Sponsor Spotlight: Mats by Mars

Surprise - yet another Sponsor Spotlight leading up to the War Kings GT!  This time we showcase Mats by Mars.

Mats by Mars has donated two of their vinyl play mats for the tournament.  These will be set up on two tables, and then be part of the prize raffle at the end.

Forgotten Temple (Altar)
Abandoned City
Mats by Mars mats are unique (as far as I know) in that they are vinyl - the same material as often used for banners and signs.  This has several benefits:
  • A vibrant, scratch resistant, detailed design printed on ultra-durable heavy weight matte banner material suitable for the outdoors (let alone your gaming table).
  • A wet-erase compatible play surface that is waterproof, and wipes clean with water and a soft cloth
  • An Anti-Curl material that lays flat when you need it, and rolls up for easy storage when you don’t!
  • Mats do not shrink or deteriorate with heat or humidity (i.e leaving it in your car). 
  • Mats are light weight, and are easy to transport.  Roll multiple mats up together, place them in a carrying tube, and take them to your local gaming store or event with ease!
In addition, they come in a wide variety of sizes (if you actually want to play a game other than Kings of War) (like Kings of War Vanguard!)

There were a couple of minor inconveniences I found with them.  The first is that the vinyl is slightly reflective - which as absolutely no affect on gameplay, but made them a bit harder to photograph on my basement game table (with an overhead florescent light).
reflection
Also, the mats we received for the tournament did not come with carrying cases or even poster tubes - meaning you need to get something to carry and store them in yourself.

One of the cool, unique things that Mats by Mars offers however is specific game overlays.  This is where they overprint the mat with markings for a specific game.  The two we got were marked for Kings of War of course.  So there are three lines the length of the mat marking deployment zones and the center line.  In addition, the exact center of the mat is marked, and there is also a 12" circle around the center.  Lastly there are two lines dividing the mat into 6 sections (with the center line) - all for the different scenarios for Kings of War.
Marked lines & center circle - taken from the long end of the mat
These lines can limit the games played on them (especially if you are playing any game that does NOT allow pre-measuring).  However I find they make Kings of War much simpler.  So much so that I know of people that are marking their mats themselves  ( I won a mat at Slaughterfest last year that had been marked this way).

Kings of War markings
The mats are lightweight, and because they are much thinner than neoprene mats, you could store many of them in a single bag that would hold only a single neoprene mat.

With almost 50 designs, they have more variety than any other site I've found.

These will be on two of the tables - so (in theory) almost everybody who is attending the tournament will have a chance to try them out (ok, so perfectly 24 people (2 tables = 4 players * 6 rounds) would get to play on them (and we currently have 25 signed up) but warscore is, unfortunately, not all that good at assuring that people don't play on the same table multiple times.  More players does randomize more, but still).

So what do you think of the printed lines for specific games on the mats?

Because it is all fun and games . . .