Switch Theme:

Battle mats - general thoughts  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in gb
Mindless Servitor



UK

Hi

I'm intrigued by the concept of battle mats and before making the plunge was hoping to get some opinions. What are the pros and cons to getting one? How much should I be paying to get one that isn't cheap rubbish? If you own one was it worth the money for what you paid?

Also my friends and I tend to play large games at 8'x4' but there doesn't seem to be a mat this big, does anyone know of any? Or is it a case of getting 2 4'x4' that are the same? Or is the effect kind of lost by having to do this? Are there any tricks to hid the obvious fact that it's 2 mats next to each other?

One last thing, single sided or double sided? Are the double sided prints and durability of the mat as good as a single sided mat? Is it worth spending that extra money to get 2 single sided mats over 1 double sided mat?

Thanks in advance.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Myrtle Creek, OR

Our FLGS has double-sided mats for in-store use. I think they are Fat Mats IIRC. They are very high quality and they've been in use there for about 2 years with multiple users.

They are holding up very well but he only has 4 x 6 mats since that's the standard game. Double-sided is nice because you get more variety in your game setting for the same storage space. I don't know what price he paid but they do a great job and everybody like using them in our group.
   
Made in us
Awesome Autarch






In short, they're outstanding:

PROS (Single Sided Neoprene mat from a reputable manufacturer)
+Will last forever (mine are going on 5+ years of constant play)
+Neoprene with rubber backing will grip the table, no sliding around.
+Padding reduces noise of dice and protects falling miniatures from damage/scraping etc.
+Rolls up into a simple storage bag
+Can be very attractive depending on the artists' work used.
+Most are supposedly water/liquid proof but I haven't tried that and don't plan on it!
+As opposed to the cheaper plastic sheeting mats, these are non-reflective. Certain companies have a different finish or sheen than others though, so I can't speak for every company out there.

CONS
-Expensive if you're gaming on a budget (let's be honest there are heaps of people who are cheapskates and don't enjoy investing in anything other than minis...)
-Can be stretched if you leave it folded over something or stored incorrectly (should be rolled and stored horizontally on a flat surface (under a bed or table)
-If you like full 3D evocative terrain tables with flock and gravel, etc...then this may not be for you.
-They're heavy at 9-10 lbs. for a 6'x4' mat and thus shipping isn't cheap.

A double-sided one is fine, and the only thing you lose is the grip of the rubber backing...so the mat would be more prone to sliding around if pushed/tugged/grabbed or snagged.

What should you pay for a quality 6x4 gaming mat in Neoprene? $85-100 per mat (including shipping)

What should you avoid? Any mat with dedicated artwork of "stuff" on the mat. That detracts immensely from the usefulness of the mat. You don't want skulls or bones, or notably sized objects on your mat. Ideally you want it as a scale-agnostic as possible, with an attractive but versatile design. You'll get more use out of a mat if it's versatile vs. limited (i.e. you bought a mat to match one type of terrain). For instance I use my generic grass/steppe mat 10x more often than my other two current mats which are linked to certain terrain items.

Who is the best? In the US you'll hear a lot about Fat Mats and Tablewar etc. I've been underwhelmed by the US mats I've seen. Material was a little thinner and I was not impressed with the artwork. Very cartoonish and "meh".

My personal best experiences are with Urbanmatz (this guy does his own artwork I believe and it shows, he has fantastic mats), Deep Cut Studios (likewise very solid art and quality built mats), and Gamemat.eu (again, excellent art/mats). All of these three have impressed me far more than the US available options, and I find it worth the extra $15. I think my last Urbanmat was $92.00 shipped to my home in the US.

The amount of work and use you'll get out of a gaming mat is 100% worth it.

I'd obviously suggest caution if you have stupid animals like cats or something that will end up hopping on the table and shredding it with their claws...but as long as don't own those beasts you should be fine.

PS: With regard to the double-sided mats. I've found that I don't think most of them are worth the extra money. I admit you get two mats, but I was expecting more of a discount. Some companies you barely save any money over having two separate mats. My buddy has two double-sided mats from Gamemat.eu and...Urbanmatz? They're both excellent quality.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/20 02:32:58


 
   
Made in si
Steady Stonecleaver







Elbows just about covered everything. I would add the manufacturer Kraken Wargames, whose mats are HD photos of actual, physical tables they build, instead of just blending CG textures. They are also designed to be tiled, so you could get two of the same 4x4 and the graphic will join seamlessly. I would avoid those of their designs that have large elevation changes (like their snow table) as that can get very Uncanny Valley on a flat print.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/20 07:15:10


Posters on ignore list: 33

40k Potica Edition - 40k patch with reactions, suppression and all that good stuff. Feedback thread here.

