In the last years, a lot of options came out for gamers, looking to play on more than the classic kitchen-table surface.
Back when I started to game the most luxury there was where paper grass mats used for model trains. And even though GW offered one in the classic 6′ by 4′ measurement, it was a flimsy paper which quickly lost the flock, and even if glued on wood boards those tended to bend a lot.
The next step was to use styrofoam insulation tiles (they were and are available in 2′ by 4′ plates, so three combined gave you the classic surfaces.
Later came mats made from fabric, but they tended to be shortlived, losing the grass flock and have folded from storage.
Then in the last years, some companies like GW and Mantic and some smaller ones started to produce plastic tiles to combine to build tables. These still were heavy and not easy to store.
With print on demand getting cheaper and more available in the last years the game mats rose in the TCG game and the cheap paper mats grow from fabric and vinyl mats into mouse pad (neoprene) mats which look amazing from quality and looks.
I owned for quite a while a vinyl mat for X-Wing made by Fantasy Flight Games, which I had good experiences with and is easy to store.
So when I needed a Wild West themed table to do Demo games and play Wild West Exodus, I had a look for an easy to store and transport solution.
I looked around and saw the above pictured one from DeepCutStudio, wasteland themed one. With shipping and a carrying bag it was 55 Euros. The shipping stays the same regardless how many mats you order, so just ordering one small 3′ by 3′ mat with the purpose to test and review the mat, fell in high on the shipping. But if you order many or do a collective order with friends, the shipping fee will be cheaper.
The shipping itself was fast (even though UPS was a bit hard to deal with for the actual delivery), and I unwrapped the mat and had a thorough look at it.
The quality is amazing and you do not really notice this isn’t a 3-dimensional table. The material makes a great and lasting impression, and I’ll be ordering more mats in the future.
The developments in the last years in the Tabletop hobby are amazing and I’ll cover a few more on this blog in the future. My perspective is from 24 years in this hobby as I started at 11, so I’ll be able to give you a good bit of the history which led us to the current state and possibilities.