After over three months of twice-a-week play, I feel like the Bagram Gaming Community has gotten enough experience with the LITKO game accessories I purchased that I can do a review of them in good faith. I purchased the token sets reviewed below myself and have not been compensated in any way for this review.
Bottom Line: Other than my DM Screen and the tokens we use for monsters and PCs (from Monster Vault, DM Kit, etc), the LITKO plastic game accessories are the single best optional game accessory I have ever used. They are a great investment and should last the average gamer a long, LONG time.
Each of the LITKO game accessories I purchased (listed individually below) are made of hard, precisely-cut plastic that I believe to be a kind of acrylic similar to the material used to make GameScience dice. If you’re familiar with Mr.Zocchi’s dice, then you also know how precise the edges are for the LITKO tokens. They are very professionally produced, and amazingly durable tokens. My gaming group plays above a rough concrete floor and many of the tokens have been dropped (excited gamers and too much caffeine), but not a single token has so much as a scratch on it. I firmly believe these tokens will be around as long as I care to continue gaming with them. They’re small enough to be VERY sturdy, and I think you’d have to really work at it in order to get one to break.
HOWEVER– if you game around small children likely to put things like these in their mouth, or to drop them on the floor and leave them there, you might wish to wait till the zerglings are a bit older before picking these up. I guarantee stepping on one of the pointier ones in the middle of the night in bare feet would be extremely unpleasant.
On to the individual reviews! I am going to review only the products I have actually purchased and played with.
These get used every single session without fail. Not all of them– in fact, I think I’ve only used the “UNCONSCIOUS” token in one session, but having it there for use if needed is great. The tokens are one inch square, fitting perfectly on a standard battlemap, filling the entire square. We use round tokens, so you can always see the color poking out underneath for quick reference. The transparent/flourescent ones can even be placed on top of a token without obscuring the token too much. These are fantastic, and have markers for all the standard conditions in the 4E arsenal. Some of the tokens are double-sided, and your players will VERY quickly figure out which colors mean what. I know when I pull out the purple or blue tokens (dazed and stunned, respectively), the “Uh-oh.” and “Oh, crap.” quickly follows. The plastic is thin enough not to get in the way but thick enough that picking them up isn’t a pain in the ass (d4, I’m looking at you…). These are a great buy. The DM kit comes with 3 of each status effect, and I have rerely run into a situation where I wished I had more. I have considered buying the Player’s Set just to get one more, but I don’t know that it’s really necessary. Verdict: First-tier, must-buy for 4E GMs.
These two get reviewed together because they really get used for the same thing in my games–which is to say all the cool PC-generated effects that have a single instance on the board. Paladin Marks have been represented by the yellow sunburst & lightning bolt. Swordmage Aegis has been the purple celtic knot. Defender marks represented by various tokens. Hunter’s Quarry as the snowflake. Three different warlocks using three different tokens for their curse– purple hand, blue skull and red chaos burst-y thing. Avenger Oath of Emnity was the white wings… the list goes on and on. I think from the player side, these are an invaluable token set and can help keep track of all kinds of effects that remind the player they have stuff to remember that isn’t the GMs responsibility. Verdict: First-tier purchase for players or GMs alike.
Simply put, these are a must-buy for PC and DM alike. 4 plastic L-shapes that mark the boundary of burst, blast, aura… whatever. 4 different colors are great, but I’m buying a couple more of these in black, purple, brown and translucent grey as well. Incredibly useful for keeping track of all kinds of effects– and if you have a Controller in your party, they’ll thank you for it repeatedly. They might even bring you cookies. Verdict: First-tier buy. Makes keeping track of area effect VASTLY easier.
I thought we’d be using the crap out of these tokens when I got them, and it turns out that I’m right– we just don’t use all of them in the ways they’re marked for. These are the same construction as the rest of the tokens, but some of them are more useful for me as a GM than others. The Combat Advantage and Ongoing Damage tokens get used constantly. I use the Action Point tokens to hand out bonus AP when my players are awesome-er than usual. The Total Defense gets dropped on a character to remind the player when they use their Second Wind, but I don’t think my PCs have ever used the actual Total Defense action. The Healing Surge tokens get used for a lot of other miscellaneous things, but since I GM and am not a player, they get conscripted into other jobs. I’ll get to the Bloodied tokens below. Verdict: Useful, but not on the first tier of purchases.
I wish I hadn’t bought these, but not because it’s a bad product in any way– it just doesn’t fit the way we play here in Afghanistan. Thing is, these tokens are for designating when a target is bloodied… except the cardboard tokens we use already do that. So they sit, rather sad and unused in my toolbox, waiting for a day that might never come. If you use miniatures, however, these would be quite valuable and useful for you to designate when your PC is getting his ass handed to him. I just don’t have any use for them out here in the desert where we only use the easily-stored tokens. They occasionally get used for other effects, but it’s a rarity. Verdict: Great for miniatures, not so hot for tokens. Second-tier purchase.
The link for the white skulls–the product I actually have– isn’t on the site for some reason, but linked red ones would do the same job. They’re small, but really useful for a variety of miscellaneous tasks. Warlock Curse, corpses, movable terrain, kill count, timer tokens… all kinds of stuff. Not a vital tool, but it’s nice to have another nearly-indestructible token to use on the battlefield. These see a lot of use on our table. Verdict: Useful but not vital. Second-tier purchase.
So as you can see, we like and use the LITKO tokens a whole lot here in Afghanistan. They make our games run faster and smoother and they make the battles more fun to play– just about everybody likes having a cool token they can drop on the battlefield with a “MARKED, sucka!!” or something similar. We like them and use them every single time we play– so much so that “passing out the tokens” has become the unofficial time when the players settle in and get their heads in the game.
I cannot recommend these tokens more highly to you, whether you be player or GM. They are incredibly durable and totally worth your hard-earned gamer dollar.