What base terrains/maps are there?

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Sean-Khan
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What base terrains/maps are there?

#1 Postby Sean-Khan » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:52 am

I bought WorldWorksGames Streets of mayhem to get base terrains for my Cyberpunk games, and I'm quite happy with them. I've also made some custom terrains for fantasy games, but most battles are are still fought on my old DDM/SWM plain battlemaps which are handy and on which I place my terrains.

I've started to want better-quality base terrains and am wondering what options are there. High quality non-paper (vinyl?) maps might be very cool option, a two-sided map with different backgrounds perfect. An optimal one would be terrain that works well for forest ground but has some dirt areas as well.

I've tried to look WWG & Fat dragon games ones but I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with them - it's hard to see from photos how they look in reality. And I'd be paying for trees etc too even if I don't need them, though it's not really huge cost. Edit: If planted on foamcore I believe printable ones might work well too.

What is out there? Is there some products that are clearly outstanding? Cardboard tiles are also of interest as they can be easily used on these base maps. While 3d terrains look really good, sometimes an easier option is welcome...

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#2 Postby greyseerco » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:30 am

Sorry for the long reply but this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Gale Force 9 sells a nice set of vynal mats - but they are one sided. They just released their Dungeon Master Mat set - one stone one forest. They also have a variety of other "themed" maps covering winter forests to sewers to haunted villages.

"Gale Force Nine’s Official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Game Mats are high-quality single-sided vinyl surfaces that are ideal battle grids for staging encounters. The mats lie flat for ease of play and are sold in a sturdy polycarbonate tube for easy storage and transport. The mats may be marked with WET-ERASE markers to temporarily alter terrain areas or make other notes about battlefield conditions during play. The Game Mats measure 20” x 30” and are marked with a 1” grid."
(http://www.gf9.com/)

Next up is Paizo's Gamemastery Flip Maps: These specially laminated maps can take wet-erase, dry-erase (and they claim permanent marker but I have never tried). They have 37 different ones.
The thing to know about their mats is they come folded up. This is great for transport, but after unfolding them you will need to counter-fold them and perhaps get some bags of pennies (I use old dice bags with pennies in them)-or if you have some architecture friends see if you can get those sand filled bags they use to hold down a blueprint after its been rolled up for so long - just to get it to lay flat. Perhaps I have this problem mainly because I use new maps for most of my things and over time it might get better, but since I also store my library of them folded up I might not get so lucky.
Still if you need a mostly drawn map of a swamp, cathedral, town square, boat decks, etc. etc. they probably have it.
(http://paizo.com/gameMastery/maps/steelSqwireFlipMats)
Since you specifically mentioned Forest with Dirt, check out this one:
http://paizo.com/store/gameAids/gamingMats/steelSqwire/v5748btpy8oua
or this one
http://paizo.com/store/gameAids/gamingMats/steelSqwire/v5748btpy8krq
Another choice is to get a poster sleeve to hold the map flat - something I did when I played alot of D&D Miniatures. I got mine from a comic and collectable sports memoriabilia shop that sold posters so certainly ask around.

Another folded map maker is Cubical 7's Gamescape line - initially they came out with PDF products with tiles so you laid out your own map. They now have also come out with Flip-mats, like Paizo's, at this point I think they have 7 maps and are making more. They are double sided, one with squares one with hexes. Or in some cases they have some that have totally different items on each side (like their upcoming Fantasy Battleground Map). They are folded up like Paizo and I do not own any of their line (none have appealed to me yet). So I cannot comment on their quality.

Now if you want to go with something without squares, and none of your players have an allergy to latex, you can also check out Zuzzy battle mats. They are paint your own textured maps and I love the two I use for my Fallout games.
http://www.zuzzy.com/
Yes, they come unpainted, so you get to pick what colors you want. I have two 3x3 mats a Wounded Land that a painted up in browns and khakis to match the scheme for Fallout and a Wounded City for my ruined city explorations, painted in what you would expect - greys with a dark brown wash.
Each mat took about 6 hours to paint, following their techniques but works surprisingly well.

