“The Sultan” Gaming Table
by Geek Chic
Prestige / Class
No sooner does Gamer Bling publicly post his hard-and-fast rule against reviewing anything that he is not given for free… than he breaks it. Because some things cannot be denied. And Gamer Bling’s avarice outright lust for The Sultan is a thirst that cannot be quenched, and when you see it, you will understand why. As in “why Gamer Bling lusts after it,” not “why you see it,” because seeing it involves the internets and this computer thing, both of which are mysterious and capricious, much like the fairer sex, speaking of which Gamer Bling will never truly understand why such a stellar example of said distaff half-species condescended not only to marry him, but ruin her svelte body producing Gamer Bling Expansion #1 and Gamer Bling Expansion #2.
Seriously, The Gamer Bling Official Companion Sultan is an awesome thing. If there are gaming tables in heaven—and Gamer Bling truly believes there are—then they’re made of solid gold and hover in place and have holy dice cups that always roll twenties, even on 3d6. In short, they look nothing like The Sultan. Rather, Plato would say that The Sultan is an imperfect image, a shadow cast upon the wall that is at best a poor reflection of the ideal gaming table. But you have to be trained in classical philosophy to read that as a joke, which The Sultan most certainly isn’t. Nor is it a platonic solid. Nor does Gamer Bling have a platonic relationship with one. Hubba hubba.
What The Sultan is, is a heck of a lot better than that broken-down old formica kitchen table that slowly rots in your parent’s basement that you’re using now. Even though your poor gaming table is a relic of the 60s doesn’t mean it has to wobble unsteadily like other poor relics of the 60s, for example Ted Kennedy.
There have been “ultimate gaming tables” in the past. Well, at least one that Gamer Bling knows of, a custom design created as the centerpiece of the role-playing sector of the basement of that amazing self-indulgent money sink called the flagship WotC Gaming Center. Which is a story in itself, because it was a nice place, and the cost overruns were largely caused by a particular veep that Gamer Bling has no wish to offend publicly by naming, who paid whatever it cost to ensure that the flagship WotC Game Center opened on time. And “whatever it cost” was a heck of a lot more than The Sultan costs. By a factor that, much like Gamer Bling’s navel, is too large for him to contemplate.
As a side note, the flagship WotC Gaming Center was looked on as a wonderful piece of advertising real estate as long as it remained on the PR line of the budget, because it paid for itself. Free PR = good. But when it was moved to the retail line, it suddenly became a crappy game store with no profit (but no loss) and was closed. Nothing changed but its position on the spreadsheet.
The ultimate gaming table in this flagship WotC Gaming Center case was an ovoid black monstrosity with a frosted glass playing surface that could be lit from below as well as projected upon from above. It was not, shall we say, terribly portable. And it is now owned by John Zinser of AEG, because John is a serious gamer and a pretty darned cool guy besides, having once literally given Gamer Bling the shirt off his back, that being an embroidered AEG staff shirt that Gamer Bling also lusted after, though not with the intensity of passion that he now feels for The Sultan. Ah, how fickle is the gamer heart.
So what is The Sultan? Well, Gamer Bling is fond of bandying about some superlatives, but this is truly the most awesomest gaming excessory he has ever laid a trembling covetous hand upon. Other than the Gamer Bling Official Companion. But it is darn near as sexy as she, and in fact could well be every bit as sexy as the Gamer Bling Official Companion if only its legs were as long as hers. Which are 43 inches from hip to toe. Hubba hubba.
In three words with a few extra typographical enhancements, The Sultan can best be described as
> Heirloom Gaming Table <
The slogan for The Sultan could well be “Out of the basement and into the streets!” Or at least into the front room. Because this is the sort of furniture that you want to show off to other people who, because they are not gamers, are uncool, in the hopes that they will, by virtue of covetous envy (admittedly not much of a virtue), become gamers. And when they do, you’ll be the coolest dude around because you, sir or ma’am, have The Sultan.
Measuring 5½ feet wide by 9 feet long and therewith classifying as a Large Construct, The Sultan is hand-crafted from hard rock sugar maple and black walnut (from domestic sustainable forests, no less). No veneered pressboard here. Nor is the construction your typical Ikea glue-and-pin stuff with lame wood-grain stickers to cover the steel widgets: The Sultan has beautiful dovetail construction to hold it together. The whole thing is covered with a catalyzed laquer to (a) make it beautiful and lustrous, (b) repel the inevitable Coke stains that would otherwise result when someone scores a critical hit at a critical moment and gets a little overexcited, and (c) use letters like Q, Y, and Z and therewith score mega points in Scrabble.
The top of The Sultan is 11 inches deep/thick/high/in the third dimension, and holds a 4-foot by 7½-foot recessed gaming area (and we all know that kids love recess), which holds a white board, and/or a plexiglass overlay (lifts out with suction cups), and/or light table, and/or whatever else you put in there, like maybe a sand table if you play lots of WWII North Africa tank battles. You can have risers put in so you can suspend play of one game by laying a second playing surface over the top of it. Of course, for pure flexibility’s sake, The Sultan comes with an excessory called “the Game Keeper.” This is a piece of catalyzed-laquered wood that sits flush to the top of The Sultan. It has velvet on one side for playing card games or board games, and walnut the other to match the table or antiqued copper… think of the money you’ll save by not having to buy a dining room table! Geek Chic promises additional custom surfaces in the future.
You can choose the length of the legs, which means you can purchase The Sultan with legs every bit as long as those of The Gamer Bling Official Companion, which is a pretty cool idea unless you’re short.
