Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My New Gaming Table - A Review of the Jasper from BoardGameTables.com

Hey everyone, I am in fact still alive.  I haven't been doing much writing here due to the real world taking up all of my time.  Specifically, my wife and I bought a new (to us) house and we've been neck deep in remodeling projects.

Well, most of that is done and I wanted to share something for the new house that I built last night.  The Jasper from BoardGameTables.com recent Kickstarter.  My wife and I have been wanting a convertible gaming table for our dining room for awhile.  I have a large 4' x 6' table I built for gaming in my basement, but most of our board games get played in the dining room.  Now that we have a pre-schooler we've been really wanting a space where we can leave a game like Gloomhaven setup but still have a useful dining space.

We had looked around online at various options, but wow can the custom tables be expensive.  But I knew that was going to be getting a bunch of overtime at work in the next year, so when I went to GenCon this Summer I went with then intention of shopping for a new table.

I could not have been happier to discover the Jasper.

The prototype Jasper from GenCon 2018

I had looked at getting a custom table from BoardGameTables.com, so I knew that I wanted to check out their booth at Gencon.  They were really excited to be showing off their Jasper prototype for the Kickstarter that would be starting shortly after the con was over.  It had the dimensions and features I pretty much would have chosen from a custom table, but for roughly a third of the cost I would have expected to pay.  I had a chance to talk with Chad and the other employees of BoardGameTables.com and came away impressed by their attention to detail.

There was just one hang up, the color.  My wife didn't like how it would look in our old dining room.  So, I left GenCon really intrigued by the Jasper, but I wasn't sure we would be pledging for one in the Kickstarter.  then we decided to get a new house and lucky me, the dark color would be perfect for the new place.  So, we jumped in on the Kickstarter and I got in as backer #116.

Heavy boxes of game-space goodness.
This then kicked off the Kickstarter waiting game.  My backer number was low enough that my table was scheduled to ship in December.  I got excited when my shipping label printed in December, the holidays meant that the boxes didn't ship til the 28th and arrive on January 7th. 

The table was really heavily packaged and definitely safe from incurring any damage along the way.  the boxes don't include any instructions, but that is intentional.  They have them posted online at buildjasper.com with the idea that they can modify them based on feedback as needed.

One of the first things I did after opening the boxes was checking the hardware pack.  Some other backers who have received their tables already had reported trouble figuring out which screws were which.  I had no trouble there, even getting an extra 20 or so of the small black screws.

Framing out the table
From there it was just a matter of following the directions.  As a comparison I found it easier than building your typical set of Ikea furniture.

Yep, I'm building a table.

The base of the table
As I was putting the table together I was really impressed with how solid the construction was.  Despite being a flat-packed, build-it-yourself item it really has solid construction.  I would expect this table to be solid and sturdy for a long time.

The table base completed.

My son at this point thought it was hilarious that I had built the table upside down.  I added some felt pads to the bottom of the legs.  The legs take a bit of work to bolt in, but are snug and solid once you get them there.

Right side up!
The table comes with a grey playmat.  Mine was a little too large after snugging it in to the groove, so I will likely have to give it a trim.  Chad from BoardgameTables has said they tried to err on the side of the mats being too large than too small.  Probably a good choice.

That looks like a good spot for a game.
We ended up getting some Ikea chairs ahead of time that I thought would match.  They look pretty good together I think.

Looks ready for dinner.
Overall the finish on the table is really nice.  They put on several coats of clear-coat that will help preserve the table and add to its quality feel.

Time to Terraform Mars
While I didn't have time for a game last night after building it I did want to at least set one up and see how it looks.  Overall there is plenty of space for a game like Terraforming Mars that needs lots of real estate.  You could play some X-Wing in there too, but the table isn't quite long enough for Armada or Legions.  Where a table like this will shine would be campaign games like Imperial Assault or Kingdom Death.  You can leave the game setup across multiple sessions while you keep using the table for meals, etc when you aren't playing.

I'll add some more thoughts after I've gotten a few games in with the table, but for now I couldn't be happier with it.


  1. Great article. Very informative. I'm a backer of the Jasper as well and I have a few questions:
    What color table did you get? (I think mine is the same)
    What IKEA chairs are those?

    1. 90% sure the chairs are the same ones I have, which are Ekedalen https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40341115/

    2. I have the dark walnut colored Jasper, it's the standard option. I used these Ikea chairs: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80268641/

    3. wow that really nice table.

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