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March 15, 2016: New Product Release in April

I am working on a new product release for April. This has been a long term project, figuring and testing out the best way to produce it. Its a product that get requested by customers from time to time, but I needed to figure out a way to produce it that is economical with time and materials, which is never an easy nor quick to do as I have to contact my suppliers to get price quotes on every possible system and method of production. In the end, I managed to get everything sorted out and the product ended up with a much less retail price than I expected. That is good. My suppliers came through.




November 15th, 2016: 4x6-ft Game Mats

At present, we can only make 4x6-ft (48 x 72 inch) game mats providing the game mats do not have hexes/squares. As of today, any Full Size game mat (45x72 Inch) purchased without hexes or squares, will be produced as a 4x6-ft (48x72 Inch) game mat at no extra charge. Customers can opt to have 45x72 inch game mat if desired.


The Bargain Page Has Been Updated:

Updated the Bargain Games Mat Page: Click Here.




July 16th, 2016: Heroscape Tiles and Hotz Mats

    

Using 1.75 Inch hexes on Hotz Mats to play using Heroscape Tile systems:
CLICK HERE




July 12th, 2016: Customizing Your Own Small Field Sets

    

A simple trick of making multiple plowed (ploughed) fields sets for your gaming table using Hotz Mats Flocked Felt Fields, thanks to Paul A. Hannah:
CLICK HERE




July 11th, 2016: Unpaved Felt Road Systems

    

A flexible, easy to use, innovative, inexpensive and stunning new product. Dirt roads should be dirt cheap to buy. Inexpensive shipping worldwide; one flat rate; buy as much as you need.

To view photo gallery: CLICK HERE
For more information: CLICK HERE




July 10th, 2016: Colin Upton's Northern Crusade Game

Game rules: Lion Rampant. Miniatures: 30mm scale. Table size: 6x12ft. Game presented by: Colin Upton.

    

The Northern Crusades were a series of crusades undertaken by the Christian kings of Denmark, Poland and Sweden, the German Livonian and Teutonic military orders, and their allies against the pagan peoples of Northern Europe around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. Swedish and German Catholic campaigns against Russian Eastern Orthodox Christians are also sometimes considered part of the Northern Crusades.

For more photos: CLICK HERE




June 9th, 2016: 6mm Scale "UK Style" Left-Hand Lane Paved Roadways

I can now produce UK Style, left-hand lane Intersections for my 6mm scale Felt Paved Roads. This was a much requested addition to my paved road system. These feature left-hand drive 4-way intersections and 4-way round-abouts as well as 3-way intersections, all with white road lines. This means I can now produce UK style white roads, North American yellow and white lined roads and European style, right-hand drive, white lined, paved roadways. I will soon be updating the 6mm Paved Road web pages to show this product line plus upload product photos.

If you want to purchase the UK style roads right now, simply make a purchase and then send a short email message stating you want the "UK Style Roads". I will send you confirmation of your order so this time between purchasing and notifying me before your purchase is shipped.



April 8th, 2016: Roman Seas Game on a Custom Game Mat

Rarely do I get a chance to make myself a game mat and rarer still do I get a chance to make myself a custom 12-ft long, 6-ft wide game mat. This game mat was done in three printings and then assembled at the game convention -- I don't have a 12-ft table in my studio. This game mat setup represents a coastal region with deep and shallow water as well as a shoreline. The building models are from the Roman Seas rural village set along with bits and pieces from other Roman Seas building sets. The crops are cut up Hotz Mats Flocked Felt Fields and the roads were hand rendered. Trees were purchased on ebay and number close to 400 individual trees. The game involved 22, 1/285th scale, Roman Seas ship models and the scenario fought was the Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey. Caesar's naval forces were escorting a supply convoy to Greece where his army was starving. Pompey tried to stop this convoy and succeeded, but not after having first lost two ships sunk including their flagship. A tense 12 player game.

News Page



November 24th, 2015: Bargain Game Mat Page Updated

The Bargain Mat Page has (finally) been updated and uploaded: Bargain Mats. This represents only a small portion of game mats currently available. More will be added to the Bargain Page soon.



