Battlemat Help - Dry or Wet erase? Difference?

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I want to order a 1" grid battlemat, maybe 3' x 4' or so in size? (whatever is an common size I guess), a friend of mine a few years ago had one in an old gaming group of ours, and it had the ability to use markers on it to draw temporary walls, etc., and then wipe it off later, but he messed up what type of marker was supposed to be used on it, and it was essentially ruined after the first game.

So my question is, can anyone tell me if they know any place making decent mats (nice thick material that will last awhile) and also what is the difference with dry and wet erase and what works best?

Thanks!
D.
we use dry erase on ours, it works pretty well... though, it's technically a wet-erase mat (the mat should come with a pamphlet)
i use these sheets laminated with markers.

http://www.sjgames.com/floorplans/squaregrids/

note: that that's a 4 pack of 21x32 double-sided grids (not 28x32). very nice quality too.
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I want to order a 1" grid battlemat, maybe 3' x 4' or so in size? (whatever is an common size I guess), a friend of mine a few years ago had one in an old gaming group of ours, and it had the ability to use markers on it to draw temporary walls, etc., and then wipe it off later, but he messed up what type of marker was supposed to be used on it, and it was essentially ruined after the first game.

So my question is, can anyone tell me if they know any place making decent mats (nice thick material that will last awhile) and also what is the difference with dry and wet erase and what works best?

Thanks!
D.

We use wet erase markers, but find that some remove easier than others. Seems to be color specific - green seems to erase easier than others (black/red). But, this may be specific to the brand we have as well.

In cases where we leave residue that won't wipe off easily, we use a little oxi-clean and it seems to work well.

Leaving it on for long periods of time also makes it a little tougher to just wipe right off.

Alvo
Mine is made for dry-erase markers. It's made of laminated cardboard. If you get a vinyl one, which has the advantage that it can be rolled up, you should use wet-erase markers on it -- the vinyl is porous and can become stained if you use dry-erase markers.

I ordered my mat from paizo.com.
i use these sheets laminated with markers.

http://www.sjgames.com/floorplans/squaregrids/

note: that that's a 4 pack of 21x32 double-sided grids (not 28x32). very nice quality too.

I had the map in the back of the 3E DMG (the one that had one side as all white squares) laminated and used that for years. It was dry erase.

Whatever you wind up with should have instructions. A good rule of thumb is that the more cloth-like the texture the more likely it's wet-erase.
Different types of mats use different types of markers. Any site that's selling mats should tell you what type to use for that mat, and the good ones have the markers sold right alongside the mats. Your FLGS should have similar information.

One of the common battlemat types is a vinyl mat, like the ones made by Chessex. These are designed for wet erase type markers only. Draw what you need, then wipe off with a damp sponge or paper towel later. Don't let them sit too long, or they may stain. Red can set in after only a day or two. So it's a good idea to clean them after every session. (In addition to the high priced red/green/blue/black set commonly sold alongside them, I've found Crayola Washable markers to work well too.)

Another type is a laminated mat, like the ones made by Steel Sqwire. These are marketed as being able to take any type of marker, even permanent marker. For wet erase, rub off with a damp sponge. For dry erase, just rub off. For permanent marker, first rub over the lines with a dry erase marker, then rub off as usual.

So, it depends on the surface. I generally prefer wet erase, as I find it easier to remember to keep it clean (I go over it again with a new damp paper towel until I don't come off with any ink).
I use these with dry-erase markers and it works great. I just wish they were bigger.

http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/p/paizoPublishingLLC/gameMastery/maps/steelSqwireFlipMats

 Any Edition

Also, you'll want to stay away from Red (and colors derived from red ie. Purple) Markers as these tend to become permanent.
Wet erase is fine with a vinyl mat, just make sure you clean it quickly afterwords and thoroughly. Overtime, it'll stain a little but should still be very usable.

I'll have to try the crayola washables - more colors seem good to me.
Thank you all for your information and help, I am going to check out some sites, and see what I can come up with!

