First of all I must do something openly. It is only fair that I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to the crew of Zuzzy Miniatures.
I have gone to plenty of wargames conventions where companies keep promising time and time again the panacea of terrains. Most of the times, they are either flimsy pieces of plastic you can’t breathe on or they’ll fly away, and usually with such appalling colours that it won’t do your eyesight any favours. Some other companies will offer materials that are as portable and versatile as a sack of hedgehogs. You can tell I am not easy to impress when is about this subject.
I thought the products Zuzzy Miniatures sell were going to be the same. I was terribly and totally wrong and I have to put my hands up and admit my mistake.
Recently I arrived home and found a big envelope. Inside there was an 11 x 14 inch gaming mat from the Wounded City range. I kid you not if I say my jaw dropped. I was seriously and instantly delighted with the mat.
As usual, the bits I didn’t like: none. If I had to be reeeeeeeally picky and look for something to say in this area, I’d say that the mat slides on very smooth surfaces. Yep… that would be it. Needless to say that, in order to slide, one has to push it or pull it. Easy to avoid then!
Made of extremely flexible black rubber latex, the mat features an incredibly detailed sculpted landscape with a combination of rugged terrain and bricks. The mat is terribly nice to the touch and it feels quality from the moment go. I spent quite some just studying the lovingly crafted detail all over the mat and kept finding it absolutely fascinating. With the biggest mat in this range at a whopping 4x6ft, one could spend many hours enjoying the details!
Although it is recommended not to submerge the mat in water, as you can imagine is water resistant. Can be washed time and again without a problem. Surprisingly though, acrylic paints stick to it like they were made for each other. With a layer of paint thin enough, you can get really lovely detail all over the mat. Using dry and web brush techniques, every cranny and crevasse in the mat will take on the paint and will last for a very long time if you pay a bit of attention. Use bad quality paints, or apply a thick layer of paint to the mat, and it will flake away sooner rather than later. That however, is a problem with using the wrong paints and applying them in the wrong way, not an issue with the mat.
Quite frankly, it is going to be very difficult to go back now to a boring flat brown mat with squares or hexagons all over the place. Zuzzy Miniatures has raised the bar very, very high. True enough, these mats don’t have a measurement system, so it won’t be as practical in every situation. Also you can’t just use a marker and erase it afterwards. However the incredible detail and the sheer durability of the material will make it a favourite for those who are happy to sacrifice accuracy for feel. Also, if you’re measuring your moves or weapon rage with a ruler, the lack of hexagons won’t be missed for long.
To make it even better, the prices are just fantastic. Considering this product will last for, literally, many years, the amount of cash you’ll have to part with falls into insignificance. With the support Zuzzy Miniatures provides in the shape of painting tutorials and the forum, you can be sure you’ll find a way to use the mat and make the most of it.
One other thing that I truly liked: It’s manufactured in the USA.
Now I am not American, but I am “localian”. That means I like when things are made locally. In a world where manufacturing on the cheap in countries like China or India (with all due respect to the manufacture of those countries) is the common norm, it is fantastic to see how companies keep things nearby, providing jobs and a future to the community.
If you’re looking for a terrain mat that will last for ages, will be great to paint and will become the pride and joy on your gaming table, visit Zuzzy Miniatures website now and treat yourself. You will not regret it!