Back in December I backed a Kickstarter for the Tablewar Gaming Mats from Frontline Gaming. I was first exposed to the guys at Frontline Gaming (www.frontlinegaming.org) back when I was playing 40k, so I was pretty excited to see what they had come up with in terms of table mats.
I’ve always wanted to be the guy with the awesome mat and terrain that everyone wants to play with. I bought a Zuzzy Mat and painted it up back when I was playing 40k (http://www.zuzzy.com/) but it’s still in 4×6 size and dice do seriously strange things on that mat. The shipping and communication from the owner also are pretty spotty.
Unfortunately us poor 4×4 Warmachine schmucks were the last to get our mats, but it was definitely worth the wait! This beauty was waiting for me on my front porch when I got home today.
The pictures from a distance don’t really do it justice. They have packed quite a bit of detail into these mats and they feel substantial. It’s a thin mat, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to rip or tear. It’s essentially a gigantic mousepad. Here is some of the detail work from the bottom left corner:
Detail: The detail is great. They packed tons of detail onto the mat that just doesn’t come through in the pictures on their website. The detail definitely adds a lot to the experience, but I don’t know how it’s going to look with terrain on it yet. My guess is OK? I suppose I will take some shots the next time I do a battle report.
Quality: The quality seems to be pretty good. It’s a very heavy mat despite how thin it is, and without having put any real miles on the thing I honestly think it will hold up fairly well. They say it’s water resistant so I guess we’ll see if anyone ever spills something on it (I sure hope not, haha). They also included a cloth carrying case, which feels slightly less high quality than the mat but is a welcome touch.
Texture: I pushed a few miniatures around on the mat and like how it feels. The miniatures don’t slip and slide around, but they don’t catch too badly either. We’ll see how it plays when I actually take it for a run, but my initial thoughts are that it will work out fairly nicely. The backside of the mat is like a mousepad, so it’s not going to slide around on the table like your typical felt mat might. That’s a huge plus in my book.
Convenience: The mat does not stand up straight, and there’s no tube inside it to keep it rigid, so it’s kind of a pain to carry around. I might buy a 4′ tube just so I have something in there to keep it from flopping around when I’m trying to hold it with one hand. One nice thing is that the mat lays out absolutely flat despite being rolled up in a tube since it was shipped from China. No more playing with crease lines all over your mat if you buy one of these.
So all in all I’m definitely excited about trying it out! For people who have tables built at home I don’t think this will replace that, but for someone who wants a great mat to take to the store, or put away and store easily, I think this is a great option. The mats are a little pricey at $65.00 (before shipping) but if it adds to the playing experience and you have the disposable cash I’d say dive in. As of the date of this post they’re still technically doing pre-orders I think but the link to the shop is here: