Sunday, 6 March 2011

Markers for Black Powder

As most people who have used the Black Powder ruleset will tell you, the game hardly requires any markers.
Actually, the only markers that you will ever need for a Black Powder game are casualty and disorder markers.

Representing casualties is fairly simple. Fortunately for the aspirant hobbyist the market is full of dead or dying metal (or even plastic) soldiers!
Here are the first casualty models I made using the French casualty figures from the French Heavy cavalry plastic set (Perry models)
one day I will try to make the numbers look better
 Depending on the number of casualties a unit has sustained I simply place the marker with the appropriate numeral touching the unit. So it is fairly simple.

The biggest problem however is how to represent units that have suffered a disorder result. I originally thought about putting a musket or a shako on a small base but I dismissed that idea because I didnt sound impressive enough. Then, I came across an article on Wargames Illustrated on how to represent shell explosions for WWI warfare. Now I know that there were no guns capable of inflicting so much destruction during the Napoleonic wars but I think that it looks dramatic enough.

My question is however what do you guys think? Does it look nice? Or does it look like a coral reef (girlfriend's comment...)
I would really like to hear what people think about this before I start making a dozen of them...


  1. At least from the internet the smoke looks amazing. from the close up picture it looks like there is a lot of intricate detail/surface area on the smoke, so from far away it looks very much to scale.

  2. Difficult to judge from a picture. First thought was cool but looking at the close up I can understand your girlfriend. I would experiment painting the base in some earth color and see how that works. I find the black base somewhat distracting. Anyway I can certainly see usage for these. Well made and inspiring to see what others do to avoid the casualty dices on the table.

  3. thank you guys for your feedback. I have to admit that I am not completely happy with how the smoke/explosion turned out...
    I am still trying to come up with something alternative...

  4. HI Achilles,

    I think the smoke looks absolutely awesome! please teach me how to do it, so we can have dramatic WW2 games!! I think that would look great on a gaming table.

  5. A dissenting opinion- I think that smoke looks great for WW2 games, or any period where high-explosive shells rather than roundshot were employed. (in fact I think Giovanni and I will steal the idea for our BKC games!).

    But a lot of such markers in our Napoleonic game would look odd, IMHO.

    I still think that casualties on a round base- rather than the square that we are using for hits- is the easiest way to go and can be identified immediately.

    I suppose we could also just have a single officer or NCO on a 40mm-45mm round base. Choose one in a frantic enough pose, and he would look as if he is rallying the troops or trying to cajole them into some kind of order. God knows I have enough spare officer miniatures!

  6. I have to say that I agree with you Robert only that I want something simple yet eye catchy! Perhaps a desperate looking officer or NCO would look really good... I will experiment and post any progress I make!

    thanks to everyone for their comments!

    @Giovanni: in our next game I will bring you the smoke counter and show you how to make them ;) its really easy!

  7. Check out this pic. The modeller made the smoke from expanding foam, used to fill cracks in buildings. Maybe you can use it to make explosions and smoke for burning buildings, etc.
    I think he threw in some resin threads as well.

    Hope it helps.


  8. BTW, I like the explosion. Effective.