Sunday, November 5, 2017

Space Gaming Mats

 In the last few years, we've gotten really spoiled for choice as far as setting up the battlefields we fight over.  It might surprise some of you newcomers, but up until just recently we've never had the top quality mats we have now.  My group has made due with flocked plywood, white and green sheets, and a green carpet (it's still here somewhere) before being able to really set up a nice looking game easily.  Easily being the keyword.

Today, I want to talk about space mats.

A crazy idea if you played any space games long ago, but now we have cheap, durable and nice looking mats available from a variety of retailers.  For the Cloak of the Sith, I chose Gale Force 9 to provide the backdrop of the battle.  They have a selection of great stuff I'm sure I'm going to get more of, and I selected two mats of different sizes that seemed to depict the same type of 'space'.  The 3x3 "Space Mat" and the 6'x3' Gas Giant.  You can check them out at GF9's online store.

Gale Force 9 Space Mat 3'x3'
3'x3' fits great on a medium size dining table.
Recently I've been  looking around for new mats for a lot of different games and warzone types, and I'm impressed at the staggering array of mats from all kinds of different companies.  I've got a few already, but they are kind of old and you can't even get some of them anymore.  We'll talk about those at a later date.  The most important takeaway is that I need more 3'x3' mats, because the big ones have been kind of out of style except for larger battle games.  Not the trend at all these days, and you can only find 6'x4' if you look specifically for them.

When you realize Darth Vader has a Target Lock...
"Then the Emperor has already won..."

Recently I was able to get a big game with lots of ships on the board, and we had to break out the 6'x3' Gas Giant for the first time.  Spectacular.  I look forward to seeing all sorts of spaceships get vaporized on this thing.

Gale Force 9 Gas Giant
On my 6'x5' table setup, there's actually a lot of room left for accoutrements.
My only real complaint with these mats is it's harder to photograph them.  Light sources can really cast a glare on it, and although that's no real issue you will have to jockey a little for a good shot off the cuff.  However, they are durable and resistant to liquids...and that's important when you flip out and spray your beer all over your enemy's face.

Recently, I was asked about a certain moon-like space station.  Gale Force 9, luckily, makes some nice products to fit that bill.  I'm surprised there's not a 6'x3' version of that map, but like I said...full size tables are going out of style.  Good for us it looks like two of those moon station maps will fit together pretty smoothly...

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