How to make your own Tact Tiles
Like many of you I have seen these Tact-tiles in the gaming stores and I’ve seen a few people playing with them and I’ve even read all the reviews of how great they are and how they changed peoples games for the better. But unlike all of these people I don’t have that much cash to be spending on my gaming hobby. I have for more important things that I need that $50 for. So I decided i would make my own. I’ve read how people used laminated graph paper or built entire table tops with the grid lines burned into wood or scored into plexi-glass, but these are either not sturdy enough or not portable enough for my needs. What I needed was the portability and the sturdiness of the Tact tiles without the cost. And here i will tell you how I made my own and how you can make yours for a fraction of the cost with nothing more than a sharpie, Exacto knife, some time.
What I’ve come up with here will not be quite as durable as the official Tact-tiles, but will be significantly cheaper and so far have held up to reasonable wear and tear.
What you will need:
- Exacto Knife
- Pencil or Pen
- Foam Board
- Self-adhesive laminate
Step 1: Mark one side of the foam board with a 1 inch square grid. This will be permanent once you place the laminate over it so try to keep it straight and clean.
Step 2: Adhere the Laminate to the foam board, taking care not to overlap the laminate on itself otherwise you will have an uneven battle mat.
Step 3: Using a dry erase marker layout a interlocking pattern on your grid that you like. I used a 9 inch by 11 inch with corresponding notches for mine, but use what ever you like. I was able to get 6 tiles per piece of foam board.
Step 4: Using your Exacto knife cut along your pattern, making sure to wipe the lines before you cut or the marker may stain the foam board.
Step 5: Once all the peices are cut dry fit them to each other in all possible combinations. Trim edges as you go to make sure the tiles fit snugly together yet are easy to fit and remove.
Step 6: Enjoy.
A standard size foam board will result in 6 full sized tiles. And a roll of clear self-adhesive laminate will cover at least 5 foam boards. So for less than $20 you can have 30 tactical tiles of your own. And the dry erase markers have worked fine for me, I’ve yet to have any problem with staining of the laminate.
I spent roughly $10 on this project and got 16 good tiles and few odd sizes that I cut in different shapes to try out fits and patterns. So until you can afford the real Tact-Tiles, or until they start to produce them again, give this a try I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
PS: I also was able to keep some of the left over foam board and cut them into 3 inch wide strips of varying lengths to make long straight runs between two different tiles.