War at Sea, like any good game, provides in its box everything you need to play. But, there’s always room for improvement and that is where Litko Aerosystems stepped in. They have crafted laser etched plastic tokens for War at Sea that are simply better than the cardboard ones from the official starter box.
Our friends the Axis & Allies ForuMINI have discussed the Litko tokens at length. I decided it was time to jump in head first and get some of these wonderful tokens but where should I start? I asked the kind people at AA ForuMINI Most Useful Litko Tokens? As you can see they provided a lot of input. I crafted a shopping list and with debit card in hand went to the Litko website to place my order.
War at Sea Tokens
Placing the order was fast, painless, and I received an automated e-mail reply in no time. It takes 1-2 weeks to process an order and then 3-5 days delivery for domestic orders. I placed my order on March 17th and received it on April 11th. My biggest concern with Litko is the very long processing time. It took almost an entire month from the moment I placed the order until the moment it arrived on my doorstep.
That aside I was very happy to receive the items. They all arrive in their own plastic baggies with a tag providing the name of the contents. Everything arrived in perfect condition. Each of the tokens is much easier to pick up from the table. I immediately noticed their increased weight over the official ones along with their added thickness.
A common complaint of gamers, myself included, is the difficulty in picking up the official tokens from the table. That problem goes away with the Litko tokens. The colors are also more vivid and the text is easy to read. On their website they suggest using a white crayon to fill in the text thereby allowing it to be more legible.
I hesitated at first but decided to do try that on one set. Doing this on 40 tokens is quite a workout but the end result is very nice. I was so pleased that I enlisted my fiance to assist me with the second set. We both agreed they look much nicer filled in. I noticed that it is important to do a quick rub down with a paper towel, or a cloth, of the tokens after using the crayon. This removes any excess and cleans the surface of debris.
Small Smoke Screens
The Small Smoke Screens are the perfect size for War at Sea. I use a lot of HMS Javelins and the various USA destroyers who have the Lay Smoke Screen special ability. I used to use cotton balls but grew tired of this method. It works in a pinch but is rather ugly. The Small Smoke Screen set comes with 4 smoke screens. Each one is two parts. The base and the smoke screen easily fit together. You can glue them together with plastic glue but I did not. I believe it is better to not glue them for storage reasons. They don’t take more than a moment to assemble them and this can be done before a game.
They look good next to the ships and seem to fit in with the scale. The picture at left shows them with a ruler so you can get a sense of their size. They are each roughly 7cm or almost 3 inches in length. This is a good size to fit into the sector on the maps.
I spent $52.17 for the two token sets and the small smoke screens. This included just over $6 for shipping (via USPS Priority Mail) with the roughly month long wait from when I placed my order until the items arrived at my door. Litko’s customer service is accessible, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. I found them a joy to deal with. The Litko products are expensive but I believe them to be a more affordable option than the licensed products that Gale Force 9 will be releasing for War at Sea.
I found the white crayon to be a necessity for the token sets. Litko is always looking for feedback so I sent them an e-mail with a suggestion.
To my knowledge they have not done this but I think it would be a great customer service incentive.
The bottom line is you should give Litko a try. If you’re tired of the official tokens, if you want to stop using cotton balls for smoke screens, and if you want a durable product that will last you many games then the Litko War at Sea Token set and the Small Smoke Screen set are both great buys.
When I have photos of the tokens and smoke screens in action I will be sure to share them with you.