Option 2: The "I May Not Want to Eat on It, but It Will Work" MethodIf you’re like me and have a tight budget, I suggest you check out the wonders of Craig’s List (http://www.craigslist.org) for your gaming table needs. (Not to mention, you might want to search for used Dungeons & Dragons goodies as well.) Craig’s List is basically one big online rummage sale. Log on, select your city (on the right side of the page), and start searching. Steer clear of the “services” section unless you’re looking for another kind of role-playing. If you don’t find any ads, place your own wanted ad. Craig’s List is entirely free, so you have nothing to lose. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I found my chairs and both of my tables via wanted ads. Most of the folks selling these large folding tables previously used them for flea markets or garage sales, so don’t expect much in the way of looks. However, for the price, you can’t beat it.
Homemade folding table with lovely faux wood paneling surface (86” x 33“) & 8 wooden folding chairs: $25.00
Homemade folding table with red Formica surface (96” x 30“): $10.00
Craig’s List Total: $35.00
As you can see, I bought two tables and eight chairs for less then the cost of one table at Sam‘s Club or Costco. Are they pretty? Hell, no! But they serve their purpose beautifully. On top of that, they are much larger than the tables I quoted above. Granted, Sam’s Club or Costco sell larger tables than the ones I quoted, but expect to pay a good bit more (for example, one comparable-sized table at Sam’s Club goes for about $70.00).
Again, these tables aren’t pretty at all. I had the odd luck of finding two people selling large, homemade tables. The faux wood paneling table is hideous and not terribly sturdy, but it works. More importantly, the wooden chairs that came with it are much better than the plastic or metal ones you can get, so those were a tremendous deal. The red Formica table isn’t pretty either, but is well-made.
I could care less that they are ugly. My battle map covers them almost completely anyway. However, if you end up with some ugly tables, and are bothered by it, just throw a table cloth or sheet over them.
I think I’ve made my point. Craig’s List can be your best friend when it comes to finding a great gaming table. Even if you want tables that look better than my beauties, you still have a good chance of finding tables and chairs for a much better price than what you’ll pay at the store. And, what the hell, right? It’s a free service, so why not try?
Once you have your tables, the next step is to get yourself a great gaming surface. I’ll discuss that in my next article