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The $8,500 Gaming Table You Want 260

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-gonna-need-a-raise dept.
Recently I stumbled upon The Sultan Gaming Table. With a price tag of over $8K, it would have to be awesome: but it has little compartments for the players and DM as well as a drop-down playing surface. If you find the pricetag daunting then you are a sane person, and might instead want to look at the Emissary which starts at a "mere" $1,500 and has many of the same features. Honestly I just love the idea of having my minis on a playing surface underneath the dinner table. I ought to be allowed to expense one of these. I also wish they had more pictures and fewer renderings on the site.
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The $8,500 Gaming Table You Want

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  • It's Just A Table (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Obyron (615547) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:21AM (#31597240)
    Get some first hand experience with carpentry and build yourself one. It's not difficult. Borrow some tools from friends and family if you need to, or possibly neighbors. Tell your friend you have a sheet of MDF or something and that you need to make some cuts with a table saw, and would he mind if you came over and used it for 15 minutes. Treat it as an excuse to socialize. Borrow your father-in-law's miter saw and pay him back with a case of beer. You'll get a lot more than 8500 dollars worth of enjoyment out of the process, for a very small fraction of the price, and you'll still get your geek table. And you'll get a good story out of it. The thing may not turn out perfect. You might have a drawer that sticks or something, but big fucking deal. What's their target audience? Millionaire gamers? Good luck with that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      Indeed.

      I'm doing the same thing with a desk. I've been thinking about getting a tricked-out Ikea Galant setup, but figured out I could build something similar for about 1/4th the cost. When possible, do it yourself...this applies to just about anything. Costs less, you can get EXACTLY what you want, and you get the satisfaction of a job well done.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)

        When possible, do it yourself...this applies to just about anything.

        Except surgery.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by twidarkling (1537077)

          You missed the first part:
          When possible.

          Surgery on yourself is rarely possible :p

          Well, unless you're Rambo, then you just need a bullet, some matches, a knife, and some fishing line.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BobMcD (601576)

          In college I successfully performed oral surgery on my own mouth (gory story ahead):

          I had a horrible wisdom tooth, growing in 'sideways'. It would surge 'up' occasionally, making my whole jaw swell and causing horrible pain. I got the notion that if the thing could hit air, it might just stop trying to come in...

          I sterilized the tip of my Kansas City Board of Trade pen knife with my lighter, and went to work on it in the men's room. Five minutes later, I had successfully removed a flap of skin over that

    • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:32AM (#31597398) Homepage Journal
      Heck, at that price, you could buy all of the tools as well as materials. Really, projects are just excuses to buy tools, right?
    • by Chelloveck (14643) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:32AM (#31597404) Homepage

      Get some first hand experience with carpentry and build yourself one.

      But.. But... That won't be Heirloom Quality!

      What's their target audience? Millionaire gamers? Good luck with that.

      Have you checked the prices of games lately? Won't be long until millionaires are the only people who can afford to game...

      "I say, Chauncy, don't roll your solid gold d12 there! You'll scratch my Sultan Table and Wooster will be hours buffing it out."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oldspewey (1303305)

      This may be true to some extent, but I can also report from my own direct first-hand experience that there have been times I've seen an item in the store for what I thought was an exorbitant price, and I decided to build it myself instead. And while I did get the "enjoyment" payoff you mention, after buying all the wood, fasteners, hinges, paint, etc. (not to mention a specialized tool if the project requires one) I sometimes found that I spent as much or more than the "exorbitant" item would have cost in t

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Yes, building a table like that IS difficult, even for experienced carpenters. Did you even look at this thing?

    • by eln (21727) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:50AM (#31597684) Homepage
      Sure, I could build it, but I hate carpentry and I know from experience I would get no joy out of it. So, if I were the kind of person who was really obsessed with gaming and had $8500 to throw around (I'm not and I don't), I might buy this table. I would certainly not build it, because that would be a huge pain in the ass. Different people have different interests, and carpentry is not one of mine by any stretch of the imagination.

      Obviously the market segment for this thing is limited, but the vast selection of furniture stores out there tells me there are plenty of people who would rather pay a premium for furniture to avoid having to build it themselves.
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>Get some first hand experience with carpentry and build yourself one. It's not difficult.

      The only B I got in middle school was in woodworking. I did win the award for "Best Citizenship in Woodworking", which was kind of like getting kicked in the nuts for the long drive out to the school awards ceremony.

      I've been looking for a gaming table for a while now. If their prices were about half what they are now, I'd probably buy one.

