See how one fan built a most impressive game board.
I remember when Fantasy Flight Games announced they'd be releasing the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game. My social media feeds lit up brighter than a Christmas tree with excited fans talking about it. The tactical combat game was released in 2012 and has received praise from fans both for gameplay and for the detailed ships used in the game. I confess to purchasing an X-wing and the Millennium Falcon just because I wanted to put them on my shelf.
That's not the case with Ruark Dreher (producer of Star Wars fan film Hughes the Force and video podcast The Comlink). Oh, he buys every ship and expansion pack released by Fantasy Flight Games, but he does so in order to play. He's so enthusiastic about X-Wing Miniatures that he made a custom table just for the game. It's even lighted by color-changing LEDs! Dreher told me about how he crafted this beauty, and I'm tempted to try to build one of my own.
Making the table was almost a necessity. Dreher saw other fans of X-Wing Miniatures play on vinyl mats or use bigger Star Destroyers for flyovers. The problem was that he didn't have a surface big enough for his collection of game materials with enough seating for a group of friends to play. He wanted to create a table that had space for the game but also separate areas for the cards, tokens, and templates. And, he wanted the playing surface to be backlit. The solution was a 48" x 48" table with a 36" x 36" raised acrylic playing surface (36" x 36" is the regulation size for tournament games). The height of the table matches that of an overage coffee table.
We'll get to the incredible playing surface in a minute but take a minute to bask in the details. Dreher enhanced two sides of the table by adding Imperial and Rebel symbols in red and white and the X-Wing Miniatures logo. He put the classic yellow Star Wars logo on the other sides. The border is about six inches wide to accommodate everyone's gaming materials.
The playing surface is where it gets even more impressive. Most impressive, actually. The LEDs make it appear as though the ships are actually gliding through space, and I can only imagine how much it enhances gameplay. Dreher explains how it came together:
“The bottom surface is painted with a starfield background with partial depth holes spot drilled all over. I then added a string of color-changing LED lights to the inside of the frame, back-lighting the surface through the drilled holes. The frame for the raised acrylic surface is set inboard from its edge a bit, giving it an overhang. On the underside of that overhang I placed a second, independent string of LED lights that acts to light up the card surfaces. The LED kits have remote controls with various color and flash pattern options. We rotate the lighting throughout the course of a game, but it has now become tradition to turn it all red when a ship is destroyed and taken off the table, complete with everyone adding their own explosive sound effects!"
He broke in the table with a five-hour game and 300-point battle. To make the experience even more immersive, he played the Star Wars film scores by John Williams in the background. Even though Dreher is a member of the 501st Legion and allied with the Empire, he admits on that day, the Rebels claimed victory.
Raise your hand if you're planning to find out where Dreher lives and invite yourself over for a round of Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures on this gaming table! Kidding aside, have you built anything like this custom table? Share photos and links in the comments!
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with all things Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. You can follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek and keep up with all things geeky at her blog.