Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Game Room

I have been gaming for 42 years now, and as an adult I have had just two times in my life that I had a room dedicated to gaming.  Both of those times the room only lived a year or so...divorce and changing situations put early ends to both.  Now, after all these years, my life has finally settled down and I have been blessed with a life partner/wife who is happy for me to have a room to call my own, the calm to have time to build it, and the house with room to grow to provide it.  I bought this little rancher almost four years ago, when only the ground floor was livable, but I knew the once-finished basement could be reclaimed and made fresh and livable again.  This summer, it finally began...the birth of my game room!

For the first few years, it was a storage room.  I moved stuff in and shoved it on shelves in a hurry, and being a single dad of three little girls I rarely had time to dig around much.  Once Linda and I started clearing the room out I came across a real treasure...a box with several units of 15mm Macedonian cavalry that I had primed and mounted to paint, then moved and forgot. 
Hmm...check this out.  A paint tray/soda carton with...wait, what's this?

Macedonian cavalry??  So THAT'S where they went!
Once we got the storage stuff cleared out of the room, I realized that we were going to need to re-build the old, steep stairs down into the basement and make them more conducive to middle-aged knees and safe for my little girls.  So we ripped out the old stairs, stared at the new pieces of wood for a couple of hours until the angles clicked, then cut and nailed the new stringers and treads into place.

Meanwhile, back in the room crammed full of stuff, I started sorting through my mountains of miniatures and piles of princesses with help from Chef Rose (not sure what she was going to cook on, but she was dressed for the part!)
Look, another find of something that I thought was long gone...perfect décor for my man-cave!
Sadly, we kind of got well into the remodeling before we remembered to take pictures.  Once we got the junk out of the room, we pulled down the old crappy acoustic ceiling tiles, replaced the basement window, cleaned the heck out of the fireplace stone, put several coats of Kilz and finish paint on the pine wallboards, and cut a doorway into the closet wall to open the room up into the large storage closet. 

Then we started on the floor...
I had never done laminate floor, but thank goodness my dear cousin Paula flew out from Missouri and really worked her butt off helping me get this room going.  She got us going on the laminate and now I think I can finish the rest of the basement on my own with Linda's help.  Here's the same view (roughly) after the flooring is down.

Linda is very keen on finding new ideas on Pinterest.  She has come up with quite a few ways to use wooden pallets, which I can get free at work; I've used them in her garden, and have some ready to convert to shoe racks, storage shelves, etc.  Well, she found a cool picture of using the pallet wood on the wall as ship lap, so we thought we'd try it.  My buddy and co-worker Mike K very kindly shared some pallets that have 1"x6"x7' boards, and I soon had enough to do one wall for a really neat contrast.
Once again, Daddy gets help from little hands!  Rose is turning up everytime I need little helper!

I won't bore you with more step by step...and again, I kind of forgot to take many pics!  So here are a few shots of the finished room.  I tucked my old component stereo into the fireplace (inspector told me the flue is cracked and shouldn't be used), put in a couple of easy chairs and a bookcase of military history books and gaming books and I've got a comfy little hideaway to read or just stare at pictures.
For now, the bulk of my minis are stashed under the table.  I plan to get a nice bit of cloth to drape around the edges of the table to hide the stuff underneath.  A mixture of barstools obtained on Craigslist and I've got seating adequate for once a week visits from the gaming group.  Down the road I'll be building a bookcase on the far wall where the back of a bar chair can be seen; there will be a horizontal case along that wall running to the right, with a bench for seating and storage underneath.
Looking the other direction from the above photo, here's a good shot of the pallet wall and how I decorated it.  I have my painting table to the left of the door, and inside the closet are plastic storage shelves of minis, terrain, and other gaming flotsam.
In addition to being my gaming room, and my little getaway and stress reliever, the room also gives me a place to decorate with the things that are special to Napoleon print, a miniature reproduction Imperial Guard flag, and a very special sombrero given to me by my sweetheart oldest daughter Ali Eubanks! 

My sincere thanks to my awesome cousin Paula for helping so much with getting this room started, and especially to my wonderful wife Linda for caring enough to let me do this.


  1. Wow, Rob, it's a palace! I'm green with envy but you've well and truely earned this gaming room, my friend. I look forward to seeing it in action!! Great work from all the fantastic ladies (with a special mention for Rose!) - congratulations, inspiring effort!

  2. Looks incredible, Rob! Love it! We're both fortunate to have places where our miniatures can live comfortably (and understanding spouses) :)

    We had a similar issue in my gaming area with the flu/fireplace - you might want to consider a nice wood burning stove (alot cheaper than fixing the flu - they'll install an insulated tube that runs right up to your chimney). That's what I use for winter-basement gaming and it adds a nice atmosphere to horse and musket gaming!

    I want to paint our wood panel walls in our basement in the worst way! I am going to show my wife your blog - maybe I can get her on board!!

    Lovely work. -Steve

    1. Hi, Steve! Glad you have a place of your own, too! Thanks for the tip on the stove; I assumed it had to use the existing flue, but that would be awesome to have a nice stove down there. Thank you!

      The walls are tongue-and-groove pine, so while I didn't want to tear them out the dark stain was just so...well, dark! Perhaps she'll agree to the painting, plus it beats putting up all new wall cover! Best wishes, my friend!

  3. I forgot to credit my buddy Alan in Australia for the pallet wall; he refers to his gaming area as his bunker, and I thought how cool it would be to give my room a bunker look...hence the raw wood! Thanks, mate!

  4. Ha ha, thanks, Rob. Great bunker! Mine looks more of a coal bunker at the moment! This summer may see some progress.