    • by pnewhook (788591)

      Why not just buy a pool table? It certainly looks like one.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      And make it a LOT better. Using BOOKS for the DM? How drol. give them a laptop station or better yet a 21" monitor location for reading all the PDF files of every book needed. Plus using decent Virtual tabletop software and camera control for adding in long distance players. Yes this is getting more and more common having a player skype in.

    • I know a family who would have no problem spending the money on a table like this. They play games all the time, and $8500 for an heirloom-quality piece is nothing to them. They spend about that much on computer hardware every year anyway.

      I don't think the owners of this company -- like any other company -- really care that there is an enthusiast market out there that is more than willing to build its own gaming tables. They probably would never match this table, feature-for-feature, anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vlm (69642)

      Tell your friend you have a sheet of MDF or something and that you need to make some cuts with a table saw

      The "real thing" is made out of hardwoods instead of particle board. Next time you visit Home Depot or whatever, check the price of some nice chunks of oak. Also realize hardwoods are more expensive/difficult to work with... Given a hammer to start it, large pieces of cheapass pine darn near allow self tapping screws, whereas oak is so tough you'll practically need a metalworking tap set to screw it together.

      Leading to my anecdote of the day, last week I was trying to build some model-RR stuff using some

    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:24AM (#31599214) Homepage Journal

      Even easier. Start with a pool table, strip out the bits you don't want, and trim the table with whatever geegaws you want. That appears to be what this company did.

      The big advantage over building from scratch: the boring generic "table" part is already done for you, and you can concentrate on the gaming part. In fact, if you made a kind of arrangement that sat in the pockets of the pool table, you could remove the whole thing and still play pool if you wanted to.

      This is pretty much what it means to be a geek. To the average person, the "constructed" part of his environment, the things he lives with, that is something fixed. He can buy new stuff or throw old stuff away. If you are geek, no thing's form has to be regarded as fixed.

      Practically everything I own has been modified in some way. When I got my Kindle, my first thought was that the metal back was too slippery. I considered covering it with rubberized paint, but settled instead by putting a couple of strips of two inch velcro loop tape to it which makes it easier to hold. I applied velcro hook tape to the slip cover so the two pieces could be handled as one unit. I have a leatherette (vinyl) zip portfolio that I carry paper, writing implements and my kindle in, and I slapped velcro loop on the inside to give the kindle (inside its slipcover) crush space. Since I had velcro hook left over I slapped that on the outside and now I can stand the portfolio with it's spine up and it is a reading stand.

      People see that and say, "isn't that clever." But it's not. Once you realize you can turn any surface you aren't otherwise using into a reading stand by slapping some velcro tape on it, it's obvious.

    • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:14PM (#31600014) Homepage Journal

      Another "everybody's exactly like me" post. I took carpentry in Junior High, but I sucked at it, and have only a single (really ugly) bookcase to show for my training. Maybe you can throw together something like this without a lot of effort. I never could hope to attempt something like this, and I suspect most people are in the same category.

      Don't get me wrong, I admire (and envy) people who are good with their hands. And even though my own experience was less than positive, I bemoan that fact that most kids don't get a chance to take shop anymore. But dude, people have different strengths and weaknesses.

      And, not incidentally, $8K is not that much to pay for this kind of furniture, if it's well made. Whether it's worth it to an individual is a personal call. But if you're a really serious gamer (I'm certainly not) it strikes me as a decent investment.

    • by nuckfuts (690967) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @02:01PM (#31601744)

      Good god - what utter conceit! You look at a large and intricate piece of hardwood furniture, with all kinds of drawers, sliding parts, and recesses, put together with numerous dovetail joints no less, and you think anyone with access to a table saw and a miter saw could build one.

      The sheer arrogance of this assumption leads me to believe you've never built anything like this before. If you had, you'd know that even building a single drawer using dovetails is not a trivial endeavour. Add to that the challenge of making many drawers, selecting and mounting hardware that aligns them nicely and lets them slide in and out smoothly. And after you have it all built, there's the significant task of applying a nice finish to the wood.

      There is a huge difference between knowing basic carpentry and knowing how to make hardwood furniture. You clearly have no grasp of how much time and skill a project like this requires. It involves hours and hours of planning, measuring, cutting, machining, fitting, gluing, clamping, sanding, and finishing. It requires a sizable workshop with an extensive array of tools, and the quality of the results is directly proportional to the quality of the tools you employ. Don't kid yourself that you could easily build such a thing.

  • ... thank you.

