Laurent Closier leaned over my playtest table at Atlantikon, Nantes 2015, took in my NATO symbol counters for FTGU, and remarked, “Mais les pions de tout les jeux tactiques ont besion des petit bonhommes.” Outrages to wargame tradition come across so well in French that I could only agree. So I redid them with silhouettes, which you see above.
I chose to make 5/8ths of an inch counters this time, as it allows the hex number, which contains elevation information, to be more visible. In any case terrain is meant to be the star of this design so I want it to be more visible. And 5/8th-inch counters will be more cost effective, given the number of new units and all the second-line US units necessary to play the campaign game.
Terrain and tradition had to be satisfied. I also took the opportunity to change the basic design a bit. The smaller counter size meant that I had to dispense with a full-color treatment of the silhouettes. I did away with the watermark behind the silhouettes as well, instead relying on the background color to convey nationality. Additionally, I’ve relied on placement to convey the morale and firepower series as well as the range number, thus eliminating further watermarks which are ultimately a distraction.
I’ve done away with the casualty number series, instead relying on the number of silhouettes to convey the first casualty number while leaving the second one in red. This compromise was to free up space for the NATO symbol, the SATW symbol and number, and a unit ID number. I was briefly tempted to play with different colored numerals beyond the morale series, but these were distracting, too. Red and black read better than anything else, given the smaller counter size.