Friday, May 18, 2012

Custom Objective Markers

With objective-based missions comes the need for an objective to fight over, yes? And considering the scenarios in the rulebooks, not to mention national events like Adepticon, frequently you need multiple objective markers to get through the day. Speaking of Adepticon, it's a requirement to bring 3 objective markers to the table with you for each game, whether the scenario calls for them or not, and they need to be represented on 40mm bases at that!

So what's a wargamer to do, just go online and buy some? No, I say!

Umm…well okay, you could, but where's the fun in that?

Enter the Custom Objective Marker. This little beauty fits right in with your army, and can be proudly displayed alongside the greenest of Orks, or even the sternest of Chaplains. Why, it can slice, dice, chop and pur…

Sorry, one too many late-night infomercials on in the background while I paint.

In all seriousness, creating your own objective markers that fit in with your army is nice finishing touch that adds that last bit of polish to your army. They aren't difficult to do, and can even be a relaxing break from the monotony that is Batch Painting. Some things to consider when creating an objective marker to fit in with the rest of your force:

Use the Same Base

Is your army based in an Urban Rubble theme? Maybe a desert, or alien world? Then why would the objectives that same army is fighting over be based any differently?

Make the Objective Make Sense for the Army

You wouldn't see Marines fighting over run-down piece of Ork equipment, nor would Eldar want anything to do with an ancient Khornate Icon. Keep in mine what your forces would want to fight for, what they would die for, and that's what you need to place on that 40mm base.

Be Creative

Marines don't always have to be fighting over ordinance and ammunition, even though it seems mine usually do… The objective markers for the Black Templar-Wing I painted last year were left-over Terminators that didn't get used in the force, painted as ethereal ghosts and based in calf-deep snow. It was a good use of left over figures, and the piled up snow on the objective markers, versus the sporadic snow on the rest of the army helped set them apart.

Use the Same Base

Yes, yes i know I already covered this point, but it bears repeating. This is truly how you can make nearly anything fit the theme of the army you are playing. if it looks like it belongs with the army, then it does when you pay the same attention to the bases for the objective markers as you do your general, it pays off.

Whether you build your own completely from scratch, or start with a quality resin base and built up from there doesn't matter. I'm sure you've heard the expression "It's the little things in life…". Customizing your objective makers for your army equals one of those 'little things' in wargaming. A little effort in this goes a long way.

…and it'll save you losing those quarters you might use instead.

- Tim


  1. Maybe post a shot of a few of your Deathwing dudes next to the objective markers for some reference?

    Also, shoot me an e-mail :)

  2. Great article! This is so true! Once you've started building your own objective markers, it won't even occur to you to start using readymade ones or *shiver* cutout templates or anything!

    One additional thing I'd like to mention is that objective markers can be a fantastic way of adding narrative as well as shoutouts to your fellow players. I am currently participating in a 40k campaign with my World Eaters, and I make it a point to build a custom objective marker depicting a fallen member of every army I managed to win a game against. It's great for taunting your opponents ;-)

    To be fair though, most of my opponents feel flattered rather than taunted by this gesture :-)

  3. I've seen some incredible objective markers in my time, and I must say that a great set of characterful markers really helps put the complete and finishing touches to an army. Yea, it's easy to just make any kind of marker, but something that fits with the theme of your army just adds that little extra which helps get your army noticed!!!

  4. Ubberdorc - Glad you liked it, and thanks for stopping by!!

    Skarvald - Crud... I suppose that would have been a good shot to take for this article wouldn't it? I'll have to retro post those in here later. And keep an eye out for my email :)

    KrautScientist - HA! That's an awesome way to put a great spin on a campaign!!! And I'd feel flattered as well, personally.

    oink - You took the words right out of my mouth. I'm actually a little ashamed of my markers for the Grey Knights. They look good enough, sure, but I could have so put relics of the Inquisition on them rather than just more Ammo and Ammunitions :P

  5. Great article - thank you.


    1. Glad you liked it and glad you chimed in so I could take a look at your own blog as well!

  6. Hey Tim,

    just wanted to add something to my last comment: There's an actual example for an objective marker I built because I was inspired by another model at the top of this post, in case you are interested:

    1. Nice! I like the wounded marine conversion for this as you didn't just go buy a wounded marine from GW, you put some thought into it and made something no one else has. Solid work :)

  7. What did you use for those big artillery shell objective marker? It would make great ork jump packs!