While it is simple enough to measure moves with a ruler or tape measure, playing solo most of the time I have found it quicker and more efficient to quantitize all movement to four possibilities. This system, based on the Flashing Steel  model, uses pre-cut sticks (shown in the header picture above) to measure movement, as well as command and weapon ranges.

The sticks have a number of bands around them to make it simple to use the right one (essential if all four are not immediately in hand for comparison). The sticks are designated Short(|), Medium(||), Long(|||), and XLong(||||) where the lines in parenthesis indicate the number of bands.

The standard set (3″,6″,8″,10″) are stained black with white bands in the middle. Since they are cut from 1/8″ dia. wooden dowel rod, they are simple to make so I have produced several sets. I also have a set that are used for small scale skirmish games that are double length and stained sky blue with black bands. Guns (artillery) have considerably longer ranges which necessitated making a special set of range sticks (red with black bands). These last will be discussed in detail elsewhere.

the various impediments to movement (terrain, weather, and other modifiers) are handled by “stepping down” to a shorter stick. The Short(|) stick can be further divided by a system of combat piece length reductions:

Movment - Short Stick cutdowns

From left to right, a standard move using Short(|) where the distance is from the front edge of the combat piece to be moved to the its rear edge after the move is made. A one step reduction takes the measurement from the rear edge of the starting position. The next step down is to substitute one piece length for the Short(|) stick (as shown). Finally, on the far right, is the shortest movement distance possible, one piece length. On some occasions these reduced measurements are referred to, respectively, as Short(|) – 1, 2XShort, and XShort.

The details of the movement system are discussed in a series of regular posts.