This site prioritizes game information. Would you like to keep that way or would you want to priortize game prices? Prioritize PricesPrioritize Information

(Change this option in the future in the Account dropdown)

Folding Board vs Neoprene Mat - Which do you prefer?

Owner
Folding Board(7 votes) 47%
Neoprene Mat(8 votes) 53%

15 votes

If you could choose, would you rather have your game come with a folding board or a neoprene mat? I thought it might be an obvious answer at first, but maybe not... here are some quick thoughts/questions I have about it:

  • In general, I feel like a mat would be more satisfying to play on, but is that true 100%? At least, I would think so if it's a card-based game.
  • If you go for a mat, you'd need separate storage. It would also cost more on the front end.
  • Do mats have longer lifespan than boards?
  • Sounds like neoprene mats better accommodate metal coins. 
  • Do mats not flatten as well after repeated usage/getting rolled up? At the same time, I suppose some boards don't come flat either.

Additional Question:

  • Which game would you LOVE to have a neoprene mat for and why?

Additional Info:

  • Here's a video of a direct comparison between #Scythe's board and neoprene mat: https://youtu.be/Th4mQgK6STM
  • I saw there's a company called Inked Gaming that sells neoprene mats. They actually do custom ones where you can send them your own image. Not sure how good they are though.

Conclusion:

I think I'd still prefer my games to come with a board by default. I just wouldn't enjoy needing separate storage and having to pay more in the beginning for a game that I'm not 100% about. I'm very interested in the idea of neoprene mats as upgrades for my favorite games. Games I'd like to have a neoprene mat for are:

  • #Root - Not too much of a functional value I believe, but it would just be a nice premium experience. Also, it's not bad but my board doesn't flatten completely.
  • #Architects of the West Kingdom - There's a market area with two rows of cards for apprentices, which regularly gets refreshed. There are plenty of times when you slide your tokens around the virtue track and on your contribution to the cathedral. #Raiders of the North Sea has a neoprene mat and it sounds like Garphill Games will likely make one for Architects now that there won't be any more new content.
  • #Concordia - Concordia's maps are doubled sided. Not sure if double sided printing is okay for neoprene mats (or if it's even possible) but it would make picking up cards from the market even more satisfying!
  • #Atlantis Rising (second edition) - This game requires setting up tiles that represent Atlantis. The mat helps you remember the location of the different terrain types. Besides that, it looks really good!

 

Like| 56 comments | report | subscribe

Please log in or make an account to post a comment.

Supporter6 months ago

I had a neoprene mat custom printed for #Leaving Earth. I found it far nicer than constantly fiddling with the cards that comprise the game board. 

Someone who amassed a significant number of neoprene maps could store them in a cabinet designed for blueprints, artwork, or maps. Google "plans files storage", or "maps files storage".

Owner6 months ago

A cabinet for neoprene mats--that would be cool! Now, how much did it cost to have that mat custom printed?

Supporter6 months ago

The mat cost me $53 US, including shipping.  It was cheaper to get it done through a generic "we can print on anything" service instead of a dedicated "print your boardgame" service. This, even through the same textile printing company. I guess they know they can charge a premium to those specifically seeking boardgame prints.

6 months ago

Ooo that's a cool use for it! Could you give me your feelings on Leaving Earth? Obviously you enjoy it, haha

Supporter6 months ago

I like that game turns in #Leaving Earth don't feel as structured as most boardgames. Research, buy components, assemble spacecraft, perform maneuvers and missions. Whatever you like, whenever you like (money permitting). Once you're ready, launch a craft to Mars, land, collect samples, and return as a single action. Most of the game is preparing for such a mission.

And it is that front-end work required to prepare a mission that is the soul of the game. Critics cite the game's mathematics as a turnoff. It's just a bit of addition and subtraction. What is the mass of my space capsule? How much thrust will a rocket require to lift the capsule off of the surface of Mars (for a return trip home)? Working backwards, what is the mass of my combined capsule and Mars-leaving rocket? How much thrust will a second rocket require to land both of those on Mars safely? Et cetera working backwards until you're asking how much thrust is required lift the spacecraft and its several rockets into Earth orbit.

Joseph Fatula, the game designer is also the graphic designer. The art very much captures the retro vibe of the Space Race. It's a beautiful game to have out on the table.

