How to Prepare the Game Pieces

For Mike's Wargames
Last revision: 08/12/2002

One of the design goals in all of my games is to get away from complex record-keeping. My solution is a system of track charts, counters, and sliders. All you need to provide is one or two six-sided dice. This page gives some hints on printing out and preparing the pieces for the various games.

What You'll Need

First and foremost, you'll need a color printer, preferably one with a straight paper feed path. Depending on how you intend to mount your counters, you'll print on either plain paper, full-sheet label paper, or cardstock (see "Three Ways to Print" below). If you don't print on cardstock, you'll need shirt cardboard (not the heavy corrugated stuff), and if you use plain paper, you'll need glue as well.

Be sure to check your print preview, if your printing app has one. Some of my counter sheets are wider than a standard left/right margin setting, but will print fine if you reduce your margins to less than 1" on each side.

Three Ways to Print

There are three ways to print out the game supplies. Each has advantages and drawbacks.
  1. Printing on plain paper is the least expensive -- you don't need to run to the office-supply store for special paper. It's also the only way that's likely to work if you're using color laser printers, which tend to be very persnickety when it comes to thicker-than-normal paper. Print out the pages you need, then glue them to shirt cardboard with ordinary white glue, mucilage, or spray adhesive.
  2. Printing on full-sheet label paper costs a little more, but saves the mess and tedium of gluing. The laser printers I've used won't take labels unless you have a rear manual paper feed. Print the pages on the label paper, then stick them to the shirt cardboard.
  3. Printing on cardstock is my favorite, because there's no gluing or sticking involved. Your printer must have a straight paper feed path to print on cardstock. Use the heaviest stock your printer can handle; your counters will last longer that way.

Rules and Game Tables

All rule books and game tables are in HTML format. Just click the link to the rule book or game table, then print it out from your browser on plain paper.

Maps and Design Sheets

Maps and design sheets (called character sheets in some games) are provided in .GIF format. You can either click them and print them from your browser, or download them and print them at your leisure. If you print on label paper or plain paper, I recommend mounting these sheets on shirt cardboard to improve their durability.


Counters, which are also in .GIF format, require a little more work. Print a page of counters and cut it into strips. If you're using plain paper or label paper, adhere the strips to cardboard, then cut them into individual counters. You can stick the entire page onto one sheet of cardboard and then cut everything out, but it's easier to miss the lines and cut the counters wrong that way. I suggest swiping the back of each strip with a highlighter, to help sort the counters when they're all mixed up; use colors that correspond to the colors on the front of the counters.


Sliders are the gray counters with the raised (or sunken) look and a square hole in the middle. They are used with design sheets to keep track of battle damage, speed, and other values, and also for keeping score. You can be neat and cut the square holes with a sharp hobby knife, or you can punch a round hole with a hand-held hole punch. Now you can place the slider on a portion of the design sheet with a row of numbers, and slide it back and forth so one number shows through the hole.

There are 192 sliders on a sheet, which should be enough for two or three of my games, depending on which ones you print.

Other Hints

A good pair of scissors is faster than a hobby knife for cutting counters, and is easier on the hands. If you're serious about these games, you may want to acquire a plastic box with multiple compartments (they're sold for fishing gear, screws & bolts, and cross-stitching) to keep the various counters sorted.