Each end of The Sultan has a gamemaster storage station. This features a flip-out desk (yes, you’ll flip out over it), and storage slots for your books and dice and miniatures. And a pop-out cup holder.
Along the sides of The Sultan are four player stations. Each has four drawers for storage, plus a flip-out desk. And a pop-out cup holder. And between each pair of player stations is a velvet-lined area that can be used as a dice tray or a storage area.
The pop-out drink holders are very nice, and glide in and out easily and noiselessly. A brushed aluminum cup sits nestled in each, large enough to hold one of those standard red plastic drinking cups, but since this is The Sultan, nothing less than cut crystal (well, faux cut crystal) will do. Anything less would be insultan’.
Gamer Bling is certain there is more awesomeness to discover, but the fine folks at Geek Chic wouldn’t let him take The Sultan home for a detailed inspection. Stupid smart people.
Then again, you can also make your own coolness, because The Sultan is custom-made, and can be tweaked for your opwn personal gratification.
Also, see the bottom of this review for Gamer Bling’s important recommendations and a sniveling plea.
Well, the drink holders are not large enough for Gamer Bling’s tastes. They can’t even fit a 2-liter bottle! Chilled Dr. Pepper will have to be placed in your wet bar, one of which is NOT built into The Sultan’s undercarriage. For that matter, there’s no pizza warmer, either.
It costs nearly $10k, which means you’ll have a hard time convincing your wife to buy it. For those of you who aren’t married, you’ll have an even harder time convincing your parents to buy you one for Christmas.
It’s not portable. In fact, you’d better be sure that it can be maneuvered to its intended location. Kind of like some of the folks Gamer Bling has seen at cons.
It’s not quite as awesomeful as The Gamer Bling Official Companion, but since she’s already taken, you’ll just have to make do.
And your kids will want to play with it, and when they do, you’ll want to charge them like a $1000 security deposit, which they won’t have, so you’ll have to loan them the cash and then they’ll still get crayons all over it or gouge the wood when their pencil rips through their character sheet and you’ll keep the whole damage deposit and they’ll work so hard just repaying the interest you levy that they’ll never get enough money for college and they’ll end up homeless, but at least when you die they’ll have The Sultan to protect themselves from the rain, if only they can carry it into their fetid little alleyway.
The Bottom Line
This beast rocks hard. It’s big. It’s beautiful. It’s customizable. And it doesn’t come with a disclaimer that says, “Some assembly required.” With its old-school craftsmanship, it would be the ideal table to play Space: 1889 on, if only Space: 1889 didn’t suck so bad. You gotta love a gaming excessory that’s appeared on Forbes.com.
Though if one mysteriously appears at your door, you’d better check the storage slots for hidden Greek warriors.
Bling Factor: 11 (yes, 11… if you charge nearly $10k on something that doesn’t support any game except in a purely Newtonian sense, you deserve the extra point)
Utility: 9.5 (automatic half-point deduction for absence of ice bucket for champagne)
You need: One.
Currently, and no surprise, direct order is the only way to get one of these. But that means you get to customize it, which is good. And be sure to tell the fine folks at Geek Chic that Gamer Bling sent you. Why? Read the second section below.
Gamer Bling’s Mandatory Important Recommendation
The Sultan is, in Gamer Bling’s marginally humble opinion, an essential piece of furniture for the FLGS, especially for stores with an active player base (that means you, Alex Schvartsman of Kings Games!). Not only do you, as the business owner, get to own one, but you get to write it off as a business expense.
Choose an easy payment plan to pay off your new fixture, and charge your players a premium fee for playing on this awesome piece (especially those who play WarHammer or own the entire 3.5 library, because they have money to burn)! Maybe throw in a free drink so they can use the cup holders! Put a placard in your window that says, “Play on The Sultan!”
The entire setup should eventually pay for itself in fees and increased traffic. And then you’ll own The Sultan! Admittedly the corners of the drawers may be filled with Cheeto dust and the like, but hey, what are you gonna do?
If you choose this path of retail smartness, be sure to tell the fine folks at Geek Chic that Gamer Bling sent you. Why? Read the next section.
Gamer Bling’s Mandatory Sniveling Plea
The Sultan is, in Gamer Bling’s marginally humble opinion, an essential piece of furniture for his own house, except for two problems: (1) The Gamer Bling Official Companion, and (2) being currently unemployed.
But you know you need a more detailed and hands-on review to read, and the only way you’re going to get it is if Gamer Bling gets The Sultan for his very own game room.
So Gamer Bling is going to do the unthinkable: throw himself onto the mercy of the average highly intelligent and well-informed shizzlin’ tubular hep-cat gamer. And there are two ways you can help.
First, if this site has been a benefit to you and your fellow gamer, please donate a few bucks into the Gamer Bling Needs The Sultan Charity Fund, a non-tax-deductible foundation founded for the gratuitous gratification of Gamer Bling. These funds will be used for nothing else. Despite the more fiscally responsible attitudes of The Gamer Bling Official Companion, as a lawful good person (and she is), she was forced to agree that any monies donated for the express purpose of helping Gamer Bling buy The Sultan must, in any ethical and responsible household, be used solely for the purposes for which they were donated. Bwah hah hah!
Second, if you are the owner of a friendly local game store, and this review has swayed you to follow Gamer Bling’s mandatory important recommendation (above), then please tell Geek Chic that Gamer Bling sent you, for Gamer Bling has been assured that every reference he sends their way will help to further the imminent purchase of The Sultan.
What, no chairs? Bar stools? Mechanized self-mobile thrones?
Gamer Bling will cope. Somehow.