Does your geeky
crush or gaming buddy appreciate the immersion of tabletop gaming? If so, they’ll probably love a gaming
mat! Sometimes known as a ‘Battle Mat’,
these highly stylized and portable surfaces bring the wargaming experience to
A gaming mat can be used with miniatures games, card games and a variety of tabletop roleplaying games. Premium game mats will always have high resolution artwork with a durable and awesome looking rubber backed fabric.
Most games work great with a 4×4 foot gaming mat, but serious wargamers usually go with a larger 6×4 foot mat.
We love Gaslands! It’s a cinematic, post-apocalyptic tabletop game that uses modded Hotwheels for the minis. It’s definitely in the Saucermen Studios top 5 games of 2019 because of the low starting cost, maker appeal and insanely fun group playability.
We recently started to explore the superfast, powersliding faction of the Japanese Miyazaki and wanted to really capture the spirit of Tokyo drift cars so cracked open the electronics set and added some LED lighting to our cars.
Adding lighting to a Gaslands vehicle is very easy and affordable. All you need is:
One Hotwheels Car
Dremel or manual cutting tool
One watch battery – We used a 3v CR2032
Connecting the Lights & Power – The LEDs have a short leg that must conenct to the bottom (- Negative) side of the battery. You can just slip the battery between the two legs of the LED. Don’t worry if you mix up the connections, just swap it until it works. You can also cut the legs of the LED to suit and add more lights if needed.
Getting the Lights Inside the Car – Cut a hole in the bottom of the car and place the battery and connected LEDs inside.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to powerslide your way to stylish victory!
Battle mats have become essential accessories on the tables of tournaments, clubs, stores and home-gamers throughout the wargaming community. Neoprene game mats are a clear favourite for gamers, but with mats coming in a range of materials and sizes, what makes a good gaming surface?
These can feature great quality prints, be
lightweight and easily folded away BUT they are prone to creases and can be
awkward to play on. They can be a cheaper
option but the saving can lead to frustration later down the line when your
minis are displaced by slippy material. Pinning them to the corner of a table
can solve some of the lumps and bumps of playing on a cloth surface but it’s
not perfect. These material mats aren’t
waterproof either and can stain easily.
These are made from the same as outdoor
banners. They tend not to lie flat and
can have a shiny surface. Whilst they
are waterproof and can be easily wiped clean, the surface is hard so dice ‘clunk’
around and any minis dropped on them could be damaged. They are defiantly cheaper than the premium
alternative but you’ll eventually wish you purchased a neoprene mat. Vinyl battle mats should be rolled, not
folded as this may permanently crease them.
(mouse mat style)
These are the superior gaming surface
recommended by many players around the world. Neoprene battle mats feature high
quality printed surfaces and a sturdy rubber backing that grips to your table
without making lumps or creases. They
are typically waterproof and are soft enough to protect any miniatures that may
fall. Cards feel great to play on the
surface and dice roll eloquently. They
can be heavier and more expensive than lower quality alternatives but are far
Think of classic board game tiles. While the artwork can be printed at high quality, the lifespan isn’t very long and large surfaces tend to be cut for folding.
look for in the best gaming mat
Depending on the games you play, you will want to purchase a game mat to complement the theme. While fantasy players will most-likely want natural landscapes, sci-fi gamers may want cities or industrial flooring. You should also consider what armies will play on the table and which terrain or scenery you have available to complement the mat’s design.
Neoprene gaming mats are usually rolled up
and stored in bags where cloth mats are folded and can be packed away quite
small. A good carry case is useful which
allows for portability and safe storage of your mats.
Different games have different play
areas. Warhammer 40,000 can be played on
areas up to 6x4feet, whilst infinity has a 4×4 foot play area. Smaller skirmish games such as Games Workshop’s
Kill Team plays on a table area of 22×30 inches. Think about the biggest possible play area
you will need for the systems you play.
Large mats can be scaled down by folding, masking or even hanging off
the table and even allow for variation in choosing which part to play on but
small mats may quickly become outgrown if you decide to play larger games.
How quickly can your mat be set up? A good neoprene gaming mat just needs to be
unrolled or literally thrown onto the table whilst other need unfolding, flattening
or even attaching to the table to remove creases.
Gaming mats have a range of quality. Colour, print, materials and the artwork
itself. Ultimately you’ll want to get
the mat in your hands but the next best thing is to look on forums and online
community groups for close up images.
Buying from a reputable supplier is always a good option.
Consider the work case scenario when playing a game in terms of dirt and mess. Sandy bits falling off scenery, food crumbs and even spilled drinks. Neoprene and vinyl mats are incredibly easy to just wipe up and clean off with their hydrophobic (waterproof) coating, but other materials such as cloth or card will just absorb the nastiness.
Saucermen Studios offer a range of battle mats using the highest quality materials. They are based in Australia, with their studio based in Brisbane. Saucermen studios gaming mats are compatible with Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, Corvus Belli’s Infinity, Malifaux, Warmachine, Star Wars Legion and many more systems.