My now venerable gaming table was found at a garage sale in the mid-80s.

It is a wood-reinforced wall map of Air France's global routes circa 1964. Dimensions are a bit odd: 45 x 81 inches.

I bring this up because it is well "outside the box" in terms of what one would set out to buy, but it is a great gaming surface. I have it on two sawhorses (which came with it).

For one thing, who doesn't want to sit down in front of a map of the world (in French!) and contemplate strategy?

Another nice thing is it is framed, which creates a nice lip along the edge. Many times errant dice have been deflected from a nasty fall by this feature.

I originally used it for board gaming and its length allows one to have two standard games set up at once, or a true monster game.

It was only later on that I adapted it for miniatures and I have to say that the "missing" three inches are not missed much at all. In practical terms, all it does is narrow the deployment zone slightly and in return its footprint is just a bit smaller and you also don't have to lean forward as much to reach the midpoint.

At one point I experimented with a true 4x8 overlay for miniatures and I didn't like it.

Surplus wall maps are available from time to time. A friend of mine picked up one of the Roman Empire that was being discarded by the local university during a remodel. Another wonderful gaming surface! Also: free! Just add sawhorses.