Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Chessex Battlemats

I am more than just pleased with the Chessex Battlemats that I have bought to use at COW. Now that they have had some time to lay flat for a few hours, all the creases have dropped out. In addition, the vinyl they are printed on is heavy enough to stay flat and to 'stick' to the cloth I lay on my wargames table to protect its surface whilst I am using it.

The Battlemats come in a pale stone colour and they are printed with 1-inch squares on one side and 1-inch hexes on the other.

The outside dimensions of the Battlemats are 23.5 inches x 26 inches; the grids are 22 squares x 25 squares/21 hexes x 28 hexes.

It is possible to draw on the Battlemats with water-based non-permanent OHP pens, which means that some terrain features (e.g. rivers, roads) can be drawn on and then wiped off after the battle has been fought.

I like these Battlemats, and I am sure that they will be of use to me for some time to come.

10 comments:

  1. guedbA cautionary note: I've used Chessex battle mats - and some other makes as well - and they all work well with dry wipe markers...but... make sure you clean the mat thoroughly after every game session. If you leave the marker on the mat for too long it will stain plastic.

    Also the dry wipe ink isn’t dry wipe after a few days and is a nightmare to remove. It is possible to clean the mat, but it will take a bucket of chemical cleaners and a lot of elbow grease.

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  2. Chessex at least used to make (and hopefully still does) a very interesting mat.

    It had "alternating squares". That is, it had a row of squares, then each subsequent row would be offset by 50%.

    Thus every other row would be the same as the row before the previous one. The net result was a surface of "squares" but movement would be similar to hexes . . . with diagonals no longer warping things out-of-whack.


    -- Jeff

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  3. I too have a chessex mat and they're great. A word of warning though. Don't leave your OPC pen markings on for too long (more than a couple of weeks) as the ink does sink in eventually and the marks are a devil to get out.

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  4. Be careful. Even OHP pens will leave hard to move marks if left on for too long. I ran a solo game over a 3 week period and used good lumocolor pens - they still left some marks that were a devil to move.

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  5. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the picture of your mat. They look very nice. I only wish for for one thing, a green one.

    For dusty, dry landscape they should work fine.

    Have fun at COW!

    Jim

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  6. BigLee and Captain Quincy,

    Thanks for the advice about making sure that the Battlemats are cleaned as soon after use as is possible. Knowledge like that is more than just useful; it is essential!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Bluebear Jeff,

    I did not know that Chessex made Battlemats with offset squares. They did not appear on any of the websites I visited and may therefore only be available in the US. This would be a great shame as several of the RED SQUARE group of wargames rules written by Richard Brooks use offset squares exactly for the reasons you mention; they are a squared grid with the advantages of a hexed grid but none of the disadvantages.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Jim Wright,

    I am glad that you like the photograph. I tried to show what both grids looked like as well as giving some idea of how figures looked on them.

    You are absolutely right; green would have been very useful ... but they don't seem to make them in that colour, which is a great pity. However, for a dusty setting they are great.

    COW looms on the horizon and I am still getting stuff ready for it. My plan is to have all my ‘toys’ packed and ready to go by Monday of next week at the latest so that I don’t have to hurry around at the last minute.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Bob,

    They made the offset-square mats in the past. I have a big one from about 25 years ago . . . but they may have discontinued them due to limited sales.

    It is, of course, possible (if one is very careful) to make one on your own . . . but I suspect that most people simply opt for either squares or hexes.


    -- Jeff

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  10. Bluebear Jeff,

    I would not be surprised if it did not sell well; it is rather esoteric, even for some wargamers and role-play gamers.

    Richard Brooks has made his own offset grids by drawing them on to thin sheets of MDF. However, because MDF is quite heavy, they are not always easy to transport to 'away' games.

    All the best,

    Bob

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