Hexing the Mat

Sooooooooooo.... I am addicted to hexed/gridded playing surfaces.  It speeds up gaming so much over measuring that I don't want to ever go back.  I figured I'd do a post about how I create a hexmap.

To play Star Navy, I broke out the Battleship Galaxies board and quickly ran into the issue that just because the base of a ship fits into the 1" hex, doesn't mean the ship fits into the hex.  Things begin to look jumbled and messy very quickly.

For my ground games, played in 28mm, 6" hexes work quite well, but for space/air/flying games there are not enough hexes on the table for maneuvering.  I found some red Solo cups at about 3" that split the difference. I already had the dark blue vinyl mat and I bought a set of $2 oil pastels to get a white marker.
March of the Red Menace
With an officer to maintain order
After about 2 hours, I finished a 7'x4'6" surface. The only drawback is that the oil pastel will smear.  It's not so delicate that touching it will cause a problem, but I am worried about rolling it up for storage.

Lastly, some beauty shots featuring my Ravenstar Cold Navy ships...


  1. Hello, just trolling through and I had some questions about this mat!
    -Did it hold up over time?
    -Would you consider doing it again for one of those Amazon tablecloths like the one you have been using lately?

    I have been on that Trek kick lately, and want a hexed mat of some sort, but also find that I am very cheap...

    1. Hey,
      So, my vinyl mat has held up very well, and IMHO the approximate 3" hexes are the perfect distance between ships. It keeps enough room so that it doesn't look like a traffic jam, and there is room for missiles, counters, or other markers.

      I don't know how it would work on the table cloths. They are very think, sort of "non-stick" material. I'll try out a sample and see if the oil markers I used on the vinyl mat take. I'll post back in a day or so with what I find.

    2. So, the oil pastel took to the tablecloth material on my starfields. The only issue I can see is visibility. My blue vinyl mat is one solid color and the starfields are so brilliant and varied, you'd probably want to change the color of the marker across the map to maintain contrast.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    3. Currently the 60x90 blue/green space field is on sale (~$14) so I think I would go for that one over the one you have. Once I have it in hand, I would have to decide if white or black worked better for the marks.

      Did you use an oil pastel stick (like for art) or an oil based white pen? (Sharpie)


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