Anyway, if it must be two sided, at this point Paizo is the only game in town. If it must be pre-drawn, then Paizo and GF9 are solid choices.

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#3 Postby TheLoremaster » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:22 pm

greyseerco wrote:The thing to know about their mats is they come folded up. This is great for transport, but after unfolding them you will need to counter-fold them and perhaps get some bags of pennies (I use old dice bags with pennies in them)-or if you have some architecture friends see if you can get those sand filled bags they use to hold down a blueprint after its been rolled up for so long - just to get it to lay flat.

Another option would be to get a sheet of clear Lucite just about the same size as the map, and lay it on top of the fold-out map. You'll still be able to use dry erase markers on it, the map will lay flat, but you'll still be able to see the details.

I have a WIDE selection of these Flip-mats, and cannot recommend them enough.
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#4 Postby Pariah74 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:36 pm

TheLoremaster wrote:Another option would be to get a sheet of clear Lucite just about the same size as the map, and lay it on top of the fold-out map. You'll still be able to use dry erase markers on it, the map will lay flat, but you'll still be able to see the details.


You can buy a poster frame from Kmart or Walmart very cheaply and use that.
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#5 Postby jpk » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:25 pm

Pariah74 wrote:You can buy a poster frame from Kmart or Walmart very cheaply and use that.

I suggest you experiment with a few different markers and erasers off in one easily ignored corner if you do that. While a good idea in many respects, poster frames are made from all sorts of different plastics, and you never really know how they'll react to a given style of marker. Don't find out when it's too late. That's how you get a spanking and a continuous reminder (at least until the house is sold) that grease pencils don't come off every refrigerator.

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#6 Postby Pariah74 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:28 pm

:lol:

It's a good point. I have tried it on a couple of cheap ones and haven't had a problem with any dry erase markers yet, but you're right...polymers are named that for a reason. Who knows what ones would react in which way.
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#7 Postby Sean-Khan » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:05 pm

greyseerco wrote:Sorry for the long reply but this is a topic near and dear to my heart.


There's nothing to apologise for in a post full of solid info on the topic :) Thanks for a great reply!

I've seen some pictures on GFN maps and I'll have to say I'm tempted. I'd like to see a good quality picture of one though; From photos it looks like they are too monotonic, I'd like to have fights on forests or uneven ground rather than on golf field.

But the idea of vinyl map is really tempting... I'll check all the alternatives when I have a bit time.

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#8 Postby Timon » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:19 pm

I tend to draw maps in GIMP as large images and then slice them into A4's with the truly excellent and free Posterazor

It means you can have a very specific map all prepared and take it along in sections or folded.
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#9 Postby kronovan » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:04 am

What I use 90% of the time is a Chessex 1" grid battlemap with a piece of 1/8" plexiglass. I do have Staedler water-erasable markers for drawing on my battlemaps and they're dbl-sided, but the truth of it is that we almost always design our own maps and print them out as 8"x10" tiles, then arrange them on the battlemap. I say we, because it's a Father and Son thing for me. Admittedly my son is far, far better at it than me. :) We use RPTools-Maptool for most of our maps, despite owning Photoshop and a few other more powerful graphics programs sutiable for mapping. We like Maptool because it's a snap to work the map grid to scale and overlay with it, and the line drawing tools are very easy to use - albeit a bit limited. As well, there's endless amounts of token & tile libraries available that can be dropped on any map as scenery. ;)

Being serious fans of Star Wars Minis for a few years we also have about 20, 22"x34" maps from the sets, mission books and 3rd party publications. I haven't been able to use them much until recenly when I started running an Interface Zero campaign. I also have a healthy collection of boardgames and once in a while I'm able to use the maps from them. In particular I've found the Last Night on Earth maps work for our Super Powers campaign and I've sometimes been able use my Battlelore map board and tiles for my Dragon Age campaign.

