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Author Topic: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…  (Read 892 times)

Offline Pancreasboy

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 5
Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« on: May 16, 2022, 11:00:50 AM »

Hi there guys, based off my recent questionnaire I’m looking to start with something that was fairly in demand and yet serves all genres of gaming… modular Battle Mats in square format so you can mix and match them to have several options each game.

Now these could range from generic nature or biomes, to detailed specific Battle Mats and I’ve got a super short 3 question survey to ask for your thoughts ( https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6s3EnCg0mHDWpf3gkfanOKIMZL4wUi3wvqJSEVEdI_ZXqoA/viewform?usp=sf_link )
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 11:44:36 AM by Pancreasboy »

Offline Daeothar

  • Supporting Adventurer
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Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2022, 02:08:04 PM »
I've grown to appreciate mats, although they're still no substitute for actual modelled terrain.

Where they shine though, IMHO, is space, ocean, sky etc. Any setting where the mat only provides a far away background with no particular details that the miniatures on the table could interact with...
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

Offline Dolnikan

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 91
    • Dolnikan Games
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2022, 07:34:56 AM »
I don't use mats, so I wouldn't know. They just never appealed to me because I like my play surfaces more three dimensional.

Offline SteveBurt

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1125
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2022, 09:25:53 AM »
The fleece mats can be made 3d by putting hills under them. Doesn’t work so well with cloth. I have quite a few mats. a fleece one with fields, a a cloth one with squares marked, a blue hex one with squares on reverse and two double side home made mats. desert or Wild West with Darkest Africa on reverse, and aerial view of coast and fields with green mat with tracks on reverse.

Offline tikitang

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 216
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2022, 10:13:47 AM »
I used to love battlemats, especially the neoprene kind. If you can get them to lay out flat they do make a really attractive play-space for your models, with no terrain-making skills required. I have really fond memories of my first battle-mat I bought back in 2016. It looked absolutely 'the business' in comparison to the green tablecloths and even the classic GW grass mat I used to use before.

However, I have grown to hate them in recent times, because of two reasons. Due to an ever-growing family, a few years ago I moved my "games workshop" from one of the bedrooms of our house up into the attic. Ever since then, I have found that my battle mats gather an extraordinary amount of dust (the attic is a dusty place, apparently), which sticks to the neoprene underside and makes them look terrible, and even a brushing doesn't help.

Furthermore, since the move to the attic, every single battle mat I buy gets its neoprene underside SPLIT whenever it is folded. I'm not sure if that's because of the temperature changes in the attic, or some other reason, but either way, it's put me right off them.

Other than the neoprene-backed variety, and that thin PVC material (which I thought looked really tacky), I haven't tried another material. I briefly tried going back to green tablecloths after the neoprene-splitting disaster, but that was a mistake. I think the only thing for it (for me), going forward, would be to paint a sheet of wood. I have since moved away from "outdoors" battles, though, and have started playing dungeon-crawling games instead, so am much more interested these days in dungeon-tiles than mats.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 10:36:17 AM by tikitang »
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal."

- Jesus

Offline fred

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Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2022, 11:44:30 AM »
I’m a big fan of the current generation of printed battle mats - I go for fairly simple ones to represent grass or desert, and they are a massive improvement over the old green cloth, or even the mono-chrome GW grass mats.

I’ve never really liked the ones with more detailed terrain printed on them - the odd time we have used these we tend to forget about the printed design being actual terrain during the game. I much prefer the mat to be the back ground terrain, and then add large MDF bases on which the trees, houses, rocks etc are placed to represent area terrain. Or just directly place terrain on the mat.

I like to put hills under the mat, and find that a fleece blank over the stepped hills helps the cloth mat sit better, and softens the contours a bit too.

Offline jon_1066

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 642
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2022, 08:56:48 AM »
I like my cloth mat, I use carpet underlay to form the hills then drape it over the top.  The figures aren't heavy though being 6 mm so it doesn't deform much when they are placed.  I probably won't use that system if I ever manage to paint up the Grenadier goblin war giant!

The mat I plumped for is a fairly generic plains sort of look with some rockier patches and variable grassy tones.  Nothing too in your face or too specific.  The scaling also still works for 6 mm or 28 mm being so generic.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2022, 07:00:49 PM »
I have several mats and will be acquiring several more.  While I prefer sexier layouts, mats are simply convenient, particularly when traveling.

However...I don't buy mats with 'faux' 2D representations on them, unless it's something like simple cobblestones, dirt, grass, or maybe a river, etc.  Trees etc.?  Nope.  Hard pass.  Mats are expensive (easily $100 USD shipped for a quality 6'x4' mat here in the US), and thus need to be used for a variety of games, scales and environments.  I would never purchase a mat with fake trees printed on it, etc. That's insanely limiting for an expensive mat.

2022 Painted Miniatures: 86
(2021: 148, 2020: 207, 2019: 123, 2018: 98, 2017: 226, 2016: 233, 2015: 32, 2014: 116)


Offline Golgotha

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    • BMC Miniatures - All things wargame related.
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2022, 07:35:10 PM »
The biggest issue with mats is likely the price - I am sure we would all have more of them were they cheaper. More options and an ability for greater personalisation are always welcome...

Offline Kikuchiyo

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 451
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2022, 07:40:13 PM »
I'd be up for more 2 foot square options than what is out there

particular in somerthing that would fit peninsular spanish terrain

Offline Digits

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2938
Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2022, 07:52:12 PM »
I have a reasonable selection of mats, including muddy field, savannah, beach, sea, plains, and winter.  I simply do not have room to make 6 x 4 terrain boards which would be lovely, but also slightly restrictive as any built in features would have to be present every time.

I find that making terrain features to put on the mats are much easier to store and many can be used across the range of mats.

Having a few fields and crops carpet sections to place on the mats helps break them up.

Yes, variations in height are a tad harder to show (mine are mousepad) but as I play 28mm, it’s not such an issue.

Join the BEST regiment in the army of Parliament and fight the length and breadth of these fair isles!


Offline Dan55

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Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2022, 02:31:48 AM »
I agree with the comments above.

One thing I never do with my mat is fold it.  I always roll my mats.

Offline majorsmith

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Re: Battle Mats - Your thoughts…
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2022, 10:22:11 AM »
I quite like my battle mat, it’s a fleece tone from geek villain, I’ve been adding teddy bear fur etc to the table to try to make it look a bit better, my Mexico mat is just a fleece blanket splattered with different greens and is very effective I think


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