Markers, Labels, Counters…

So Project Wargaming’s Youtube video “Markers and Game Aides for Fire and Fury” got me thinking: “Markers, labels, counters…”, while not all games require a plethora of these, Regimental Fire and Fury is not one of them, requiring at least five different markers to denote a change in status of a unit. The rules recommend using “figures” to represent these status changes, and while I like the ideas suggested, I wanted to go a little further, and look at how those markers may be organised with a unit, thus preventing in the case of multiple markers the loss of a status marker as a unit moves across the table and inevitably leaves a marker behind in the excitement of the bayonet charge, or the often equally inevitable, hasty retreat.

My “limber fortnight” also included basing these markers and tokens.

So basically, just as you create movement trays to facilitate the movement of troops, how might a tray also be created to facilitate the movement of status markers and the regimental label required by the rules.

So a google search led me to “One sided miniature wargaming discourse“, which led me to “Not just old school wargaming“, and this led me down the rabbit hole of musing and then finally to SketchUp where I decided to see what I could mock-up as a “status/marker tray” for my ACW troops. I was surprised by how large “old school’s” status trays were, but they did blend in a little on the table, and looked good. A further example from Command Base, showed how it might look for Black Powder (which is also a rule option).

I will confess I am still learning the rules for RFF, but it looks like each unit needs its “unit label”, and the possibility of also having the following markers: silenced/disorder, low ammunition, brave colonel, skirmisher, but the chances of any unit having all four at the same time seems slim. Other markers such as horse holders for dismounted cavalry, damaged guns, and low ammunition wagons, tend to be for specific types of troops. I would rather the “status tray” to be universal regardless of troop type, and something that can follow the unit around the table top, but this might be a little unrealistic. So far I have come up with a number of designs, and have not settled on any favourite, while I imagine these will work well for both Infantry and Cavalry, I do wonder the appropriateness for Artillery?

A variety of “tests” for a status tray. The dice holder can be swapped in and out as needed.
The idea is that it will sit behind a units movement tray, or the unit itself.

One question I had was should the unit’s quality be a swappable counter, and omitted from the label, but after much thought I decided it was easier to make a new label for specific battles if required. Also I’m also not sold on any particular look thus far, though I kind of like the size of the 3, but with an angled unit information display, thus a variant of the three on the right above. Though I do recognise the long thin “unit information strip” does not conform to size found in the F&F Rule/Scenario books, so puts bit of pressure on me to make up my own.

Also given that my destroyed guns, sit on a 1.5″ round base, and are good for replacing a model if it is in fact knocked out, I have based my crews individually and planned to just remove a crew member to denote that a battery had suffered damage, meaning that a “status tray” for Artillery might just require space for a single “low ammunition” token.

Anybody’s input, thoughts, would be appreciated.

6 thoughts on “Markers, Labels, Counters…

  1. Anthony, “skirmisher” status is shown by making a gap between stands. There is no separate status marker. The other states (silenced/disorder, low ammunition, brave colonel) are independent of each other so a unit could have ALL THREE at any one time. Since DISORDER is relatively common, a unit with a BRAVE COLONEL will likely have a DISORDER marker with regularity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My bad. I thought there was a skirmisher marker described in one of the scenario books, maybe it’s an alternate/optional rule. Or more likely I am confusing it with a different rule set.

      Thanks for confirming that three “status” slots should be enough, that will help me decide the final “look”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Although morale status is listed on the label, we find it very useful to add a marker to a unit as it becomes WORN and then SPENT. That way, status change is not overlooked in the heat of battle. We use a bit of lichen or tuft stuck on a round base like your markers. Ours are either yellow (WORN) or red (SPENT). Since they look like a bush, we call them “bushed” markers.

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      2. I didn’t consider a Worn then Spent marker, I figured that you just had to keep count of the remaining bases. So thank you thats a great idea and I do have some red and yellow wooden cubes from another game that could be used to represent the same.

        Thank you for the very useful feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it all comes down to what you think you like! I need to show the number of bases and wounds inflicted on my 19th Century units for various nations but I don’t like using dice so I painted some 20mm MDF discs in earth brown and painted on either one to three “fallen branches” to represent base strength or one to three flowers to represent inflicted wounds. They look less obvious than dice but still work quite well.

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    1. That’s a nice way to do it John, and I can see the merits of something like that…something subtle, which is why I do like the figures and counters I have in that they sort of blend in. My problem is that sometimes I find myself moving a unit forward and then a turn later wondering who the errant “disorder” marker belonged too, as I left it behind in the general “fog of war”, so basically, I was hoping for a little more organisation without adding too much to the “game” look of the table.

      Something for me to still consider. But I like the bases with “fallen branches” or even stones to represent base strength and casualties, much better than a dice.

      Liked by 1 person

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