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Created bases of my own

#10 Postby Sean-Khan » Sat May 26, 2012 4:11 pm

Hi again,
I come to a different solution with my base terrains. I didn't buy any new one but created a terrain base of my own. I now have dungeon (and perhaps rocky terrain) base boards and am now creating exterior terrain bases on the other sides of them.

If you're interested in making base terrain of your own, you might want to check my documentation about how I created the bases: http://maker.e2ogame.net/modelling-proj ... rain-board

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Re: What base terrains/maps are there?

#11 Postby robert4818 » Sun May 27, 2012 4:59 pm

Sean-Khan wrote:I bought WorldWorksGames Streets of mayhem to get base terrains for my Cyberpunk games, and I'm quite happy with them. I've also made some custom terrains for fantasy games, but most battles are are still fought on my old DDM/SWM plain battlemaps which are handy and on which I place my terrains.

I've started to want better-quality base terrains and am wondering what options are there. High quality non-paper (vinyl?) maps might be very cool option, a two-sided map with different backgrounds perfect. An optimal one would be terrain that works well for forest ground but has some dirt areas as well.

I've tried to look WWG & Fat dragon games ones but I'm not sure if I'm happy enough with them - it's hard to see from photos how they look in reality. And I'd be paying for trees etc too even if I don't need them, though it's not really huge cost. Edit: If planted on foamcore I believe printable ones might work well too.

What is out there? Is there some products that are clearly outstanding? Cardboard tiles are also of interest as they can be easily used on these base maps. While 3d terrains look really good, sometimes an easier option is welcome...


World works does great work. As I'm sure you've noticed.

One option you may not have thought of is using their tiles to make your own playmats.

I wrote up a review of banners on the cheap for vinyl printing you can find it in this thread.

If you like WWG's art, but hate the tiles, you can copy/paste the files into a picture, arranging the tiles as you see fit to form your mat. Then send the image to Banners on the Cheap (or other Vinyl printing place) and have them printed for your own custom mat.http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35428&highlight=bannersonthecheap
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#12 Postby silverwave » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:53 pm

What about pre-painted ready to use props? I'm not willing to put extra time in prop assembling and painting but I'd find it very nice to have a few 3D props to add on my Chessex Battlemat. Things like a few trees, rocks/hills, small parts of ruined walls, etc. I'm looking for small pieces so I won't cost me 40$ a piece. Things like Woodland Scenic Ready-Made Value pack seems great : not too costly and god quality.

So, where to buy? Who make good ones?

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#13 Postby Cryonic » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:09 pm

silverwave wrote:What about pre-painted ready to use props? I'm not willing to put extra time in prop assembling and painting but I'd find it very nice to have a few 3D props to add on my Chessex Battlemat. Things like a few trees, rocks/hills, small parts of ruined walls, etc. I'm looking for small pieces so I won't cost me 40$ a piece. Things like Woodland Scenic Ready-Made Value pack seems great : not too costly and god quality.

So, where to buy? Who make good ones?


Trees and such? try model train shops or other hobby stores.

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#14 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:35 am

And don't forget about the toy aisle at your local big store. A lot of toys for children have small plastic terrain features (rocks, trees, logs, etc.) as part of a play set or as an entire purchase.
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RE: What base terrains/maps are there?

#15 Postby FabledEnvironments » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:42 pm

War Torn Worlds has some great stuff! They make all of their stuff out of either Recycled Rubber or Gypsum covered in resin. We've carried their stuff at Cons and it is amazing!

We have some great maps of structures if that is what your looking for and we have more coming. We actually have a Kickstarter that is running for a 100 store mall as well.

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#16 Postby silverwave » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks! They have indeed some very nice models and they are very cheap. Made from recycled materials is a plus!

I recommand it!

http://www.wartornworlds.com/


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