D.
Just an update! I did manage to track down a Chessexx battle map (one of the double sided ones) at a FLGS in a city I'll be going to on Monday, so the owner put it aside for me, I'll be getting that and a pack of WET erase markers.

Thanks for the help everyone!

D.
I had the map in the back of the 3E DMG (the one that had one side as all white squares) laminated and used that for years. It was dry erase.

Whatever you wind up with should have instructions. A good rule of thumb is that the more cloth-like the texture the more likely it's wet-erase.

I'm still using my lamenated DMG mat. It works well with wet erease too. Lol we find that a Mr Sub bag is the best for whiping it clean.
So...

I accidentally used a dry erase marker on my wet erase mat.

Not the eraser, nor water, nor alcohol, nor whiteboard-cleaner, nor 6 hours of soaking in water would get the stuff off.

Any suggestions? Or am I down one game mat?
I use a D&D mat I got at a 4e demo event (wet erase), and it has been good so far. I have slight stains from a blue marker (I recommend against using blue, I've only heard and seen bad about it), and I'm starting to see faint traces of where my black has been. I've heard that brown is the best color to use, and rarely stains.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

So...

I accidentally used a dry erase marker on my wet erase mat.

Not the eraser, nor water, nor alcohol, nor whiteboard-cleaner, nor 6 hours of soaking in water would get the stuff off.

Any suggestions? Or am I down one game mat?

really.. I use dry erase on my chessex maps almost exclusively...
I bought a whiteboard from costco a few months ago. It was around $20, had a 1" grid, came with markers, eraser, cleanser, and magnets that look like board game peices. We take full advantage of the manetic qualities of the whiteboard.

I also have found a discount store in my area that sells large preentation size graph paper. Roughly 36" X 18". It uses one inch grid as well. It is about 20 sheets for $5. The advantage of this paper is that I can create multiple battle grids and keep them permanently.
If you have accidentally marked on your wet-erase map with permanent or dry-erase, and it's ruined anyway, I'd suggest a trick I accidentally learned: Automobile Transmission fluid. (either type, I believe, though I used Type F). It was able to remove some permanent marker from my mat with a little work and a clean cloth. BUT BEWARE! Use it sparingly, because if used too much, it will also remove the gridlines, as well as the faux-parchment staining on the battlemat. Confine your cleaning as much as possible to just the permanent marker stains, avoiding the gridlines themselves. It did work for me.
Wet-erase markers are safe on all non-porous surfaces, and although some colors will leave faint stains, these stains don't seem to be permanent and will wear off with time.

Some dry-erase markers are safe on most of these surfaces too.

But some dry-erase markers contain powerful solvents (like toluene or xylene) to some types of plastics that coat the surface of many battlemats. In this case, the marker will dissolve a thin layer of the surface and the pigment will fuse with it, staining it permanently. This, obviously, is bad.

There are so many combinations of battlemats/materials and wet-erase and dry-erase markers that your best bet is to follow the battlemat manufacturer's instructions AND test the marker in a corner to see if it wipes off.
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If you have accidentally marked on your wet-erase map with permanent or dry-erase, and it's ruined anyway, I'd suggest a trick I accidentally learned: Automobile Transmission fluid. (either type, I believe, though I used Type F). It was able to remove some permanent marker from my mat with a little work and a clean cloth. BUT BEWARE! Use it sparingly, because if used too much, it will also remove the gridlines, as well as the faux-parchment staining on the battlemat. Confine your cleaning as much as possible to just the permanent marker stains, avoiding the gridlines themselves. It did work for me.

GM's Tar and Road Oil Remover also works
You might also try an eraser. When i was marking up maps in the military, we used permanent markers on the coated maps, and erasers were the best things to get them off. Also, try Windex/Fantastic or WD-40.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
In my experiences, wet erase is the way to go. Dry erase works fine too, but dry erase tends to leave behind "ghosts" of whatever has been drawn on the battlemap previously after you've used the mat a few times. Wet erase requires a little more work since you need to have a sponge or something to clean off the mat, but wet erase IMO is the better option.
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So...

