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Customizable Unit Gear

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bottercot
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Joined: 02/06/2018

So one thing that I find interesting is building in the ability to give different units different loadouts. For instance, equipping an infantry unit with an AT-Gun, or a Machine Gun, or just Rifles. Or, even better, having a tank with two weapon slots; a cannon slot and support slot, allowing you to equip long-range artillery, bunker-busting explosives, medium-range explosives, or even a flamethrower for the cannon slot, while also allowing you to choose grenade launchers, machine guns, mortar, or maybe even more flamethrowers for the support slot. This mechanic can even include different models (for instance, normal tank with 1 cannon slot and 1 support slot, support tank with 2 support slots, heavy tank with 2 cannon slots or maybe 1 heavy cannon slot, light tank with 1 cannon slot, etc.).
In short, yes, there is a lot you can do with a mechanic like this. It allows you to create specialized divisions or roles for different units, increasing army flexibility and variety.
There is, however, one problem. Do so this as I am envisioning, you would require a way to identify each unique unit. Having a card for every unit, with all of its unique stats and gear on it, is something that I hate and would like to avoid at all costs. Expansion is something I value a lot, and something that becomes nigh impossible when you lay out an entire deck of cards to represent every unit in your army.
So what do you of the forum suggest I could do to bypass this? Are there any games you could direct me to that have found a way to do this?
I of course mean past creating actual models with exchangeable parts to visually represent this. That would of course be the best way, but I certainly do not have money to spend 3d printing models, nor do I have a 3d printer.

X3M
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For a while. We used

For a while. We used components. 1 body card. And up to 3 weapon cards.

It was possible for infantry to cary 3 heavy cannons with that logic.

It might resurface for us. Because I am trying to simplify the calculations for weight and such.

Edit: we also used unit pieces. One on the combo. The rest on the board.

bottercot
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What I'm looking for is a way

What I'm looking for is a way to do this without the usage of different types of unit pieces. Like, the player would have complete freedom to equip their units before the battle to their liking, without any requirement to have "reference cards", except to reference rules or abilities granted by the equipment.
I suppose an easy way would be to just have tokens follow the unit wherever they go, though there are certain times where that does not work (crowded maps, for instance).
Just for reference, the scale range I'm talking about is anywhere from Memoir '44 to Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
A simple, but difficult problem

I don't know a better way than reference cards. Sorry.

Maybe.
If you use 3d pieces, maybe different coloured pins could be added that represent the weapons added.
You could use the same infantry piece, for different combinations. And thus the other units as well.
Players combine the pieces before hand.

But if you use flat cardboard pieces, a mini puzzle?
Infantry can have 1 piece added.
Vehicles 2. Tanks 3. Something like that?
You could even print the statistics on the pieces?

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