Maps are an incredibly useful part of the table-top gaming hobby. It’s one thing to vividly describe a bar brawl , but sometimes you simply have to know where the gang of orcs are so you can drop a fireball on them.
Not everyone has access to huge amounts of gaming scenery and models, and designing your own maps can be time consuming. No one wants to pause the action while the games master draws a crude diagram of a villains evil lair. Loke Battle Mats solution has been to produce large books filled with 242 x 24” maps that can be easily stored. Towns And Taverns Book Of Battle Mats is a set of two books, each with a ring style binding for ease of access. The two books complement each other, so you can slide one map next to the other one for a large scene.
They fit neatly on a gaming table and one book is just large enough for an encounter. You can use both books together to provide a larger battle space and the graphics in both books make this work seamlessly. We found that the design was clever enough that you could combine the tavern map in one book with the dockside map in the other to create a dockside tavern. Or just combine the two dockside maps for a bigger area. It’s intuitive to do and rather fun.
If Taverns aren’t your thing but you like the idea, you may also want to check out their current Kickstarter for a Wilderness book; same sort of thing, but with mountains, trees and the like.
The divide between the pages is much less of an issue than we expected. Though each page is made of a ‘shiny’ wipe clean we found that this didn’t cause any reflection issues when using a webcam to show the game-state. Instead it’s just glossy enough to be visible.
As the name implies, these are all towns and taverns, but they straddle the sweet spot between fantasy and realism, with a clear design that’s easy to use. They’re also handy for small scale skirmish games, just in case you don’t want to dig out all the scenery for you next game of Warcry.
Loke also produce 2D decals that ‘static cling’ to their maps. These include things like spell-effects, fireball radius and so on. They’re generically branded and quite simple to use, so if you are going to get one of these books you may want to consider the decals.
Overall, Loke’s range is ideal for a gamer who either has a budget or limited space.