Thursday, 25 July 2013

Gaming mats

One of the first things that I will need to do when we finally get into the new house is get a gaming mat from somewhere so that I've actually got a starting point to a table. Obviously I can't really plan properly for this yet as we don't have a moving date... but it gives me something to plan for.

GW used to sell quite a nice flock mat for quite a reasonable price, but that seems to have vanished in favour of their plastic modular board of skulls, which is a shame because I really don't like playing on plastic boards as the dice tend to go skidding all over the place.

So. With the GW mat out the window, I need to try and find some other options that will be easy to add home made terrain to without looking odd. This rules out the Zuzzy grassland mat as there's no way I'm going to sculpt grass on, when flock exists.

Most of the other flock mats that I've seen reviewed seem to flake off quite quickly as they are intended to be used for displays, rather than repeatedly rolling it up. Antinocti's mats seem to have vanished, which is a shame as they looked very promising, if a little dull with just the one colour all over.

The best option that I've come across so far is Sir Tobi's mat tutorial as it's straight forward (if you remember to securely fasten the canvas first!) and produces great looking mats that can be rolled up and hidden away. Given that I'm looking to play small skirmish games that only go up to 4x4, a roll of decent canvas should allow for loads of experimentation. This does, however, rely upon time, effort and me getting the heck over the "but what if I want that road there instead"

Out of curiosity, what do you lot use as gaming mats and do you find it is better to leave things like roads and rivers off the mats? My one concern about using Tobi's idea is that my brain is geared towards modularity in everything... this is the joy of being a CMS developer. You start to think everything should be reusable in different combinations.

8 comments:

  1. After a series of failed attempts to get people to shut up and take my money I eventually found Hotzmatz which is run by Eric Hotz. The guy is outstanding at customer service and communications. His mats are made of felt and he screen prints them with a variety of designs. The mats are then treated to avoid fraying and damage (this does mean you shouldn't machine wash them). It cost me about $40 Can (£25) all in to get a great mat and have it shipped from Canada to the UK. It is Russian Roulette whether you have to pay an import duty of around £13 (I dodged it).

    The Mat'o'War products that AW used to sell are available from 'The Hobby Den' which is based in Ireland. The guy who runs it is a typical example of the lazy, grumpy curmudgeon you seem to often get selling hobby supplies. His P&P costs are exorbitant and his communication skills are appalling. The MoW products are super awesome though so it may be a way forward if you have lots of money and very low customer service expectations.

    With Hotzmatz you will have a choice over whether to get a street plan or anything like that printed on, I chose not to to keep things versatile. I definitely recommend having a look at the website.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the tips. I'll probably give MoW a miss, but I will have a look at Hotzmatz as a couple of other people recommended them as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I managed to pick a GW mat on ebay a while ago, it might be worth having a sniff around there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I've got it into my head that it might be fun to make one, buying a mat seems like a cop-out ;)

      Delete
    2. There is a good tutorial on a blog called Tobi's paint pot. One of the guys who left a comment, Matt Darrow, followed the tutorial with great success and made a blog post about it. Good luck!

      Delete
  4. Hi Paul,
    I bought a mat from theterrainguy a few years ago and it still looks brand new. Expensive but excellent quality. I did a small review of it here: http://warmasterdk.blogspot.dk/2010/08/expensive-but-excellent.html
    All the best,
    Kasper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly he doesn't look to be taking orders at the moment. It sounds like a great mat though, thanks!

      Delete
    2. Wups - hadn't noticed that. A shame they produced great mats. I wonder what made them give up?
      All the best,
      Kasper

      Delete