Monday, February 15, 2010

New Play Mat

A French Colour Party ambles past a farm house on my new play mat.
(Figures - Mounted officers by Italeri, Pioneer by SHQ, Eagle bearer & Officer on foot by Newline Designs and Vivandiere by Emke Art, House by Zvezda and ploughed field by Conrad Kinch's trousers. All figures painted by Mark Bevis of Micromark)

I'm looking forward to playing the forth coming Command & Colours: Napoleonics by Richard Borg. Donogh has a large collection of 6mm Napoleonics and we'll certainly get great mileage out of them. However, I've really taken to 20mm as a scale, cheap enough to allow me to field large units while big enough to give a sense of playing with toy soldiers.

I've also been playing Worthington Games Honour and Glory, which is a War of 1812 version of their Clash for a Continent game. It's Horse and Musket on a 13 by 9 hex board and has a lot in common with the Command & Colours franchise, though it is not in my opinion as good. I've adapted it to suit my own tastes and we've played a few table top teasers with it, but it's a stop gap until C&C Napoleonics arrives.

The problem is however, how to play both these games using my very pretty miniatures. With 6mm or 2mm figures, there was no issue; they fit rather well on the board that came with the game. 20mm figures require rather more elbow room if they are to be deployed in the sort of numbers that I like to see. Hence the new game mat.

Milton looks on, while I put the finishing touches to my new playmat.

I picked a green felt on a whim, as I thought it would be the most versatile option, though I may invest in another mat for campaigning in the Mediterranean. A flat green seemed a safe bet for a test of concept. Just over two yards of material came to twenty two euro at my local fabric shop. I agonised over how to draw hexes, when Mrs. Kinch, ever the practical one, pointed out that offset squares would do just as well. There may be issues with determining lines of sight, but after nearly six years of playing Memoir '44, I think we've encountered every situation you can encounter and if we come across a new one, we will come to some sort of arrangement.

Six inch squares were the largest I could could get away with, so I set to with ruler and pastels to mark in the square in a light green. Rather than mark out each square in its entirety, I indicated the corners of each, which I think is enough. These are clear for the purposes of play without being overwhelming.


  1. I like the new mat!

    At present I am using a much smaller 3 foot x 3 foot square of green felt for my games, but was very taken with a Games Workshop/Citadel Battlemat when I saw one yesterday.

    It costs £18.00, has a cloth backing, and comes ready flocked. Other people who have bought them say that they are very durable.

    I am seriously thinking of replacing my current felt mat with one of these Battlemats because they look somewhat better on the tabletop and do not seem to get quite as creased as the felt does.

    Time (and how much money I have in my wallet the next time I visit a games Workshop shop) will the final decider!

    All the best,


  2. I like 20mm, I like my 40's but I still have an attachemnt to 20's and they have never comepletly gone away and keep sneaking abck in!

    Litko has hex templates if you decide you do want hexes. They come in avareity of hex sizes and styles .

    The hex sheet I have and have yet to use, buy one day will, came from Holtz


  3. I'd recommend Mat-o-War's products
    Really nice look and feel to them, and they'll ship very reasonably throughout Europe.
    They also take wear and tear very well, and after some use will take the shape of objects placed underneath them (a throw-back to books under felt!)
    You can see some of them in action on my blog