I haven't had a chance to play Battlefleet Gothic for a couple of years: I used to have a nice black gaming board (painted with scratch resistant floor paint) but I had to jettison it when I had my basement refurbished.

When you are short of space to store rigid gaming boards, mats are a great solution. They can be rolled or folded and take up very little space when stored. And there are some great manufacturers out there: Zuzzy textured rubber mats are pretty awesome, but there's also Eric Hotz's felt mats and those of TerrainMat.com.

A few days ago I bit the bullet and decided to buy a gaming mat: I miss playing BFG and want to get back into it! As it turned out, the Hotz Deep Space Mat which most closely fits the size of my kitchen table was very affordable, and shipping was good too. The only downside was the five week waiting time. So I was very pleasantly surprised when my mat turned up this week!

The mat is really nice: the colours are sharp and the felt is a nice deep black, which is important to properly convey just how black space really is. The only quibble I have is that the stars are quite big blobs, but this is really a very minor thing. Here are some pictures of the mat, laid out on the floor of my basement:

Hotz Deep Space Mat
Hotz Deep Space Mat

This inspired me to get my old Imperial Navy fleet out for a dust-off: I finished it some time around 2000 and I'm still quite pleased with it. Here are some photos:

Painting BFG ships is pleasingly simple: black undercoat and lots of drybrushing! Simple but really effective, and very rewarding to do. The miniatures themselves are absolutely gorgeous. And the fact that you can create quite a large fleet but still only have to paint a dozen or so models is a big plus for a time starved gamer like me.

You'll see some planets above - the big ones I bought from an anonymous vendor at Salute 2009. The smaller moon is one of my own creations: basically just a styrofoam ball from a craft shop, painted with textured paint and washed with red and brown.

I also have a small Necron fleet and some static defence stations, but they can wait for another post :-)