Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gaming Mats

Recently I ordered a couple of gaming mats from Shayne at Campaign Books. Great bloke, by the way, and a pleasure to do business with.

Here's the first: The 6x4' 'Urban 2 F.A.T Mat' from Frontline Games. This is a hefty mat made from material similar to a mouse mat, and comes in a handy zip-up bag to carry the thing in.

As you can see from the 15mm models, this mat is really aimed at 28mm, although I'm thinking of using it for a 15mm Berlin 1945 game with loads of rubble so the roads don't look as wide.

It is also destined for use in my planned 28mm Edwardian Zombie Apocalypse project. I can heartily recommend this - it's sturdy, beautifully designed and will provide a great backdrop for all sorts of buildings.

The second mat was a very different beast; a 6x4' 'Europe' mat for 15mm made by Cigar Box Battles.

Whereas the Frontline mat is designed to be a good, solid flat surface, the Cigar Box mat is the opposite. It is printed on a light fleece material that will conform very nicely to the contours of hills that you place under the mat. In the photos here I placed the modular hill under the mat, and was very pleased with the result.

It is hard to see from the photos just how natural the hill looks. I was initially dubious about these mats, both at whether it would really work to use it to cover modular hills, and whether the artwork is too 'cartoony'. I must say that seeing one 'in the flesh', I am a convert. I can't wait to see what it looks like in a game of Battlegroup with a bunch of hills and features like buildings and woods added. The way to think about the artwork on these mats is as a base that will give great depth to whatever modular terrain you add, rather than as a replacement for it.

So my verdict - Frontline Mats for urban games and space combat, where the dead flat surface will be an asset, and Cigar Box mats where you want contours, especially when you plan to take some time to make a really great battlefield. Very nice products indeed.


  1. I'm looking forward to playing on them next year!

  2. I had not seen the Frontline mats before, I have several Cigarbox mats which I quite like.

    One question, how wide are the actual roads?



    1. Hi John - the roads on the Frontline mat are 16cm wide, 21cm with the kerbs. So quite wide!

  3. Nice mini review, I have seen some beauties made but the time and effort seem hardly worth it if these are both good to look at and good value.