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  • #76894

    My probably futile attempts at using an IPad to record rules elicited a response about cluttered gaming surfaces.
    Does detritus on the gaming table worry you & what do you do about it?

    I’m well aware of the visually stunning wargames’ table that has rule books, dice, beer cans, leftover food, etc, etc marring its look.

    Many of us use various markers that blend into the table to record casualties etc. The table at my place is further surrounded by benches & tables on which we put various gaming paraphernalia.

    donald

    #76896
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Noooooo.  No detritus. Markers must blend. Dice may be rolled on the table but not kept there.

    Always about the pretty.

    #76897
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Noooooo. No detritus. Markers must blend. Dice may be rolled on the table but not kept there. Always about the pretty.

    I agree, but it boils down to “What are you modeling? – the pieces/parts or the action?”

    The answer -all individual taste- indicates the sliding scale applied to not only markers and such, but to the figures/terrain as well.

    Again: What is it that you are modeling?

    The answer (imo) is “Lots and lots”, but it is the prioritizing of all those things that leads to the variety of tabletops seen.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #76935
    irishserb
    Participant

    We have never used non-miniature markers, chips, casualty caps, etc, so those have always struck me as being invasive on the tabletop, as have based figures with exposed labels identifying them.

    As a habit, food and drink have not been placed on the terrain, as condensation and grease/crumbs could damage the terrain.  They usually have gone on tables or shelves surrounding the game table.

    We have tended to be more pragmatic about tables and charts and dice, being accepted on the periphery of the game table.  Dice towers have never been used.  Nobody has ever said anything, but we have always played such that dice are always rolled on the table, and can always be seen during the roll process.

    In more recent years, devices such as cell phones and tablets get the same treatment as rules, off the table.  Usually  we don’t even have a set of rules present at the table during games.  When we do have a set, there is usually just a single copy out for reference.  But we have rarely had need during a game.

    #76956
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I use markers that blend visually with the overall look of the table.

    For other things such as rulebooks etc, use a sidetable, or try to reserve some part of your table for that stuff.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #76965
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    I would have a grave distrust of any tabletop gamer who’s tables did not include a good smattering of impedimenta drawn from dice, tape measures, quick ref sheets, coffee cups, beer/ coke cans, snacks etc.

    Also, markers are SUPPOSED to be visible. If you insist on suitably camouflaged indicators of casualties taken/ morale state/ ammunition or whatever I reserve the right to plonk something large and preferably fluorescent next to it so I can see the state of play. It’s a game not a movie set.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #76973
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Now you see, you have made a judgement about what EVERYONE wants from a game, from what YOU want from a game.

    If the spectacle’s the thing for someone, having a fluorescent thing (bunged down or otherwise matron) might just ruin it as a game for them.

    If you are going to do that why bother having accurate(ish) figures painted up on a terrain that resembles(ish) a particular piece of landscape?

    Personally I am happy to play using a chalked map on a board and counters (and) have often done just that, but I also like the painted figs and pretty terrain option. Mixing the two aesthetics seems a bit odd to me. You may be happy with it. Which is fine – but you can’t just say ‘It’s a game not a film set’, because judging by what we see around us – it is the ‘film set’ look that many people like about the game.

    Wargaming’s a broad church.

    #76987
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I wonder how much of this is a US vs UK thing. I have almost never seen games in the US half as free of impedimenta as the typical UK game I see on a blog (and not just big show/demo games—just regular British gamers sharing their pics, always seem—anecdotally at least—to have less stuff around the table other than the occasional ruler or D6).

    This is anecdotal, mind you.

     

    #77000
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I also try to strive for the “perfect table” – as few “stuff” as possible on the table.