6 months ago

Thanks for the reply! Sounds like a fun game to me!

Premium User6 months ago

well, I've never accidentally ripped a neopreme mat, sooooo . . . as long as I have a place to store it, I choose the mat.

6 months ago

I actually have the two separate dual-sided #Root neoprene mats for all four of their distinct maps. I highly recommend them. They aboslutely make the game a better experience to play. I also have a mat for #A Game of Thrones:.  The Board Game Second Edition. However, I will caveat my opinion by saying I would only ever consider a mat for a game that I either play fairly regularly (in the case of Root), or is a separate special occassion sort of game. For GoT, we only play the game once a year with a select group of 8 players. It is a very satisfying way to class up the table when its huge game that holds a special place in your collection. 

Owner6 months ago

I have a hard time getting #Root to the table (not enough player count) but maybe if I start soloing it really often! It's currently the most likely candidate after #Atlantis Rising (second edition) and #Architects of the West Kingdom. Probably not until next year though, since I'll go for upgrading my favorite games with metal coins first.

Since you mentioned about #A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition, how do you feel about #A War of Whispers? I think I've heard that it supposedly gives a similar experience in a fraction of the time.

6 months ago

I have not played #A War of Whispers. However, if you are saying that it gives a similar experience I will definitely go check it out. The biggest reason GoT is only played once or twice a year at most is largely due to its time and larger player count requirement. Thanks for the recommendation!

Game of Thrones The Board Game has become our annual "big" game for a group of old high school friends. We typically play it around Christmas time when we are all back in our hometown and its typically a several hour ordeal. The mat has been absolutely worth it, especially because the newest expansion ended up making the regular board a little wonky by design (its actually two separate boards if going that route). The mat alleviates these problems, increases the territory sizes, and overall just adds a little more "wow" to the table. 

6 months ago

There is definitely something to be said for 'wow factor' in a game. Especailly for big 'epic' games, I can imagine that extra size and fanciness is nice.

6 months ago

While a mat is more premium, I like a board better. I do, however, enjoy playing with a board on top of a mat. I have a game topper and also a mat cut to the size of my table. I won't play a game not on a mat. It makes everything more pleasant. 

Owner6 months ago

Seems like a great alternative, it's been a common answer in other places I posted this question to. It definitely ups the experience for me when I can smoothly pick up the cards :)

Supporter6 months ago

I don't think I can answer this question because I've never played on a Neoprene Mat before. #Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile will be my first experience.

6 months ago

Did you back it??

Supporter6 months ago

I did back it.  It was my only purchase for 2020.

6 months ago

Is it a 2020 purchase if you get the game in 2021??? A moral conundrum here!!

Supporter6 months ago

Haha too true.  But it's okay by me.  I guess it's when the cash went out as to when it was purchased.  I should have #Trick Shot still coming to me sometime this year (maybe).

6 months ago

Oooooo very cool! I looked into the kickstarter (I love hockey) but did not pull the trigger. Was that you 2019 purchase?

Supporter6 months ago

I don't think I was at 1 a year only in 2019 but it was a 2019 purchase.  I ended up getting because it wasn't going to hit retail and I love hockey too so I really wanted it.

6 months ago

Very good! Who is your team?

Owner6 months ago

6 months ago

That is some good restraint!

Supporter6 months ago

Yeah.  One of my main reasons was to play everything I already have a lot and I still have a lot of plays left in the games I own.

The other was just "I don't really need anything new".  And I was helped a bit when I was able to get my hands on a NIntendo Switch about 6 weeks ago.

6 months ago

Haha, exchanging one kind of game for another!

6 months ago

But actually I think that is a really good way to look at it, I know I am very much getting to that point where although I have played most every game I own at least 3-4 times, I know that there are still probably dozens of enjoyable games I could get out of them instead of getting something new. Although shiny things are shiny

Owner6 months ago

YES. Almost forgot about that game, any idea when it will fulfill?

Supporter6 months ago

When it's the only game you are purchasing this year it's easy to not forget.  I do know the original plan was January 2021.  So far nothing has changed as far as I've heard.

Owner6 months ago

Did you ever read up on the recent twitter post from Cole where he laid out some design changes?

Supporter6 months ago

I haven't.  About 6 weeks ago I got rid of and now totally ignore all social media platforms.  (Although I don't know if this counts, if it does this is the only exception).