8 Things to Consider When Buying your First Pool Table

Are you are looking at getting your first pool table? Here are a few considerations for prospective buyers of pool tables.

  1. Table Size. Standard pool table sizes are 7’, 8’ and 9’. Many enthusiasts however prefer the 9’ table, since smaller units are prone to create intermittent clustered balls. With the 9’ table, players will only be dealing with difficult shot making that can be resolved as pool skills develop thereafter.
  2. Rec Room Size. Players need enough space around the table to carry out their stance and strike the ball squarely. As a rule of thumb, room size should cover the length and width of the table plus the 2 times the length of the 58 inch cue stick – covering both directions.
  3. Cost. Getting a brand new unit can be a big financial consideration considering that pool table prices range from $3,000 and up. Moreover, building that additional floor space just to accommodate the table could be another cost parameter.
  4. Table Condition. The issue of cost brings us to a host of options. Should you buy brand new, refurbished or used?  Used pool tables would retail from between $500 to $1,000. There are also discount pool tables available online. Depending on the budget, buyers have a choice of going brand new or second hand, as well as getting recreation style or upper level slate tables.
  5. Table Construction. Cheap and mass-produced pool tables are outfitted with wooden beds under the felt. What is preferred is a one-piece slate underlay made of a 3-piece construction. Said materials must be laid out precisely by a competent installer so that the fine seams sandwiched between sections will not end up as bumps under the felt and affect play.
  6. Table Color. Most tables come in blues and greens but red is frequently preferred. Felt is manufactured in varying colors, so the choice is really boundless. But as a precaution, select a color that is not distracting and do not emphasize accumulated chalk, liquid or grease stains.
  7. Leveling or Re-leveling. This is requested frequently, particularly for newly installed pool tables. Remember that a pool table can weigh over a ton, so it will settle into the flooring eventually. Nonetheless, the proper use of a correct caliper and some playing cards serving as shims underneath the table leg, could resolve the issue.
  8. Table maintenance. Pool tables come constructed with felt over the playing surface which could deteriorate over time, even when not played on. Always be on the lookout for references, particularly from satisfied customers before placing an order. The seller must ensure clients that reliable after sales services are readily available.

Playing Pool

Field of Glory Miniatures Game Event

My good Friend Bruce Hanson will be co-hosting a game of Field of Glory with me, and a fellow by the name of Hans, whom I have just started getting to know, will be providing his 25mm figures and terrain.  I belong to a local game group called Red River Area Wargamers (RRAW for short) here in Fargo, North Dakota.

On Saturday September 18th, at our local game day, the Principate Romans will take on the Early Germans in a 600 point starter army battle.

Field of Glory Legions Triumphant Book

Field of Glory Legions Triumphant Book

Early this year, late winter or early spring, a friend of mine name Ron, asked me if Id will be willing to read some rules he had that he wanted to try, of which of course I said “sure”.  Anyway, I was very confident in the fact that I would help Ron try out his new Field of Glory game, but there was no way I would switch from my current game DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis).  Well after reading it at bedtime over the course of the next couple of nights, I soon found I was intrigued by the combat system and the fun Battlegroups you would field on the table.  Anyway, before I spin off into a game review all I can say is, Bruce and I played a couple of games to learn the system and we are hooked.

On thing Id like to do in the very near future is write a review on the Field of Glory rule-set.  For years I played only DBA  or mostly BBDBA (Big Battle DBA) which is just DBA using 36 stands instead of the standard 12 for your army.   Both rules sets have their pros and cons and Ill get into that at another time.

Here are a couple of pictures from two games Bruce and I played over the spring and early summer.

Field of Glory Numidians & Romans Clash

Numidian Elephants & Late Republican Romans

This is the center of the board on a battle we had with Late Republican Romans vs Numidians using the Rise of Rome army book.  You can see on the far right, that some Numidian light horse that has allied with the Romans is getting out of the way while the Roman Legions get ready to take an elephant charge.  As the Roman player I can tell you that my legions did not come out of that one very well, at least 2 of them.  Eventually I was able to route the Numidian army, but it was hard fought.

Field of Glory Late Republican Romans vs Numidians

Field of Glory Late Republican Romans vs Numidians

Here was a later game, and much larger view of the whole battle field.  The Romans are on the left, and the Numidians are on the right and both armies are just about ready to clash.  It was another great Field of Glory battle, but the Romans did not do well on this one.  The Numidian elephants again, did their damage and the Roman line eventually broke up in an uncoordinated attack and was crushed piecemeal but the lighter and more mobile Numidian forces.

Well till next time, and if you have any comments or want to contact me for any reason, please do.

Top 3 Considerations when Buying Your First Chess Board

Glass Chessmen

Glass Chessmen

Buying that first chess board or chess set may appear overwhelming considering that the choice of a chessboard would depend on different factors. These may include the size of the chessboard or the make of the chess pieces. It could also be a choice between utility and artistry. Here are a few tips to help you in the initial purchase of a chess set.

Match the chess set to your purpose. Boxed sets that come bundled with polymer pieces will work well with beginner chess players. Meanwhile, enthusiasts who only play chess for recreation would likely be content with a discounted or travel chess board. Investing in a tournament chess set follows once the beginner steps up to intermediate and expert level. However if the intent is for decorative purposes as well, then you need to shop for chess pieces and a board that meets your fancy.

Determine the function of chess pieces. Chess pieces can be purchased separately from the chess board. Try to look into varied designs and choose one that appeals most to your senses and budget. Molded plastic pieces are usually cheaper while pieces handcrafted from marble, granite, glass and hard wood are usually pricey. If you want to make a statement, then go for handcrafted pieces. If you’re after the game itself, it would be wise to get the more practical type of pieces.

Now if you intend to use the pieces for a tournament chess game later on then make sure that base dimensions conform to tournament guidelines. Consider also the availability of a replacement, particularly when buying custom pieces.

Get a matching chess board to go with your pieces. The beginner chess player should know that the size of the chess board is dependent on the diameter of the king’s base. After all, said piece has the widest base diameter. Official chess tournament rules mandate the base diameter of the king to be not more than 78% the diameter of the square. To simplify the rigid guideline, just make sure not to get a chess board with squares that are similar in dimension to the base of the king. Instead, secure one with squares that allocates ample space around the base of the king.

In terms of aesthetics, the shade of the board is a good purchase starting point. Remember to select a board that is not glossy since its luster can strain the eyes. A single chess game could last from several minutes to a few hours and staring on the board for that length in time would not be healthy to the eyes. Glare influences the player’s mood; spoiling concentration and affecting the outcome of the game.

Remember that the selection of a chess set is really a personal choice. But whatever your considerations or priorities may be in the purchase of your first chess board, consider the tips outlined in this article as your choice could spell the difference between the comfortable and enthusiastic play of a chess game, and perhaps the lack of it.