In the simple rules in One Hour Wargames units can take 15 hits, then they're gone. Obviously you need some way of recording how many hits a unit has taken. Now when I've played the rules I've just used a piece of paper. After all, there's only a maximum of twelve units on the table at one time, so it's pretty easy to keep track of them even without labels - flag colour and horse colour help in most cases.
I was pondering a way of doing it without using paper today, though. Now if you follow this blog regularly you'll see that in games where units take small number of hits - five or less - I use small stones to mark them. I find that they're relatively unobtrusive (unlike dice, or counter with number on), and work regardless of period (unlike specific casualty figures, as nice as those are).
However for 15 hits I thought that the stones were a bit much. Until I realised that I have them in two colours ...
So, here's a couple of units from the South American Wars of Liberation, made up of a couple of elements each from my paper figures. On the left is a Venezuelan infantry unit which has taken three hits. The llaneros (cavalry) on the right have taken one hit. Easy.
Here's the cavalry again. My idea is to use the grey stones to record hits that are multiples of five. So you'd place up to four red stones behind a unit, then replace them with one grey when they take the next hit. So in this picture the cavalry have taken a total of seven hits - one grey and two red.
And now the infantry are in trouble - two greys and a red mean a total of thirteen hits, and that cavalry, still only on seven, is ready to charge ...
So with those lances levelled and glinting in the South American sun, we'll leave our sample units to their battle.
I think it's a pretty easy system to keep track of, and eliminates unnecessary table-clutter. The next time I try a game with units like this I'll give it a proper run-through.