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Rob Dean

Neoprene Gaming Terrain Mats

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I picked up a package of neoprene mouse-pad-like roads at Historicon last week, and I am wondering whether a whole table mat for the 3x5 well of my gaming table would make sense. (For miniatures games...)

 

Is anyone gaming on such a surface?  Pros/cons?  Recommended suppliers?

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I've never used such myself, but two that come to mind are... 

 

- GameMat (dot) EU

- Green Stuff World

 

GameMat has theirs hidden under the Terrain Tab, then "Mousepad Terrain", while GreenStuffWorld its under "Hobby Accessories" then "2D Terrain" 

 

GameMat only has a few bundles, whereas GreenStuffWorld also has rivers, lava River, and trenches. 

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Zuzi game mats were ones that came to mind. I am not sure if they are still in business.

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If you don't need printed mats, the best price I could find was from foamorder (dot) com. They have nominal 51" x 83" x 3mm sheets for $44.05 (plain back and fabric front in a variety of colors, textured back is a bit smaller and about the same price).

 

I've used this kind of matting for card games, where it works quite well. I would expect to work as well (probably better than) felt for miniatures games.

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A piece of MDF from Lowe’s (or some such place) half inch thickness is about $22.

 

Is it vital to be able to roll up the insert?

 

$22 is a sheet 49x97 inches. You would have leftover pieces of 49x37 inches and 13x60 inches, in addition to the 3 x 5 foot insert. You could paint whatever Dungeon stone or terrain texture you wanted on that. 

 

Is a soft surface a key requirement?

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I'm going to venture a guess part of the reason for the curiosity is for being able to travel, packing light (say, I dunno, bringing a game with you on an airplane?), but also have it not take up too too much space, hence why the 2D Terrain.   Mouse mat terrain doesn't care if it's casually thrown in with your clothes, whereas standard terrain might object to being twisted about... 

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I’ve mats from Mantics Mars Attacks, Deadzone, and Walking Dead Games. 

They vary slightly in size, about 2’ square. I quite like them. They roll up well for travel.

 

I also have smaller mats for MTG which also work quite well for that.

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I Kickstarted a mat from Big Viking Mats and I love it.  Its a little smaller than my table but getting an exact size would have been a lot more expensive.  It is a thick mat and is great for gaming on (but I don't miniature game).

 

One of my friends has a glass table top and rolling dice on that stunk.  We convinced him to get a mat and he got one from Amazon.  Frankly it does the job and was a lot cheaper than mine.  

 

In short, I recommend a table mat.  

 

 

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Hmmm...thanks for the advice so far, but I can see that I was a little ambiguous.  So, in February my new gaming table was delivered.  It’s got a reversible insert to the gaming well; one side suede covered, the other plain polished wood.  I ordinarily set up a miniatures wargame on a felt or other cloth mat, and would, on a folding plastic banquet table, use some gaffer’s tape to hold it in place so that it doesn’t slide around.  

 

On the fancy table, I could lay a cloth on the suede side (but I’d be afraid of leaving indelible lint), so I have been using the wood side, which is slippery.  I don’t want to use tape on the fancy wood, so certainly the expectation that the mouse-pad mat wouldn’t slide is a plus.  Being thick enough to keep down any chance of scuffs from die rolling is also a plus.

 

However, I’m looking at a mat sized to cover the whole well (3x5 — and it looks like 3x6 is a standard-ish size) and already be giving my grass display.  I would ordinarily expect to lay 3-d terrain on it, although I’ll probably add more neoprene, like the roads, for things like water features that are naturally 2-d.

 

For travel, I expect to stick with cloth, so this would just sit in the table much of the time, or be rolled up in the adjacent cabinet if I were (or should be) concerned about it getting sticky or breaking down with age.

 

How do the printed mats wear?  Designs pretty solid, or does it rub off?

 

As an example, I was looking at wargame mats from Front Line Gaming. 

 

Table with cloth terrain:

 

663710DA-31F8-410D-AFF3-05AE0DB9E66D.thumb.jpeg.407d1c8d8e6f9317493189256f23ebef.jpeg  

Edited by Rob Dean
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You might want to check out some online sites, a popular auction site I just checked has over 2K listings for neoprene sheet in various configurations, for size and price comparison.

The material that mouse pads are made from is basically the same material used for making wetsuits, and this is available in bulk if you search for it.

GEM

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