November 12th, 2015: PayPal Glitch

Please note that PayPal doesn't always inform clients (like us) that they have had a sale. This is not as common of an occurrence as it was three or four years ago, but we have had this happen to four customers within the last 30 days. I phoned PayPal about this issue a few years ago and they just stated that "email is not a reliable method of communication" and they left it at that. This means, that its not PayPal's responsibility to inform clients (like us) that they have had a sale. To be fair to PayPal, this problem can arise through the various SPAM filters at a server level, which means: my email server (SHAW) might accidentally destroy the occasional PayPal email informing us that we have had a sale. This is made worse because a few customers have come to us two or three months after making a purchase inquiring about their order. We will check our record books and discover that no such order was received, but when we look back into our PayPal records Online, the order is discovered. Sometimes, its our customer's email filters eating our email notices, but that has been getting rarer each year. Not so with PayPal, however, as it appears to be getting worse each year.

To make a long story short: If you haven't received an email response from us stating that we received your order within 3 days of placing a purchase, please send us an email note.



February 25th, 2016: United Federation of Planets

Updated Mr. Cohen's PDF file with a newer version. Lawrence J Cohen asked us to provide a link from our website to his FREE PDF Technical Manual of the USS Nova Class: Scout/Surveyor starship. We have placed a link on our Links page.
USS Nova Class Scout/Surveyor Starship Technical Manual



November 7th, 2015: United Federation of Planets

Updated Mr. Cohen's PDF file with a newer version. Lawrence J Cohen asked us to provide a link from our website to his FREE PDF Technical Manual of the USS Nova Class: Scout/Surveyor starship. We have placed a link on our Links page.
USS Nova Class Scout/Surveyor Starship Technical Manual



July 22nd, 2015: Felt Flocked Fields Price Change

Two of our suppliers changed last month. One stopped selling the products we had been purchasing for the last 10 years and the other changed franchises to a competitor's brand. This meant we had to look for new suppliers and that meant a lot of phone calls and having to drive out to remote locations to obtain samples and promises. Unfortunately, that ate up almost an entire week of time. We did manage to secure a good source of flocking, and even though our new supplier carries different colors, the colors they do carry cost a lot less. That is a very good thing to discover. Their flocking is used in a different industry from gaming and is sold in 1 gallon buckets. We will probably use a mix of the older brand and the new brand. Oddly, this improves our product as the new flocking colors are much brighter and as a result look more like new vegetation, which is perfect for our Flocked Felt Field product line! Because of this, and also finding lower pricing with our second suppler we have lowered the price of our Flocked Felt Field sets by over 18%, which means each set is now only $13 USD each.
Felt Flocked Fields Page





June 15th, 2015: Felt Backed Dirt Roads

Hotz Mats Felt Backed Dirt Roads will soon be released in the near future. Dirt Road widths will be: 0.5-Inch, 0.75-Inch, 1-Inch and 2-Inch. Our Dirt Road Sets are pre-colored (no painting required; just purchase, receive and play), designed to always lay flat on any gaming surface, available with or without verges, and will be available in Dirt and Desert colors, as well as other colors. Other Dirt Road widths are in the works. Our Dirt Roads are felt backed to help the product from slipping once placed on your gaming surface. More news will be posted once we are closer to our release date.

Pricing is undetermined at this point, but a ballpark price of: 1-Inch Dirt Road Width Base Set (includes straights, curves, intersections and a pullout) will give a customer 13-feet of roadway for $20.00 USD. A set of four 1-Inch width, 12-Inch length straight roadways sections is priced at $5.00 USD per set ($1.25 USD per foot). At this point we have over 50 Base Sets (without verges) of the half-inch and 1-Inch Dirt Road sets produced and almost ready to ship.

Dirt Road sections with verges will be priced slightly higher -- most customers noted on the poll we ran at our website between 2010 and 2013, that they preferred to add their own verges so they could better match the flocking colors to their gaming surface.

