Back in July of last year (2017), I started getting notifications of a gaming table on Kickstarter called the Table of Ultimate Gaming (ToUG). I was getting more interested in it as the days went by. I always wanted a gaming table, but they were super expensive upwards to $10,000. This one did not have all the bells and whistles as what I personally wanted in a table like a built-in touchscreen, but as far as a table went, this one had promise, specifically for the price. The launch day rolled around (August 24th, the day before my birthday), and my concern was I wouldn’t be one of the first backers, and it would sell out, or I would be lower on the totem pole for them to ship the table to me. I opted for the highest tier they offered and debated it for a few hours, but did watch as it launched. It was going to be $1000 for a table, and I already had one I loved, but it didn’t have all the frills that are useful when having a bunch of people over to game. By game, I mean role-playing, table-top, or just cards.
After a day and a half, I pulled the trigger and was backer number 393 (after the campaign ended, there were 1,457 total). This was supposed to be one of the fastest Kickstarters to get funded. They did it within the first day. I was pleased that I did it, and based on the posted delivery date, I expected to get the table in January of this year (2018). As time went by during the month of the campaign, they added stretch goals (none of them were things I wanted). No rewards were offered, just additional options. They had designs for a Cthulu deco pack I contemplated, but as the designs rolled out, they altered it, and it was not as appealing, so I opted for a black 3×5 table with a red mat and dragon deco pack. That was actually the exact design they were using for the ads that kept popping. I figure, if this worked out, I could buy other deco packs and swap them out or mats if it came to that.
The campaign ended, and then there was a bit of a quiet period while I waited impatiently for the pledge manager to become active to allow me to place the order with the details. This quiet period was exactly a month. I got my notice telling me how to use the pledge manager. And then the emails of all the issues with the pledge manager started popping. I waited on that one two, and they eventually got the kinks fixed. The emails they sent had a sort of urgency to make sure they knew my order was locked and all my options were selected. I added two more cup holders, as the one I ordered came with four already, as well as table toppers. The topper had one main flaw, it was not spill proof, so I ordered a mat to cover the top essentially making it a regular table. I also ordered something they called Big Pads. The table tops slide into the table and created desks for four of the seaters, but the Big Pads were personalized space for each person allowing them to keep their stuff organized and off the play area. I always had an issue with all the extra stuff that accumulated or not enough space for MY stuff when my friends played. With the small desks, we could have an area for snacks and the Big Pads could be for our game-related crap that always ends up in the way. So with the six Big Pads added and shipping, the table was now closer to $1500.
I noticed there was an issue with the shipping price because there was a set amount that was part of the initial pledge and that didn’t seem to calculate correctly in the pledge manager. I wrote the company and have yet to hear back about it. So this was in October 2017.
After that, there were lots of updates to things that were happening. The builds, the issues, the complications of shipping from China, and other such things that occurs with mass merchandise. Eventually, some people started getting their tables, and there were issues. They adjusted the way they were shipping them and changed production. I was still wondering what was going to happen with the issues of order that actually stressed me in the beginning. As time went by, location, the color of the table, and size seemed to be the determining factor.
There was a period where I just forgot about the table and didn’t think about it, but then the emails started flowing again. The company, WoodRobot, sent emails saying they had other specialized tables available. They then enhanced the items they had on the Kickstarter for a few dollars more. They said they were at different conventions showing the table and all the great reviews they were getting. At the same time, people were complaining on the comments section of Kickstarter asking where their tables were. Some people were not going to be available to pick up their tables because they would move or be on vacation and this was cutting into their plans. Some people were planning on redecorating, and this was also a deterrent. One person got rid of their kitchen table, prematurely, because they didn’t have room for both tables and they didn’t want to build the table unless they had all the parts. They received the table, but not the top.
I knew they ran the same starter on Indigogo and had some people on there that also pledged for the table, but they were supposed to get them after the people on Kickstarter, that was the reason to pledge to Kickstarter verses Indigogo, to get it first. After months of waiting, June rolled around, and I decided to mention the fact that Indigogo backers received tables on the comments and then things started to flow. There were mentions of the tables sitting in the warehouse. On July 1st, 2018, WoodRobot asked for shipping confirmations and then more silence. No mention of shipping details as was stated in email and updates on the site. At one point, I wrote asking for an update and questioned the shipping again and still do not have a reply to that, as of today.
