Ever on the quest to find some cool gaming mats I stumbled across Cigar Box Battle Mats and had to pick a few up. A while back I had gotten some Hotz mats for my Bolt Action and Firestorm Armada games. The star field mat was okay while the green mat was a little lackluster. Further, they were treated felt. The surface looked like it could handle pilling but it was stiff and kept wrinkles if folded up.
The battle mats from Cigar Box are made out of a thin fleece material. It’s very supple and has a sheen surface that will not snag on miniature bases. Most come in 4′ x 6′ with a few mats measuring 36″ x 36″. You can machine wash the mats and the surface appears to be screen printed making it look pretty resistant to your normal wear and tear.
The star field mat is very muted, but has a nice generic look. All of which allows you to plop down whatever terrain you have and not look too out of place clashing with something printed on the mat itself.
The generic grass field has a nice textured look to it. As the material is so yielding, you can put hills under the mat. This is something I found an issue with the Hotz mats as the treated felt was rather stiff. For a basic open field, the Cigar Box mat looks good with just a little contrast to break up the entire surface.
Digging through the store, there are also more elaborate patterns which can highlight roads, fields, and forests. A few even are set up to portray classic civil war battles, but could work for different historical engagements too. There is a pretty impressive variety and fortunately some generic mats are also available.
I think one ding to the mats would be that you’d have to double up if needing a 4′ X 8′ mat as the size options are limited. The mats are also ideal for free miniature movement as there are no hex or grid options.
The service was quick and I got my order via international air mail about a week after it was shipped. They were also very quick to respond to any queries via email. I highly recommend these mats. They are durable, provide a good gaming surface, and look great. Well worth picking them up for your games.