Napoleon at Waterloo counter design explained
When I decided to print the free wargame Napoleon at Waterloo, I discoverd there where a number of counters to choose from:
I didn't want unreadable counters. And I didn't want NATO symbology, since the game was about an 1815 battle. And since everyone nowadays owns a color printer, generic units to be printed on colored paper wasn't necessary either. So...
So I decided to make my own set. This is the result.
I used Microsoft Visio to create them. I used blue for the French, since their uniforms were predominantly blue and it's also the most often used color for the Napoleonic French.
For the Allies I choose neutral white, since the Allies wore all sorts of colors. By making them all white, the game would be 'white vs. blue' and the color of the unit symbol would for the Allies demoninate which specific ally it was.
Since the Hannover and British units are very interwoven, it wasn't possible the give Hannover it's own color. The scale basically is too rough. The basic unit is a division. There were Hannoverian brigades, but they were together with some British brigades part of the same division. So no Hannover units, alas, in my counter set.
Red for the British units with their red coats was an easy choice.
For the Prussians, most wargames use either grey or black. This doesn't seem to be entirely consisted with the time frame, as line infantery (the largest portion of any army of that day) wore grey trousers, but dark blue uniforms jackets. I decided to pick dark blue for the Prussians
Brunswick was well known for their black uniforms, so that was a no brainer.
The Dutch/Belgian units. They're called 'DB' in many games, though Belgium didn't exist (anymore). So I dropped the 'B' and choose another kind of blue since the Dutch also wore blue uniforms. Must've been a popular color. No wonder troops sometimes got confused and fired at their own side!
The brave Hannover and Nassau troops defending Hougomont got their own small counter in this game. I decided
to base the color on the Nassau uniform, while I used a Hannover flag.
For the flag I used primarily flags which would be used by military units on the battlefield. If I couldn''t find something suitable, I used the nation's colors.
Finally, the troop symbology I based on contemporary maps. Solid blocks for infantery, with a small line noting it's heading. Cavalry with the characteristic white triangle. And artillery basically a simplification of some cannons, viewed from above. I thought this would better convey the feel of the Napoleonic era, rather then NATO symbology.
So,... that's it. Hoped you liked this background info and that you'll be tempted to use my counters for this light, nice, small wargame; Napoleon at Waterloo!