  • Make it cooler (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:23AM (#31597266) Journal

    What would really be cool is if the table surface was a touch LCD display that you could put digitized maps up on.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by oldspewey (1303305)
      A touch-sensitive table-sized LCD gaming surface would be something I'd actually consider spending $8K on.
      • by idontgno (624372)

        Here you go. [microsoft.com]

        Although that's a Microsoft site which is richly laced with Silverlight dependencies, there's some usable content there even with good ol' XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

        • by minsk (805035)

          Now make it 6x the size, triple the display resolution, add space for your knees, and a whole whack of custom software...

          Except that would be a few hundred thousand dollars. Canned technology is not the solution for all problems.

    • For $8500, I would build one before I bought this one. With a cheap projector and some patience, I've priced DIY multitouch tables at less than $1000. If you could actually make a slick interface for the multitouch that did not look like a pain in the ass like all of the ones I've seen thus far, you could probably justify that kind of price.
      • Has anyone done a projector multitouch system like that with a camera so that you could place an item on the table, the camera captures it and adds it to the virtual environment? Then you'd only need to painstakingly paint one of each of your unit classes, and easily marshal a army of hundreds, thousands, billllllllyeons! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
      • by vlm (69642)

        With a cheap projector and some patience, I've priced DIY multitouch tables at less than $1000.

        Forget the expensive multitouch, I think it would be fun just to have a monitor underneath to select your own custom background. Maps, some relevant object from the campaign, Pr0n, who knows. I've been planning on putting a cheap-o "big" TV underneath a glass coffee table for this purpose, once I have nothing better to do / nothing better to buy. Basically a horizontal version of a vertical digital picture frame.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      My first thought when I read "$8500 gaming table" was something along the lines of a multitouch "table" that would've been perfect for RTS gaming and various non-gaming tasks. To say I was disappointed when I read the summary and realized that this was just a fairly expensive table would be an understatement.

  • by Mr_Blank (172031) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:23AM (#31597276) Journal

    The Sultan was recently featured in a PvP comic classic.

    Part 1 [pvponline.com]

    Part 2 [pvponline.com]

    Part 3 [pvponline.com]

    Part 4 [pvponline.com]

  • As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising.

    Can we have a products section or one labeled as Slavertisements?

    Honestly, unless the product is something reviewed on Anandtech or "trusted" computer site it always comes across as if the submitter works for the group in the story.

    • Honestly, unless the product is something reviewed on Anandtech or "trusted" computer site it always comes across as if the submitter works for the group in the story.

      That's not really different than a lot of the stories - You will find that 60 to 70 percent are submitted by people who work for PC / Info / Tech World or whoever. No real difference here.

  • While I am with the "must want one" crowd, the price tag is so outrageous I don't believe that many gamers would ever be able to afford one. Even if cheaper "Emissary" is $1500 for a 4 x 6 table, it is nothing bigger than a basic dinner table.

    For price comparisons, look at a decent home pool table like the ones found here [pooltablesdirect.com]. Those are not cheap, they are pretty decent and of much better quality than the "Emissary".

    I would love to have one of these tables, but until the price comes down, the slightly reasonab

    • It's a nice piece of furniture. Nice furnitures costs a lot of money.
      A high quality dining table will cost several thousand dollars.

      Of course, this think is poorly designed in that you can't pull a chair up and sit at it, but to say it's too much for a table is really to generic of a term.

      Nice meaning solid wood, well crafted, sturdy and will last someone a life time with some care. Not some Ikea POS.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        No a high quality dining table wont cost several thousand unless you shop at a furniture store where they rob you. I had solid wood funiture made for me by a master woodworker locally for 1/2 the price of the utter crap they sell at most of the "furniture stores" and mine has real inlays, real wood, and real craftsmanship instead of the machine made MDF core veneered garbage they sell at the fine furniture Botique's

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Dude if you look a bit at Ikea you can build one for less than $300.00. Will it be heirloom quality? nope, but knowing the turds I game with neither will the $8900.00 one in 1 years time.

      Bolt together some desks and shelf units to a table, add some tall barstool seats... Voila. go to home depot to get your "whiteboard plexi"

      Honestly this is quite effortless, I can even make a felt covered insert board for MTG tournaments for less than $50.00

  • Price tag (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:28AM (#31597344) Homepage Journal

    If you find the pricetag daunting then you are a sane person

    If you don't find it daunting because you live in a fifty million dollar house and drive a hundred thousand dollar car, finding the price tag not daunting doesn't make you insane.