Dirt Roads (1-Inch Width) Retail Packaging

The Felt Backed Dirt Road project has been a huge undertaking that has been in the works for over 4 years. Due to me having to deal with an aging mother with medical issues and an extremely toxic (ex-)business partner, life over the last five years had a way of going south in a bad way, which caused all sorts of production problems and delays. However, starting in 2015, after moving our studio in late 2014 (which caused major production delays -- this was publicly noted on our website) most of that is behind us now, as we are getting caught up quickly and nicely once again.




April 28th, 2015: 36x72 Inch Space Game Mats

Although we have offered our Deep Space Game Mats in 36x72 Inch size for over 8 months now, it was brought to our attention by several customers that this game mat size only showed up on the USA customer section of our website. This game mat now shows up on all our customer order sections in both the Deep Space and our Enhanced Deep Space versions. Due to the number of 36x72 Inch Deep Space game mats we had been receiving, we assumed everyone in the world who wanted these game mats had been ordering them. However, upon looking over our past orders showed us that only USA customers had been responsible for all these purchases. This problem has now been fixed.




April 25th, 2015: Work, Work and More Work

As of today, when compared to 6 months ago when we were forced to move our studio and setup it all up again (a huge undertaking where we had to shut Hotz Mats down for over three months), we are about 95% caught up with orders. This is primarily due to us working around the clock, 12 hour days, 7 days a week.

A lot of orders came in during the month of February -- for some reason February is usually one of the busiest months for customer orders during any given year, but the month of April is also proving to be a busy month with many requesting game mats for their upcoming conventions. This definitely shows there are a lot of people who play tabletop wargames around the world. A few of the requests we have received have been from game publishers for various prototype games that will be showing up for play testing around the world at various game conventions throughout 2015. These are always fun to produce because of the diversity and challenges they present, but often they take extra time to create.




January 26th, 2015: Move To New Studio Complete

Working away, 12 - 14 hours a day, getting caught up with backlog of orders. We probably produced over 90% of the backlog, with many orders shipping out this week and early next week. Although we haven't had a lot of time to work on new products over the last 12 months, due to circumstances that were far beyond our control, we do have several new products lined up for release in February and March 2015.




October 26th, 2014: Move To New Studio Complete

We moved the our studio to a new location between August and September. The move involved moving all equipment and supplies (felt, inks, boxes, print screens, etc) to a new location and then setting it all up again, reorganizing it into our new studio and layout. The move did not go as quickly as we would have liked and was noted for one odd and one tragic occurrence.

The odd occurrence was that our customer orders for the month of August was exceptionally higher than usual. No idea why that was, but we had a flood of orders come in during this month. This has meant that we have a larger backlog of orders to complete than expected, although we have produced and shipped many of these as of this date. We should be fully caught up within the next two weeks.

The tragic news is the death of Lars Allemann at only 48 years of age on July 31, 2014. He left two sons, ages 14 and 19. Although Lars was not part of our staff, he was employed by one of our local suppliers and was instrumental with helping us get started and always available with valuable suggestions and knowledge. I personally knew Lars for over 15 years. He was a born leader with almost 40 years experience as a silk screener and was employed as a floor/shop manager at various large production shops. Lars is, and always will be missed greatly by everyone who knew him. He was one of the good guys in life.




August 8th, 2014: Moving To New Studio

Hotz Mats moved to a new studio. The move involves moving all equipment and supplies (felt, inks, boxes, print screens, etc) to a new location and then reorganizing it into our new studio and layout. New equipment is also being setup. This will mean a disruption for the month of August with regards to production. FedEX Orders that were received by July 21st were shipped on August 5th, there are many, but it is possible that a couple were missed due to the extremely large volume of orders that had to be shipped. We will be shipping more recent order plus a few of the missed orders this coming week.

If you haven't heard back from us its because we are away from our computers and likely in our studio setting up, cleaning, and organizing, none of which can be accomplished quickly. We did not get attacked by bears during the initial move, but we did encounter into two small bear cubs. That hadn't happened in a few years. No idea where their mother was, but decided to work inside for the remainder of that day. Please check our News Page for updates. We thank you for your patience.



