It is ANZAC Day here in New Zealand, and a public holiday. With all the commerative activities over, all the chores done, with no desire to go out into the retail madness that is ANZAC Day shopping and with the lead pile is reduced to nil, I had to find a small project to keep me occupied. I chose to upgrade some markers that we use during our games.
In the rules we use units can be in one of three basic states: good order, disrupted or shaken. Troops in good order can suffer three casualties before they become disrupted and when they have taken six casualties they are shaken. We record this with a series of six basic markers. The first group are round markers numbered 1-3 in black type on a white background. The second group, of square bases, has two marked 4 and 5 with black type on a yellow background that indicate a disrupted status and one with a white "6" on a red background indicates that the unit is shaken.
When I made the markers I didn't want just a printed label that followed the unit around, so taking a leaf from a fellow gamer's book, I decided to disguise them as small pieces of terrian. Each base had a printed number, as described above, printed on a 5mm square and was then decorated with sand, flock, tufts of long grass, logs, an abandoned drum or a broken wheel. Here is a typical set of six.
Apart from these six basic markers, there are five other markers we need. The first is "Disorder", which is placed behind a unit after is had crossed terrain that would disorder the unit - disorder is fleeting and clears automatically the turn after the unit has cleared the disordering terrain. The second is "Disrupted" because while a unit is normally disrupted by accumulating four or five casualties, they can also be disrupted by a forced retreat, a lost combat, or if they are burst through by a routing unit. Third is "Shaken", because like disrupted above, troops can become shaken as a result of combat even if they have not lost six casualties. Forth is "Rally" because well led units who obtain a "rally" result on their activation test may recover one status level, but never lower than "3", by remaining stationary and away from combat for the turn. The fifth counter is "Silenced", a marker for artillery that has been silenced by overwhelming fire.
I wanted to continue with the terrain piece theme, but clearly some more text was required for these markers. For most of them I opted to use some 25mm round plastic counters I had lying around, while the disorder and sulenced markers needed to be a bit wider so I used some spare plastic bases from the Perry Russian infantry packs.
On each of these bases I spread a bead of Green Stuff that I flattened and smoothed off. Then I simply used a variety of sculpting tools to press the letters into the surface. Where necessary I flattened off the surface again. If I had any Green Stuff left over, I made some stones or similar terrain clutter around the text. Here are the "undressed" markers.
When the green stuff was dry I painted the Rally and Silenced plaques white, the Shaken red, the Disrupted yellow and the Disorder black. Then into the cavity of the lettering I painted in a contrasting black or white, wiping off any excess. The face of the plaque was then touched up as necessary. The result was a satisfactory rustic look.
Once the paint had dried I painted the rest of the marker black, painted any rocks varying shades of grey or brown and then applied the ground cover. Here is an example of the "Rally" markers in the four stages of production.
And here is the full set of five markers.
In the course of an afternoon, I managed to put together about three of each marker. If I make the a few more of each during the next week, I will have all I need.