    But even when using markers, dice, etc, you still have the option of making them contribute to the overall visuals rather than distract from them:

    • use markers, counters that fit the visuals in shape, color, … That doesn’t always imply using wounded figures or rocks or twigs, but simply use colours that match the theme.
    • Same for dice. Instead os using a rag-tag collection, use dice all of the same color. Color can also be army-dependent, e.g. the French always use blue dice, the Austrians white, etc.
    • Rulers: make some old-school measuring sticks, or use a compass 😉 It makes the table and the experience much more stylish.
    • Use a real dice tray, not the lid from a shoe-box. You can also be creative and e.g. put a copy of the Quick Reference Sheet on the inside of the dice tray. Dice-tray and QRS blended into one.
    • Etc…

    I draw the limit at drinks and snacks. These belong off-table, not on-table.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Phil Dutré.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #77010
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Now you see, you have made a judgement about what EVERYONE wants from a game, from what YOU want from a game.

    <snip>

    Wargaming’s a broad church.

    On the contrary, I’m putting forward my own personal view. I’m not saying you can’t have your nice, neat game just that I’d baulk at playing in it.

    Frankly, the idea that there is “somewhere else” to put drinks and snacks seems to me a bizarre one. Pretty much everywhere I’ve ever played the options were “on the table” or “on the floor” and I’d sooner have things on the table thank you! 🙂

    I’ll stick with my conviction that markers need to be visible but agree that the use of themed markers adds to both aesthetics and accessibility.

    I like my games relaxed, friendly and fun. In my experience, clutter is part of the price you pay for that.

    Do people actually use dice boxes? Never ever used them, or seen them used, that I recall.

    Gaming is indeed a broad church and I wouldn’t have it any other way … so let’s hear it for the Sacred Order of the Perpetually Untidy 😀

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #77011
    Mike
    Keymaster

    When people say table, do they mean the actual playing surface or a table such as a dining table that the gaming surface is placed upon?

    #77012
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Frankly, the idea that there is “somewhere else” to put drinks and snacks seems to me a bizarre one.

    Either use a small side-table (but I agree this is not always practical or available), or use some space at the side of the table. We often do that, a width of 1 foot is more than sufficient to put all sorts of stuff. Granted, it takes away some gaming space, but that gaming space is wasted anyway when you insist on using the full table area, and then place all sorts of clutter on that same area.

    See photograph below from a recent Rommel game (there’s also a low coffee-table between the chairs in the back, invisible).

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Phil Dutré.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Phil Dutré.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Phil Dutré.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #77018
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Clutter can be moved if the action shifts to where it is whereas a piece of table deliberately devoid of terrain is dead space.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #77026
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    I use small D6 to mark hits, suppression etc in all of my games, as I can easily see what’s going on. This works perfectly well for my chums and I. We feel no need for casualty markers etc. Rules books etc are kept on chairs or small tables as we have limited space to game on. Die are often kept on the table for ease of access. When taking ‘photos etc they are removed. Food and drink a complete no-no in our book.

    #77052

    I always prefer a ‘clean’ table. I’m just not capable of achieving one. Mostly just due to space constraints and getting so involved in the game that managing the impedimenta becomes a secondary consideration.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #77161
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    It doesn’t bother me, though I do prefer having a part of the table clear of such stuff.

    If your table is 3×5 feet (not uncommon it seems) then play a 3×4 feet battle and use the edge to stash beer cans, dice, rulebooks and ipads.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #77163
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    If I am just horsing around with my buds, then we have no problem with flashy markers for some things like casualty markers and pinning (acrylic chickens or red crosses, etc) that allow us to easily see what is going on.  This even applies to campaign games, sometimes the action is moving so fast (usually due to limited play time, as well as alcohol lubrication) that we need to be able to SEE at a quick glance the state of things.

     

    If I am running a convention game or something more serious, then I do prefer my table to be uncluttered and markers to be things that blend in rather than act as gaudy stand-outs.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #77171
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    It’s worth noting you can make visually appealing markers too 🙂

    Cotton puff “explosions”, casualty figures and so forth.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #77175
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Actually as a far as I am concerned the complete inability to see what the state of everything is at a glance is a positive bonus!

    Markers show far too much information to both sides’ commanders – no-one should know that just one more casualty will rout a unit.

    The more confusion the better.

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