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Lance Runolfsson
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Does anybody have a decent resolution copy of the NATO symbols or know where I can find one? All the ones I am finding on the web tonight are crappy resolutions that have been posted to forums!
Thank you so much!
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Jim P.
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Do these help? They are what I use...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APP-6A


These symbols are true type, so they are vector graphics and should scale beautufully.

http://www.mapsymbs.com/mapsymbs.html

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Lance Runolfsson
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
Do these help? They are what I use...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APP-6A


These symbols are true type, so they are vector graphics and should scale beautufully.

http://www.mapsymbs.com/mapsymbs.html

Thanks Jimp
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Moshe Callen
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Is there an equivalent to these for ships?
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Hi Moshe,

I have not been able to find a list of conventional NATO map symbols for Naval representation. There are lists of 'Display' symbology for Naval and Air operations available. They look like this:

 


These display symbols are in a document called STANAG 4420 (Stanag stands for Standard Agreement, apparently). This hideous link nested inside a google link is for a slide presentation that introduces the symbols.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd...

Maybe admirals prefer to use 1/2400 naval miniatures on maps - like most of us?



Probably we would need to look back at WWII Naval symbols before NATO to find something usable; when each country had its own.

Edits for clarity...
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Mitchell Land
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This is used on plotting maps for naval symbols.

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/litesmth/wargamingconz/imag...

EDIT: Clarified that these are for naval plotting.
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BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.

I have a book showing what symbols each nation actually used in WW2, and it's quite interesting reading. Most Nations had symbols very different from each other. I like the British and the French. meeple
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Bill Eldard
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I've made my own NATO map symbols on PowerPoint; it's not difficult. Have you thought about making your own?
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Carl Paradis
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Eldard wrote:
I've made my own NATO map symbols on PowerPoint; it's not difficult. Have you thought about making your own?

Good idea! I made mine in Adobe Illustrator.
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Brian Train
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Go to the mapsymbs site cited above; there are fonts there for naval and air units as well.
There are also fonts for Ww2 tanks, and side and top views of modern aircraft, and side elevations of ships.
They are Truetype fonts and scale beautifully.
I can't thank Tom Mouat enough for his work on these.

Carl, I would be very interested in the source you cited for WW2 era map symbols.
The modern NATO ones are the lingua franca of wargaming but the historical ones are interesting too, and have occasionally been used in games - well, the German ones anyway.

Brian
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Michael Sommers
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licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.
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Michael Sommers
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
This is used on plotting maps for naval symbols.

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/litesmth/wargamingconz/imag...
Note that in the Olden Days, NTDS displays were monochrome, so everything was green. I think only the first three rows on the linked-to table were used back then, and only shape mattered.
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Michael Sommers
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
Probably we would need to look back at WWII Naval symbols before NATO to find something usable; when each country had its own.
I'm not certain of this, but I think the WWII era symbols were the same as the early NTDS symbols. Objects were either air, surface, or subsurface; friendly, enemy, or unknown; for a total of just 9 symbols.

You've seen in the movies the vertical plexiglass sheets with a sailor behind then, writing backwards with a grease pencil. That's where the symbols would have been written.

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tms2 wrote:
licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.

Because wargams use the same pieces to represent both friendly, i.e. "my" pieces, and enemy, i.e. "your" pieces, I don't think it is really meaningful to say that they are not NATO symbols. They are using the symbols used by NATO, but because of the limitations imposed by having to display units to each participating player, i.e. faction, simultaneously it is impossible to incorporate the additional detail NATO now incorporates.
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Moshe Callen
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
This is used on plotting maps for naval symbols.

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/litesmth/wargamingconz/imag...

EDIT: Clarified that these are for naval plotting.
No distinctions for say the difference between a cruiser and a destroyer or a battleship?
 
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whac3 wrote:
No distinctions for say the difference between a cruiser and a destroyer or a battleship?

No, the categories are "air," "surface," and "sub-surface." If you had additional information it was written in plain text next to the symbol (prior to computerized tactical displays) or in a text-box file which you could "hook" and read as necessary (once the transition to computerized displays had occurred).
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Michael Sommers
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rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.
Because wargams use the same pieces to represent both friendly, i.e. "my" pieces, and enemy, i.e. "your" pieces, I don't think it is really meaningful to say that they are not NATO symbols.
The shapes and colors are integral parts of the current NATO symbol system. If you don't use them, then you aren't using that system.

