For some time I’ve been looking at different gaming mats, prices, materials, and have been stuck on where to order from. In July I decided to take the plunge and order from Playmats EU, a Polish company that had exactly what I was looking for.
The main things I was after was a smallish (I ended up getting a 4’x4′ mat…) ice and snow mat for Frostgrave, something I hadn’t got around to in two years, and a similar size mat for Walking Dead: All Out War, or smaller games of 40k/30k. I had heaps of scenery for both, but it never looks as good on a bare wood (or wood effect) table. I found the kind of mat designs I was looking for;
Both designs did exactly what I needed, and, being pretty conscious of the amount of space I have to store things, I was pleased to see that you can get the mats double sided. Now I wasn’t sure what to make of the latex mats – I’ve only used the ones for Deadzone or Mars Attacks with rubber-backed printed fabric – but took a chance.
Ordering was quick and painless, and when I queried something, I had a response in a couple of hours, and this continued throughout, they had great communications. We were also sent a couple of mats to try out which was epic (Thank you!).
The mats arrived a couple of weeks later, within the delivery time, and well-packaged. As well as each being in it’s own tube, the tubes were all boxed together and arrived well-protected and undamaged. The tubes are also ace for storing in the house as they are rigid enough to last.
I had nothing to worry about with the latex mats, I’d imagined them to be flimsy, but, they’re sturdy enough to not get ripped or damaged easily. The material used was tougher than expected, and I couldn’t rip it by hand, and I could only mark it by properly scratching at it with one of my nails, so gaming shouldn’t damage them. Being a vinyl/latex material they do slide a little on my table, which is to be expected as it is really smooth, but a spot of blu-tac on the corners of the table solved this, as did placing heavy scenery on top of it – it wouldn’t be an issue when gaming.
Night City is a great mat, and was shown in the Army Showcase: Sons of Horus post from last month. It is well-detailed and looks great with scenery on it, and I’ll be using it for Walking Dead: All Out War, Shadow War: Armageddon and any kind of small scale 30k/40k games. It’s good enough that I now want a larger one for larger 40k battles. Below are a few pictures from a set up of Mars Attacks with a few buildings added for good measure. As you can see, the design looks great, and really brings the table to life.
Ice looks superb with Frostgrave terrain, so having the mat double-sided is a definite bonus. Wear and tear over time is yet to be seen, but a review after a year will show how they’ve fared. I’m quietly confident that they’ll be fine.
The bonus mats we received showed the quality of the different kinds on offer, on a larger and smaller scale. One mat displayed the crescent of a planet and is ideal for games like X-Wing, Armada and Star Trek: Attack Wing. The mat is made from the same tough vinyl material as the double-sided mat which gives it the same benefits. This was also featured as the backdrop for the Army Showcase: Sons of Horus linked above. Apologies for the light reflections and shadowing, it was actually too big to fit on my table!
The small Wasteland mat is great and shows the high-standard of printing on the rubber-backed fabric mats. Great detail, and I expect they’ll take quite a beating like the Deadzone mats from Mantic Games. The rubber backing has the benefit of protecting your table in case you’re clumsy and drop heavy miniatures, and also sticks to the table so there’s no chance of sliding.
They also sent an example of a small double-sided mat, where one side would be ideal for getting good photographs of miniatures, while the other side is exceptionally well printed with a nautical theme.
They offer a large amount of 2D scenery for gaming (pictures to follow), something I was initially sceptical of, but after seeing them, I think it’s ideal for RPGs, where you don’t want large amounts of scenery on maps and gaming areas. It’s also a great solution if you’re short on storage space – a tabletop’s worth of 2d scenery could be kept in a small box and wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. We’ve used it a couple of times during games of Pathfinder, where most of the time you’ll be drawing the map on a squared sheet of paper, and it does bring the maps to life a little more, and stops them being quite so flat. Also in the 2D section you have ponds, fog (5″, 4″ and 3″ discs), hills, ruins, etc.
From not knowing about them prior to July, I’ve been impressed with the quality of the mats, and it will be my go to place to pick up mats in the future – as well as the 2D ponds and fog which I ordered moments ago. I’d recommend them, as my experience from ordering to the mats themselves was very good, and I’ll be picking up more in the future.
Customisable mats are also available so that the mats can fit a set table size, or have deployment zones, etc marked on them.
Go and check them out and have a good look around.
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