Here is what you get:
The panels are paper-thin, but they are basically big stickers after all.
Each panel is 12 inch x 12 inch and you get 8 panels total. That is a pretty good sized gaming area.
I put the panels down on my gaming table and they covered a large chunk.
I doodled a bit of a dungeon on them and they worked fairly well. Understandably, I had to hold down the panel so it wouldn’t move, but it wasn’t a problem.
So here is the skinny:
- If you want a grid, you’ve got some work to do. I know from personal experience, there really is no way to permanently mark this kind of surface apart from scoring it. These panels are going to turn into confetti if you score them. One possibility would be to mount the panels onto sections of poster board and then score them.
- A quick note regarding a grid, keep in mind games like D&D 3.5 and 4e work on a one-inch grid, so you can really just use a tape measure without much trouble (well, I’m assuming that is true for 4e. I haven’t played it). Savage Worlds operates on this grid too and, despite the emphasis on a battle map in the Savage Worlds rule book, the official demo I played at Origins used a tape measure.
- The panels stay in place reasonably well. I bumped the table a bit to test this and the panels more or less stayed in place. I’m guessing inadvertent bumps by players might be more problematic. Having not played with the interlocking Tact-Tiles, I’m not sure how much of an advantage they offer.
- The panels were covered with a clear film that came off. I initially wasn’t certain if this was suppose to happen. I’m still not sure, but the panels were still erasable after I removed the film (although shadowing did increase noticeably).
- You get what you pay for. These panels aren’t as snazzy as the original Tact-Tiles or the current Battlegraph Boards. However, if you can find a set, this kit is a hell of a lot cheaper, especially if you consider the amount of playing surface you get. You get 8 panels for a 2 foot by 4 foot playing area. In comparison, the Battlegraph Boards are $7.00 per 12 inch piece and a set of Tact-Tiles will run you several hundred dollars on eBay (no joke, check the ENWorld forums).
- If nothing else, these panels would be handy for those times combat spills off your regular battle mat.