I was asked to write up a blog post about the various markers we use in our games. Both Sharp Practice and Chain of Command are skirmish games where you have quite a lot of tactical options, which we like. However, all those special effects can require a bit of bookkeeping on the table to keep track of everything.
The rulebook has some guidelines, but I think there are actually a lot more markers that you'll end up wanting than what the book mentions. If you are looking into picking up Sharp Practice, here are what we've found to be strictly necessary, what will be helpful, and finally, some things that are simply there if you want to go the extra yard.
Sourcing your markers
You can make your own markers, but these days there are so many affordable MDF shops that it's hardly worth it, unless you have some serious artistic talent.
A lot of our markers are MDF markers that I got from Supreme Littleness Designs together with the sabot bases. They sell a large number of different markers, and I prefer the small sized ones. I personally prefer to get MDF markers and paint them myself compared to acrylic markers, but that's simply because I prefer the look and I think they fit better with painted miniatures and terrain.
We also have some acrylic markers bought from Too Fat Lardies.
Markers you'll need
Some effects are just all over the place, and impossible to keep in your head:
Markers that are nifty
Once you have the basics down, you can start to get creative. The first, and most obvious one, is to model your own deployment points. This is a nice way to make your force more unique, and there are tons of miniatures, from casualties to camp followers to smug Aide-de-Camps who can fill this role. Once the Brits hit the table, I might have a use of all those British casualty figures that come with the Perry cavalry sprues...
Another popular way to make your table more cinematic is to make three dimensional markers for volleys. One way is to simply use a bit of MDF board and glue some cotton on, to make the image of your unit being engulfed in gunpowder smoke. In my latest order from Warlord Games I went one step further, and picked up a blinking LED volley marker. Excessive? You bet! But it's a very evocative way of endulging in some historical battlefield decoration.
So that's it. Needless to say I'm looking forward to make more elaborate markers to kit out our games, and especially to make some themed deployment points for my French. If you have some great ideas for home-made markers or deployment points, please share!
"Glory is fleeting,