Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ocean and Cobblestone Gaming Mat from Deep-Cut Studio

Two new gaming mats have arrived for my collection: The ocean mat and cobblestone mat from Deep-Cut Studio.

After my great experience with the cobblestone gaming mat from UrbanMatZ I was looking for an appropriate sea mat for playing piratey ship battles. I found a suitable mat design from Deep-Cut Studio. At that time their mats were available only in two versions: PVC and cloth. I hadn't really seen any good feedback on those materials and I was very happy with the "mousepad material" which I got to know from UrbanMatZ. Just recently Deep-Cut Studio (DCS) made their mats available again in that version as well so I gave them a try. While I was ordering the Ocean mat I thought why not save on the shipping costs and try their cobblestone mat as well?

Unlike the UrbanMatZ mats, DCS mats do not come with a free carrying bag. If you already have one this is no big deal as you rarely need to carry many mats around. For storing the original package is sufficient enough, if not nearly as nice as a proper bag, of course.

The first thing I noticed is that the DCS mats have sharp corners where UrbanMatZ has rounded corners (true mousepad style!). I think I do prefer sharp corners although it doesn't matter much to me.

Another thing I noticed later on is the smell: The DCS mat smell a bit of rubber. It didn't last long, though - after a few days it was gone. But I didn't notice this with the UrbanMatZ mat.

The Ocean Mat

Detail image of the Ocean mat from
the Deep-Cut Studio website
I chose the large 6' x 4' version because - well - ships! If you plan on running 28mm ship battles you better go with the largest option.

Surprisingly, the design of the actual mat appears somewhat different to what you expect from the pictures on their website. The pictures show an uneven curly surface. Of course, I am not talking about the physical surface here - I mean the graphic design. The actual mat is more like a flat blue surface with the occasional white foam. The curly design is just missing (as if you had hidden a layer in Photoshop). Here is a photo to show the difference:

Detail of the Ocean mat from Deep-Cut Studio

I have to say that the design looks a bit better on photos than in reality, yet is still nice enough.

The different design aside, the mat is quite nice. The production quality is high and I look forward to playing my first ship battles on the mat. I believe gaming mats like these are the perfect solution for representing water surface. The material is perfect for moving ships about as the models slide smoothly across the board.

The Cobblestone Mat

I ordered this 4' x 4' cobblestone mat as a kind of bonus. I was already quite pleased with the UrbanMatZ mat but I wanted to have a comparison (and I was too impatient to wait for the Kraken Mat that would come sometime in May).
When I rolled out the cobblestone mat I was quite pleasantly suprised. The design is very nice. The details are sharper than those of the UrbanMatZ mat. The cobblestones are nicely small, very well fitting for 28mm scale. I also like the colours: The UrbanMatZ mat is kind of blueish while the DCS mat has a more "normal" brownish grey tone and fits my buildings much better.

A scenic shot with some buildings and highwaymen

A comparison between the UrbanMatZ cobblestone city mat and
the cobblestone mat from Deep-Cut Studio

The mats from UrbanMatZ and Deep-Cut Studio and their backs

All in all, I can definately recommend the mousepad version mats from Deep-Cut Studio. Of course, the different design vary a lot and it is very subjective whether you like them or not. At least the cobblestone mat I find absolutely excellent.

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