Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Movement Trays - What's Your Poison?

Inspired by some mail banter this morning, I've decided to post up some thoughts on movement trays. I don't think I've covered this before, but if I have, sure, what the hell, it's not like it'll be on the news.

Anyway. When I were a lad movement trays were a bit of cardboard painted green and that was that. Times moved on, and a few years back I thought I was spoiled with being able to order custom laser- cut trays, which I would then add some basing to fit with my army theme. A bit of work, but they added to the visual appeal of the army no end.

Movement tray from Litko with basing materials added.
These are still a good option depending on how detailed you want your army trays to be. I've seen these just painted black to match the sides of bases, and they looked great. There's a pile of companies that do this. I used to use Litko for these, but there's plenty of others like Back to Base-ix. The variety is huge, from regular trays skirmish trays, trays for round based models so they can be used in regiments for square base games and loads of others. Truly our movement tray cup runneth over.

This tray allows you to use your round-based skirmish models in a regiment.

Games Workshop do modular trays as well for those who want to make their trays themselves, but I haven't used them myself. My current thing is resin movement trays, I love them. There's generally no assembly, and the really do look great. I use the trays from Base-X-of-War. Don't be put off by the pretty terrible website, they have a huge variety of resin bases and movement trays, and will make custom size trays if you wish. They will also add metal foil to the tray for a little extra, which is super handy. Prices are very reasonable.

Base-X-of-War resin movement tray.
Other companies such as Microart Studios do these trays as well, though they are at set sizes and there isn't as much variety. I'm not aware of any other companies that do them yet, but I'm sure they are out there.

Now, onto the gaming end of things. Obviously trays are needed to move your troops around, but there's a bit of debate on how ostentatious they should be. Personally speaking I think the resin trays I use are at the upper end of elaborate, but they don't interfere with the game. I always measure from the models, not the tray, which seems obvious but can be an issue if folks forget, or measure from one or the other depending on what the situation is. Most players are decent though, so it's not a massive issue.

Over the top, but completely awesome.
It's possible to go over the top with trays, but in Warhammer, as long as your trays allow your units to get to within an inch of each other when in the tray I think that's a pretty good guide. Good trays really add to the aesthetic, theme and consistency of the army and if you're into your painting they are well worth making the effort on.

Wayland Games

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