Gaming Aids – Spell Markers

A long, long time ago I wrote about this subject, but I never got around to finishing my spell markers. The only one that was worked on was for Flames of the Phoenix (old High Elf book), but isn’t really relevant anymore. I mostly abandoned the others for a couple of reasons: 1. I was a bit elaborate in my design, and 2. The spell card placed next to a unit generally does a sufficient job of reminding me.

This topic has once again been brought to my mind as I was refreshing myself on the rules for my army. I decided to read through the High Magic spells again and realized that many of the spells in the lore have multiple effects. These effects, coupled with me not using the lore before, can cause a big problem for me. I don’t always do a good job of remembering things when I am playing, so I thought that I might need to come up with some gaming aids for myself (and maybe my opponent, too).

High Magic

Shield of Saphery (Lore Attribute)

The High Magic lore attribute provides a +1 bonus to the mage and his unit’s Ward save each time that one of the High Magic spells is successfully cast (to a maximum of a 3+ Ward save). This is obviously something that I need to keep track of. I thought of various ways to try and track this:

  1. Count the number of High magic cards placed next to units for any effect that continues. For any other spell that is cast and resolved immediately, pile the cards up by the mage’s unit. To calculate the ward save bonus, just count the cards. Fiery Convocation can be a little problematic here, since it is Remains in Play. the opponent might dispel it, and I would have to be sure to place it with the stack in the mage’s unit, or if it continues into another phase, I have to be sure not to count it.
  2. Place one of the unused High magic cards (i.e. my mage did not pick it) next to the Mage’s unit and add a token to it each time that a spell goes off. To calculate the ward save bonus, just count the markers on the card. Clear the card at the start of my magic phase.
  3. Create a token that I can place by the unit and each time a spell is successfully cast, place a marker on it. To calculate the ward save bonus, just count the markers on the token. Clear the token at the start of my magic phase.

For the immediate future, I plan to use #2. I have plans to eventually create #3, but I should probably hold off until I finish painting my army.


Of all of the spells, this one probably needs it the least. The main point of this spell is to heal wounds. However, it also causes the target to cause Fear. I could just place the card next to the unit to represent this, but my first thought when I see this spell is: “healing”. I’m not sure what sort of marker I would use other then something printed that says “Causes Fear”.

Hand of Glory

Hand of Glory is very similar to Miasma (Lore of Shadow), but augments instead of hexes. Traditionally, I have just placed the Miasma card with a die face up on it to indicate the modifier. However, there are a couple of problems with this:

  1. You have to remember which attribute was modified
  2. Sometimes dice get knocked over or scooped up

I was struggling to come up with a good way to represent this, since it has to be able to handle 5 different values (WS, BS, I, M, All 4) and show the modifier, but I think that I have found a decent solution.


The lingering effects of this spell has some similarities to Iceshard Blizarrd. However, one big difference is that Iceshard Blizzard can only hit a single unit, while Tempest (using a template) has the possibility of hitting multiple units. For these reason, I can’t simply use the magic card to represent this and actually need multiple markers to mark each unit that is effected (maybe I am being optimistic here, since I do have to wound them with a S3 hit) to cause the lingering effect.


Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma

For the thoughts on Miasma, see the above comments about Hand of Glory, since this is basically a reverse of that spell. However, I can’t re-use the marker, just in case I have them both active at the same time.

This list only covers the spells that I am planning to be using in the upcoming tournament. I am sure that other spells in the main rulebook could also benefit from this treatment. Also I will eventually need to think of some markers for my phoenix models (Attuned to Magic and Phoenix Reborn).

Am I unique in wanting these types of markers? What do you usually use to track these types of things (in particular Miasma)?


2 responses to “Gaming Aids – Spell Markers

  1. I’ve thought about this subject quite a few times myself. I’m notorious for forgetting what particular spells have which effects in the middle of a game. Making specific markers to represent spell effects – not to mention convenient reminders of the relevant rules – is a brilliant idea.

    I agree with your point about elaborate designs. To be effective, the markers have to be as simple and not-in-the-way as is possible. After all, you don’t want to have them interfering with the game itself.

    I’d be very interested to see what you do with this idea. Best of luck!

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