Saturday, November 1, 2014

Markers - needed but neglected

We have started looking into WW2 wargaming. Hard to resist with all the rules, miniatures, vehicles that are released for WW2 these days.

One thing that many rulesets have in common is the use of markers on the table - maybe even more so the WW2 and modern wargames. To indicate overwatch, units being pinned, shock or something else.

Being somewhat allergic to dice and other glaring objects on a gaming table that we try our best to be visually pleasing it was long overdue to make some proper and suitable markers for wargaming.

The idea is to have the markers look good on the table but at the same time be as clear as possible and at the very least it should be possible to tell one type of marker from another without to much trouble.

Bolt Action, to give an example, put dice next to each unit activated to show one of the six possible actions taken: Fire, Advance, Run, Ambush, Rally and Down. Our solution is instead to have a marker for each of those actions to put on the table. Bolt Action might not end up as our go to ruleset for WW2 but by using that number of different actions we pretty much have covered the need for markers for any other ruleset as well.

We settled for a system of using coloured flowers, rocks, bushes and the shape of the markers themselves. The flowers are from Noch. Warbases provided excellent and quick service and provided the bases needed, including some custom bases. In particular we wanted an Overwatch/Ambush marker that indicate a 90 degree arc as in Chain of Command a unit on Overwatch cover a 90 degree arc of fire. Also some triangles were useful, among other things they will be used for Chain of Command's "tactical" advance. i e a unit that advances carefully.

What marker that will indicate what will naturally vary between the rulesets but hopefully we now have most bases covered.

Yellow flowers. For example "Fire".

A single stone. For example "Advance" or "Walk".

Two stones. For instance "Run" i e double pace.

An arc with a bush. For example Overwatch/AmBUSH, get it. ;-)

White flowers. For instance "Rally".

Red flowers. For instance "Down".
Triangles. For example "tactical" advance.
Hexagons. Shock/Pin etcetera markers. With the larger hexagons being used for higher values.
We will add casualty figures to some large hexagons but wanted some generic "blank" as well.


  1. Some nice ideas here. I love casualty figures for my pin/ shock markers (unfortunately somewhat hard to come by for WW2) but never considered doing some more markers for other actions as well.

  2. We are running CoC at FlemCon at Södertörns Högskola on the 15th. Come by and have a go!

  3. Looking realy good some greate ideeas

  4. Thank you for your comments!
    @Thomas: Thanks for the heads up! It looks difficult due to other commitments unfortunately.
    @ Michael: It looks like I somehow deleted your remark about the lack of progress on the AAR. Some unconscious editing probably... :-)

  5. Brilliant idea good Sir, consider it stolen. :)

    Possitive things with your marking system: It is cheap. As you said can the same marker mean different things in different rule-systems and it can be used in more than one time-period...

    Oh, and maybe those small (i think they are around 15 mm) army-men could be used on some cassuality/injured bases if they are given a quick paint-job...

  6. Some good ideas there. Games always look better with nicely done casualty figures etc. Challenge is to make them meaningful and I like what you have done in that regard with the base shape. Next challenge is to get them to stay with the unit they apply to.

  7. Nice! In the past I have used different coloured flower tufts on the bases to differentiate between commanders, but you have certainly taken this approach to a whole new level. Very clever indeed!

  8. Beautiful, creative and impressive...great job!

  9. Lovely....great work, and very practical as well!

  10. Thanks Sidney! And thank you all for your comments.