Thursday, 13 January 2011

Squad Markings

Afternoon all,

I spent a LOT of time on Saturday afternoon arranging all my Imperial Guard infantry and thought I'd talk a bit about squad organisation. Part of the reason I've been putting off playing with the Guard for so long is two fold.

Firstly, I've got my "No Paint, No Play" policy. Which meant I could never have more than 40 Guardsmen on the field, and would never use Platoons. They'd always end up as Veteran Squads instead and Mechanise everything. Which gets a bit boring, very quick. So over Christmas I'd made the push to paint up the remaining 80 odd Guardsmen I had left to do, along with 12 Heavy Weapons teams. It was tough, but they got done.

That then led me onto a major goal of mine, which was to attempt to organise the lot into squads and make them "Transport Friendly" - i.e. So I don't have to spend half an hour before each game trying to make the correct squads up according to my list. So, here you see the product of that, 20 odd plastic Takeaway containers.

Operation: Chinese Democracy is GO!
This then got me thinking "How exactly am I going to mark these squads?", since the majority of my stuff is second hand or swapsies, I've lost the Transfer sheets. But, if I'm right as well, the transfer sheets would require me to use Varnish on the models... which is a big No-No for me and plastic models. I don't want any more hassle than it's worth once it's painted and based.

So the idea for the Guard was to incorporate the Squad markings into what types of squad they are. Putting a number on one shoulder, along with an Icon to signify their platoon on the other:
100 to 199 - Company Command Squads, Associates, Advisors etc.
200s - Platoon Command Squads
300s - Veteran Units
400s - Special Weapons Teams
500s - Heavy Weapon Platoons
600s - Abhumans and Rough Riders
700s - Mechanised Infantry
800s - Infantry Squads (including Heavy Weapon team)
900s - Conscripts.

It then got me onto thinking about the other, more informal ways I've marked squads in my other armies.

Chaos Daemons were distinguished by different coloured tongues on Bloodletters or armour plates on the Blood crushers.

Orks had different tattoos, along with lines on one arm to dictate which Trukk boy squad was which.

So far my Necrons remain un-marked... I could do with a decent idea for them...

And lastly, the upcoming Dark Eldar army will mean the cloth colour is different on each unit, likely Red and Green for the moment.

What do you guys do to mark your squads and keep them organised during your games?



  1. For me I simply try to make each weapon different for each squad. With my Chaos Marines the two Squads of Khorne Zerkers are distinguised by one having Axes and one having Swords. Most of my other armies have very little in the way of two identical units buts that is simply because I tend to Elitest units. as for my Grey Knights that was simple, the units were so small it took me mere seconds to sort them out. And for the future with marines it will be a symbol on one shoulder (like my space wolves) or again a variation on weapon loadouts.

  2. I think a simple shoulder icon is the best way. Im currently working through my Elysian Army and applying squad markings to them. I've gone with different coloured helmet strips, making the squad leaders stripe a little more *bling*! However, i only have 4 squads to mark, whereas you have tones of troops to mark! If i was you id go for simple shapes (stipes, diamonds, circles, etc) alongside the numbers system you've already devised!