July 18th, 2014: Moving To New Studio

Hotz Mats will be moving to a new studio at the end of this month. Moving a work studio is neither an easy nor a quick task. This will mean a disruption with regards to our production. Orders that were received on or before July 7th, will be completed and shipped before August 1st. Orders that are received after July 7th will processed and shipped as soon as we are back in production, however, there may be a delay of up to 8 weeks depending on how disruptive the move is. During our down time there will not be a possibility of producing orders.

During the first few days of announcing our move we were swamped with orders from people wanting to get their game mat orders placed and completed before we started our move. This took us by surprise and added to our workload. This has caused a few sleepless nights as we are literally working into the wee hours of night and morning. At least its cool at night, although there have been a few mother bears with cubs wandering through our outdoor work area (black bears do not show up well at night). If you haven't heard back from us its because we are juggling our studio move with game mat production, not because we fell victim to bear attacks. Please check our News Page for updates. We thank you for your patience.



April 24th, 2014: Working Away

We have been working our way through the backlog of orders we received during the months of February and March (we had been away on a two week holiday until March 3rd). There were far more orders received during the first quarter of this year than what we have seen over the last two years from the same period of time. At this point, we have around 95% of the orders received up to the end of March completed and about 50% of the orders received for the month of April so far, also completed, which is very good when one realizes just how many orders come came in over the last 60 days. The months of March, April and May are traditionally the busiest months of the year, surpassing Christmas, which usually only lasts about 5 weeks. 2014 is proving a very busy year and we haven't had a chance to release our new products.



March 3rd, 2014: Back from Holiday

We are working our way through the email enquirers and orders we received while we were away on holiday. There are quite a few. We will try to have responses sent before Thursday. Thursday will be our first full production day and we will continue working through the weekend and into the following week.



February 14th, 2014: The End of a Busy Winter

We will be away from February 14th to March 3rd. This will represent the longest period of time we will have been away from our studio. In some circles this is called a holiday (we had to look the word up; spelt it wrong on the first try) and represents the first such event in our lives in almost 8 years. Normally we may take a day or two off a year, usually around Christmas, but since we have been working 14 hours (February 13th was 16 hours) a day since December 1st, we thought we would try something different. We should be back to work on March 4th. We will be try to monitor our emails as time permits while away on holiday, assuming WIFI exists in the areas where we will be staying.

NOTE: Before going away, we shipped many, many customer orders -- we broke all previous records for the number of packages we shipped over the last four weeks. Even our FedEX Ground receiver was stunned at our volume. They thought we were running some sort of seasonal promotional give-away and took photos of our packages because they said, "No one will believe it unless we show them photos".



December 18th, 2013: End of a Busy Season

We have been working away in our studio producing game mats over the last few weeks now. I had my air brush artist in my studio for three straight days last week air brushing various products. This week my other assistant is helping with print production. We should have a large number of orders shipped before the weekend. We are also working on new product releases when time permits, many of which we were hoping to have available sooner, but due to this month's heavy workload, these had to be postponed until more time is available -- test production of our new products continues.



October 28th, 2013: The Busy Season

For some reason, between September to early December, is the busy season and with a break between Christmas and late January, the busy season starts up again and ends around late April or mid-May. Each year is slightly different. The last 6 months have seen a marked increase in the number of sales we have had without having a specific "favorite" product. Sales have been evenly distributed among all our product lines. As a result, we are about two weeks behind where we should be with regards to production and shipping. This was compounded when my trusty assistant took a few months off to get married. I am working overtime again, getting caught up, and producing orders at a fast rate. I was able to cleanup and reorganize part of my studio this month when we received new equipment for our new product lines. The new product lines were planned for release in 2012, but life got in the way in a serious manner and prevented us from having the time to devote to research and design.



October 16th, 2013: Gladiator Game Mats Ship Cheaper

At some point within the last 18 months, Canada Post changed its policy on shipping small packages. Because of this, the cost to ship small packages, under 100grams, dropped by 50%. The only down side to this is this only effects Gladiator game mats as these are the only game mats we produce that are within the 100 gram weight range and only applies to "Air Mail" folded shipping. It is a rare event when shipping rates drop and this includes to destinations with Canada, the USA and everywhere else in the world. Example: The cost to ship a Large Gladiator Game Mat with 1.0 Inch Hexes to the USA was $9, but now is only $4.



