I only recently became aware of GameMat while trawling the Internet for good terrain for an Infinity board i'm planning (more on that soon!) They are a company based in the Czech Republic and make a wide variety of gaming mats, as well as some terrain pieces which are well worth a look. While i did look at some of the more popular gaming mat companies (FAT Mat, DeepCut etc) I went for their Quarantine mat in a 4ft x 4ft because i think its design will match the feel of my board really well. HOWEVER, what i actually received was the 6x4 version! This is not a reflection on GameMat.eu however, as i bought it from a UK based supplier.
As usual i'll be looking at the design, quality, affordability of the product and then give it an overall score. Lets get to it.
This mat theme is designated Quarantine, so has lots of industrial imagery, as well as hazard stripes and what i'll generically term 'corruption' (worn paint, rust, chips, etc) This design could be suitable for any number of wargame settings.
While the theme does lean heavily on the rust and corruption, this is punctuated by a number of interesting designs which keep the design of the mat interesting.
Weaving between all those patterns is a decent road set. Plain enough so not to distract from the design, but noticeable enough to support the overall aesthetic!
Score - 5/5
An Interesting, eye catching and versatile design!
From what i can tell from the Internet, there is a few different materials that you could buy a game mat in. Broadly these materials are paper, cloth or neoprene (commonly referred to as 'mousemat') In this instance, i went for the neoprene material, as this was the only option and is 2mm in thickness. This suited me however, for a number of reasons.
A rubber based material will of course always be more durable than paper or cloth. It is unlikely to tear or crease making it last longer in principle. Will it wear out over time, its designs fade and the edges get tatty? sadly i cannot say at this early point, but i'd say the odds are good!
The underside of the mat is textured, giving the mat some grip on your gaming surface. The printed side of the mat is perfectly smooth, ensuring the quality of the design remains uninterrupted by imperfections.
Score - 4.5/5
Half a point short of a full house, as i'm unsure 2mm thickness will stand the tests of time. Only review of thicker mats would help with this, so for now its 4.5.
As i said earlier, i sourced this mat from a UK stockist, as GameMat itself is based in the Czech Republic. However, GameMat's website allows you to shop in GBP so i was able to compare the price of the mat and shipping directly. As it happens, i paid the same amount for the mat (£42) and the shipping (£8) from the UK supplier as i would have from GameMat directly.
From what i can tell from shopping around on the Internet, price points for a mat of this size and material are around £40 - £50. A price tag of £42 falls within this range at the lower end of the spectrum. Another nice thing about this mat is that it comes with a carry case for no extra charge.
Score - 4.5/5
While this mat is at the lower end of the common price spectrum, its hard to call £42 on a mat 'affordable'. Certainly to some, but not to all. However, i do think you get what you pay for here.
This is a solid game mat with great quality designs made from a quality material. The price of the mat does bring its score down a little, and remember, this was for a 4x4 mat. The little touch of a carry bag included in the price does go some way to softening the blow!
Overall Score 4.5/5
More product reviews soon!