    Hell, it hasn't been that long since a decent gaming PC cost that much. Now paying $5000 for a bottle of wine? That marks you as insane even if you're Bill Gates.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Do you really not get it? seriously? People who pay 5000 Dollars for a bottle of wine are making one of two types of investments:

      Long term. They will re-sell it in 10 years for 10,000

      Business deal. They will be using it to toast a 100 million dollar deal.
      It's like saying spending 5,000 dollars on a Rembrandt is insane because all you're going to do is hang it up in your living room and look at it.

      Of course, if you are making millions of dollar in interest on your fortune every day, 5,000 dollars is nothing

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        No, I'm saying buying a $5k bottle of wine to drink is insane, even toasting a business deal. Buying it to later sell at a profit is wise, drinking it is like burning that Rembrandt.

        • by radish (98371)

          Some things are enjoyed over an indefinite time (like a painting), some are one-time experiences (like drinking a bottle of wine). I understand some people preferring one to the other, but insanity doesn't come into it. Or are people buying concert tickets insane? Or people going on vacation? The actual cost is beside the point, it's just a value call based on how much the money means to you vs how much the experience means to you.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Or are people buying concert tickets insane?

            At today's ticket prices, yes indeed. It's highway robbery.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by chill (34294)

          Yeah, there is a whole category of people who have to be SEEN to be rich, or they aren't happy. Being rich isn't good enough. People have to see you spend absurd amounts of money on non-necessities and blow it off like it was no big deal. These people have a tendency to mention prices a lot, name drop and not-so-subtly brag.

          For regular folks, the equivalent is an iPod. iPods aren't for people who like listening to music. They're for people who like to be SEEN listening to music. You see them constantl

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Billy Joel said it well in "Movin' Out". That song is even more relevant now than it was when it was new.

  • I saw these at GenCon last year. They are really well made and designed in general though more geared towards RPG play than boardgame or mini play. Pricey, but they are meant to be furniture equal to your nice dining room furniture, not a 2x4 gaming table. The lower surface may require people to reach a bit much though, and I would have liked to have tried one in action.

    The slat covers could cause a problem with spilled drinks leaking onto the surface below.

    • Do you know how resistant the translucent inlays are? The table I'm using right now has a 6x4 melamine [wikipedia.org] surface on it, which is resistant to everything from dry erase markers to Sharpie, however, it scratches REALLY easy. I'd hate to have shelled out this kind of cash, and then have a divot in part of it the first time a pewter mini gets dropped. I'd also be terrified of drinks around it getting spilled into the table and leaching their way into corners of the drop surface. The other nice thing about the
    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Really? I saw it last year at GenCon as well and with the center hex or 1" square surface I figured it was perfect for Miniature gaming. Especially since you'd have to stand in order to play. Certainly not board games (well not exclusively anyway; you could play on the top but you'd still have to stand) and I know the groups I play with would rather sit on the couches I have in my game room than at the chair and table (which I created for board gaming).

      [John]

  • Looks like a pool table, without the pockets... Something makes me think that this is a pool table, without the pockets.

    For $8000 I'll buy a pool table, with pockets and get a lot more functionality out of it

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      You're talking about a straightrail table, or carambole table. I'd rather roll dice on a pocketless table, but to each his own. ;)
  • Look at it again, and this time imagine trying to sit up to it in a chair. You Chair can't go unmder the table, and you body would end up beng 2 feet from th table.

    Uncomfortable.

    • From the website:
      "Table Height

      Standard table height is 29". We find this to be a good fit for most people. People taller than 6' may wish to add an inch or two.

      However the height of the table can be any you wish from 12" (if you sit on the floor to eat) to 36" if you want to sit at barstools."
    • I think you are supposed to stand around it.

      • If you're playing a 2-4 hour (or longer) RPG or tactical/wargame session, do you *really* want to stand for 2 to 4 hours?

        I guess it's a good way to make sure your gaming sessions end in a timely manner. . .

    • Oh, I see, you were referring to the Sultan.

      The Emissary can host chairs.
    • Fold down "desks" for each player, you chair doesn't have to go under it.
  • You can't even sit around that thing. When we game, we don't even need a table unless we're going crazy with a big fight scene or a war. Biggest advancement for gaming that I might invest in? A $400 projector to show maps/media, and maybe I might make it a "surface" table by frosting some plexiglass. Tada, digital and china-marker with minis. At least the "cheaper" table looks like you can sit around it (but not with those drawers pulled out).
  • For those of you not following the PvP webcomic, the Emissary was featured in the last week or so, starting here [pvponline.com]. This was my favorite story line yet.
  • Where's the picture? They expect people to spend $8500 on spec?

    For all we know this is conceptual only. Have they ever made a table?

    Give us something other than renders please!

