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Friday, August 9, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Litko 25mm Horde Trays

When I entered to play in the Bolt Action tournament at Historicon this year, I made the decision to run an all infantry Soviet force.  The logistics of playing with a large infantry force can greatly reduce the speed of a game.  Slow game play can be fine when having some beers and playing with your buddies on a Friday night, but it is an entirely different thing when you are playing against the clock with a stranger in a tournament.  Not wanting to be "that guy" who slow-plays his opponent in a tournament, I stopped by the Litko booth in the dealer hall and bought two packs of Litko Horde Trays before the tournaments started.  For those of you who don't know, Litko makes tokens, stands, movement trays, and about a million other awesome game aids for you to use in battle.

At Historicon I picked up one pack of four 10-man, 25mm horde trays, and one pack of eight 5-man, 25mm horde trays.  The movement trays are cut into wood and are designed to fit 25mm bases.  The trays come in variety of shapes and arrangements.  Some are more playable while others are contorted in weird arrangements.  During the games I used the five man trays for my small squads (3 to 7 men) and the 10 man trays for my larger squads (8 to 11 men).  However, Litko makes horde movement trays in 2 man to 13 man trays, so if you need a variety of sizes they are available.  During my games these trays worked great.  I was able to quickly move all my troops and none of my games timed out.

During the Bolt Action tournament I didn't have time, or supplies, to match the trays to my basing, so I used them un-painted.  Once I got home, I went ahead and started working on properly basing the movement trays.  Both my German and Russian armies are based for city fighting, so I flocked the Litko bases the same.  First I put down a layer of watered down white glue and then covered it with ballast.  After it dried, I went over the ballast with another coat of watered down glue.  This seals the ballast to the base and prevents future flaking.  Before I painted the bases, I went through the slots and cleaned out any ballast that dried to the inside.  If you don't do this your figures' bases won't fit inside the slots.  After the bases dried, I primed them with black primer and dry brushed them brown and grey.

Once the paint dries, the movement trays are ready to transport your troops across the table with ease.  The movement trays will work with any 25mm base.  The figures on the right were based using Warlords round plastic bases and the figures on the left use GW bases.

Figures bases with GW Bases.  You cant even tell they're on a raised base.

Figures based with Warlord bases. A perfect fit.

It's important to note that the tray slots are a perfect fit.  So if you have any flocking material hanging over the sides of your figure or tray bases it might not work.  You will want to make sure all edges are properly cleaned up.  I had to do some touch up to my figure bases so some of my figures would fit.  I found the raised bases fit better if I had cleaned the sides when I painted the figures, while the flat bases had more issues because of more overhang.

Look how easy it is to move ten figures all at once.  Instead of moving ten figure or picking up a hand full of figures at a time you can easy man handle an entire unit without having to ever pick up a dude.

Even though the slots can be a tight fit for the bases after you're done, I cannot rave enough about how much I love these movement trays. I give them a solid 9 out of 10.  I deducted one point because some of the tray shapes are contorted in odd arrangements and I can see only using them if I absolutely have too.  Overall a great tool for gaming.  Great job, Likto.

If you want to talk about this article, have used Litko movement trays, or have used movement trays from other companies share with the rest of us by visiting the WWPD forum.

“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to and he is busy painting, modeling and rolling dice."

Mentioned in this article
Warlord Games
Bolt Action
Litko Horde Trays
10 man, 25mm horde trays
5 man, 25mm horde trays.
Historicon 2013

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