Understanding an evolving species.
The TABLE TOP is the upper most surface of a Geek Chic table. It is in the same place as the top of a traditional table. This may seem obvious, however it is good to give context to what is normally there so that it may be compared to what is different. We also refer to the TABLE TOP size when fitting a table into a room as it also indicates the full exterior dimensions of the chosen table.
Your table comes with legs. The legs probably look to you like standard, traditional table legs. Unlike many traditional tables, all Geek Chic tables’ legs are removable. This allows you to be able to move your table with minimal problems for standard, traditional sizes. We will double check with you that we can get your table to your desired location if it is 6' in length or longer.
ANATOMY OF THE GAME VAULT
Every table comes with these basic layers.
Every Geek Chic table is actually 2 tables in one. The Game Vault is the secondary dropped play area beneath your table's top that makes all Geek Chic tables so awesome. The Game Vault is the whole space under the hardwood leaves or fabric lid also called the game keeper layer.
The rabbet is the small 3/8" shelf that the game keepers rest on. It is a good idea to wax your rabbet on a regular basis. (See more in care and feeding.)
Somewhere along the rabbet of your table you will see the top of a brass rod. This brass rod is where, if you feel below the table, you will feel a button. Push the button up and the rod will pop up. When a game keeper is in place on your table’s top, pushing up on this ejector rod will pop up your game keeper, allowing you to grab hold of and remove it. This is important as it allows safe access to the game vault, as opposed to jimmying your table open with a butter knife, which as it turns out, isn't as safe as you'd think.
The vault depth is the open space that resides between the underside of any game keeper and the vault floor. Every table offers at least 2 ¼" of this protected space in which to lay out your games-- neatly accommodating minis, boards, cards, auxiliary terrain, and Print Library items like maps and grid/hex overlays. Though 5 different depths are available, they are not available on every table. Don't worry; your Valet will help you with this.
GAME VAULT SIZE
The game vault size is often referred to when your Valet is helping you size your table to your games. Between all of the different styles of tables, we offer 4 different game vault widths and 9 different game vault lengths. Though these different combinations are available, they are not available on every table. Again, don't worry, your Valet is here to help :) Also we will often refer to a table by their game vault size instead of their overall table top size because the games you play are more often dependent on getting the right game vault, not the right exterior or table top size.
The acrylic layer sits right on top of the vault floor. It is a clear piece of 1/8" thick acrylic (Plexiglas is a common brand name) that can be lifted with a suction cup (included). You place your board game, map, grid, hex, etc. underneath it and you have effectively created a wet/dry erase surface. Not only does it keep them safe, flat, and spill-resistant, but it also serves as a whiteboard! Make notes, create a dungeon, mark initiatives, keep score, doodle monsters, or draw radii directly overtop your map or board. And use it to write down who went last-- because with the Game Vault, you don't have to break your game down, you can just cover an in-progress game until your group reconvenes.
Your table comes with a suction cup. The suction cup allows you to lift the acrylic layer on your table. Make sure you lift the acrylic layer from a corner of your table and not from the middle. If you lift from the middle, you will over tax your suction cup and it will break…and you probably won't have lifted your acrylic layer. Attach your suction cup at a corner, then wiggle from side to side a little to break the suction and then lift. Yes, every table comes with a suction cup, even yours.
The vault floor is the bottom-most layer on your table. It comes in standard white and may be upgraded to bamboo. White is best if you are going to overhead project onto your table, or if it would always be covered and you would never see it anyway. If you are going to see it, we tend to prefer the wood look of the bamboo and *bonus* it is refinishable.
A game keeper covers the game vault to provide you with a table top surface. Hardwood leaves are game keepers, and so are fabric lids.
Hardwood leaves are wooden panels that fit together to form what looks like a traditional tabletop. Traditional hardwood leaves are used in an expanding table to fill in the center and create a longer tabletop to accommodate extra guests. On our tables, we chose to build up instead of out: they cover the game vault and provide a dining surface while your game remains safe below. Our leaves are 10'' wide, tongue-and-groove, and feature built-in spring tensioners that ensure the right fit while compensating for the natural expansion and contraction of hardwood through the seasons.
