[RPG] Efficient / flexible terrain – Creating a clear hex grid


A little background:

Our terrain system has always been drawing on a whiteboard. We use blue for water, etc. People/Creatures/Objects are glass tokens (sharpied labels on ours, green for friends, blue for neutral, red for enemies, black for items).

However, as we get more tactical, estimating distances has become unsuitable. We have a clear plastic laminate sheet with hexes drawn on it, but moving it around is tedious.

Does anyone know how we could buy/print a large, clear hex-map? I would also accept a large, transparent dry-erase board + a large opaque hexmap.

Other alternatives and suggestions are welcomed.

Best Answer

Chessex manufactures grid maps that you can draw upon, with water-soluble markers ("overhead" pens). These are available with a variety of pre-printed patterns, so you can get those with hexes, squares, and so on.

I personally use a mixture of one of these mats, "dungeon tiles" (tiles of various shapes with terrain pictures on them, plus pre-printed grid marks), printed out sheets for some floor plans and such. Often I place a large plexi-sheet over these: it keeps the bits and pieces underneath from moving around too much, is better to roll dice and move around counters on, and I draw on the plexi with dry-erase whiteboard markers (which are not usable on Chessex's mat material) and cleaning up after these is much nicer than the water-soluable overhead markers.

Also, I use the plexi-map as a cover for a variety of boardgames I have that come with folded up card-stock maps.

To get the sheet of plexi, I just went to a local glass-supply place and gave them the measurements I wanted and they quickly cut me a sheet. You can also get plexi at some large DIY or home supply or hardware places, but I found that the prices were cheaper at the glass supply place especially when it came to just giving them a set of measurements and asking them for a precisely sized sheet.