FFW a few months later and I kinda made my mind up, by choosing Urbanmatz. I'd seen the review on Guerilla Miniatures Games Their concrete mat, while not perfect due to a huge effing dragons skull and collection of bones, seemed to be the perfect fit for my This is not a Test and other Post Apocalyptic (future) games. I then asked, on Facebook, if they would bring out a mat without the skull and bones and they replied, rather quickly, that it was their intention to do so. I kept looking to other companies and reading reviews in the meantime. Friends of mine bought some vinyl mats, 1 looked great, like advertised, while another was a pixelated mess, and both were shiney to look at. Again, no vinyl for me, cheap as they may be.
FFW another few months, I had been selling stuff to pay for the purchase of their new concrete mat, so with the funds available I asked again if the new concrete mat would be available any time soon, and to my joy I got a quick reply, again, and was asked if I wanted to see shots of the new mat. Martin added me on FB and showed me the pictures of the new mat. Martin also told me he was not happy with the printing on the new mats, as it was blue-er and darker compared to the old concrete mat. I gave him my honest opinion on the mat. Yes, it was darker and blue-er compared to the old mat, but concrete itself varies in colour from location to location due to weather, mixing and age. I told him I would be happy to have a 6x4 one in my collection, together with a 6x4 cobblestone mat and a 6x4 space mat. Martin then surprised me with a generous offer, they had done some test prints of a intermediate concrete mat before (no dragon skull, but with the bones)....if I wanted a free 4x4 test copy? I did not have to think about that very long (as in, not at all) and agreed to that. I made my order for the 3 6x4 mats plus shipping, and Martin would do the rest. These 3 mats plus shipping set me back 198 euros (59 euros per mat and 21 euro shipping for the lot, paid with Paypal) which is a lot of money with such a limited income as mine. I rationalised this because they should be hard wearing, will give me hobby pleasure for a long time, I had sold a ton of stuff and they look really, really good. I hoped anyway.
Martin contacted me again telling me he had received my order, and that there would be a small delay as they were processing a very large order but would get mine shipped asap. 2 days later I got a notice my mats had been shipped. And a couple of days later this arrived at my doorstep.
|Keep the boxes! Do not recycle them, keep your mats and bags inside these. I'll explain later.|
|Each mat in their own carrying case, each with a simple label for the size and type of mat.|
|Each mat is rolled tightly, and fits inside the carry case. With the 4x4 you can be a bit sloppy with rolling it, but the 4x6 must be tightly wound and straight else you will run out of room fast.|
|Harsh daylight (yes, we do have sunshine in the Netherlands) drowns out the detail, nut it is there.|
|Plenty of space to maneuver I say!|
|Lots and lots of bones, a few skulls and some more wreckage|
|...but no Dragons skull!|
|Correct scenery placement hides the bones if they bother you. In this case some 28mm ruins.|
|And the same can be done with 20mm scenery.|
|Minor details like drainage hatches (which are overscale for 28mm as well, tbh) can be hidden with scenery placing, again.|
|Or some 15mm containers. I feel these mats work fine for 15mm to 28mm, and I will use them as such.|
|The same mat, but now in daylight. Lighter towards the sun.|
|The cobblestone mat (without blood) in daylight. I've seen various companies do a cobblestone mat, but this one has no (visible) repetition and the lines between the stonework is soft, not almost black like others. I feel this blends in better.|
|Any lightning of the colour is due to the sune coming from one direction.|
|Modern buildings do not look out of place on this mat|
|Should do fine for a Imperial City.|
|If you think of them as bigger sized pavement slabs, it does not look out of place in 20mm either. 15mm at a stretch.|
|The same capped well, now next to a 20mm car. Put a statue on it perhaps?|
|Details of the bloodless Cobblestone mat|
|Somebody needs to mow the lawn.|
|Though again, a hatch big enough to (almost) park a Rhino in is a tad big! But again, not visually disturbing, and easily ignored or covered with a piece of scenery.|
|The same mat in real sunlight. With 28mm items for scale.|
|The printed detail is of excellent quality.|
|The entire mat in natural, directed sunlight.|
|Natural daylight. Left is the 6x4 unreleased Concrete mat, right the 4x4 tester Concrete mat|
|Just unfolded, the felt material has some creases it from folding. Rubbing it a few times removes most of them. You will notice that the largest mat they sell a bit less wide then 4 feet.|
|However, depending on the size of your hex pattern, this may or may not be a problem.|
My end conclusion is that none of the 3 brands of mat I have is better then the other. If you want a light weight mat (for instance when you have to fly to a convention and have to pack light) the Hotz one wins out by far due to its weight. For sheer durability the Mat O War wins out, you just can't do anything it (normally) to harm it and is the perfect mat for a tbale that is played on week after week or at a club. But for looks, the mats I picked up from Urbanmatz are the winners. Yes, they are heavier, but win in the visual department, come with a easy carring sleeve and roll out without almost any creases in the first go.
The material is soft enough to the toutch, smooth but not slippery. I've read it handles water and stains with ease but I don't allow food and drinks on the table or near my miniatures so I would not know about that.
All in all, contact with Urbanmatz was way beyond what you normally expect from a company, costs are a bit high but not more (actualy a tad less) then others and when bought as a group the sting is a bit less.
I hope you found this review helpful, and let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Edit: One thing I have not mentioned is, why go for 6x4 mats when all you usually need is a 4x4? It takes no additional space to store a 4x4 or a 4x6 mat, the cost increase for the extra area is ok when you can afford it, and you can just overlap a 4x4 table. If you then needed more room for a bigger game or more players, at least you have a 6x4 ready on hand. Long term thinking.
Edit 2: The mats I bought are the following:
6x4 Cobblestone 2
6x4 Concrete 2
The mat I was given for free is a 4x4 test Concrete 1.5
Prices have increased since making my order, the 6x4 mats originally sold for 59 euros, they currently sell for 69,90 euros. Shipping prices have unchanged, and he now offers shipping for 4-6 mats as well. The unreleased Concrete 2 mat has since been released.