Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unit Labels - Old and New

In my games (Field of Battle, Field of Battle WW2, Pulse of Battle), each unit has a rating for combat and defence.  The ratings are die sizes, which are rolled competitively vs. the opponent's die to determine the outcome of combat, rallying, movement.  

While it is certainly possible to use a roster, I don't like having to refer to another piece of paper during the game.  Call me lazy.

My system uses 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch steel stands glued to the back of the command stand.  Rating labels are then stuck to adhesive magnetic sheets.  By simple changing out the label, the unit now has its rating visible on it on the table.  

My original labels are shown below:

Functional, but hardly inspiring!

I've been playing around with the label style, and eventually settled on labels that reflected the unit's uniform - tunic color on top, trouser color on the bottom, facing or piping on the left.   Rating on the top and unit name on the bottom.   Examples of the Confederate system in practice are shown below:

I think the new style is a lot more visually attractive, and conveys more information than the old, generic style.  So far, I've created Federal/Confederate and French/Prussian FPW labels.   Its not a fast process, but the end results justify the expense and effort.


  1. Not something I go for myself, but it does look functional and, from an aesthetic point of view, not altogether displeasing!

  2. Looks very good. I have considered whether to upgrade or replace my labels (Napoleonic only), but the work involved would be huge. A more likely alternative, would be to add labels to my troops of other eras that lack them (Ancients, Late Medieval/Renaissance, English Civil War). That would be far more sane and do able, especially at first, not to mention allowing easier experimentation with styles. .

    Are your labels still magnetic?

  3. Yes - magnetic. I don't blame you for not wanting to go through the work for your Napoleonics considering the size of your collection. That would be a massive job!

    I'm undecided on label design and content for my ancients. I suppose the Romans would be the easiest as they could be numbered Legion units and named by type (ie, 3rd Triiari). Not sure about other units - Gauls, for example. Hmmm.

  4. One of my experienced gaming buddies had suggested labeling units - for convention games to help players. It would definitely assist game play, but I've yet to decide on it. Best, Dean

  5. On 15mm I put a clear plastic file labeld holder on the back and then slide in the labels. I color code the labels based on commander, so the commander's label and his units all have the same color - helps convention players locate which units a commander's move die belongs to and who he can rally.