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View Full Version : Why doesn't GW sell their cloth battle mat anymore?



rwphillipsstl
03-02-2014, 16:03
One of the things that puzzles me about GW is when they discontinue products that their players need, which perversely incentivizes players to look elsewhere. For example, why do they no longer sell the battlemat? I am sure the Realm of Battle board makes them more profit, but the price point for the RoB is so much higher that SOMETHING should be offered at the lower price.

Or was their some other reason that simply does not occur to me?

Herzlos
03-02-2014, 16:15
It's probably just a combination of wanting you to buy a RoB and that they have to outsource production of those battlemats (I assume) so there's not much control/profit.

AsleepByDay
03-02-2014, 16:17
More fear of cannibalizing their own sales leading to a silly decision.

ObiWayneKenobi
03-02-2014, 16:19
Because it was reasonably priced. As I recall it was 6x4 for like $35 which is actually LESS than many other mats. So what do they do? Get rid of it and sell a bland plastic battle board for almost $300. It's a shame too because it actually looked really nice and apparently it was really good quality too; I've heard bad things about the Woodland Scenics mat (namely that the flock comes off very easily) and a few other companies charge a lot for a simple cloth mat.

It's all part of making things more soulless: Bland plastic board, bland plastic terrain, plastic figures.

Their train of thought is really pathetic. It's something like: Product A sells for $35. We want to sell Product B for $290 because that's more profit. If we list both, people will buy Product A instead of Product B, so let's discontinue Product A so people will have to buy Product B.

It's like they ignore the fact there are other cloth battle mats available from other companies and really think that anyone playing their games will only go to them for everything. Either that or they're literally pretending that the internet doesn't exist and everyone just buys from their GW store, so they won't even bother to look elsewhere but buy whatever the GW Rep tells them they need.

Delusional?

anchorbine
03-02-2014, 17:24
I sold exactly one of those in an entire year. It's hardly the loss some of you make it out to be. And frankly, for what it was, you could buy a piece of felt from Michaels for probably a tenth of the cost of that battlemat.

TheFang
03-02-2014, 18:01
Almost certainly bought in from an external supplier and repackaged. They've sold them all and decided it's not worth getting another batch in.

Bloodknight
03-02-2014, 22:24
It's hardly the loss some of you make it out to be.

Tbh, I only even saw one in a store once. Buddy of mine bought it and it was a surprisingly good product at the price tag attached (apart from the RoB board, GW's terrain stuff is usually well worth the money, in my opinion. I don't actually mind the RoBB either, it's just a little bland and the molded-in-place features don't turn me on, I would have bought one if it was either flat or if there were more different tiles available) and we got a lot of use out of it, it was pretty sturdily made. Felt is visually not a valid substitute for that mat, IMO. Gaming tables with felt "ground" never look good, they reek of shoddy tournament tables that had to be crafted cheaply and quickly by the dozen by the TOs. Nothing for a game at home, IMO.

zoggin-eck
04-02-2014, 01:49
It is (was?) a pretty good product. Certainly not the same as a "piece of felt" (not having a go at felt, every wargamer should check out a proper material/craft store when setting up a table!). I think some of complaints it got from people who never saw one in person just goes to show how jarring it is when GW release a decent product. It did suffer from being folded up into a small pack, making creases that wouldn't be there if it were rolled.

Sadly, for years I assumed it was the same product as the awful (flock glued to paper) mat they previously sold (which of course could be bought cheaper at a railway/model store anyway). As said by many, I'd assume it's gone because they had to outsource it, and prefer to make their own stuff (make everything plastic!).

There are plenty of similar ones out there, but I've never read for sure if the very same mat can be bought elsewhere.

Zenithfleet
04-02-2014, 05:25
I bought two of the cloth battlemats. Great product. One of the best things GW sells... or used to sell. (At least once you've ironed it. :rolleyes:)

It's a pretty close match to GW Glade Grass, the 'grass' on the mat doesn't come loose, and you can chuck it in the washing machine.

I cut one up to make a modelled board, and keep the other one intact for throwing onto any random table of the right size when a 'green board' is needed.

The only problem I have with it - and it's a minor one - is that the grass is a little slippery. If you use the old 'books under the cloth' trick to make hills, even tiny Epic models tend to slide down the slopes, whereas they might grip a textured-paint or sand-and-flock slope.

