Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Casualty Markers

Infantry casualty marker - Redline figures
One of the challenges in 10mm is accounting for casualties. Because they are based in larger numbers, individual removal is problematic. Because I have lots of units on the table, a paper based one would be confusing, and a computer based one. So a marker is necessary.

In the "Republic to Empire" rules casualties are only removed after half the unit is gone. This represents the "thinning" of the line while losing effectiveness. Regrouping after heavy losses would result in smaller frontages. So I need to make a counter up to around 12 which represents two stands of infantry or 3 of cavalry.

There are a number of commercially available dials and counters. Litko make a nice laser cut one in coloured plastic. They were a bit expensive ($5.99 for 2) and the nice plastic would stand out on the table too much. They were also a bit thick.

Home made dial sheet and Jim's goodies
The Dial Dude had some funky looking ones with flags, a bit cheaper. But he seems to be not making them at the moment and not answering emails.

So I thought I'd make some. I wanted them to blend into the table, but still be noticeable on what they were recording.

I talked to Jim at Litko about his flexible steel and flexible magnetic bases. They were not rigid enough by themselves so I needed to get a .8mm plywood top on them. I thought I could have the plywood and flexible steel on the top and the magnet on the bottom. Unfortunately the magnet sticks on one side, the side without the adhesive, so I have had to glue the paper dial on the magnetic side. I ordered 100 30mm circles in the plywood, flexible steel and flexible magnet ($46 plus shipping - much better).
Parts waiting to come together. The magnetic sheet is already stuck to the plywood

For the dials I made up a sheet using Inkscape, a free vector drawing program. I wanted to use a vector program as the numbers would render better as I bent them round the circle. And I needed an accurate way of printing 30mm circles easily.

If anyone wants the files you can download an .svg vector file or a .pdf version. The dials go from 1 to 12. Feel free to modify them as you need. They are a clone tiled, so by changing the top left one, the others should all change.

I then cut a wedge out of the plywood/steel combination with a chisel. Be careful of which way the grain goes as it may split if you cut along the grain. It is assembled from top to bottom -

paper dial
magnetic sheet
steel sheet

The flexible steel base keeps is together. The wedge needed to be big enough to only show one number, including the 10 11 and 12, without showing any others.
Assembled dial

Redlines outstanding little casualty vignette. 
Now for the scenic treatment. Not a lot of options in the 10mm casualty range. Which is a shame, it is these little details which really appeal to the wargamer, especially when it helps with the game play and atmosphere.

Redline has some fantastic little two person scenes of a soldier holding his dying mate. The figures are "generic" in that they are bare headed (I managed to get one with a stovepipe shako somehow?) and have a simple uniform with crossed belts. I undercoated them red and blue, then painted the up as British and French Line. Maybe I should have done one with one of each showing a little compassion across the field. They are exquisite little figures that really come up well when painted. Hopefully the photo is clear enough to see them. They are not listed in Bend Sinister's shop. Si normally pops a couple in when you have a decent order. I've collected 9 so far. I'll have to ask him to put them in the shop.

Pendraken's dead horse marker from the Napoleonic range.
Pendraken have a dead horse in their Napoleonic range. Unfortunately there are no pictures. I know it is a hassle putting pictures in online shops, but it makes a big difference to customers when they can see what they are ordering. They come in packets of 5 for a a few dollars. Good value really. Nice figure, lying down with I think a British type saddle. It would be nice to have a couple of saddle variants, but I imagine they aren't a big seller.

A bit of flock, tufts and rocks and all done.  The dials just stick together with the magnet and can easily be moved around. I plan on making one per regiment, so they can be discreetly placed on the table.

I am thinking of maybe making some with morale status on them, or little artillery ones with ammunition counters.

If any 10mm manufacturers are reading this please make some more casualty figures and maybe even some ambulances or wagons for wounded. They are so affordable in 10mm to have them on the field. They really add to the game.

Dials glued to the magnetic bases - steel and plywood circles on the left
A morning's work

1 comment:

  1. Dial dude is now under dialdude.ca
    It is another guy doing it but his prices are goos and has a fast turn around