Someone on the board mentioned to sign up with the shipper to get notifications. Because some of the tables were delivered, they said who the shipper was. I received my information, from the shipper, earlier last week stating a package was on the way. Three actually. Yesterday morning, I received the notice that they were going to deliver between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. I wanted to make sure I was around, but I also didn’t want it delivered to my garage door because the table came in three parts ranging from 60-78lbs each. Around 11 a.m. I headed to the garage door to put a sign out to deliver to my front door, and the delivery driver was leaving, having already placed the three boxes inside my outer door at the front of my house. I worked around Lily as she got in the way, but was able to get all of the boxes inside.
Once they were in, I found an old comforter to place the parts on and build the table. As I have tile floors, I wasn’t keen on the idea of ruining the paint job of the table parts before I had it constructed.
Starting in the logical order, I pulled box one out and opened to see what needed constructon first.
After glancing through the directions, I started opening the parts that I needed per step. I should have unwrapped the parts and got the box out of the way. As I progressed, I started taking all the pieces out and arranged by the letters, which what I should have done in the beginning. I also had an issue with one of the bolts getting stripped when trying to screw it together. Luckily, there were extras of all the mechanical parts. There were even extra tools.
Once I got to a certain point of having the base done, I needed a part that was not in the box I was working on, but the directions did not mention to go to the other box to build the legs.
So I put the legs together
and found the part that was missing (Part L) from the first box in box three. That was a pretty smart idea; I wish they labeled it better because I was concerned when I finally found it and there was only one. I will say that the instructions had a list of parts and which boxes they were located in. It just seemed odd to have to go to box three for the next part, and the directions never listed there was a point to go to another box. The missing piece was a lift to allow the legs to be elevated and screwed in easier. When it was complete with legs it looked like this:
Note Lily was as close as possible in the back because she was “helping,” being a working dog and all.
So I went back into the box with the legs and put the base of the top in place. You might be wondering what all the slots are for. As mentioned earlier, the topper becomes desks, so these were the paths for the storage of the top or desks, depending on how far they are pulled out. Once the top is on, you can’t even tell it is there:
I then went back to the second box for the rest of the parts. This numbering system seemed a bit confusing.
One of the things in box two was another box and the next step.
Opened to find my red mat rolled up nicely.
Unfortunately, due to either the travel and/or Florida heat, the masking tape used to keep it rolled, left a sticky mark in several places:
I unrolled it, and it seemed fine, as long as I’m not swapping it out. I did have intent to do that because they also sell casino based mats that I’m interested in. They are not currently listed on the site, but I received notice either by email or on Facebook. This would make a pretty decent craps or poker table. It still can be if they do not make those mats.
So the rest of box two was the rails mainly built. I got to the point where I was going to attach them and realized it was a two-person job. I contacted a friend, who said he would assist me and when he came over, we connected the rails to allow for a deep, versus shallow, play area. Once he left, I realized some more parts needed to be installed, but I was able to do the rest and here’s the finished table:
I installed the plates that are holders for the deco that I do not have yet. The cord is to plug in the outlet that is grounded and also has two USB 2A (5W) outlets. That exists on both sides of the table. There is a rest to keep the top elevated without it warping:
I plan on adding voice/music controlled lights (they are on the rail on the right in the picture above, so I already have them, just need to add. Next to them is the Bluetooth speaker, I am going to mount somewhere. Not sure if putting it under will make it that much harder to hear. I’ll test, but looking at the part without the game surface above, it seems like there are a few areas for it.
Overall, it is a really nice table. There are a lot of creative ideas that actually came to fruition. I’m not keen on the fact that the padding for the mat has tape glue on it. I am also not keen on the fact that the padding for the topper is already peeling off. It is basically the non-loop side of velcro so it easy to replace, but I shouldn’t have to.
Other critiques are that I still want to know what the rest of it looks like. Personally, I have to rearrange part of my house to have a table this large in it. I’m OK with that because I measured before I pulled the trigger. It will work. I am glad I got the size I did. Anything larger would be an issue. The smaller one as a coffee table really intrigues me, but I love my coffee table, and in my current house, there’s only room for one.
Last points of note. If they can deliver the tables in a reasonable time moving forward, WoodRobot has a winner on their hand. I was not keen on the lack of communication as to where the product was, and I was not alone in that. I only got vocal towards the end. We will see if everything shows in September as expected. I also am not keen on the specific lack of communication with ME. Others reported the company communicator was really good at getting back to them, but again, I have yet to hear from them from my two requests for info. I even put a comment on one of their Facebook posts, and that was never commented on. I hope for the sake of everyone else that it was just me. So would I recommend this? Until I have all the parts and people sitting at the table, I can’t say, but I am extremely hopeful. I will follow up on this with a report when everything is in. Now I need to get matching chairs, and the ones they offer are not worth the price they are asking.
Tables can be purchased from their website here: https://ultimategametable.com/