It was a little over a year ago when my wife and I decided we were going to purchase our first tabletop gaming table. With a market full of options, there were a number of things to consider. Ultimately, we purchased the Jasper Gaming Table from BoardGameTables.com. With over a year of use I feel it’s a good time to give it a review
Why the Jasper?
In the end, the biggest factor that ended up leading us to the Jasper over other tables was the cost. Sure, we could have tried to build our own to save money, but without the proper tools that looked like a challenging endeavor. Rather, we were committed to buying a table that would last a long time, look nice, and serve as a signature piece in our tabletop gaming room.
This is where the Jasper stood out. Not only is it actually made of Malaysian Oak and not particle board, mdf, plywood, or other materials. That stood out to us against the other tables at this price point. It’s very hard to find a table made of actual wood in the sub $1000 price range.
The Play Area
The Jasper Gaming Table features a 3×5 foot playing area. For board gaming this is a perfect size. We haven’t found a game that doesn’t fit within the recessed playing area. Take Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun from Board and Dice, this game is a definite table hog with larger player mats, a massive game board, and cards and components everywhere. The playing surface is perfect on the Jasper to contain this game easily.
Another big plus for the Jasper is the gaming surface. Instead of felt or mouse pad material for the mat, they have went with a polyester felt surface instead. This gives the surface a bit of spring to it making it generally easier to pick up cards and components. If you ever have to replace it that is also easy. It’s just tucked under the three inch arm rests. Pull it out, clean it, or replace it as you need.
When I bought the table, I bought four of the cup holders and the table topper add ons. These did increase the price point of the table, but still well within our budget.
The cup holders are stainless steel and comfortably sit inside the wood holder. It slides into a groove on the under side of the arm rests. They slide very easily, but there is just a little movement to them. Don’t fill your cups too full, but for soda cans or beer bottles are held comfortably and keep them off the table.
The toppers are split into three pieces with a groove that lets them slide together pretty well. They use a bit of felt on the under side of the table to prevent damage to the arm rests. In addition, the two edge topper pieces have a rubber stopper on each of the outer corners. This keeps itself from sliding around on those edge sides of the toppers. However, there is nothing like that on the center piece. This means it slides back and forth pretty constantly while you are using the table.
A bonus with the toppers is that it does extend the surface. The toppers give you a 3 foot 6.6 inch x 5 foot 6.6 inch surface. We have found that this is great for playing many of our miniature games on. While it’s still too small for those traditional 4 foot by 6 foot games, it works great for Batman Miniature Game, Malifaux, and Star Wars: Armada.
The Dings and Dents
There are a few draw backs to this table. Some of those it took a year and a move to figure out. Up first is the fact that you have to assemble it yourself. For us, it was delivered via UPS in three pretty heavy boxes. We had to drag them in from the front step to where we were going to assemble the table. The table is pretty easy to build, though I recommend you use a proper couple of tools rather than those provided with the table.
Another thing to add is that while the finish is quite good on this table, the wood itself is soft. That means it’s easy to ding and scratch. Our table toppers have seen some significant damage after the move. Certainly not enough to not use them, but I would seriously consider not using this table as a kitchen table replacement.
My final ding against this table is that it lacks storage capabilities for the toppers and other shelves you might have added to it. Geode Gaming has a storage solution and a few other mods that you might consider adding to the table.
Is this the Right Table For You?
Only you can really answer that. What I find amazing about this table is that I can actually own a gaming table at an affordable price. Sure, it’s still an expensive piece of furniture. The alternatives out there can run you into the thousands of US dollars. This table, with a few accessories will keep you under $1500 US dollars. That goes a long ways!
What you should consider is what you are trying get out of your tabletop gaming room. Once you have done that, take a look at a few options for gaming tables. From there, you will be able to find the right table for you. It just might be that table is the Jasper!