Big or Giant ‘Book of Sci-Fi Battle Mats’ — Why Not Both?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

SciFi Battle Mats FeatureFor many of us who play RPGs and wargames, there’s nothing better than a nice table of terrain, whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or another genre.

Sometimes, however, it’s just not possible to find the right mix of 3D terrain to drop on the table for a given scenario or setting. In those instances, many GMs and gamers turn to 2D terrain in the form of pre-printed mats that come in all sizes and materials — vinyl, rubber (think mousepads), and even paper that you cut out and arrange as desired.

One of my favorite formats is the battle mat book that opens to reveal single and double-page spreads with colorful graphics and a large mix of terrain types such as forest or dungeon or desert. I’ve reviewed a couple (here and here) in the past from Loke Battle Mats, their Big Book of Battle Mats and the Giant Book of Battle Mats, and I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from them.

Well, the folks over at Loke Battle Mats have done it again.

They’ve released an invaluable new product for RPG and wargame players… two, actually. If you’re a sci-fi RPG player or a sci-fi wargamer… you’re going to want to check out the new Big Book of Sci-Fi Battle Mats and the Giant Book of Sci-Fi Battlemats.

Battle Mats 2

First, the specs.

Giant Book of Sci-Fi Battle Mats

  • 62 fantasy-themed pages
  • Fully-laminated pages for easy wipe-off of wet markers
  • Wire-bound so it lays flat
  • Linked designs on facing pages so you can use single page or double-page
  • 1″ grid system
  • UK A3 single-page size = 11.7 x 16.5 inches
  • A2 double-page size = 23.4 x 16.5 inches

Big Book of Sci-Fi Battle Mats

  • 60 fantasy-themed pages
  • Fully-laminated pages for easy wipe-off of wet markers
  • Wire-bound so it lays flat
  • Linked designs on facing pages so you can use single page or double-page
  • 1″ grid system
  • UK A4 single-page size = 8.25 × 11.7 inches
  • A3 double-page size = 11.7 x 16.5 inches

What’s so cool about these books is that the Big Book can even be used with the Giant Book. The open width of the Big Book can be paired with the height of the Giant Book. Buy two of the Giant Books and you can create a tabletop setting that’s almost 4′ x 3′ in size (46.8″ x 33″)!

Battle Mats 3

Each of the layouts in the Big book has a matching layout in the Giant book, so you can create branches or extensions easily. (And if you have the Fantasy terrain versions of the Battle Mat books, there are some pages in there — mostly outdoor terrain that can easily sub for alien terrain — that will easily match up to the Sci-Fi themed books.

Most of the pages are 1″ grids, but there are a couple in both books that are hex systems for use with space battle games. For the 1″ grid pages, the images on the pages are amazing. There is a mix of outdoor and indoor settings… and a few that act as transitions. Walls, doors, walkways, laser fields, industrial paneling, cargo boxes and lifts, airlocks… everything is well done, and the laminated pages make cleaning off erase markers super easy. And there’s no fluff — besides the cover and back cover, everything inside is a map, so you get maximum content for what you’re paying.

Battle Mats 4

Don’t play any sci-fi RPGs or wargames?

Well, let me point you to a brand new wargame that’s just been released (at very low cost) that allows players to do some good in the world. My friend, Joseph McCullough, creator of the Frostgrave Skirmish Wargame, has just released a 9-page set of rules for a new game called Last Train. I’d like you to read Joe’s reason for creating this game here, but I’ll summarize by saying that Joe wants to allow wargamers who often play games involving death and violence an opportunity to actually save some real lives.

Last Train pits SIX sci-fi based warriors against alien bugs as the warriors race down to a planet to rescue survivors. For each game played, Joe is asking that players donate $0.10 per rescued … just ten cents per rescued survivor… to the Save the Children non-profit. To get the rules, visit that Save the Children donation link and make a donation of 5$. The rules will explain how to set up your little crew of six heroes (or three if you want to collaborate with a friend’s three heroes) and the gameboard filled with nasty aliens and scared survivors. It’s a GREAT game to introduce your non-gamer friends to wargames… kids, too!

Battle Mats 5

Okay, back to the Battle Mats books…

While Loke provided me with a copy of each book, I’m preparing to order another Giant Book for one good reason — If I put two of them together, I can create the 2.5′ x 3.5′ play area that the Last Train game recommends for play. I’ve got plans to host some games of Last Train at my local gaming stores with friends and then make some nice donations — a great reason to play games, right?

If you want to grab one or both books, just visit the Loke Battle Mats store here.

Battle Mats 1

I’d like to give a big thank you to Loke Battle Mats for making these books, and I hope they’ll continue to do more. The portability combined with the variety of maps and sizes makes it easy for a GM or wargamer like me to always have access to a suitable gaming area.

Note: I was provided with review copies of both books by Loke Battle Mats.

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