Sunday, August 16, 2020

Crystal Caste Combat Mats

Crystal Caste Combat Mats

In long days of yore, I had no miniatures for RPGs.  Nor did I have terrain for such, but it mattered little since most of what we did was 'mind's eye' type games in one buddy or another's house.  However, one of the first things I acquired when I decided to lean into the hobby was the Chessex Reversible Battlemat.  It was truly indispensable, and even in recent years these ancient scrolls have been unrolled quite a bit.

Crystal Caste Combat Mats Reversible

These are simply blank battlemats marked in 1-inch squares, and on the reversible side, in hexes.  They are usable with dry-erase markers, so really any terrain can be depicted simply by drawing on it with such a marker.  This is quite serviceable if you don't have anything else, and with pawns or other markers can really up your game.

Crystal Caste Combat Mats DIY Dungeon Tiles

One of my biggest campaigns made heavy use of the battlemat.  Miss Anthropy and I made some home-made dungeon walls to mark out areas rather than using dry-erase pens.  Not only was this easier and faster when building dungeon corridors, the 3d effect really helped with the verisimilitude.  The wall pieces themselves only took a few hours to build and draw in, and more than paid for that by being the main terrains of the entire 16-session campaign.

Crystal Caste Combat Mats with Tiles

Of course, they make special tiles just for this kind of thing, and there's nothing stopping you from using multiple terrain types together.  Using D&D miniatures tiles, or simply Dungeon Tiles, you can really set up a nice looking dungeon area.  This kind of setup can also be used to show transition areas too - such as from outside to inside a particular dungeon or location (and vice-versa).

Honestly, having these in the vault has been a great boon.  You never know when you're going to need to use them, and for a basic tactical setup you can't get any more potential.  In other words, you probably need one (or more) of these mats if you're a serious gamer of any kind.  It's just too useful, especially when space for gear (terrain / miniatures) is limited.

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