It was bought at Clark’s Toys in Brecon, where I went to school. In fact while visiting Brecon to see whether that would be the school I would attend I remember seeing Gorkamorka models for sale. They’d have been fairly new then and I was enamoured by the post-apocalyptic look of them.
The mat wasn’t bought until a while later but it was bought on the understanding that it was a “now or never” type situation. That isn’t to say I was under pressure to purchase it was more a case that it seemed likely that I’d never find something as good anywhere else.
Despite being set in a nightmarish world of urban decay their bases were lush green. Hmmm.
Gorkamorka on the other hand encouraged sandy bases (in fact the models came with little rugby-ball shaped bases to make it easier to fit models on vehicles). Sandy bases needed a desert environment!
Keeping a whole table coated in sand or similar just wasn’t an option but a mat could be rolled out at a moment’s notice. Sorted!
The thing being that it turns out I was right. I’ve never seen these GW mats for sale anywhere after that place. They don’t seem to be listed anywhere. It makes me wonder if my memory is even accurate on this.
Flipping through some old White Dwarfs looking for Gorkamorka articles I noticed a little box out in issue 220 (published in April 1998):
It seems a silly thing to make such a big deal about, I know, but this is one of these examples of something I think about a lot. Back then information was scarce – these days I’d be able to find any number of mats just about anywhere online. I’d be able to read reviews, find old product announcements, etc..
As the years passed I found myself wondering whether it really was a GW product or something made by another company and shelved next to the GW stuff. It’s kinda nice to see that my memory was accurate and my younger self was right to buy the damn thing!
In fact I may unroll it for a game today!