I accidentally used a dry erase marker on my wet erase mat.

Not the eraser, nor water, nor alcohol, nor whiteboard-cleaner, nor 6 hours of soaking in water would get the stuff off.

Any suggestions? Or am I down one game mat?

Try some WD-40.

Alvo
really.. I use dry erase on my chessex maps almost exclusively...

I find that hard to believe when I witnessed a dry-erase marker permanently stain a chessex mat after being on it for 15 minutes...
http://paizo.com/store/gameAids/gamingMats/steelSqwire

Flip Mats are the best Mats out there, period. They're the best because they can handle wet erase, dry erase and even permanent markers! I own 2 of them and use them every time I game. I tend to focus on Dry Erase markers, easier to quickly clean up compared to wet and permanent but I have been known to use the other two on occasion. One suggestion I would make is always remember to clean your mat after the game. This goes for all game boards, as markers can stain.
The grid I have is actually something I put together from other materials. I took a piece of large graph paper (1 inch squares) and had it laminated onto a big piece of poster board. It cost me roughly $40 for the materials and the process of having Staples do the lamination work for me. As I said previously, I mainly use wet erase. I have used dry erase markers before, but they tend to stain battlemats unless you have some sort of solvent to periodically cleanse your mat with; in the latter case you might as well be using wet erase anyway.
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I find that hard to believe when I witnessed a dry-erase marker permanently stain a chessex mat after being on it for 15 minutes...

maybe it's the marker type? I use expo

IMAGE(http://www.demco.com/webprd_demco/product_block/D00/V1530084AOd.jpg)

that set right there is what I use, colors are nice for different levels.

I also use this

IMAGE(http://www.expomarkers.com/sanford/consumer/expo/images/LRG_IMAGES/81803_PD_Lrg.jpg)

to clean my mat.
That's the brand of dry-erase marker I used on my wet-erase mat. I tried that same brand cleaner on it, too. No go.

Will have to give WD-40 a shot...
Ok, I had made the mistake of using dry erase marker on a plastic mat intended for wet erase. I don't know who manufactured the mat, but it has the texture of supple leather, is blue in color, and one sided. I bought it a gaming store for like $40. Over the years I had tried to clean it, but never had done more than lighten the stain. Finally, I decided I was going to get the stain out or just buy a new mat. SO I tried the following:

white vinegar- didn't work
nail polish remover- didn't work
rubbing alcohol- didn't work

Then I read this post and tried
WD40, let it sit for 5 mins- didn't work

I see above somebody tried transmission fluid, but I didn't have any handy in the shop. But I did have some Prestone DOT 4 brake fluid (similar stuff). I put it on and counted to 5. Then started rubbing, and it literally came right off. I had been living with this half drawn room on the mat for literally years, and could take it off with brake fluid in minutes.

Just in case anybody else cares; the answer is Brake fluid.
If you get a Chessex mat don't use dray erase or other oily inks. It will stain the mat. Use water soluble markers. Also avoid colors like purple, orange, and red. They tend to stain.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

I find that hard to believe when I witnessed a dry-erase marker permanently stain a chessex mat after being on it for 15 minutes...

maybe it's the marker type? I use expo that set right there is what I use, colors are nice for different levels. I also use this to clean my mat.


Chessex explains why on a pamphlet that comes with the mat. The mat is too porous, for watery/oily markers.  

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Bumpety bump.

Just wanted to add some extra advice.  If you happen to use permanent marker on your dry or wet erase map, just color over it with dry erase and rub it off right away.  The compound in dry erase markers that allows it to erase cleanly dissolves permanent marker.  I've saved a couple of maps and pieces of lexan that way.  Of course, if it's been on a long time, nothing might be able to save it, but it's worth a try.  

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