  • Sorry, no dice!
  • I have in my hands, right now, a blank piece of printer paper. Now, this is no *ordinary* printer paper. It's *Awesome* printer paper. How awesome is it? Well, for only $8500, *it could be yours*! With a price tag of over $8k, it would have to be awesome.

  • "I also wish they had more pictures and fewer renderings on the site."

    Renderings = No customers yet - no one has stepped up to actually buy one so they could take actual pictures of it.

    Totally agree with everyone else on the site. Wood working is a fantastic hobby, involving precision planning, math, geometry and all sorts of things you won't account for on your first go. So start small, and build on your experience. In time, you will be able to build a fantastic "heirloom quality" piece you will be proud

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @10:22AM (#31598150) Homepage Journal

    Had one of these on loan from the GeekChic guys in our booth at GenCon last year.

    VERY
    NICE
    GAME
    TABLE

    If I had space and the spare cash to front for one, I'd buy one.

    I've seen people ragging about not being able to sit around one. This is what the fold-down desks are for.

    I've seen people complaining that the drawers would get in the way. They don't. PERIOD. You don't leave them open during play. The drawers are for storage.

    I've seen people ragging on the price. Look at the cost of nice hardwood furniture. And I said NICE. My mother's a friggin' oak fanatic. So I know how pricey this stuff gets.

    Their prices are only outrageous when viewed in a vacuum. People are talking about being able to buy the materials and tools for less. Sure. If your labor is worthless and you have already figured out all the joinery and other neat tricks that they've incorporated into one of these tables.

    Very likely though, you have not. As such, you're paying a skilled craftsman for labor.

    Sure, you can buy a pool table or a folding table for a lot less. But the utility for gaming is also a lot less.

    • by vlm (69642)

      I've seen people ragging on the price. Look at the cost of nice hardwood furniture.

      It seems to be aimed more for the "coastal mcmansion" market than "moms basement" market.

    • by infinite9 (319274) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:08PM (#31599910)

      I've seen people ragging on the price. Look at the cost of nice hardwood furniture. And I said NICE. My mother's a friggin' oak fanatic. So I know how pricey this stuff gets.

      Their prices are only outrageous when viewed in a vacuum. People are talking about being able to buy the materials and tools for less. Sure. If your labor is worthless and you have already figured out all the joinery and other neat tricks that they've incorporated into one of these tables.

      Very likely though, you have not. As such, you're paying a skilled craftsman for labor.

      I'm a computer programmer and play a lot of RPGs. I'm also a woodworking fanatic. I've spent the last 10 years collecting power tools, and I don't mean hand drills and jigsaws. I have a complete woodworking shop in my 3-car garage. I had to put in a separate 100amp subpanel just for the shop. I have probably $30,000 in tools. I've made maybe half a dozen pieces of furniture so far. I would have made more, but my time is limited.

      I could probably make a decent attempt at this table and do fairly well. I'm sure mine wouldn't be as good. It takes skill to do this stuff, even with good tools. And the tools can be expensive. The dovetails for example take years of practice to be able to make them look perfect when doing them by hand. I can make perfect dovetails, but I use a $500 jig and two $200 routers. Even the router bits can be $5 to $40 a piece. And the hardwoods their using aren't cheap either. Things like oak, walnut, cherry, and maple can go from $2 to $8 a board-foot (144 cubic inches of wood), more (possibly 10x more) for figured wood. Then there's the finish. Getting it right is hard and takes hours of surface preparation. I still suck at this.

      I'm amused by people's attitudes toward good furniture. People walk through furniture stores and ooh and ahh over the furniture. We have antique furniture now because it was made right in the past. The stuff you see today, most of it will fall apart in a few years. When I walk through furniture stores now, all I see are the shortcuts, finishing mistakes, and how that piece will fail.

      People think that because you can buy a piece of crap particle board or MDF table at walmart for $50, that this table is outrageously priced. What's really happened is that your incomes have dropped so low that the real quality that we used to be able to afford is now beyond reach. I can't afford $8000 for a table. But I can certainly make nice ones now that my grandchildren will have in their houses.

  • For those complaining about the price tag: good quality furniture made from solid wood costs real money.
    I spent over $1000 on black walnut (some highly figured) for a 7 drawer chest on chest I built last summer.
    Probably spent close to 100 hours on it too.
    Depending on the wood, $10, $20 or even $50 a board foot ( 1 square foot of wood, 1 inch thick) is not unusual.

    That said, if it's cheap wood, or plywood with hardwood veneer, you should not be spending the same amount. (unless the veneer is exceedingly rare

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