Battle mats

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Clever_Munkey
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Re: Battle mats

Post Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:34 am

Solomoriah wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:50 pm
Why all the hard work? Seriously, bleach solution (not straight bleach, but diluted) does the trick every time. Works fine on my 30 year old battlemat and the ones I got in the last few years.
What ratio of bleach to water do you use? My mat has that fake parchment texture dye stuff, and I’m always hesitant to use bleach on something with color, even if it’s diluted.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Battle mats

Post Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:37 pm

Not a clue. It's a commercial product; Clorox makes the "on-brand" version, but ours is the Dollar General knockoff.

As I said, I have an old one that dates back to my days in the Air Force (sometime in the late '80's or early '90's) and two new ones, and it works fine on all of them. They are all Chessex, and they are all that same yellowish parchment color, and the cleaner hasn't harmed them. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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Snarkythekobold
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Re: Battle mats

Post Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:24 pm

Well, here is what I have learned recently from experience. The cheaper laminated maps on Amazon that include an eraser, marker, and die are a pretty good bang for your buck. I would recommend them for someone who doesn't have anything and wants to try out RPGing.

But in the long run . . . they kinda suck. It is nice not to have much mess with the dry erase markers but some colors do not erase that well. And also, the laminated paper wants to kink up any time that you roll it. It might not be so bad if you just flattened it and left it out somewhere. But if you roll it, you are probably going to crinkle it and permanently damage it . . . not good.

I wish I had just went ahead and bought a Chessex mat. Also, if I was just starting off from scratch, I don't know if I would go with expensive miniatures. I had some plastic miniatures already from old HeroQuest and Dragon Strike games and so I went ahead and bought other plastic mini's from Eagle Games and Ebay. But I have seen that the minis are really not that necessary. It's good to have some sort of way to tell where characters are and differentiate . . . but the vision of the imagination is what really makes the game good. Being able to describe things as the GM is more important than game pieces.

I do love an erasable battle map though. You can use different colors and basically draw all your props. You can keep the technical aspects of the game with the distances and such . . . but also help your players to understand the lay of the land and not have to reiterate things over and over.

Everyone here probably already knows this but this was the conclusion that I have come to after getting into RPG's and leading probably 30 or so sessions.
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orobouros
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Re: Battle mats

Post Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:36 pm

I just got some generic tokens and markers for use. The player tokens stand up and each have a unique color (unless I have more than six players). The monster/NPC tokens are all flat, 1" squares with letters on them in five different colors (to denote different kinds). There's something nice about a minimalist approach which leaves more to the imagination.
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Omote
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Re: Battle mats

Post Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:04 pm

Chessex mats have a protective coating on them to make them last longer. To those that use isopropyl, bleach, or other cleaning agents (like Clorox wipes), you are putting additional wear and tear on the mat.

My suggestions are to never use dry erase markers, and not use any cleaning agent other than water or a little bit of hand soap and water.

~O
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chiisu81
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Re: Battle mats

Post Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:01 pm

From Chessex's own site:
Using water-soluble overhead-projection pens (NOT dry erase, grease pencil, or permanent markers), you can write on the vinyl and remove later with water when the drawing is no longer needed.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Battle mats

Post Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:53 pm

Pfft. Dilute bleach solution is the only thing I've found that will remove every bit of the residue from wet erase markers. Considering the extreme age (over 20 years, closing in on 30) of my original mat, and its overall good condition, I don't think it's much of a risk.
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