Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bringing our Table to Life: The Frontline Gaming and Table War Gaming Mat

Hey Guys! Today I wanted you all to check out this awesome new product from Frontline Gaming and Table War: The Gaming Mat. By now it's possible that many of you have heard of, seen, or even played on one of these mats already, but in case you haven't, we'll give you our take. Now before we even TALK about the mat, it's important to understand the dry, uninteresting, just plain awful looking table we were playing on previous to receiving our new gaming mat. Here's what we were working with:

Now, granted, we could certainly do plenty worse. At the end of the day, it was a surface to put our models on that we could call our own and allowed us to play the game in the comfort of Metal Rancor's home. However, one can only stare at the vast grey expanse before they would eventually be overcome by overwhelming bleakness, only to end up alone in the corner having an existential crisis concerning why they couldn't find fulfillment in life. Okay, so a little dramatic, but the point is as we started producing battle reports and playing more games, we wanted to immerse ourselves in the complete 40k experience, forging rock-hard narratives across a writhing battleground complete with all the aesthetics of the grimdark future. So, after following Frontline Gaming for quite awhile, we're ecstatic when they announced their kickstarter for their gaming mat and Xinz immediately backed the "Urban Combat" version of the product. Well, we finally received it about a week ago, and after putting it through it's paces with a quick modelling session, we swapped out our landscape of grey for the new urban combat mat.
Spoiler Alert: This thing is absolutely awesome. Made out of a water-resistant mousepad-esque rubber material, the gaming mat (which comes in a handy pull-string sleeve for storage and transportation) is the perfect weight to spread across the table evenly without letting the corners or edges curl up. We tested the water-resistance and were equally impressed. The droplet of water magically held its shape and easily rolled off the edge, ensuring us that any spills would be easily taken care of. As far as the actual urban image on the mat goes, the level of detail is truly remarkable. Bottles, newspapers, and tire tracks litter the war-torn streets while cool set pieces such as an acid/sewage spill fill out the corners and really bring the product to life. Now, one of the best features of this particular version of the mat, and what drew us to purchasing the urban combat version, is the brilliant way it is designed. You'll notice that two sets of streets run both along the mat and perpendicular to the long board edge. These roads actually mark the twelve inch and twenty-four inch deployment zones for dawn of war and hammer and anvil deployment respectively. In addition, a set of flares mark the vanguard strike deployment, thus covering all of the 40k player's bases and is a brilliant way of incorporating the game rules into the design of the mat itself.

Finally, the surface of the gaming mat is, and this may sound a little odd, but perfect for rolling dice! They rarely get cocked but also don't bounce with such force that they exit the earth's atmosphere and hurtle endlessly into space. Overall, we were blown away with the quality of the Frontline Gaming and Table War Gaming Mat. At $85 plus shipping, it may seem a bit steep for a simple gaming mat. And it would be, were this product a simple gaming mat! But in fact, it is so much more. They come in tons of varieties to fit your style (or even match the basing scheme of your army) and they will be sure to provide an unparalleled aesthetic experience for your wargaming. If that price still seems steep for the incredible value you are receiving, you should definitely consider splitting the cost among your wargaming group. The mat will definitely get its use by every member of your group and is the perfect way for a new gaming group to add much needed cinematic improvements to their narrative forging. You can check out all of the different gaming mats, as well as order your own, here. If you're not convinced yet, check out the rest of our pictures and see for yourself; the improvement is truly phenomenal!


  1. The mat looks great.

    My concern with mat is after they have been stored rolled up for a while they don't perfectly lie flat, ie. they want to curve. How does the Frontline Gaming mat lie before you put anything on it ?


    1. It lies flat. Perfectly flat. I had a pretty similar concern for the fact the grass mat we started with and the silicone molded mat we have both crease and curve over time, but the Frontline/Tablewar mat doesn't do this at all.

      To say the least, I am blown away with this thing. It has more than exceeded my expectations both in the quality of the printing and design of the mat itself. Seriously, if you're considering getting one, pull the trigger. You will not regret it.