Gangs of Nu Ork - Necromunda / Gorkamorka expansion supporting all faction. Feedback thread here
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

The best mat I ever bought was a cloth mat the GW used to sell. It was just green flock stuff on one side, and black cloth on the other. 6x4. Perfect for anything that wasn't a city.

But anyway, modern day mats. I've got a few.

Mine all come from gamemat.eu, and they made tremendous products. I got a few double-sided ones to save on money (I'm in Oz, shipping over here is expensive, so double-sided ones helped there). So far the ones I've most impressed with are their Fallout Zone and Sands of Time (desert) map.

I've also got their Highlands of War (grass), Quarantine Zone (city), Forges of Mars (high-tech Martian), Tales of Mars (generic Martian), Wasteland (rocky outdoors), and Imperial Base (inside a ship or something). The Imperial Base one is the hardest one to work out what to do with, but it was on the other side of one of the double-sided ones, so I just ended up with it.

The artwork and quality across all of them is excellent, and I find that they're heavily enough that any sliding from a double-sided one to be basically nothing.

I also picked up the Tricity and Chem Zone mats for Necromunda. The latter of those is available in 6x4 as well.

Overall I'm incredibly impressed with everything they do. If you're after 8x4 then you're you might find it harder to get the things you want. Doubling up on 4x4's might work, but it means you'll end up with duplicate details.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/20 09:05:22


   
Made in us
Missionary On A Mission






 lord_blackfang wrote:
Elbows just about covered everything. I would add the manufacturer Kraken Wargames, whose mats are HD photos of actual, physical tables they build, instead of just blending CG textures. They are also designed to be tiled, so you could get two of the same 4x4 and the graphic will join seamlessly. I would avoid those of their designs that have large elevation changes (like their snow table) as that can get very Uncanny Valley on a flat print.


Kraken mats are great! Though I do own several gamemat.eu and fatmats as well. The double sided mats I couldn't say. Though I do know a lot of the 4'x4' mats match up quite nicely for a 4'x8' table.

Sisters of Battle
Genestealer Cults
Daemons lots of Daemons
Daughters of Khaine
Bretonnians

 
   
Made in ie
Regular Dakkanaut




I highly recommend looking into making a mat using caulk/silicone, paint, sand and a painter's drop cloth. I made two for what came to about 30 quid and you be to control the look, texture, size and result.

It's messy and takes space but it was suggested to me here, I gave it a go and I was absolutley thrilled with the results. My camera's busted but you can find examples on Youtube etc. I'd recommend it to anybody because I prefer the result to anything I've seen or bought.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Virginia

I love premade mats, they’re so much better than playing on plywood and you can use cheap folding card tables to quickly make a nice 4x4 or 6x4 playing surface. I have several gaming mats:

Two 3x3 star maps for Xwing
6x4 dark grass with crumbled building for fantasy
6x4 sci-fi zone
4x4 plain asphalt
4x4 asphalt with city blocks (for Titanicus or skirmish games)
Three new Battletech double sided hex maps (and they’re awesome)

I don’t have much space so making huge terrain tables just isn’t an option for me. Being able to unroll a 4x4 map from under the bed or couch across a card table with some folding paper buildings for Adeptus Titanicus is the only way I can practically store things. Gaming mats are awesome.
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Fajita Fan wrote:
Three new Battletech double sided hex maps (and they’re awesome)
The neoprene ones? Are they double-sided or not?

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Virginia

Yep. Awesome and quite big too.
   
Made in gb
Savage Khorne Berserker Biker




Southampton, UK

My regular opponent bought 2 x 4'x4' mats, honestly it's fine.

It probably depends on what print you get but for a generic rubble-and-craters type of thing it really doesn't notice that you've got 2 of the same. They look great. Want to buy some of my own tailored to my scenery set-up - aiming for snowy forest and ruins.
   
Made in nl
Crazed Flagellant




Netherlands

Mine's from Battle mats europe. Looks great.

(see for yourself: https://kingsofwarvince.business.blog/2019/05/13/nice-birthday-gift-battle-mat/)

Price is indeed roughly € 100 for a double sided including transit.

My blog on Kings of War:

http://kingsofwarvince.business.blog 
   
 
Forum Index » Dakka Discussions
Go to: