"x4" table or smaller.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 3:15 p.m. PST

Lots of possibilities for Napoleonics as long as your maneuver unit frontage stays under 8"--not usually a problem for 6mm players.

Something to keep in mind: if you have storage problems and not just table size problems, every additional scale and every additional period makes them worse. You might want to consider swapping 15mm Ancients for 6mm or 6mm Napoleonics for 15mm. This halves the streams, woods and bridges required. Three 28mm projects with very different buildings--well, I'd try very hard to have a set of buildings I could use for both VSF and pulp--and that my pulp rural settings used a lot of my dark ages terrain, using a little "period scatter" instead of period-specific buildings in 28mm.

Me? Working on a plan calling for everything to be one scale and one climate regardless of period, but some of the details are tricky.

blacksoilbill27 Nov 2017 3:33 p.m. PST

Pulp Alley plays on a 3x3.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 6:48 p.m. PST

Most of the popular skirmish/rpg games play on a 3x3 surface, Pulp Alley, Song Of…., Two Hour Wargames rules.

Rich Bliss27 Nov 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

A small table can be made to play larger by adding a lot of terrain. A 3x3 urban board will fell more like a 6x6, especially at a skirmish or small unit level.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

Anything by Neil Thomas will work fine, especially his Ancient & Medieval Warfare for your 15mm Ancients.

For the 6mm Napoleonics and assuming you don't fancy Horse, Foot and Guns since it is DBx-based, you can use any of the big battle rules, just use smaller bases (e.g. Grande Armee but use 40mm x 40mm bases instead of 3"x3" bases).

Twoball Cane27 Nov 2017 7:17 p.m. PST

I'll second pulp alley.

Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy27 Nov 2017 9:00 p.m. PST

All THW games are made for 3x3 tables or smaller.

Footslogger28 Nov 2017 2:04 a.m. PST

Blucher for 6mm Napoleonics, with 2" bases.

williamb28 Nov 2017 7:18 a.m. PST

Lost Battles by Phil Sabin will fit a 3x4 table available in book form.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

Snappy Nappy will allow a 3x4 mile area for a game board that size.

Lion in the Stars28 Nov 2017 5:58 p.m. PST

if you're a comic book fan, the Batman minis game is played on 3x3.

For scifi, Infinity is played on a 4x4.

I'm going to echo Robert Pipenbrink's comment, though: additional scales need all their terrain stored as well as their armies. It's why I've limited myself to 28mm for Infinity and RPGs, and 15mm for everything else.

Guthroth29 Nov 2017 12:58 p.m. PST

Thanks for the suggestions. Especially robert piepenbrink for his comments about scenery. I'm thinking that all my 15mm stuff – figures and scenery -(apart from some DBA and HOTT) is going to have to go.

I only have a small 6mm collection – Napoleonic as it happens – but if I can find some rules that I like expanding that is an option.

HappyHussar29 Nov 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

I built my own 3x4 table back in the late 1980s and used it for 15mm REN battles. Yes, not terribly large but it worked. Also works nicely for board games (ok – I used a bad word here I am sure LOL).

It is a nice size to paint on as well. I put down a smaller piece of wood and worked on that. Put down newspaper to catch the odd spray of paint from the brush.

I painted my table green and added on a seal coat as well. Was a sad day when I finally got rid of it.

Another option is to hinge a larger board to the wall and then let it down when you want to play. Use sawhorses if you like. Saves on space and you might be able to add on a foot on both sides too. I had a 8x4' piece of plywood mounted to my wall for years. It was hinged and then I had a way of securing it once it was lowered. Played many a monster board game on it.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Nov 2017 5:16 p.m. PST

Triumph for ancients. Like BDBA but uses a 2 x 3 field.

tshryock Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Nov 2017 7:41 a.m. PST

Make/buy a hex terrain mat and play any of the commands and colors rulesets on it with your minis.

stewart46A02 Dec 2017 1:19 p.m. PST

Peter Pig ww1 square bashing 4x3
Ww2 PBI 4x4

I Drink Your Milkshake06 Dec 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

My only table is 3x4 and I get along fine. I like Marc Severin's idea of pocket scale Grande Armee on 3cm squares and use cm instead of inches. You will have to adapt, but the ideas are out there.

One thing I do for my 3x4 is buy a 6x4 common battle mat and cut in half. 2 game mats for the money.

Clays Russians08 Dec 2017 8:22 a.m. PST

I use my dining room table, 64 inches by 42 inches, works a treat for saga and lion Rampant, all my commands and colors. Bolt action small battles. I do have over 1300 15mil Crimean War, so they do have to travel I'm afraid. Went from a 2500 sq foot 2 story to a 1000 foot single level patio home. Retirement at 54 with no regrets.

Capt Flash22 Mar 2018 10:53 a.m. PST

Mighty Armies. 2x2 in 15mm. Like HOTT with personality…

Prince Lupus Inactive Member22 Mar 2018 12:26 p.m. PST

You could downsize Kiss Rommel from 4 by 4. Impetus on small bases.

Captain Gideon Inactive Member24 Mar 2018 6:48 a.m. PST

We have a game table that's made from 2 doors laid side by side I believe the size is 6ftx8ft but I'm not 100% certain on the size.

My friends and I have had many different games ranging from Naval games to land games.

Off the top of my head we've had game from the following periods:

Naval(Pre-Dreadnought,WWI and WWII)
English Civil War
Science Fiction(OGRE,Star Trek etc)

And I must add to the above(but we've not done it yet)WWII Bolt Action.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2018 8:04 a.m. PST

My friends are good enough to invite me to play GASLIGHT and, in the past, In Her Majesty's Name.

Not sure, but I get the feeling it'd be easier to scale down the action in the latter with more character-driven action.

That said, almost any rule set works better in small areas with REALLY dense terrain, though balances of shooty vs dicey are a concern.

An early IHMN game we had was in the back streets of a German outpost in Randistan. Buildings and twisting alley ways: nicely tight!

Shooty guys did well from roof tops in taking out opponents, mind you…

Not so much getting to objectives…


evilgong24 Mar 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

I used to run DBM comps with 4x3 tables. Wind the points back to 330 or so.

ge2002bill Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2018 8:17 p.m. PST

Put one end of your table against a wall. The idea is to be able to walk or sit along three – not – four sides. Reason: So you can have a larger table.
Bill P.

cybrt54 Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2018 8:17 a.m. PST

Relic Blade, Deadzone, Fistful of Lead, Congo all play on 3' x 4' Gaming area.

UshCha25 Mar 2018 10:23 a.m. PST

I suspect the issue is it figures or the game you most love? Dropping figure scale is the optimum game solution. Our own game with effort would run from 32mm to 6mm. Better games with small figures on small tables. To me, say Maneouvre Group, it would be OK for urban on say a 3 by 3 ft table. You would easily get 20 houses on so would be a challenging game (At 1mm=1m). Not really so for tanks, too small a range. You would need to go to 6 mm to get a decent tank game and use 1mm = 2m. Basically you keep the same ratio ground to mini scale.

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Mar 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

Table? TABLE? I don't need no stinking tables!


Lion in the Stars25 Mar 2018 10:53 p.m. PST

If you can put one edge of a table against the wall like ge2002bill suggests, that works pretty well.

One thing an old FLGS in Bremerton, WA did was to put 4x6 tables on toolbox caster wheels. Let you push one out of the way, or push two (or more!) together for a big game.

Biggest game we played was 6x12 WW2 naval. 6x8 40k was another common event.

Last Hussar04 Apr 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

If the rules are written in inches use centimeters instead. Unit frontages will need to be 40%. This is what we did with Black Powder playing with 10mm figures. This makes your 3x4 table 90x120, as opposed to the 48x72 of the larger table!

wmyers04 Apr 2018 8:57 p.m. PST

There are often ways around things. It may be possible, depending upon your situation, to have a foldable larger table (or a couple smaller ones) and then set them up outside and place in nicer weather.

Get a tan, enjoy nature and have fun at the same time!

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