Like a lot of gamers, I like to keep the tabletop as clean of dice, measuring tapes, rule sheets, pets, soft drinks, etc., but I know that concessions have to be made for marking unit status and displaying other game mechanics. Nonetheless, I really don't like casualty caps, especially anything plastic, as they seem to break the aesthetic of the painted miniatures and scenery. I've always liked the look of casualty figures, but in several rule sets a unit can take numerous 'hits' so it can seem that there is a cloud of casualties following along, and if they get too close to one another confusion can occur in determining to whose casualties belong to what unit.
So I'm playing around with how to compress as much unit information into as small a space as possible. Here are a few unit status markers that I've mocked up that combine a small vignette, a 'fin' for mounting a unit ID card, plus a few slots to fit small (7-8mm) six-sided dice to track hits.
|Here is a shot of the base showing the ID fin and the slots for the D6.|
These were built on 50mm steel bases with bits of plasticard to build-up the slots and fins.
|These two castings are from Offensive Miniatures. I quite like the wounded drummer boy.|
The slots work reasonably well to keep the dice all in one spot and prevents accidental mix-ups when units are compressed together in a scrum. For a game such as 'Black Powder' the dice can be of different colours to track Disorders, 'standard' hits and Shaken status. We've also come up with a simple protocol to move the stand from the back of the unit to the front to keep track of which stuff has been activated - pretty straight forward stuff really.
|Foundry Rifle officer with Perry plastic British casualty.|
I've noticed that Litko has a new casualty base featured in Jim's Lab that has a numeric dial which looks quite promising. If I could get them to prototype one that incorporates a couple dials in it then it naturally would be able to track two different sets of information and I could get rid of the dice - something to ponder...
|Victrix plastic British officer along with a Offensive Miniatures drummer casualty.|
|Victrix plastic French officer with a Perry infantry casualty.|