If you leave one leaf in and you want to use one as a desk, things can get underneath them. A leaf guard is an accessory that supports the leaf and prevents any wayward game pieces from going underneath the leaf.
Leaf Desks work with leaf guards to make a ring of desks around your table. For those who play both very large and very small games, this system helps accommodate both.
GAME VAULT ACCESSORIES
Every table can add these on
An inset is an accessory that fits inside the game vault and rests on the acrylic layer or vault floor. Fabric insets come in three different types of fabric in a variety of colors and have fabric tabs built in so that you can remove them from the game vault.
A lid is a game keeper accessory that sits on the rabbet. If you have a game being paused in your game vault (say an ongoing RPG), and you would like to play a card or board game on your table, anything with lots of small pieces, then a fabric lid is a good option.
FABRIC LIDS OR INSETS
They come in one piece, have a lightweight foam core, have fabric on one side and a craft surface on the other side. We don't put hardwood on one side and fabric on the other. It is too heavy and you can't maneuver it. Seriously, heavy. There is a reason the hardwood leaves are only 10'' wide.
The fabric side is great for gaming. The fabric allows you to more easily pick up small bits and pieces and prevents too much sliding.
If you are going to do a project that would potentially damage the hardwood leaves of your table…like painting miniatures, using a glue gun, rotary blade, or sharpie…then the craft surface side is your "destroy me" projects side. It's good to have back up.
Fabric Lids vs. Insets
It depends how you want to use your table. This is not an either/or situation; you could have both.
The benefits of a fabric lid include having a removable, replaceable surface with a craft board back for projects. It covers your vault. You can easily play games on top and have a game going underneath.
An inset can be any of the fabrics we use for lids, plus the availability of the Lego inset. Playing inside the Game Vault means your tiny pieces and playing cards don't go skittering off the table (and right into the Sarlacc Pit! I wish you wouldn't keep that thing in the living room, Gary!) and lets you line things up along the edges. Puzzle enthusiasts may benefit greatly from the game vault's containment.
A ferrous inset has white board on one side and metal on the other. They also have two small ribbons on one side that you can use like a pull-tab to be able to remove. Ferrous insets are thinner than our normal insets because they are used in conjunction with Lego insets.
Legos are awesome. Your table is awesome. The two together are awesome to the power of 2.
You can turn a Geek Chic table into a Lego table with some terrain and our ferrous inset. Once the metal plate is in place, add magnetized Lego terrain in whatever configuration you desire. The great part is this isn't permanent and you can still remove all the Lego accessories and use it as a normal Geek Chic table. (Our version of normal anyway!)
We can fill the table with Lego baseplates when you order, or you can use your own and attach some magnets.
For fabric insets and lids.
Great for small pieces! Velvet makes it hard for them to slide around, yet makes it easy for you to pick them up. This fabric has a nap, and is a little softer than the velveteen. We offer five colors: Pecan, Aubergine, Taupe, Merlot, and Navy.
Did you know? "Velvet" isn't what a fabric is made of (like silk or cotton), it describes a particular texture of fabric. By definition, velvet is a woven tufted fabric with evenly distributed threads and a short dense pile. The fuzzy part is called the nap.
Stretched Velveteen has no nap (when you brush it up or down, it won't look lighter or darker). Cards slide across its surface more easily than the plush velvet. We offer six colors: Navy, Green, Burgundy, Royal Blue, and Black.
For all you dealt card players out there (poker, rummy, crazy eights…), speed cloth is a low-friction woven surface that allows cards to skip smoothly and quickly across the surface, like you'd find on a poker table. Playing dealt card games on an inset is more comfortable as it gives your arms a ledge to rest on, and saves the dealer from accidentally dealing cards onto the floor-- the sides of the Game Vault stop those kinds of shenanigans. We offer four colors: Burgundy, Green, Blue, and Purple.
GRID AND HEX OVERLAYS
These are clear acetate overlays with a grid or hex pattern on them, used over a map to denote scale and to standardize movement. Our standard sizes are 1”, 1.5”, 2”, 2.5”, or 3” – custom sizes are available.