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"Making game markers look more like terrain" Topic

14 Posts

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TacticalPainter0103 Dec 2019 6:02 p.m. PST

I'm always trying to find ways to minimise the non-terrain clutter on the table and create an immersive experience for my games, so I've made an attempt to create game markers that blend in better with the table. They still look like markers but I feel they are much less intrusive now. More pictures and an explanation of how they were made here link





Thresher0103 Dec 2019 6:14 p.m. PST

Those do look better.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and photos.

For pinned (or under fire), I was thinking about using prone figs, and little tufts of white polyfil or cotton, to denote individual bullet strikes kicking up dirt. Sand, beige, or dirt colored ones would be better, but might blend in too much. I've made a few strips of them, with bullet shots in a row, to make them look like machinegun fire, and place them in front of the troops as if hitting short, but making the troops go to ground, with their heads down.

I don't have any pics, but they do look pretty decent, and add to the games.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2019 7:00 p.m. PST

Nice job. Your effort was well spent.

stephen m03 Dec 2019 7:12 p.m. PST

Good job and I agree with Thresher it would be great if instead of any kind of word marker, even as good as yours are, having figures, terrain or ?? to represent whatever a marker means would be best. However, some marker indications would be hard to represent with terrain or similar visual things. The other aspect is everybody remembering what that bit of terrain or group of figures doing X represent!

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2019 7:19 p.m. PST

They look great, I'd be happy to use them in my gaming.

TacticalPainter0103 Dec 2019 8:07 p.m. PST

For pinned (or under fire), I was thinking about using prone figs, and little tufts of white polyfil or cotton, to denote individual bullet strikes kicking up dirt.

I do something similar for Covering Fire markers for Chain of Command.


You can see more about them here link. I have thought about something similar but at the end of the day the markers form cannot obscure its function, particularly if you are introducing new players to a game, so sometime there's a compromise.

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2019 10:21 p.m. PST

Very nice!

WarWizard04 Dec 2019 7:16 a.m. PST

Excellent work, huge improvement.

shaun from s and s models04 Dec 2019 8:52 a.m. PST


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2019 9:05 a.m. PST

Anything to reduce the visual impact of table clutter is time well spent.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2019 2:14 p.m. PST

Anything to reduce the visual impact of table clutter is time well spent.

I generally agree, but I've found it's possible to go too far, by making the markers so unobtrusive that people lose track of them and the info they are meant to convey.

I used to have some little shell craters we used to mark incoming artillery barrages arriving late. But they blended with the terrain so well we hardly ever remembered to resolve the barrage because the markers were so invisible on the table.

Korvessa04 Dec 2019 2:18 p.m. PST

I don't have pictures of them, but for Warhammer Fantasy I have a couple of old (like late 70s early 80s) mounted knights carrying banners I place behind a unit to represent the following:
Heart device: unit under a morale spell
shield device: unit under a defensive spell
Sword device: unit under an offensive spell

Col Durnford05 Dec 2019 8:20 a.m. PST

I have some for my ACW collection.

Figure running with flag – charge unit.
Figure running with no weapon – unit routing.
Drummer – unit rallying.
Ammo box – low ammo.

randolph224301 Apr 2021 6:27 a.m. PST

I haven't experimented with this myself, but what about markers with the words printed on clear, thin plastic, which would display the status (ex: "PINNED"), while at the same time showing the terrain board beneath? I've done something similar with ships mounted on clear plastic strips, which clearly shows the ocean terrain beneath.

Granted, these might be a little slippery for some players to pick up. But you could always hot glue a small terrain rock on the top to use as a grasping" handle".I

For those who like using wounded figures to indicate cssualties, you could do something similar by painting up medics with eye-catching medic symbols. This would be realistic, and at the same time, easy to visually track.

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