Quote:
They are using the symbols used by NATO, but because of the limitations imposed by having to display units to each participating player, i.e. faction, simultaneously it is impossible to incorporate the additional detail NATO now incorporates.
The part of the NATO system being used in games is the part that was the original US Army system. It is simply false to claim that those symbols are from NATO when they are in fact from the US Army.
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Carl Paradis
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Like Michael said. meeple
 
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James O'Keefe
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FM 1-02: Operational Terms and Graphics

http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/Active_FM.html
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Rex Stites
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tms2 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.
Because wargams use the same pieces to represent both friendly, i.e. "my" pieces, and enemy, i.e. "your" pieces, I don't think it is really meaningful to say that they are not NATO symbols.
The shapes and colors are integral parts of the current NATO symbol system. If you don't use them, then you aren't using that system.

Quote:
They are using the symbols used by NATO, but because of the limitations imposed by having to display units to each participating player, i.e. faction, simultaneously it is impossible to incorporate the additional detail NATO now incorporates.
The part of the NATO system being used in games is the part that was the original US Army system. It is simply false to claim that those symbols are from NATO when they are in fact from the US Army.

If NATO changed their "icon" for a particular unit type would the wargaming hobby follow suit and change its "icon"? I think the answer would most assuredly be: "Yes."

What of unit types that do not predate NATO, i.e. unit types that did not exist in 1949 when the NATO, and presumably it system of symbols was implemented? My copy of Vietnam 1965-1975 uses the standard NATO "icon" for airmobile units. I've seen nothing in older symbology to show that there was any symbol for airmoble units. Perhaps there were.

Also, every game I've seen uses the standard NATO "stylized bridge" symbol for engineering units, rather than the proper "E" that this: [url] http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/maps/MapSym.gif[/url] indicates was in use during WWII. Seems that the NATO standard is being used.

NATO symbols proper contain more information than the standard wargame. I'll stand by my earlier statement that this is due to the fact taht you can't show "enemy" and "friendly" because that is relative.

Think of the symbols representing each player's own units, rather than both friendly and enemy--they are then in the proper rectangle. Then assume, as many of them in fact are, that they are monochrome, and therefore there are no colors. THen they are proper NATO symbols, and you can stop being an internet pedant and trying to clarify things that do not need clarification; trying to show that you know more than everyone else.

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rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.
Because wargams use the same pieces to represent both friendly, i.e. "my" pieces, and enemy, i.e. "your" pieces, I don't think it is really meaningful to say that they are not NATO symbols.
The shapes and colors are integral parts of the current NATO symbol system. If you don't use them, then you aren't using that system.

Quote:
They are using the symbols used by NATO, but because of the limitations imposed by having to display units to each participating player, i.e. faction, simultaneously it is impossible to incorporate the additional detail NATO now incorporates.
The part of the NATO system being used in games is the part that was the original US Army system. It is simply false to claim that those symbols are from NATO when they are in fact from the US Army.

If NATO changed their "icon" for a particular unit type would the wargaming hobby follow suit and change its "icon"? I think the answer would most assuredly be: "Yes."

What of unit types that do not predate NATO, i.e. unit types that did not exist in 1949 when the NATO, and presumably it system of symbols was implemented? My copy of Vietnam 1965-1975 uses the standard NATO "icon" for airmobile units. I've seen nothing in older symbology to show that there was any symbol for airmoble units. Perhaps there were.

Also, every game I've seen uses the standard NATO "stylized bridge" symbol for engineering units, rather than the proper "E" that this: [url] http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/maps/MapSym.gif[/url] indicates was in use during WWII. Seems that the NATO standard is being used.

NATO symbols proper contain more information than the standard wargame. I'll stand by my earlier statement that this is due to the fact taht you can't show "enemy" and "friendly" because that is relative.

Think of the symbols representing each player's own units, rather than both friendly and enemy--they are then in the proper rectangle. Then assume, as many of them in fact are, that they are monochrome, and therefore there are no colors. THen they are proper NATO symbols, and you can stop being an internet pedant and trying to clarify things that do not need clarification; trying to show that you know more than everyone else.


Part of the problem here is expecting a level of standardization that never occurred. The so-called NATO symbols commonly used in wargames are, in fact, a modified version of the NATO standard, which itself was a modification of the US Army system. All of these systems changed over time.

The NATO system used in wargames generally follows the conventions established by SPI in the 1970s, but I recall discussions by Dunnigan and other SPI folks who made it clear their system was not a direct copy of the NATO system. They made changes for clarity or other reasons. When I was a serving officer I compared the Army FM one day to what I was used to as a wargamer and noted there were differences. I also remember seeing that there were some differences between the Army FM and the actual NATO standard which were noted in the FM.

