For most of its life, NQM has used pins on the bases of models to show permanent casualties. They have a long pedigree, starting with Jon Sandars’ Sandkrieg. Nevertheless, there are a number of perfectly good reasons why not everyone likes pins, useful though they are:
- They bite fingers and can be dropped on the floor! I have never trodden on one, and I don’t ask friends to take their shoes off in the Den for this reason. Not everyone can pin them to the left centre and right on a 50mm wide base, much less a 30mm base.
- Not everyone wants to stick pins into the nicely sculpted bases of their own toys.
- Not everyone remembers to reorganise and reduce the pins.
- If I ever take the game to a public show where children may be in attendance, having a hundred-plus pins on the table is just asking for trouble. It’s all good fun until someone loses an eye!
- They add to the pre, inter and post-game kit faff.¹
So here is an example of a Corps-level (CSO) Regimental/brigade attack, with and without pins on base markers.²
Two S3 bases (total of S6) take four casualty markers spreading them evenly across both bases, probably becoming disorganised.
The two bases reorganise, reducing to two permanent hits spread between the two bases and and moving the casualty markers behind the bases. Both pins go from the right-hand green position to the centre amber position. They begin their second attack with two S2 bases (total S4)
Two S3 bases (total of S6) take four casualty markers placing them against one base, which can only carry three. The fourth hit removes the base at the end of the move.
The remaining base takes a morale check, probably becoming disorganised. The disorganisation marker (not shown) is removed on reorganisation. The base begins its second attack with a strength of S3.
Note that in both cases the green morale die on the right hand attacking base is reduced from 2 to 1 on reorganisation. If the second attack fails, the regiment is spent and can attack no further until it is pulled out of the line to reorganise, rest and be brought back up to strength.
This mechanism reduces the chances of a formation fighting on as a Zombie Unit when it has accumulated too many hits that have gone unnoticed in the chaos of an attack. There is less kit faff, because the maximum number of casualty markers that a unit can accumulate is three before a base is removed on receipt of the fourth casualty. For the moment, reorganisation removes all casualty markers, which encourages carefully planned attacks with pauses to reorganise.
This should avoid skewing game balance, because previously removing half of casualty markers slowed the degradation of a unit, whereas now, gaining four markers will cause a loss of a base. This should speed up combat resolution to the disadvantage of reckless units, and conserve attacking forces if they manage reorganisation properly.
- Anything that slows a game down because players are fiddling with toys or markers rather than getting on with the game counts as kit faff.
- I have concentrated only on the attackers by way of illustration. It is unlikely that a single defending stand would cause four casualties without artillery support.