If it's gone for good, that's a shame. Hopefully it will turn up from some other distributor, if it hasn't already.

Bloodknight
04-02-2014, 10:58
Sadly, for years I assumed it was the same product as the awful (flock glued to paper) mat they previously sold

Yeah, ditto. In hindsight I should have bought one myself, too.

kublai
04-02-2014, 11:32
I too think that the mat was one of the best products GW have sold. I wonder why no one else sells a similar product. I know, there is this paper trash from WS and so on, but I want the same thing and in 6x4. If GW just bought it from some producer why doesn't another company picks it up and sells it ? Maybe GW did produce it after all.

zoggin-eck
04-02-2014, 11:59
There were plenty of threads (even a few here) around when the originally stopped selling it. Sadly, most are just people confused over which GW mat is being discussed (the good one or the bad one?) or suggesting the completely different vinyl zuzzy mats :)

warhammergrimace
04-02-2014, 13:04
The battle boards replaced the battle mat and a plastic product sells for more, and I suspect they sell more of the board than they did the mats. I picked up a mat before they got rid of them... A pretty good item and worth the cost..

StygianBeach
04-02-2014, 13:15
The battle boards replaced the battle mat and a plastic product sells for more, and I suspect they sell more of the board than they did the mats. I picked up a mat before they got rid of them... A pretty good item and worth the cost..

I am very Happy I picked up a Battle Mat when I did, its quite Heavy and feels like a quality product. While I think the Realm of Battle Board is fine as a substitute, I am sick of the hills.

williamsond
04-02-2014, 14:19
I'll add another great product vote to the thread, I have one and at the price was one of teh best things i've ever bought from GW, the flock version was a bit rubbish but the cloth one was superb and if you don't have one already go and buy one if you can find one, i don't see many of these turning up on the second hand market so the longer you leave it the less chance you will ever get one.

Bob Arctor
04-02-2014, 22:53
The sarcastic part of me wants to suggest the reason they aren't on sale anymore is because the quality was too high compared to their other products...

The cloth battlemats were good quality items. We have at least 6 of them at our club and they are very popular with Warmahordes, WFB, Epic and Kings of War players. They don't get used for 40k so much as the style doesn't really mesh with the city ruins. I always put one out when I'm planning on taking photos of my game for a batrep as I know it will make my semi-painted models look better by enhancing the appeal of the whole tabletop.

Sophet Drahas
04-02-2014, 23:14
So which mat was better? The white backed one or the black one?


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Bob Arctor
04-02-2014, 23:18
The black one.

williamsond
05-02-2014, 11:49
yup black backed one you just have to iron it on a low setting before use.

PrehistoricUFO
06-02-2014, 16:17
Used to own one of these, and they were very good quality and durable. The flock never shed, they were well made.

Sold it off when I got my Realm of Battle Board. Never looked back once I got the RoBB, it's such a bad ass top to play on. :D

cbelm
07-02-2014, 10:18
They still show up on ebay semi reguarly, I was able to pick mine up for ~$60AUD

MusingWarboss
07-02-2014, 23:40
I thought they discontinued the mat before 2012 but it appears in the 40k 6th rulebook. Which is odd if it'd been phased out beforehand.

It did look a nice product, for what is was.

Etienne de Beaugard
09-02-2014, 14:22
In answer to the OP's question, I will hazard a guess as to why GW discontinued sales of the battle mat. I suspect GW made a decision several years ago to bring production in-house as much as possible. Hence, various terrain products that were manufactured for GW where replaced by hard plastic equivalents that could be produced in house.

During the period of WHFB 6, I remember GW selling a line of pre-painted & flocked terrain, including a wall/hedge set, a bag of trees, a flocked foam hill set, and a series of limited foam dioramas themed to the most recent army book release. IIRC, the cloth battle mat was also part of this line. Based on similarities to other products I have seen on ebay, I believe these products were manufactured for GW by one or more railroad terrain companies in the UK.

At some point after I stopped playing WHFB, GW seems to have discontinued the relation with the outside producer and replaced the trees, hills and battle mat with the current injection molded plastic terrain.

Bloodknight
09-02-2014, 14:47
for GW by one or more railroad terrain companies in the UK.