September 4th, 2013: New Felt Flocked Field 6-15mm Single Field: 22x14 inches.

Due to the popularity of our larger field sections, the single 22x14 inch single fields, we have added the 6-15mm scale, 22x14 inch size field section. These too can be ordered in the four colors.
Go to: Felt Flocked Fields




August 31st, 2013:New Products in the Works.

We are mostly caught up with the backlog of work, due to a long series of family crises that started back in mid-2012. That put a number of new product releases on hold. Over the next 6 weeks, we will be releasing a few new products and if these do well, more will be released later in the year.



July 23rd, 2012: Michael Ysker's Full Thrust Game Photos:

Michael Ysker took several photos his Full Thrust Sci-Fi game and then sent the photos to us. Michael uses our Deep Space game mats, with alternative colors/no hexes/squares, along with his own asteroid and planet/sun models. His photos are very impressive and quite colorful. To view Michael Ysker's photo gallery page: CLICK HERE.




Michael Ysker's game table with our Deep Space game mat (with alternative colors)



July 13th, 2012: Large (Single) 22x14 Inch 20-30mm Scale Felt Field Mats:

We had a number of customers request larger Felt Fields in 20-30mm scale as there is a need for a larger size field when gaming in 28mm scale or larger. Because of these requests we have made Felt Fields measuring (approx) 22x14 inches. The price per large Felt Field will be the same as our Felt Field Sets: $16 USD each, but when ordering 3 or more, the price will drop to $14 USD each. Because of their size, this product ships: FOLDED, but can be shipped ROLLED (please send us a request if ordering ROLLED is desired). When ordering, you can purchase the flocking color you need. To order this product: CLICK HERE.



20-30mm Scale Felt Field with (left to right) 15mm and 25mm Scale Miniatures



July 6th, 2012: Colin Upton's 15mm Napoleonics Game Photos: Featuring Our 6-15mm Scale Felt Fields

Colin Upton put on a 15mm Napoleonics game at the Trumpeter Club in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada on July 6th, 2012. Colin designed his game scenario around our Felt Fields, placing them at the center of the battle, at a crossroads. This resulted in both sides fiercely fighting over possession of the "fields". To view photos of Colin's excellent game set up and layout: CLICK HERE.



6-15mm Scale Felt Fields with 15mm Scale Napoleonic



June 25th, 2012: 20-30mm Scale Felt Fields Sets:

20-30mm scale Felt Fields Sets are now available: CLICK HERE.



Felt Fields with 20mm Scale Terrain/Miniatures
(Photo: Piers Brand)



June 14th, 2012: Computer Crash:

We had a computer crash at 10pm, Wednesday (June 13th). Luckily we had 95% of our work backed up, but we lost all our email messages from between the 7th and 13th of June. If you sent us an email or a quote request during this time period, please resend it. Several customers have already done so, and we did send out acknowledgments for many orders received, but there is a chance we missed some people. All order information is secure at our PayPal account, but we will have to go through these to ensure we haven't missed anyone.

We have our backup computer in place, which is more than adequate to handle the work and services we provide (book layout, graphic design and illustrations).




May 15th, 2012: Felt Fields:

Felt Fields are airbrushed felt fields with silk screened flocked furrows. A single set of Felt Fields covers an area slightly larger than 20 x 14 inches in size. Felt Fields are designed to remain flat, especially when placed onto our felt game mats. Felt Field sets ship flat so they won't wrinkle or crease, and they are inexpensive: $16 USD per set and $14 USD per each additional set purchased. For more information go HERE.



