Time to start a new version.
There are a number of problems with the current approach. The main being that the number of figures on the board makes the card identifier idea ponderous. I like it, but for the number of models it really cannot be supported.
So let’s go back to first principles. The objectives of the system:
1) To support squad level action in the pike and shot period. That is: groups of figures ranging from singles to mobs of ten or twelve, in a 1:1 man to model scale, with a total force of between 20 to 40 per side, with a total number of maneourvre elements per side being 6 +/- 2 (between 4 and 8 maneouvre elements, or groups). These are not scaled down regiments. They are bunches of individuals.
2) The board is a 4′ x 4′ square, divided into an 8×8 grid to simplify movement and range calculations.
3) normal expectations of the period must be evident. For example: muskets are slow to load, pikeman have advantages when defending against cavalry, infantry caught in the open by cavalry are in trouble, and so on.
4) Only one novel game mechanism. The rest of the rules must conform to player’s expectations and experiences.
5) Prefer normal dice – but don’t sweat it on this point.
6) Avoid designing an entire pack of ‘event’ cards, or making the system driven by a specific set of designer cards.