I saw a post on one of the forums that I regularly visit that intrigued me. How to make cheap effective smoke. I have seen cotton balls, and steel wool. I have even seen someone who painted up great stuff for his counters.
This is my take on it. I am going to take my cue from the makers of Flames of War. The answer that I am going to try is wool.
I start with four different colors of yarn. If I was going to really produce this for game play, I would play with the colors to get the right look. Since this is a test I used two strands of gray and black yarn, and one each of red and yellow.
You separate the yarn into individual strands.
I used a dog brush to brush the strands out into individual fibers. If you do this with a large bunch of different color strands it mixes the colors for you. I brushed the fibers out and fold them over.
I then glue the smoke onto a per-textured base. This can be used as is or it can be teased out with a dental pick or other tool.
That is my take on Smoke. I think that if I do this for regular use counters, I will use more strands of black and gray. That would get the colors more like smoke and less like fire. Hope you like.