Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Counting the Dead

Keeping track of casualties in some games can be difficult when you don't remove figures from the unit. This is especially true in Tactica Ancients rules where the whole unit stays on the table until it Breaks, usually at about 67% casualties. I have used Dice but since you roll a lot of Dice in Tactica, it is easy for the casualty dice to get mixed up with the marker Dice. Even when you use different colors, some player invariably picks up one of the marker dice to roll. Also it takes a lot a dice since some units in Tactica can have upwards of 32 casualties before breaking.

So I took to using some counters from a game called "Rummikub" which helps but they only go up to "13" and are still somewhat fiddly. Below is  a picture from one of our games. You can see the Phalanx Unit has 28 Casualties.

 What was needed was a casualty counter that went up to at least thirty two. Looking around on the internet, I found a couple of companies make counters, Litko and The Dial Dude. Unfortunately, their counters only went up to ten or twelve. So I had this idea shown below where I could make my own. At first I was stuck at sixteen , that being the most I could manage to divide a circle up into. Then it occurred to me that I could use both sides of the washer and the final design is shown below except I used laying down commercially available casualty figures instead of upright ones. These I recently got from Donnington Miniatures.

 The hardest part was rotating the numbers so they could be read as you rotate the dial. Not having any expensive graphics programs on my computer, I was able to accomplish this using MSPaint and Long story, short, here are the two images you need and a sheet of twelve pairs. All the hard work is done. You just need to print them out.


I used two sizes, 1-1/2 and 1-1/4 inch O.D. The circles above should be pretty close to 2inch O.D. and you just have to scale them down to whatever size you want when you print them. I'm assuming you are computer savvy enough to do that, but if not and you need help, send me a comment with your email address and I'll try to help you.

So I cut out the circles and glue them to some Fender washers which you can get at your local hardware store. I get my magnet from McMaster-Carr which comes in a three inch wide roll . Here is the link: McMaster-Carr  I use the part number 5769K52 which is magnetic on both sides and has a good "pull".

 I take a section of magnet, put the fender washer on it and cut out the magnet. Hopefully it comes out symmetrically round.

 Once the magnet is cut out, you can make a notch in it using one of the numbered circles as a guide so that only one number shows at a time. I cut it out using an Xacto knife.

 The numbered circles, I just glue onto the fender washers using a Glue Stick. If you print them out on some sort of label paper, you could just peel them off and stick onto the washer.

So here is the finished product, three dead Romans and a Pontic pikeman. I use the larger counters for the big pike phalanxes and the smaller ones for Roman Cohorts.

Here are some staged to see how they look. Not too bad and certainly better than dice or Rummikub markers.  With Tactica usually running about twelve units a side, with the four above I've only got about twenty more to do.
 If this was helpful to you, please leave a comment.