As you surely have noticed if you are a regular reader of this blog, our battles are always fought on felt mats. I know that in some corners of the wargaming world felt mats are not very welcome, but I have always liked the old school look of such a surface. It is easy and inexpensive to procure, practical to store and good to handle. We use a green mat for our Dark Ages and medieval games, as they usually take place in Britain, and a brownish mat for the sci fi games. This of course won’t do for medieval Spain, so I set out to find a new playing surface that would fit a Mediterranean landscape.
Now I’m not per se opposed to other solutions than felt, however some of them are not practical for our living situation. We have no space whatsoever to store a dedicated board or terrain tiles. Terrain mats on the other hand would be easy to store, as they can be rolled up. There are also some very good tutorials out there that show you how do make such surfaces. I’ve thought about making one for quite some time, but there is no space available to set up the mat and let it dry – basically, we work, play and eat on the living room table, so it has to be cleared after each activity.
Some time ago, I came across a blog by Italian wargamer Pieropablo. Pieropablo offers custom-made terrain mats for a very reasonable price. I decided to give it a try and ordered a Mediterranean mat of 120x80cm. Communications were prompt and friendly, and Pieropablo was happy to cater to my special wishes (I had sent him some pictures of my bases so as to get a similar colour on the mat). He was clear about his schedule and very reliable – the mat was finished exactly when he said it would be.
And it looks splendid! It has a good texture and colour and can easily be rolled up for storage. Here are some images of the surface:
For the fun of it, I’ve also set up the hills I finished so far and a couple of stands of figures. Looks good, doesn’t it?
I’m very happy with Pieropablo’s mat and can highly recommend his service. Although I still like my felt mats and will always defend them with tooth and nail against wargaming snobs, I will certainly place another order with Pieropablo in the future!
The Raft makes a Christmas break and will be back on January 2nd with some exciting announcements. Meanwhile, have a nice Christmas and enjoy the holidays!