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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » General

Subject: Homemade Felt Maps for Star Trek: Attack Wing (A review) rss

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Daniel van de Laar
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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This post was originally posted to the Review Forum, as I misunderstood the nature of the forum, thinking in my naive way, that it included not just reviews of the Star Trek: Attack Wing, but included reviews of various accessories one might use with STAW.

Here is that post, as requested:


===============================================

My friend Steve (StormTrooper721) introduced me to Star Trek: Attack wing. He invited me over to his home one day to play a game, and that was the first time I had ever seen a felt map.

I have decades of gaming experience, and have owned and played upon a variety of commercial surfaces, but this was my first experience playing upon felt.

It was good.

In fact it wasn't just good, it was superior in several key ways to many of the commercially available (and decidedly less economical) playing surfaces I have played upon.

Many commercially available playing surfaces suffer from a low coefficient of friction, which makes it easier to accidentally move a miniature during game play. Often the bottoms of these surfaces are made with more friction than the top, ostensibly for the purpose of not having them slip around on the table. Felt on the other hand resists the sort of slippage encountered on the top of the map, but slides easily enough over a table surface, to move the whole map without disturbing the contents atop it.

Many commercially available playing surfaces likewise suffer from glare. Playing in a kitchen with the light coming through a window, can turn the whole map into a reflective nightmare (if you're sitting on the wrong end of the table). Even playing under normal lighting conditions may cause a small amount of eyestrain. The same surface that gives felt a superior traction, likewise disperses light better so there is no glare.

Felt is a natural sound and shock absorber, so that playing on felt deadens the ambient noise around you, and, to some small extent, cushions the field. Should you knock a ship over, it is less likely to break on a felt surface, than on a harder surface.

Felt is relatively inexpensive too. I would suggest that you stay away from the low cost stuff ($5 a yard), and get something a little thicker (1/8 of an inch or better) which usually runs around $20 a yard. Thinner felts can distort (stretch) over time. Wool felts are sturdier than Poly blends, but they are a lot more expensive (they make felt hats out of the stuff), but a thick polyester blend isn't likely to suffer this kind of deformity.

One last thing, you can keep a good thick felt rolled up for months, and when you lay it out on the table, it lays flat (no curling up of the ends). It sits down flat on the table (no bumps), and feels warm and pleasant to the touch. It can be washed (with care) if you should spill something on it, and otherwise wears well.

You can paint on felt with acrylic paints. Star fields are easy, but you're probably not going to be recreating Hubble images of the Horse-head nebula on your new felt.

Making your own map is easy, cheap, and leaves you with a product at the end that is not only better than maps you could buy for twice the money, but special because it was made by you.

I highly recommend making your own map, especially if you are just starting out and looking for what to use as a map.

DANVAN
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Thomas Blackwell
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I like them, but every felt map i have played on has a... stickiness? against the skin at least. Maybe it was from spraypaints or something but I didn't enjoy putting my hands on it.
 
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John S.
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Michael's craft stores (and other retailers I'm sure) have a pre-packaged 36" x 36" black felt mat for less than $5. Even folded into a square and stuffed in the gym bag I carry my STAW gear in, it unfolds flat. I haven't bothered to decorate it. Other players were initially skeptical of it in favor of fancy printed vinyl mats, but once they've played a game on it objections cease. Ships are more resistant to bumping, and dice rolling sounds are muffled (and I believe it makes less wear on the dice too). Not to mention that the vinyl mats easily get scratched, and require carrying a 3 foot tube around. Felt rocks.
 
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King of the Wood
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Holtz star maps are awesome.
 
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