Some rule sets use a system of hidden movement markers to allow hidden movement without the aid of an umpire. These markers can represent both real and dummy troops – thus achieving some kind of fog of war. Different games have different names for these markers but examples are “Dummies”, “Blinds” and “PEF”.
I’m tempted to use the wargame dummies suggested on the MinatureZone for my hidden movement markers and given their appearance I call the markers “Ghosts”.
For the Portuguese Colonial War – set in Africa – I used Wild Animals as my Ghosts. Lion, Tiger, Giraffe, Rhino, Croc, African Cow, Hippo, Ostrich, Antelope, Warthog, Hyena and Ape on a tree. This is also a nod to the movie “Ghosts in the Darkness” where some supposedly supernatural lions kills a whole bunch of people in southern Africa.
Animal Blinds: Ghosts in the Darkness
The Ghosts are meant to “suggest” something rather than “be” something so I don’t bother painting them correctly. I paint them a generic green. Turns out to be quite a good bronze statue effect – although having bronze statues stalking your battlefield may seem a bit odd so you can think of them as just camouflaged. 🙂
This is what I did:
- Find figures to use – any old thing will do
- Base – I glue onto 2 pence coins to allow room for a label
- Undercoat in black – I spray
- Optional very heavy dry brush in Coat D’arms 515 Black Green
- Heavy dry brush in Coat D’arms 505 Green Grey
- Dry brush with Coat D’arms 208 Grass Green (or a mix of white and 505 Green grey) .
- Flock as desired
Note: a “heavy dry brush” is really a rough brush with a semi-dry/semi-wet brush.
Labels for Ghosts
As each Ghost marker can represent a group of troops in the game you need some way of identifying each uniquely. I use labels. My labels have white letters on a black background because anything less subtle can cause confusion during a game. You can find my Ghost labels here.
The Wild Animals I am using for my Ghosts during the Portuguese Colonial War are all unique as I’ve one of each type (Lion, Tiger, Giraffe, Rhino, Croc, African Cow, Hippo, Ostrich, Antelope, Warthog, Hyena and Ape on a tree). Because of that I didn’t bother putting labels on.
Ghosts, Blinds and PEF or how you might use them
Several rules need this kind of thing including:
- Crossfire – my ideas for hidden movement using Ghosts
- The Two Fat Lardies call them Blinds. They appear in “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” (IABSM), and “Troops, Weapons and Tactics (TW&T).
- Two Hour Wargames call them a “Possible Enemy Force (PEF)” in games such FNG and Nuts.