I am a big fan of the Geek Chic tables. They started my desire to turn my gaming experience from the mundane to the sublime – and to try to improve absolutely every aspect of it – from the components to the location of where I play. The gaming partners were already superb and little could be improved 🙂 In this article you will find a Geek Chic Table Review – specifically of their coffee table sized Hoplite model. This table is an integral part of my larger project – The Ultimate Game Room.
These tables are sturdy, elegant, extremely well built and true to their “heirloom” quality. I am sure someone in my family would like to inherit them (maybe after some re-finishing done every thirty years or so. I chose the Cherry finish, but be sure to check out their Maple and Walnut choices. It is just that my wife fell in love with the cherry look and how it darkens into a rich light red-like color over time. We chose the option with a drawer below the table to store some game components. The table is 2’x3′ and is perfect for standard sized old-school Milton Bradley kind of games (Monopoly anyone? – yes, I know I just asked for hatemail from a few modern eurogamers). It doubles up as our table in front of the TV.
The coffee-table size is perfect to play with the kids and teach them the kind of games we played when we were kids (such as Survive – a long lost friend). It is also perfect to play with adults if they do not have any back-pains (some of our friends prefer the sitting on a chair tables we have to the small sized ones).
The Game Surface
The main reason you purchase a Geek Chic table is because of their Game Vault and Gake Keeper system. The leaves open up to give space to multiple gaming surfaces (including the lids themselves). We got a fabric/velvet insert to serve as a soft and warm surface for traditional games as well as the wet erase write-on acrylic surface that can be used for annotations, diagrams, maps – or just to protect the game maps you are using (by sandwiching them between the acrylic and the white surface).
You probably want to get the fabric insert sooner or later. Although the Acrylic surface is great for write-on applications it is cold, scratches easily and the glare can be a distraction. The warm velvet-like insert will make traditional board games more enjoyable. I think they catched up to this and are selling more tables with inserts. For larger tables (like my Emissary and Vizier, ask them for a three part insert like the one I got from them). If you do not get an insert, consider an alternative gaming surface for regular board games: The size of this table makes it easy enough that if you had to build your own inserts for it, it could become an quick weekend project. I decided to outsource it to the experts (Geek Chic) due to shortage of time, but I may be creating my own insert for the Rift table I have.
Geek Chic Accessories
These guys do sell a variety of accessories that you may want to get when you purchase the table. They really add value to it for a fraction of the cost of the table. The cup-holders keep the drinks away from your prized games and table. The desk accessory I got is great for keeping the “bank”. And those counter holders server very well to keep your player pieces. I only have minor complaints (the quality of the cup-holder or the fact that the wine fork sits great on the coffee tables, but it is not that practical on the Vizier miniatures gaming table I got due to the size of the stems I use.
The design is great. They fit perfectly with the table and sit very securely (reducing risk of spills). Some of their accessories (like the desk) are locking to add even more safety. Most of their tables use the interchangeable rail system so that you can use the same accessories on future tables you buy (most, except the Emissary which is a pity as the Emissary has a very easy wife-convincing style that adorns any dining room).
The tables are quite expensive and should only be thought and bought as a luxury item. You do not try to figure out the value provided out of a diamond ring – you just go for one that you will enjoy for the pure fun and feeling of having and wearing it – maybe even for the memorable aspects of the event it may commemorate. The fact that they serve the double purpose of being beautifully well made furniture that is easy on the eyes helps quite a bit – a lot easier to convince the wife of the purchase. However, paying a few thousand dollars is no easy thing when you can get an alternative, very attractive non-custom hard wood table where you can put your games on for a lot less. The one pictured below costed me $400 at a local furniture store and can still host a board game on top. But then again, it is no Geek Chic at all.
You probably arrived this page looking for more pictures to convince yourself or your significant other that it is time to buy one of these tables. Or maybe you ordered a few months ago and the order is taking longer than you expected to be completed and delivered and you want to admire them (as it is usually the case with these guys). More pictures below as well as a hoplite brochure.