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How to play board games on tight spaces

We all know the struggle of a small table and cracking open an expansive board game. It can be a pain for many when you’re playing games and you can’t fully experience them. All because your table is too small and can’t hold the board and all of the pieces properly.

Fortunately there are some ways around this. And with the right amount of creativity, you can manage playing large board games on any table when you use these strategies.

Creating Stacks

Even before überStax, people were thinking of creative and innovative ways to stack and hold pieces. Some people used business card holders, while others went ahead and created their own form of stacks.

überStax is definitely one option, but know that making your own stacks is also pretty easy too. These stacks work because they take up less ground space and focus more on the height, allowing you to stack pieces and cards up effortlessly.

Build a larger Game Table

One of the most common solutions we find in the board game community has been this piece of advice: If your table is small, why not get a new one? Or buy a larger one? We know each person’s circumstances are different but for those with the space can consider this a fun side project.

Other alternatives can be:

  • Finding a smaller table and setting them next to each other
  • Customizing your current table to be more board game friendly

Being more space efficient

Of course using stacks is being efficient with your space, but there are other ways to be efficient with the space that you use. For example, if the game you’re playing has cards, instead of having a discard pile, place the cards players discard at the bottom of the deck face up. Even if the discard pile is crucial to the game, people can easily sift through what’s been discarded.

Some other suggestions are:

  • Using dice trays to hold your dice but also for rolling. This saves space as people can lift the try up and roll it. It also saves the dice from knocking over other pieces.
  • Setting cards, pieces, or other items on another table. Assign a few players to looking over the items so people aren’t cheating and distribute everything fairly.

Consider solo games

One other solution to playing board games is to look for board games built for solo players. As depressing as it sounds, we think it’d be more depressing to be surrounded by multiplayer board games and be unable to play them.

The upside to this is there are certainly some solo games out there. Not to mention since they’re built for one, the boards are going to be generally smaller and with fewer pieces and cards.

What’s also surprising is that many Eurogames retain solo exercises, despite the fact that some of them can be played as co-op games. Our advice is to look at some of your board games or card games and consider if you can play them solo or not.

Some other games that are fantastic for solo gamers are:

  • Friday
  • Mage Knight
  • Imperial Settlers
  • Scythe
  • Gloomhaven

Invest in foldable tables

One final alternative we’ll suggest is if you can’t get a custom made table, then look to foldable tables. The same applies to tables that can be expanded as need be. These save space, but naturally they provide a lot of utility for those in tight spaces or lack money to take on larger projects.

Folding tables can be tacked on to other tables or set aside as helpful spaces for some of the other suggestions made above.

Tight spaces are a chance to be creative

Tight spaces are restrictive, but it’s in these cases where some of the most ingenious ideas stem from. It’s one of the reasons we created überStax and überTrays as they are a creative way to enhance players game play and imagination for piece storage and play.

What other ideas have you come up with in tight places?