Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Casualty Markers

One of the things that always bothers me when wargaming is "where do the casualties go?" It bothers me in films as well. I remember watching The Water Margin when I was really young and you'd see guys dropping dead all over the place, but then you'd see the ground and there were either no bodies or only one or two. Reading historical novels, like Bernard Cornwall's Sharpe books, you get the feeling that when the bodies start piling up it gets pretty damned treacherous underfoot, with ground that "in game" is classed as easy going quickly becoming rough going. So I always want to represent those figures that are lost with casualty figures. It gives the battle field a bit more realism, and also makes the killing of your troops a lot less sterile and clean. Facing a pile of dead where your favourite battalion of figure once stood is a lot more emotive than just lifting them from the table and putting them aside.

General de Brigade rules require casualty markers, which gives me the opportunity to show the more unpleasant side of the battle, and to put something a little different onto the table. While it was appealing to put casualties on the table, when there is a choice between these or another fighting battalion, I had to weigh up that desire against my limited funds. Luckily I was able to pick up a pile of cheap Old Glory Austrian casualties from eBay, so put together a few markers. 

I'm planning on having at least one marker per battalion, so these first three are painted in the colours of IR23 Toscana. The figure from Old Glory consisted of three poses, two taking injuries and one face down. I'm not sure if that's all there are in the range, but that's all I got off ebay, so I decided to trim a couple of the guys taking hits off their bases. I think it worked quite well.

Each side of the base is marked with white dashes, to represent one to four casualties, so the base would be turned to keep track. I've not put these into practice yet so hopefully this will work.

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