Sometimes you can be happily minding your own business, idly flicking through Facebook, when a friend (Tim Harris you bad man) tags you into a post. This happened to be the new Team Yankee Mat from Tiny Wargames. Now Tim knows that when it comes to shiny new wargaming toys and my status as a DINKY (Dual income no kids!), I should not be pointed at new toys. However in this case he will be forgiven for I am a big fan of battlemats and this Tiny World one is the first specifically designed for my beloved Team Yankee.
I started wargaming in the days when having some railway grass sheeting glued onto your boards was the cutting edge for the average gamer. Stretches of golf course like fairway were the setting for battles from the 41st Millenium, to the war torn streets of Berlin. The rise of gaming mats of every shape, colour and setting has changed this. Now I can effortlessly transform the ground into a beautiful setting for my scenery and models.
Obviously Team Yankee takes place in Western Germany and the landscape in the late 20th century was quite different to the 1940s. The main change has been the rise of large fields, something that is often overlooked in most battles, which still tend to use small patches of corn/door mats. I know I certainly do for WW2, but for WW3 this doesn’t seem to cut it. This mat has got the look down to a tee, with several large ploughed fields forming the main emphasis for the board. Additionally you have small foot paths and thickets of undergrowth which really helps to break the board up and add realism.
While the image above shows modern roads, Tiny Wargames can make each mat bespoke to your needs. I prefer not to be constrained by roads printed on my boards, as it allows more variety, plus I have bought several sets of BF modern roads for my games. A quick email to Tiny Worlds and they were more than happy to remove them, all at no extra charge. Equally they can change the road layouts and also make them thicker or thinner, whatever you need.
I opted for the Rubber backed material for my mat rather than cloth. The advantage with this version, is that it stays in place on any surface, ensuring that it doesn’t slide or bunch up, also I know that the printing on this surface will be sharper and more photo like. However cloth option knocks £10 of the £65 price (6×4 version) so is worth remembering.
As you can see from the images the mat fits in perfectly with the BF scenery range, allowing a mix of large fields and urban areas. In my set up I imagined a Soviet force approaching the outskirts of a built up area with a industrial estate on the edge.
While the mat is designed for WW3 it will work in WW2 equally well, especially the Eastern front with its larger fields. In fact it shall be making an appearance at Sturm in a couple of weekends time and of course at the UKs first Team Yankee Campaign/Tournament Weekend, Red Storm Descending which is being run by yours truly under the watchful eye of Tim Harris (Co-Organiser of the Art of War events).