26 June 2019

Marking Leaders in CoC

Chain of Command is a great game but it does require some on-table markers. TFL makes some nice acyrlic markers to denote units on Tactical or Overwatch. They also make some nice red Shock Markers for marking the attrition that different teams have taken during the game. I am good with the tactical and overwatch markers but have found that a large number of shock markers can take away from the look of a game (I do think they are great though for videos or demonstration games as well illustrate attrition), so I use microdice mounted in small holders.

Leaders, however, were a little more tricky. They can have 2 states; the number of Command Initiatives they have as well if they are Wounded or not (no Command ability for the present turn). As the game progresses a leader can also drop in their ability to give commands (ie their comand initiative can drop). In most cases, Senior Leaders start with 3 CI, while Junior Leaders start with 2CI.

Initially, I glued tiny red beads on the bases of the leaders to indicate their level of command and would remove a bead during the game if their CI fell. It really was not the best system though as I would have to go over all my leaders before each game and the terraining on the bases was being damaged. Wounded leaders were just tipped over on the table!

Recently, I attended Huzzah, a gaming convention in Portland, ME and there played in a game of Flint and Feather where the GM had these very attractive markers to desiginate how many wounds each figure had. All the figures were on metal bases (my new method of bases) and the attrition marker was attached via a small magnet to the base. I really liked how it looked and through a series of emails, I was able to track down the guy who made the MDF markers, and he very kindly agreed to make me a bunch to my specification.

I needed 2 sizes, one to accomodate the leaders on 25mm bases and one to accomodate the Gun Team leaders who were on 20mm bases. What follows is some photos.
Three rows of 25mm bases with 1,2,3 stars and 1 row of 20mm for Gun Team leaders.
A SL with 3 CI, followed by a JL with 2 CI and then a JL who has lost a CI.
I mark all my leaders with a clump of red flowers so on the table it is obvious what they are. I am still deciding what to do to differentiate between SL's and JL's. I may add a little bush as I do not want to overwhelm the base with flowers. SL's can command any one on the table, while JL's can only command their own section or team. I actually really do not need to use a marker if the leader is not wounded or at normal CI.
A Gun Team JL on a 20mm base. 25mm bases were a little too large for by ATG bases, I also felt no need to designate their CI unless they had lost one as it was obvious on the table that they were a ATG JL. I only ordered markers to designate that they had dropped to 1 CI.
6 pdr ATG Team w/JL.
So how to mark a wounded leader (one who has no CI until the end of a turn). Well all I do is flip over the base, the obverse has benn painted red, so it is quite obvious that he is out until the next phase. Of course there is one little problem with flipping over the bases and the clue is above. I am sure some clever fellow will point it out!
Anyway, I am quite pleased with these markers, they are quite simple and unobstrusive. I have a game coming up this Saturday so I will soon have some photos of them in action.

I have also almost finished painting up my new AB Brits and Germans to replace my initial PSC troops who have gone to a new home in Nebraska. Spreading the Lard!


  1. To distinguish between leaders and troops I base as follows:
    troops - round bases
    JLs - square bases
    SLs - hex bases

    1. The only problem is that there is no such thing as a metal hex base, so I was stopped there. All my troops are on 20mm rounds with leaders on 25mm rounds aside from gun team leaders.

  2. Nice work John, any mod that can help identify your Leaders is helpful.
    Have you considered in-bedding tiny magnets at the rear of the figures base and covering it with some putty, painting it so its not visible and making small circle markers just big enough to be seen and fit on your base. If you place a small piece of metal on the underside of the counters it will stick to your base.
    Just sharing what system I use to identify Leaders lost of command initiatives. cheers John

  3. Those are very nicely done John, and practical.

  4. Nice work John, lots of good ideas.

  5. A mall rock on the base could be used to differentiate different leader types. Model Railroad talus works well for this.

  6. They look very attractive, John. Nice system.