Once you’ve played a game with them, you won’t want to go back. I’ve already reviewed the OG clear objective markers from THWG (big fan, big fan) but now that there are a few more options on the market, I’ll be reviewing them comparatively.
The first thing I would say (as someone who bought them with his own money) is that you’ll definitely want some kind of set – but which one? Well, I’ve got objective markers from a few different manufacturers in my hands, and I’ve used them all in real world games plenty of times, so that should put me in a decent position to make a judgment.
Ready? Let’s go.
The Honest Wargamer
Price: GBP 26.00 for Eight Markers
The objective markers that changed everything. I won’t bang on about them all over again – I did plenty of that in my original review (linked above) – but the impact these little beauties have had on the game cannot be overstated, and I never want to go back.
The THWG objective markers are elegant and slim – the logo around the edge is very discrete and has never detracted from my games. These are made by the gamers, for the gamers: the 3″ ring in the centre might not be a thing in the current batch of missions, but it has been before and may well be again. It does detract slightly from the aesthetics, but only slightly – these things still look good on the table.
One slight criticism is that little circle in the centre: this does make it a little harder to place with great accuracy than the tiny crosshairs on offer elsewhere. It’s not a huge problem by any stretch, but it is a factor when you are presented with three good options like we are today.
The other thing I want to mention here is that THWG were the first people to offer these slimline, transparent markers (as opposed to opaque neoprene competitors, which have been left trailing in the dirt). So if you want to reward the people who brought these tools into your life – and things like that can be quite important – THWG is the way to go.
I do have a crack in one of my THWG markers, but blaming the markers for that would be like blaming my car because I reversed it into a tree (sadly a true story). I’m telling you this because if you do buy some, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did: keep them in a cardboard sleeve and they’ll be more than fine. I carelessly chucked mine around in my gaming case with no protection and cracked one in the first week; I’ve showed some basic common sense since then and had no more trouble despite them getting plenty of use. So just sleeve them during transport and they’re more than fit for purpose.
- Fans of THWG who want to support the show
- Anyone who wants to support the original creators
Price: AUD 50.00 for Eight Markers
If you’re regularly travelling to events and are worried about the floppy markers being damaged, Terrainheim could have the perfect solution for you. These thicker discs are bruisers, and built to last.
They won’t be everyone’s first choice, because the rugged construction does mean your minis can sit up on a bit of a lip:
They are also more prone to scratching than the floppy varieties:
Floppy markers do tend to pick up finger prints and smudges, but whereas you could clean them off if that stresses you (I personally don’t care), these little scratches are more permanent. Honestly though – l don’t think it matters in practice, because it passes the Three Feet Test with flying colours. Look at this Ironjawz vs Bonesplitterz photo from the other night, and tell me that’s not a cool-looking game:
As you’ll notice from the close up photo just up above, these markers have a little pin point in the centre of the logo that makes precision-placement a joy, and like the THWG markers are future-proofed with a 3″ ring. If you’re keen-eyed, you’ll also pick up on the Measured Gaming logo – these little beauties can be customised to a logo of your choice (factory standard is a compass rose).
It’s honestly been so cool having special objective markers with the club logo on them, so it’s a purchase I’m more than happy with.
- Aussies who want to support a local business
- Anyone who wants their club logo on the markers
Price: EUR 27.00 for Eight Markers
Templar are the newest entry on the market, and the amount of thought and design work they’ve put into their product really shows. The discs are completely free of branding or logos, with a neat cross-hair in the centre for accurate placement.
These markers have a really classy feel to them, and for added clarity the discs do not contain an inner 3″ ring, but rather come with separate 3″ markers:
Everything about them is just nice. They look a little better, they smudge a little less and they stay in place a little longer. From the packaging to the play experience, Templar markers ooze quality all the way.
I’ve spoken to the manufacturer and they will be upping the number of discs in the pack from 6 to 8 moving forward, and removing the 3″ markers, in line with the current GHB missions (while keeping prices static). They’re also planning on offering a top-up pack of 2 markers (standalone or bundled with their other products) so you can get up to the required 8 without having to spring for a whole new set.
These markers do come with little stickers to keep them from sliding around on the tabletop, but I didn’t bother with that (I didn’t want them picking up fluff) and it wasn’t a drama. Like all markers, they can get a slight nudge during games, but I find that I need to remeasure and slide the markers back to the correct spot maybe once every three games. So it’s really no big deal.
In the interest of transparency, I did receive these as a review copy . That’s not something I normally do – I generally pay for anything I review on here out of my own pocket – but I felt comfortable making an exception here because I’d already bought the above two sets, and I really wasn’t that bothered about owning yet more. The impact on my life of owning 22 of these things instead of 16 is pretty fucking marginal, so I am comfortable that the freebies haven’t influenced my opinion – and the truth is that when I’m pulling out objective markers to use in my own games, these Templar markers have jumped to the top of the pile.
So which ones are the best? There are good reasons to get behind any of the above – I can honestly say I would be happy to buy any of them with my own money. And if that sounds like I’m sitting on the fence, bear in mind that I have actually walked the walk and done exactly that with 2 out of the 3 on review here.
If you told me that I had to buy one set and one only, I’d probably go for the THWG markers – the reason being that they were the first people to create this style of marker which has been such a huge benefit to our gaming lives, and I would want to support and reward them for that reason.
But in terms of quality and price, ultimately I have to recommend Templar. And speaking as someone who owns all three, Templar objective markers are the ones I get out and use most often in my own games. I’m a great believer that actions speak louder than words, and my own actions are telling me that Templar Objective Markers are the Best Buy.
I hope you’ve found that informative, and I’ll be back next week with either a look at the updated Endless Spells, or some learning points from my first few games of the new GH; the luxury of having your own little soap box is that you can do whatever the fuck you feel like, right?