which gaming mat is right for you?
More often than not when you took your first steps into the hobby of wargaming, your first battles were fought over the kitchen table or on the floor, with household items as your terrain. Come on, admit it, we’ve all used books or DVDs as hills or bean cans and boxes as buildings.
Gradually you move on to basic polystyrene hills on painted MDF. Slowly you test your terrain skills and make some buildings.
As you progress into the wonderful world of wargaming you buy detailed terrain kits and consider building a lavishly detailed, themed battle board. With cut in trenches, rivers or craters. Now, these boards can look amazing and can be the centre piece of any gaming room, but what if you are tight for space?
The solution to your problem is a gaming mat. Gaming mats or battle mats come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from small skirmish games, up to massive battlefields.
There are a few different types of mats available on the market, ready to fulfil your needs.
· Neoprene mats (Think mouse mat)
Neoprene mats usually have a colour printed surface on top of a non-slip neoprene sheet. The neoprene is thick and soft, dampening down the rattling sound of rolling dice. They are wrinkle resistant and can be rolled up to store.
Neoprene can have a couple of negatives, they can be expensive and are also heavier than you would expect. This isn’t an issue if you only want one mat but once you have a few rolled up together it can be a workout to move them.
· Vinyl mats
Like neoprene, vinyl mats are printed in high detail; they roll up nicely, are wrinkle resistant and are waterproof.
Vinyl mats also have their negatives. They are thin, so rolling dice sound like rocks in a bucket and can be costly.
· Fleece mats
Fleece mats are printed to a high-level of detail like neoprene and vinyl mats. They are soft and therefore dampen the sound of rolled dice. Fleece mats are also flexible; you can place polystyrene hills under the fleece mat creating rolling hills that blend into the gaming surface. They also make a great blanket in those cold gaming halls. (Really!) Fleece will not crease, so you can roll it up into a ball and stuff it into a bag for storage or transport.
Like all mats however, fleece also has some negatives, primarily the fact that it isn’t stain resistant, so keep sticky hands and drinks away.
Gaming mats are a great choice for anyone that needs to store their battlefields away when not in use and have types to suit all needs.