There are plenty of different businesses now that produce high quality tabletop gaming mats, but we are finding that the F.A.T Mats by TableWar are the best of the bunch when it comes to quality, durability and sharpness of print.
The days of large moulded plastic gaming tiles are likely to be behind us now. There have been some crackers in recent years though; we remain fans of the Tablescape Tiles by Secret Weapon Miniatures and there are some good offers around on these at the time of writing and the original Games Workshop boards were great, but they are all relatively expensive and cumbersome to carry around and store. Especially the GW ones.
A mat is where it’s at now. When you consider that a Realm of Battle gameboard is £200 from Games Workshop, and add in the time and cost of prepping all that grey plastic with primer and paint or glue and flock it’s starting become a costly thing to own. Great when it is done, and the different combinations you can make by altering the tile layouts are good, but a decent 6′ x 4′ mat F.A.T Mat will only set you back £59. Treat yourself to another £40 of decent scenery from your friendly local gaming store and you’re £100 better off and saved a whole bunch of time too.
You also have a tournament standard gameboard solution too. These are the mats that are getting used in many of the top tournaments in the US and increasingly so over in the UK and Europe.
There are other benefits of using mats instead of plastic tiles, and the main one for us is that it is all so much quieter. Dice hitting a well padded neoprene mat is much quieter than plastic and the dice don’t bounce around all over the place and knock miniatures over. These mats are also water resistant, and genuinely water resistant, it doesn’t soak in at all.
Once the game is over, simply roll it up and pop it back in the protective zipper bag and stash it away…and it doesn’t take up much space at all.
Here’s a little stroll through the ones we have and use…
The Barren Wastelands Mat (6′ x 4′)
This is our favourite to play on and the one we roll out the most. Works beautifully with 40K and Age of Sigmar and because of its ‘timeless’ design can also be used for pretty much any game from any time period. The detail on the design is beautiful…
The ‘Space’ Mat – 4′ x 4′
Again, stunning detail and really brings games of X-Wing to life…
The Urban Zone Mat – 4′ x 4′
This mat was exclusively designed for the Dropzone Commander game system but we have found it works great for larger games of The Walking Dead or the Batman Miniatures Game and a variety of other modern setting games (Spectre, for example).
The Ship Interior Mat – 6′ x 4′
Now, although it is called ‘Ship Interior’ this mat works really well for any heavy industrial setting. We originally bought this thinking we could enhance our Space Hulk games or create some enclosed scenarios for 40K with Tyranids where we limit the width of the scenery channels, but then Shadow War came out! This is now the go-to mat for Shadow War and will be perfect for games of Necromunda when that is released later in the year!! This is our favourite mat for design and detail…
You can order F.A.T Mats direct from the Tablewar website, and there are separate sites now available for US and UK/EU. Loads of different designs to choose from, and there is also a choice of sizes.