I would assume that they were actually Noch or Faller products. Sadly, they put a ridiculous markup on them compared to buying the same product in a railroad shop. Just look at the aquarium plants to see what I mean.
The cloth mat was fairly priced for how good it is, though.

rwphillipsstl
09-02-2014, 15:20
In answer to the OP's question, I will hazard a guess as to why GW discontinued sales of the battle mat. I suspect GW made a decision several years ago to bring production in-house as much as possible. Hence, various terrain products that were manufactured for GW where replaced by hard plastic equivalents that could be produced in house.

During the period of WHFB 6, I remember GW selling a line of pre-painted & flocked terrain, including a wall/hedge set, a bag of trees, a flocked foam hill set, and a series of limited foam dioramas themed to the most recent army book release. IIRC, the cloth battle mat was also part of this line. Based on similarities to other products I have seen on ebay, I believe these products were manufactured for GW by one or more railroad terrain companies in the UK.

At some point after I stopped playing WHFB, GW seems to have discontinued the relation with the outside producer and replaced the trees, hills and battle mat with the current injection molded plastic terrain.

This explanation makes perfect sense, and I bet the true answer is very close to this. I feel it is an unfortunate decision, because these sorts of gaps in GW's offerings make gamers look elsewhere for their needs (so GW loses a sale entirely), but it clearly seems to fall under their business strategy.

Scythe
11-02-2014, 10:20
Sad really. They were a very affordable product which created a great table, and the mat was of excellent quality. I've got no interest in the battle boards at all, way to expensive and bland looking for my taste. Luckily, I've got two of the mats, which will probably last for years and years to come.

williamsond
11-02-2014, 12:06
On the subject of terrain, i got a load of the gale force 9 stuff a while back to put on my battle mat, it's a little on the expensive side, but it's well worth the money for quality prepainted terrain (and it's very solid built too). I managed to kit out my 6x4 for about 120 pounds sterling with some badlands buffs, rocks and trees and I am very impressed with how it turned out. Sure it's cheeper to make scenery yourself but I just don't have the time these days.

Jedi152
12-02-2014, 09:34
Sad really. They were a very affordable product which created a great table, and the mat was of excellent quality. I've got no interest in the battle boards at all, way to expensive and bland looking for my taste. Luckily, I've got two of the mats, which will probably last for years and years to come.
It's not that it's bland, i think it's alright, it's just the price, and the fact it has daft pits of skulls all over it so it's rendered useless with any other game.

The_Real_Chris
12-02-2014, 16:19
People do fill in the skulls bits...

Athelassan
13-02-2014, 00:50
People do fill in the skulls bits...
Half the point in buying a premodelled gaming surface, though, is that you don't have to modify it extensively.

Scythe
13-02-2014, 08:01
It's not that it's bland, i think it's alright, it's just the price, and the fact it has daft pits of skulls all over it so it's rendered useless with any other game.

Yeah, that's true. The price is the largest huddle for the battleboard for me. I mean, it only has a few modelled hills on it. For the same price as that board, I could get a whole table filled with terrain if I went with a mat.

Jedi152
13-02-2014, 08:55
People do fill in the skulls bits...

The problem is that GW seem to want people to only use it for their game.

If you're making something universal like a 6'x4' board (which almost every gamer of every system is going to need), it makes a heck of a lot more sense to make it appeal to as many people as possible.

A guy who plays WFB and a historical games isn't going to think "hmm, i'd better buy a second board since i can only use my Realm of Battle for WFB!", he's just going to forget the Realm of Battle board and buy a regular one.


Yeah, that's true. The price is the largest huddle for the battleboard for me. I mean, it only has a few modelled hills on it. For the same price as that board, I could get a whole table filled with terrain if I went with a mat.
Sadly, that's the case. It is 175. You can buy a Mat-O-War gaming mat for about 25, and then you've got 150 to spend on scenery. That's a hell of a lot of scenery, even if you go down the expensive Battlefield in a Box route.

Herzlos
13-02-2014, 10:37
I had one and sold it after a couple of game*, because the hills are too steep to prevent the figures falling over or sliding*. So it's not that it's a hugely expensive bit of scenery with pits of skulls, it's also not much use for actually gaming on.

*I didn't paint it, maybe figures won't slide as much if it's primed or flocked, but if I was going to be doing that I'd probably just buy a 6x4 sheet of wood and flock it.

redben
13-02-2014, 11:24
The sarcastic part of me wants to suggest the reason they aren't on sale anymore is because the quality was too high compared to their other products...

