Make your Tabletop look Great!
By Ray Snyder
Whether you play board games, card games, or miniature wargames, having a great looking tabletop makes everything better. In this article I’m going to talk about Table Mats and Gaming Terrain.
Table Mats are the fastest way to up the appearance of your tabletop. A good gaming mat could range from simple felt or printed Neoprene. Currently it’s possible to find table mats that are printed or dyed Cloth, Vinyl, or neoprene. Neoprene is my favorite material, it’s the stuff most mouse pad are made of and lays flat, is very durable, and is slightly padded, reducing dice rolling noise and making it easier to pick up cards on it’s surface. Cloth Mats tend to have bends and wrinkles, while Vinyl can also have the same issues if not properly rolled up and stored in a tube. Many games have Mats made especially for that game, while other games can benefit largely from a themed table mat. Some Games even includes neoprene table mats instead of the traditional card stock game boards.
Table Mats can be personal sized for Card games and CCGs, so you can play anywhere while protecting your cards from sticky surfaces or helping to organize your play space.
Miniature Wargames require Terrain; miniature hills, buildings, plants, trees, rubble, rivers, and other obstacles for the Miniatures to maneuver around. May Players start out with simple terrain, some shoe box buildings and piles of magazines and books for hills, but it’s easier than ever to get great looking terrain for your games. If you enjoy hobby work, there are tons of kits you can construct and paint, ranging from plastic models to “laser cut” wood(MDF) kits. However if you don’t have the time or skills to do the hobby work, prepainted and assembled terrain is also easy to come by.
Finally if you also have problems storing or transporting terrain, many companies make “flat” terrain, High quality Images printed on Neoprene and cut to size. Flat Terrain can make for a very colorful battlefield and works wonderful on very precise wargames such as Warmachine and Hordes, as the terrain don’t get in the way of measurements and also allows you to place you models anywhere, without having wobbly model syndrome.
Flat Terrain also works wonderful with traditional 3d terrain, as you can use the flat terrain to make area borders, then place scatter terrain on top of it, such as a forest piece of flat terrain with some model trees on top, or area of rubble with some model boulders on it. Finally Flat terrain works very well with rivers and trenches as these terrain features have always been difficult to model.
A great tabletop can really make punch up your game, making for a more enjoyable experience and memories for years to come.
For more information on Terrain and Table Mats, check with your local Game Kastle.