Also, wargames tend to only use the map symbols for operational games. There are many tactical symbols that are rarely used by wargames, which tend to go with icons instead. PanzerBlitz and the early TCS games are among the few that occasionally used the tactical symbols.
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Michael Sommers
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rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
tms2 wrote:
licinius wrote:
BTW besides the "recent" ones (ex: Hovercraft), the great majority of those symbols were already in use by the US army in the 30's, and were standard in WW2. SO they are more "US Army" Symbols than NATO. And some were even older than that.
Absolutely. The symbols used in wargames are not NATO symbols; they are variants of older US Army systems.

Current US Army/NATO symbols differ from the older symbols in two major ways. In the older system (and in games), the type symbols are contained in rectangular boxes, while the current system uses different shapes to distinguish friendly from enemy from unknown. The current system also uses colors for the same purpose, such as blue for friendly and red for enemy.

The use of the different shapes is obviously inappropriate for games, which ought to have a neutral POV instead of designating one player the enemy.

Games do use color, but differently from the standard. Colors are not assigned based on friendly or enemy, but on nationality. In the standard, blue means friendly and red means enemy, while in a game, blue might mean French and red British.
Because wargams use the same pieces to represent both friendly, i.e. "my" pieces, and enemy, i.e. "your" pieces, I don't think it is really meaningful to say that they are not NATO symbols.
The shapes and colors are integral parts of the current NATO symbol system. If you don't use them, then you aren't using that system.

Quote:
They are using the symbols used by NATO, but because of the limitations imposed by having to display units to each participating player, i.e. faction, simultaneously it is impossible to incorporate the additional detail NATO now incorporates.
The part of the NATO system being used in games is the part that was the original US Army system. It is simply false to claim that those symbols are from NATO when they are in fact from the US Army.
If NATO changed their "icon" for a particular unit type would the wargaming hobby follow suit and change its "icon"? I think the answer would most assuredly be: "Yes."
On the contrary, I think the answer would be a definite "It depends." For rarer types of units, in a game set in the present or later, the change would probably be followed. For commoner units, and especially for games set in the past, the change would almost certainly not be followed.

Quote:
What of unit types that do not predate NATO, i.e. unit types that did not exist in 1949 when the NATO, and presumably it system of symbols was implemented?
I don't know when NATO formally adopted a set of symbols. The current system dates from 1996; I don't know what preceded it.

Quote:
My copy of Vietnam 1965-1975 uses the standard NATO "icon" for airmobile units. I've seen nothing in older symbology to show that there was any symbol for airmoble units. Perhaps there were.
SPI's Year of the Rat: Vietnam, 1972 used a different symbol: the little v is higher, and is connected to an inverted T under it. Presumably that was the official US Army symbol at the time. Obviously there was no symbol for airmobile units in the days of Napoleon.

Quote:
Also, every game I've seen uses the standard NATO "stylized bridge" symbol for engineering units, rather than the proper "E" that this: [url] http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/maps/MapSym.gif[/url] indicates was in use during WWII. Seems that the NATO standard is being used.
Every game I've ever seen uses a symbol different from both of these: an E rotated a quarter-turn clockwise. But so what? No one has claimed that the symbols have not changed over time.

Quote:
NATO symbols proper contain more information than the standard wargame.
Just as I said.

Quote:
I'll stand by my earlier statement that this is due to the fact taht you can't show "enemy" and "friendly" because that is relative.
That's what I said, too.

Quote:
Think of the symbols representing each player's own units, rather than both friendly and enemy--they are then in the proper rectangle. Then assume, as many of them in fact are, that they are monochrome, and therefore there are no colors. THen they are proper NATO symbols, ...[/q
If they do not use the correct shapes and colors, they are NOT proper NATO symbols, nor are they proper current US Army symbols. They are modifications to, or adaptations of, or updates of US Army symbols that predate NATO.

Since the system was not created by NATO, and is not maintained by NATO, and since the symbols as used in games do not follow the standard adopted by NATO, it is not correct to refer to the symbols as used in games 'NATO symbols'.

[q]... and you can stop being an internet pedant and trying to clarify things that do not need clarification; trying to show that you know more than everyone else.
Ad hominem remarks such as these simply prove that you know you are wrong.
 
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Lance Runolfsson
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Had someone asked me I would never have guessed that NATO symbols could start an argument:>
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tms2 wrote:
Ad hominem remarks such as these simply prove that you know you are wrong.
How deliciously non sequitur!
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LanceRunolfsson wrote:
Had someone asked me I would never have guessed that NATO symbols could start an argument:>
With grognards, pretty much anything can start an argument.

IFT vs. IIFT
Hexes vs. area movement
Scotch neat vs. on the rocks
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