Chessex Battlemat Review

One of the most important things as a Dungeon Master that you can have at your Dungeons and Dragons game is a battlemat. It’s one of the items I struggled with for the longest time before I finally settled on one to buy. There are a hand full of choices for Battlemats and reviews for them are hard to come by. In the end I finally settled on the Chessex Battlemat.
The Chessex Battlemat is a “expanded” (i guess they mean stretched) vinyl mat with 1″ Squares on one side and 1′ Hexes on the reverse side. The battlemat was shipped and packaged very well. I was worried about  a rolled up tube of vinyl getting damaged in the mail, but my worries where for not.

Some care instructions came with the Battlemat instructing me to use only wet erase markers (which i found at a local store) and never to use any red or orange markers. Something in the ink makes them permanently stain the vinyl. Never to fold the mat but rather just roll it up into a tube.

When I first opened the mat it had some wrinkles that you can see in my photos. But after a few games those wrinkles have dissapeard and the mat lays flat at every game.

I now currently own two Chessex Battlemats. When I first started using the Battlemats I would draw out my dungeons on the fly. Keeping my players guessing as to what was coming up around each corner. Lately however, I have switch to drawing out my dungeons before hand. This can kill the eliment of surpize for my players but it does allow me to draw very detailed maps and I almost always get some oohh’s and aawww’s from my party. That’s saying a lot for a guy who can’t draw.

29-year-old working as a facility manager and living on the final frontier in Juneau, Alaska. Writing, reading, computers, drumming and playing some Dungeon & Dragons top my interest.

8 thoughts on “Chessex Battlemat Review”

  1. @Carls, Yes they are. Just kind of what the group gravitated to. It's funny because when I am playing D&D I print out my power cards. I am the only one at the table with printed power cards.
    .-= Youseph´s last blog ..Appholes =-.

  2. I've got to say I've never been impressed with Chessex battlemats, I've always found them over priced compared to other companies. Also early ones has problems with red pen or pen left on for long, though that was 5+ years ago so they may have fixed it.
    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..An Update to my BRP Advantages =-.

  3. @Canageek, If money where no object i would be playing with Dwarven Forge sets. But it is sadly.

    I have been able to leave my drawings on my battlematts for 2 weeks and they came off with no problem. Their care instructions still say no red or orange markers.

    If your not using Chessex what are you using?
    .-= Youseph´s last blog ..Appholes =-.

  4. I apologize, I got my companies mixed up: I've used a Megamat by Chessex for years and loved it. I'm trying to think of what the other company was.

    Oh be aware that there is a point at which the vinyl breaks down. 5 years or so of very heavy use. Mine is fine after a number of years of occasional use, but I know some people who got theres in 2002 and used it every night and had to replace it. Which I think is totally acceptable.

    I must say the size is nice, but since I've gotten a pazio mat I don't use it much anymore, it is a pain to transport (Mail tube and old cubscout blanket holder works though) and I have to worry about markers. Mine has held up quite well, just a couple marks from a sharpie near the edge.

    I feel really bad about getting these companies mixed up now as I love my mat. It is also driving me nuts what the other one was.
    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..An Update to my BRP Advantages =-.

  5. Tried to edit my comment but I took too long: Add this to the end:

    I feel really bad about getting these companies mixed up now as I love my mat. It is also driving me nuts what the other one was. I just remember a lot of people having trouble with mats that I never did.

    I also know of someone who made one. They found you could buy big sheets of white vinyl cheaply and then used a meterstick and sharpie to put the grid on.

    I've also seen chartpaper used just as well. It has the advantage of being able to tear away the top layer, and is good for locations you visit a lot.

    On another note my Dad liked to mix Dunjinni with my battlemat when he DMed Living Greyhawk. He'd make up the map in Dunjinni then print it out in bits & use the battlemat as a reference, premarking where each piece went. He also found that if you use lego you can do some really impressive 3D maps. You could probably do the same thing with maptools instead of dunjinni.

    Sorry about the confusion,

    .-= Canageek´s last blog ..An Update to my BRP Advantages =-.

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