Battle Mats #1 – Deep Cut Studios

So many of us will have fond memories of images just like this.

It’s been a long time since bases were all painted Goblin Green and you played your games on a slice of green felt rolled out on your dining table, things have moved on. Quite a bit.

As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, I’m all about the cinematic feel of a game, call it an attention deficit, but if I’m playing a game on an uncovered table, it won’t engage me and I’ll be bored within 15 minutes. Same with swathes of unpainted models, it’s just how I am.

However, I’m fully aware of how expensive a realm of battle board is, how bulky it is, and to be honest, unless you’ve got a purpose built tray to sit it in, how annoyingly fragile they can be. Many a time I’ve seen a cat jump on to an overhanging edge and watched Space Marines dive into the air. Added to this, you have to prepare and paint them yourself. While you don’t have to go Golden Daemon on it, it’s also going to be a time consuming task, painting a 6’x4′ modular board.

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I’ll be buying one of these for my Heresy games, the sandy tones should make the miniatures really pop.

If you’re playing fantasy battle, you’ll also have to contend with the hills, and for this you’ll need movement trays, thankfully our very own Stevie Boxall tells you how here. But there’s a lot to consider in replacing that dining table with the Urgall Depression.

So it got me to thinking, what are the alternatives? What do people use instead of the £160 realm of battle board, or the new £200 Citadel 40k tabletop thing?

Which leads me to the first of what I hope to be a few articles on different solutions to this problem, this one centres on a roll out battle mat from Deep Cut Studios, one of the names out there supplying thing kind of solution.

Deep Cut are a Lithuanian company producing miniatures and mats for a whole wealth of games in a whole lot of detailed designs, and indeed sizes. They range from RPG style mats showing insides of buildings, a whole host of land style designs, wastes, cities, roads, jungles, ice, anything you can think of, as well as some beautifully detailed space scenes which themselves go up to 6’x4 for some huge themed galactic battles.

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The aptly named Highway to Hell board.

Given Corehammer and the rest of the world seem to have gone X-Wing crazy, Deep Cut kindly provided Corehammer with a space mat at 3’x3′ for review purposes.

The mat is a very lightweight vinyl type material, it rolls up nicely in its tube, and the tubes come with Deep Cut stamped logos on, this one arrived in a matter of days. While lightweight, it’s extremely durable and has a nice non slip gaming surface on it, which was a really good touch. Those flying bases aren’t going anywhere on this. The bottom once rolled out has a grippy surface to it as well. While its not nano technology you can stick to the ceiling, it’s more than enough to provide a solid gaming surface when it’s rolled out. And when you’re done gaming, you can just roll it back up and store it in the tube it came in while the suckers with realms of battle need a garage or an extension to store those things, you can prop yours up in the corner, or sling it under the bed.

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Space, the final frontier.

The detail on the space mat provided was really tight, even right up close it held the pattern, any space battles on these are going to look cinematic, and if you’re playing Star Trek or X Wing, that’s the goal, to recreate those pitched battles you see on the screen. There are several space designs, deep space, nebulae and a space battle which to be fair, already looks like something from DS9 even without your models on it.

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This ones one of my faves, the detail is amazing and they do these right up to 6’x4′!

The ground base designs are all just as good looking, with a host of different styles, from squared RPG dungeons to ice tundra’s and with the 3’x3′ coming in at just £22.50, and the RPG dungeons as little as £9.50, these are very competitively priced. Even the 6’x4′ come in at £39.90 which is a hell of a lot less than most, and with zero preparation, just open your tube and begin playing, I can see these mats having a place in many gamer’s collections.

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I love a good Battle in the North, perfect for your Sons of Northern Darkness to go to war on.

As mentioned, now there are now fantasy football mats for your Bloodbowl or Dreadball games, as well as open water, they have most, if not all the major gaming systems covered. Head on over to Deep Cut Studios and take a look for yourself.

 

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