The game I'm working on has 2 to 4 players form teams comprised of a few unique characters from a collective pool of 20 that engage in a skirmish on a shared map.
While I would love nothing more than to have all 20 characters be custom injection molds with interchangable coloured bases, let's get real here -- the game would be prohibitively expensive to manufacture.
So I was debating more practical high-quality alternatives. Of course, I could always just print all of the characters onto some chipboard and use coloured plastic bases like they sell on spielmaterial.de...but I'm worried it will look a little cheap and turn people off to the thing.
I could print them out onto stickers and stick them onto inexpensive coloured wood bases...but then I'd need 80 such bases for a 4-playered game (20 characters and 4 possible teams), which seems like an inelegant approach and would take up a lot of box real-estate.
I'm not a fan of putting a flag indicating the team next to a generic character (a la the 2004 version of Civilization, for example) because it creates board-clutter and confusion.
Does anybody have a better idea? I've got a fair amount of flexibility here.