The prototype I am working with is made from some old bases I got for the Impetvs rules years ago. The tray measurers 8cm wide by 6cm deep - a little smaller than the standard Blucher cards. I also set a smaller 8cm x 2cm base on top of the rear of the base to help line up the troops and provide a place to set dice pods and an information strip.
I decided that I wanted the trays to fit TWO stands of my troops - all my troops are based for the General de Brigade rules, which will set in the center of the tray. I used spackle, or joint compound/filler, to sculpt the actual outside edges of the tray to allow me to add flock later. The stands of troops would fit perfect on the tray. Lastly, I sculpted a couple pods for two dice. These will come in handy for keeping track of current elan, as well as artillery dice representing number of shots left and number of dice to roll.
The trays are designed to look good while standing out on the tabletop. They will make moving about the individual stands much easier. In addition, all the most important information for a unit will be right there before me - something that I was really impressed with in my last game using those cards. Of course this one is just a prototype. I am planning to alter it by making the strip containing the information a little longer. Note that this strip is actually cut from a card protector sleeve so I can actually place a piece of paper in it just as if it was a little playing card. This will keep the information in place, allow me to fill out any information I deem important, and can be swapped out as needed. The most important information here will be the corps designation, unit type - grenadiers/elites, line, heavy guns, etc. I could even add a little icon to make note of any attached guns to an infantry unit.
|The size of the trays. I got these from LITKO.|
|I sculpted the borders with spackle - with some brown paint and white glue added to the mix. This makes the spackle like concrete when dry.|
|I can fit two - three of my GdB bases side by side within the tray - a 6cm x 3cm area. Perfect for all of my bases.|
|Little dice pods are added. Nice touch I think :)|
|All textured and flocked up. Note the little sleeve to hold a small paper note.|
|A couple of my separate dice pods I use with various games. These are made from 2cm square bases.|
|A look at how I lined up the troops to fit perfectly on the tray.|
|Works perfect for all my troops, including this massed battery of cannon. Two micro dice are used to represent current shots available, as well as the dice to roll when shooting - the red die|
|Looks pretty good all flocked up. I would like a little more color. I have been thinking of adding a national flag or something to the paper slip that will help.|
|The notes of paper can be anything - hand-written, or printed out. Also, the plastic sleeve protector allows me to actually use dry erase pens on these if I so choose.|
So there you go folks. I hope this little article will inspire you to make your own little trays. Of course such is not needed to play, but having all that information to hand is definitely a plus. Oh, and I think they look great and are quite fitting for the Blucher rules :)
Till next time, take care.