The cloth battlemats were good quality items. We have at least 6 of them at our club and they are very popular with Warmahordes, WFB, Epic and Kings of War players. They don't get used for 40k so much as the style doesn't really mesh with the city ruins. I always put one out when I'm planning on taking photos of my game for a batrep as I know it will make my semi-painted models look better by enhancing the appeal of the whole tabletop.

This is my experience also and if it's replicated on a large scale, then it may be that the battlemat wasn't popular with people who play GW's most successful game. Throw in the low profit margins and that it competes with RoB for sales then you can see why GW don't want to sell it anymore. It's a shame as it was a great product, especially for the price.

DarkLordBelial
13-02-2014, 11:52
I love my Realm of Battle board - granted I'm a WoC player so I love skulls and I got it back when it was "cheap(er)" - but part of me thinks they would have much more success with it if they sold the panels individually and allowed people to mix and match them. Some river sections would be nice too (especially with tonnes of skulls in the riverbed ;) )

That said, I also have one of the battle mats and it is amazing! Shame it's not still available.

iPaint
13-02-2014, 19:22
If people are still looking for alternate sources of battle mats outside of eBay or forums, might I recommend Mat-o-War mats? The two I have are excellent quality, and have a semi-static grass look and feel to them that matches pretty close to the standard green static grass mixes people use. They take some breaking in to really get the best look and feel, but as you use them they just get better.

Sorry for the poor lighting, it was night time:

187222

187223

Some better pics can be found on Google. This is the same mat sold by Antenociti's Workshop a few years ago.

~iPaint

N1AK
14-02-2014, 11:03
Their train of thought is really pathetic. It's something like: Product A sells for $35. We want to sell Product B for $290 because that's more profit. If we list both, people will buy Product A instead of Product B, so let's discontinue Product A so people will have to buy Product B.


What's pathetic is thinking you can so definitively judge a company with thousands of employees 'train of thought' as being to do something irrational chasing a false increase in profits.

GW has always kept duplication in its lines low. If it was purely about profit then they could have bumped the price of the mat up. The sales of the plastic boards have also been pretty impressive, so even if the sole consideration was the boards having a higher profit margin then it may well have done exactly that.

Why did privateer press stop selling the metal versions of early Warjacks shortly after the plastic versions were released at a higher price? Was their train of thought also pathetic; or are you willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they did it to control stock versions and retail space (which I am).

N1AK
14-02-2014, 11:12
Sadly, that's the case. It is 175. You can buy a Mat-O-War gaming mat for about 25, and then you've got 150 to spend on scenery. That's a hell of a lot of scenery, even if you go down the expensive Battlefield in a Box route.

Not to disagree with the underlying point but you'd also need a 6x4 surface or boards to make it a 6x4 surface to use the mat. The boards can make most reasonably sized tables into a 6x4 on there own. I've got flocked mdf boards at my house and our club uses fold out tables and cut carpet so the Realm boards aren't getting any sales from us (due to price and fixed hills built on) at that price, so I certainly don't disagree with the pricing issue personally but plenty of people do seem to buy them...

Sophet Drahas
15-02-2014, 05:47
Well, GW does sell the flat expansion boards so if you wanted a flat 6x4 you could buy those from them. Granted you wouldn't have the bag to put them in though. I've thought several times about picking them up but my place is small and setting up a game here is difficult. Much easier to play at a friends place or at a store.


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Disposable Hero
15-02-2014, 08:17
I have a mat as well, love it.

This thing, and their modular movement trays are just awesome.

Poseidal
18-02-2014, 11:38
I have the mat. You can turn it over, and use it for your Space game in a pinch too.

williamsond
20-02-2014, 10:22
never though of doing that perfect for X wing too :)

Daniel36
20-02-2014, 10:43
We got two. Would've gotten another one if they hadn't discontinued it. We cut up one and glued it to MDF pieces, works brilliantly. We still have the other one intact but I think we're going to do the same.

MusingWarboss
23-02-2014, 02:06
I'm tempted by a Mat-O-War but I don't need green or sand. :( Now if only they did a wasteland or city mat.

Gen.Steiner
23-02-2014, 14:20
I've not heard of Mat-O-War, but 25 isn't bad. I spent 10 on a sheet of pale sand cloth from a local haberdasher's, and that does me fine for desert based games.