Compounded is chemistry-themed game that uses a gorgeous mix of cards, boards, and game pieces. Moving around the plastic element pieces, the wooden tracking discs, and the compound cards feels great, except when the cards become hard to pick up off of a smooth surface, or you accidentally knock the elements off the table, or you bump your tracking discs trying to reach across your board.
Any time there are a lot of moving cards in a game, it feels so much better to use a softer surface like the Microfibre Velveteen used in Rathskellers Gaming Tables. Compounded and other such games where you have to lay out large arrays of cards are more fun when you’re not worrying about how hard it is to pick up each card. Meanwhile, the inset game cellar area means that you’ll never have to worry about knocking pieces onto the floor. And any game where you have your own personal board is made much more comfortable when you can get those boards out of the way of the main play area. With a Rathskellers card and counter tray you have a convenient place for everything – your board, your unused pieces, and even your completed compound cards, which you can line up nicely in the card grooves at the back of the tray.
Catan is a classic game with multiple expansions and excellent replayability. A large part of this replayability comes from the modularity of the board – tiles that can be rearranged in countless configurations to demand new strategies each time you play. But with a board that is built out of individual tiles and pieces that are placed on the edges and intersections of those tiles, Catan is prone to a certain amount of bumping and shuffling. How many times have you been placing a road and accidentally slid the tiles apart, with the road then falling into the gap?
The answer to this problem is the clear acrylic game cellar insert that comes with every Rathskellers table. Simply build your board as normal on the bottom of your game cellar, then lay down the acrylic sheet on top of the tiles. They will be held in place, protected and unaffected by whatever happens during the game. Pieces sit nicely on the flat sheet and can easily be placed and moved without disturbing the board. If you are worried about disturbing the pieces themselves, you’ll also want to use the rat trap dice tower, a great way to avoid knocking over the bandit or your own cities when you roll. And of course your personal tray – attached securely anywhere you want using our aluminum railing system – is the perfect place for your cards and unused pieces.
Honestly, once you’ve tried playing a board game with the acrylic sheet, you’ll want to use it for all of them. It keeps any board flat and secure for the entire game. It also protects it from damage or spills (although you’ll definitely want to add cup or wine glass holders as well), which means your games will stay in good condition for much longer!
In our experience, there is never enough room for miniatures. When you collect armies, you fill whatever space is available and keep looking for more. But think how great it would be if you could keep your miniatures handy right at your gaming table with convenient and spacious drawers! If you play any variety of Warhammer, whether it’s 40,000 or Age of Sigmar, you’ll enjoy having your armies and terrain safe but readily available.
The play experience for miniatures wargaming is definitely enhanced by a gaming table. While we understand that not even the deepest game cellar is going to be enough to hide your Tau Stormsurge, at least it will stand securely on the Simonis felt surface. Using the felt surface also avoids any potential issues of scratching up your table with unit bases. And with separate trays and cupholders, you’ll never accidentally knock over a unit with your army list or argue whether that beer bottle should be considered blocking terrain.
Eric Simon – our friend and associate from the United States – spends a lot of time demoing his roleplaying game Steamscapes, a historical steampunk setting for Savage Worlds, and like many Savage Worlds settings it features fast, heroic action. This means sometimes getting out the maps and miniatures. With a Rathskellers table, the best way to set up for this is to lay down a movement grid and then put the clear acrylic sheet on top of that. Each scene can be quickly hand-drawn with dry erase markers right on the acrylic sheet, then easily cleaned for the next scene.
Unfortunately, not every roleplaying game or character has the perfect miniatures or vehicles published for it. Eric’s solution is simple: Lego! Whenever he runs Steamscapes, all of the characters and vehicles – and even some of the terrain – are modeled in Lego. Of course, that means having each of those items pre-built. Once again, the large drawers available for Rathskellers tables are perfect for storing these items so that they are ready to go when needed.