Felt Fields with 1/285th Scale Terrain



February 11th 2012: Felt Road Systems:

What WIDTHS do you need for the roads you use with your games? Tell us by filling out our second Online questionnaire: LINK



January 26th 2012: Felt Road Systems:

What road systems do you need for your games? Tell us by filling out our Online questionnaire: LINK



January 6th 2012: Red Sky Blue Sand Gladiator Arena Game Mats:

Red Sand Blue Sky Felt Gladiator Arena Game Mats are produced under license from Two-Hour Wargames and are especially designed for use with their Red Sand Blue Sky gladiator miniatures gaming rules system. These arena game mats depict a top view of a stylized Roman arena with gate house entrances. Stunningly beautiful, detailed and designed to enhance your gladiator game play! For more information Click Here.






December 19th 2011: World War One Trench Game Mat:
This game mat has been in the works for over five years and was the first game mat we started working on back in 2006. We are only now are releasing it because only now are we happy with the results. This is a stunning, but also a time consuming to produce, game mat -- it takes several silk screening printings, and numerous air brushing to get the artwork onto this mat, but the end game mat is both beautiful and very functional. For more information Click Here.






December 13th 2011: Sea Green Game Mat Photos:
We had a lot of customers ask to see photo images of our Sea Green game mats so we uploaded a few today. These images can be viewed at the Sea Green Game Mat Page.



December 11th 2011: Updated the Bargain Game Mat Page:
We have updated the Bargain Game Mat Page with new Bargain Mats. Great deals to be had by all, but it is all on a First Come; First Serve Basis.

News Page



December 6th 2011: Weathered Roads:
We had a number of customers request weathered roads because they felt our line of roads were too new looking. We now have weathered roads available, although not listed in our purchasing pages. To purchase, just send us a price request to: Eric Hotz. Shipping to anywhere in the world is both fast and in expensive.








Due to the heavy number of orders we receive before Christmas, we haven't had time to update our pricing pages. However, the pricing of the weathered roadways is: for 25mm scale roadways: is an additional $10 for Set No.1 through No.3 and $15 additional for Sets No.4 and No.5. For 6mm road sets, there is an additional $10 fee. To order weathered roadways, please request a quote: Price Quote for Weathered Roads


    For more information Weathered Roads



October 23rd, 2011: Large Gladiator Arena Game Mat with 1.5 Inch Hexes - Custom Order: This game mat was made for a customer who needed the hexes on his Gladiator Arena Game Mat to have 1.5 inch hexes rather than 1.0 inch hexes because of the base sizes of his miniatures. The game mat measures 23.5 x 23.5 inches/60 x 60cm (approx). Although this is was a custom order, anyone can order this game mat for $29.99 USD. You just have to send an email request to: Eric Hotz. Shipping is extra, but because the final product folds into a small light-weight package, shipping costs are minimal even when shipping worldwide.

"Gladiator Arena Game Mat with 1.5 Inch Hexes"



September 5th, 2011 : Sea Blue Gladiator Arena Game Mat - Custom Order: This game mat was made for a customer who wanted to play ancient naval combat games in a Coliseum setting. The game mat measures 23.5 x 23.5 inches/60 x 60cm (approx). Although this is was a custom order, anyone can order this game mat at the same the price as our regular Large Gladiator Arena Game Mat.


For more information, please click here: Sea Blue Gladiator Arena Game Mat


"Sea Blue Gladiator Arena Game Mat"



August 26th, 2011: Small Hex Based Gladiator Arena Game Mat: Especially designed for the smaller gladiator combat games.
  • Game mat measures 14x14 inches/40 x 40cm (approx).
  • Arena is 12 hexes wide (each hex is one inch across*).
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to transport.
  • Easy store.


* 1 Inch Hexes: Hexes are measured measured flat-side-to-flat-side


Click here to view: Photos & Information




"The Small Gladiator Arena game mat is available on Sand Grey and Sand Brown Felt"



August 14th, 2011: 1/285th (6mm) Scale Sci-Fi Tank Game: Hotz Mats: Dirt Planet game mat used with a 1/285th scale Sci-Fi tank game on August 12th.
Click here to view: Photo Gallery




"Sci-Fi Armor Game on a Dirt Planet Game Mat with Craters"






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Send questions, comments or suggestions to: Eric Hotz