Sunday 8 August 2021

Geek Villain Gaming Mat

I can't remember how long I've had my old 6' x 4' Games Workshop mat. Fifteen or twenty years maybe. Digging it out recently for a WW2 game I realised how tired it was looking - not to mention that its plain green colour was looking a little boring alongside the funky mats you can get these days.

The power of the internet soon led me to Geek Villain, who had plenty of good reviews online, were a UK-based family-run business, and had an excellent and established range. Their website works well and it's easy to choose the mat you want.

A slight downside is that the choice between their cloth and fleece mats is already made for customers - the cloth mats are currently unavailable! I understand they are a bit cheaper (£45 against £60), but I wanted the fleece mats anyway so this wasn't a problem. For the record, Mack at Geek Villain summed up the difference in an email:

"Fleece is more textured and drapes over an object a lot easier to create undulated terrain. Fleece does not crease as much as cloth.


Cloth mats are lighter and more flat, they will crease a lot easier than fleece. 


Both are washable and both can be ironed."

Anyway, the £60 includes postage, and the mat arrived in 4-5 days (I wasn't counting). I chose the 'Autumn' finish - there's plenty of choice, and I was personally tempted by three or four different finishes before settling on this one:

One excellent feature is that the mats come 2"-3" oversize in both length and width.
Neatly hemmed, with a small and discrete logo (bottom left).

Close up.

The mat in use for a 28mm SYW game.
You can see how well the mats fit over hill shapes laid underneath.

Looking just as good with 15mm WW2 figures and models.

Just to clarify a few features - the 'fleece' is a smooth material with no flock or pile of any kind. The pattern is photographically printed. The mat is neatly hemmed all round and feels like a quality product that will last a long time - probably a very long time! It can be washed and ironed. There were a few packing creases, but the photos you see were taken using the mat just as it came out of the packet.

The reverse side is a pure white colour - which I reckon will do nicely for the occasional 'snow terrain' game with the addition of a little green and brown flock scattered around.

Plastic and MDF bases slide along nicely, cardboard ones are a bit more 'sticky'. Using 20mm high hill shapes underneath the mat worked a treat - I couldn't have been more pleased. 

Perhaps the only slight issue is that 6' x 4' is the only size available - gamers only needing a smaller size can't save money by buying a smaller mat; and if you have a big table you'll have to put up with a join between two mats. But frankly I'm struggling to find any downsides in this excellent product range. Customer service was friendly and efficient.

Highly recommended. Standby for a report on the SYW game shown above.

'Til next time.


Norm said...

Autumn finish looks a good option. I like mine (fleece) and would happily buy another.

Steve J. said...

That certainly looks very good Keith and works well with both 28mm and 15mm figures. Some mats I've seen fall down with the smaller scales as the detail is too big. A big bonus having a white back for those times when some snow covered terrain is required. I love my GW mat but this has given me plenty to ponder!

Keith Flint said...

One thing I like - after years of minor frustration with a GW mat that was just under size, the Geek Villain mat gives you a bit extra to play with. £60 seemed a lot, but I can't recommend these products highly enough.

The Good Soldier Svjek said...

Have several of their fleece mats - brilliant products

weepaintedmen said...

Thanks for doing this review, Keith. It prompted me to get one myself and I'm really pleased with it. The print quality is excellent, and I do like that it's easy to slide figure bases around on, yet doesn't have a shiny finish. I've tried a few different mats during the past couple of years and this one is certainly the best. Kevin.