onsdag 21. desember 2011

Delivery from Canada - HOTZ gaming mat

Today's post was originally going to be on something dreary, like the flat, drab colour collection used for my daylight RAF aircraft. Instead, fortune (or the mailman) ensured that it will instead be on something rather exciting - the flat, drab felt mat mailed to me from Canada!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you want this. HOTZ mats - brand of excellence.

HOTZ mats has a friendly if somewhat quirky web page (http://www.hotzmats.com/), and while navigating it and getting the information I needed was easy, it kind of lacks that comforting pat-on-the-back-feel. Both times I have ordered there, I have collected my information from the site, located the correct product and felt confident that I have everything set up right - and yet, just before hitting the purchase-button, I got that "You'd  better be sure about this one, you only have one chance to get it right you know"-feeling. That being said, the order confirmation contained the right product both times (which made me feel a whole lot better).
At the least one U. S. supplier's web site complained bitterly of the delivery problems they had with this manufacturer, that is, Eric Hotz. What they have been experiencing I cannot really say, perhaps Hotz prioritizes direct orders to his website over orders from other stores. In any case, this is my second HOTZ mat, and in both instances ordrering has been painless and delivery quick.
In this particular case, the ordrer was placed November 24th (a Thursday), order confirmation came November 27th (a Sunday!) and delivery was yesterday, December 20th. Considering that the order listed five weeks expected delivery time, that this is (as far as I have gathered) a hand-made product from a one-man operation and that the product has been shipped overseas from Canada to Norway (we're not even in the EU), I cannot be anything but delighted with the way this purchase turned out.

It is huge! The thing makes a mockery of our five-stone dinner table. WIP Do17z placed for scale.

This particular mat is a so-called "full-size" (72 x 42 inches) with the European Fields pattern and a 1.5 inch hex grid, and it looks beautiful. Having gamed on a similar though smaller mat before, I can certainly support Hotz's claim that the grid is very functional yet subtle enough to not interfere with the visual impression. Price, including air mail, came to just below 70 USD. While that is certainly an investment, it is certainly not enough to have me worried. With regards to value for money, it just cannot be beat as far as I am concerned. 70 bucks for (more or less) all the terrain you are ever going to need for the game? Count me in.

All that remains now is to iron it to remove the creases and then find a permanent storage solution. The plan is to get a short, wooden staff - the kind used for curtains - and roll the mat around it, then stuff it into a cloth bag that I will ask my wife (very nicely) to make for me. That should protect it from wrinkles, nicks and abrasion, while at the same time being an easy format to store and transport - particularily if I add a sling to the bag. Some sort of storage will be required at any rate, and I will make certain to post once it is ready.

Well, that certainly is a motivation to finish the quick-reference sheets and other game-aids for BTH2! Christmas coming up fast, so I'll have to see if I cannot manage to squeeze in a visit to a book store and get a hold of some coloured cardboard before the weekend...

4 kommentarer:

  1. Nice mat. I have a home made one in blue felt and another one that I bought. This puts both to shame. I must consider one of these at some point.

  2. Your comment mede me realise that I will have to order another HOTZ mat at some point, as I will require a blue one for engagements over the coast and sea...

  3. A few years ago I bought one like yours for my club, but I feel is a bit expensive.

  4. If it had not been for the fact that I came from the world of Games Workshop and Privateer Press, I might have agreed! The amount of money it took to fuel those games... Compared to that, the current 1/300 BoB-project takes only a fraction to keep running.
    As it is, due to hard-won (or rather dearly bought!) experience, I have made a solemn vow not to purchase new miniatures before the previous lot is (almost) finished. This naturally limits the amount of money spent on miniatures... Therefore, whenever an occasion arises that calls for an investment like this, I can usually both excuse the purchase and spare the extra cash.

    That being said, if you know any good alternatives, please post links!