Product Review : Broken Ground Design Vehicle Counters

IMG_4491H35 ScanAlan Findlay at Broken Ground Design, followed his sample sheets of German, Polish, Partisan and Axis Minors counters with a sheet of French vehicles last week.  In case you are not aware, Mr Findlay is looking to release an big suite of redesigned Advanced Squad Leader counters which includes “standard” nationalities as well as “new” nationalities.

I took a careful look at the Vehicle counters this weekend.  In the process I placed a few of my Avalon Hill French counters side by side for comparison.

Let me show you a few photos first:

 

 

My first impression is that the vehicle graphics are too small.  When I put the Broken Ground vehicles next to the old Avalon Hill counters, the graphics are indeed smaller.  The smaller graphics is unfortunately combined with a camouflage pattern that completely, well, camouflaged the outlines of these vehicles.

My next thought is then, can I tell which vehicles are Open-Topped ?

You can see for yourself from the upper set of photos where I compared the Avalon Hill counter for the Open-Topped AM Dodge against the Broken Ground one.  You can still tell that the AM Dodge is Open-Topped from the Broken Ground counter but it’s not as easy.

I wonder if it will help if the vehicles are made bigger, the camouflage tuned to a lighter saturation and shading added to bring out the vehicle contours.  Then again, I would be asking Mr Findlay to conform to a different style and would probably be asking too much.  A way to better communicate “Open-Topped” will help though.  Perhaps we can make the Movement Points a light blue (it’s on a white background anyway) like certain SS vehicle counters.

IMG_4515D Back

Flipping over the counters, I like the fact that Mr Findlay decided to use a bold font on the back to improve readability.

The improvements to readability are even more pronounced on the front.  Mr. Findlay decided to put a black outline around the white symbol that is the background for the Movement Points.  Now it’s much easier to tell whether a vehicle is Fully Tracked [D1.13], Half-Tracked [D1.1.4], Armored Car [D1.12] or Truck [D1.15].

OutlinesMr Findlay has also made it much easier to tell, by accentuating the difference and adding black outlines, the difference between Fast Turret [D1.31], Slow Turret [D1.32], Restricted Slow Traverse [D1.321] and a One Man Turret [D1.322].

Both of these improvements will certainly speed up play.

These vehicle counters and the infantry counters that I have previously reviewed are both very well made.  I would even suggest that the printer did a better job with these vehicle counters than it did with the sample batch of infantry counters – evidence that previously mentioned issues are addressed.IMG_4517

Pros

  • A much more readable set of symbology and text on the counters
  • Quality components
  • An affordable way to gain access to full sets of counters

Possible improvements

  • Make it easier to discern Open-Topped vehicles
  • Tone down the camouflage so we can see the vehicles.

(All Photos are Copyrighted to the Hong Kong Wargamer.  Do not use without permission.)

Broken Ground Design

Enlight7

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Unwrapping – Winter Offensive 2018 – Bonus Pack 9

These following pictures refers to Chris’s (BattleSchool) comments down below :

Narrow Streets

Narrow Streets

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Prime real estate : 2 storey house on Level 3

Looking for Wargames in Toronto? (Part 2)

Looking for Wargames in Toronto? (Part 1)

I visited the “remaining” of the 4 Toronto game stores today (Hairy Tarantula @ Gerrard & Yonge’s closed).

Hairy Tarantula North

This is the right place.  Take the door to the right.

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.. and this is what you will see on your right ..

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… further down the stairs ..

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The shop itself is a cavernous (big & dark) basement, focused primarily in comics and games like Dungeons & Dragons, Magic etc.  However, if you turn left and go all the way to the back of the store, there are a line of racks with some wargames.  Years ago I found a couple of Operation Watchtower here.  Today there are less than 5 copies of GMT games (There’s a dusty copy of Nightfighter stacked up top.).  The folks there thought they have a couple of ASL magazines but I think he’s confusing other games with ASL.

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Starbucks nearby.

Looking for Wargames in Toronto? (Part 1)

Looking for Wargames in Toronto? (Part 1)

I know of four game stores in Toronto

I visited two of them today.

401 Games



This is a big store.  They have a second level that offers gaming space and game rentals.  Unfortunately they don’t have too many wargames – a medium size bookshelf of GMT games and that’s it.  No ASL.

Then I took a walk from 401 Games to Meeplemart.

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@Kinka Izakaya

Meeplemart

Meeplemart is hard to spot from the street, you got to watch the street numbers (247 Spadina) or you will walk right by.

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You want to stop at the set of office building doors right beside the first “TD” sign.  It is an office building but if it’s “247 Spadina Avenue”, this is the place.  Immediately after you walk through the glass doors, you will see a set of staircases on your left leading down.

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Go down those stairs, it’s okay.

Folks there will greet you and asked that you check your bags at the counter.  They will clip half of a poker card to your bag and give you the other half.

(I should check what companies are in this building and whether they are looking to hire…)

If you walk down the left around the counter and up ahead, you will see a couple of tall shelves with a sign saying “Wargames”.

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They carry mostly GMT & Compass games but they also carry MMP, Avalanche and other lines as well.  There are definitely more here (about two/three big shelves) than 401 Games.  I also found some boxes sitting the floor and filed under “ASL” I found 3 x ASL Journal 2 and 1 x Turning the Tide.  The guy behind the counter said “That’s because ASL sells out the quickest.”.

So here we are, I hope this allows you to find these shops quicker the next time you are in town.

By the way, on my way back home my bus passed by Hairy Tarantula North.

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Looking for Wargames in Toronto?  (Part 2) – I went to Hairy Tarantula North the next day.

 

Wanna ditch Skype?

If you play VASL with Skype and has been looking for a voice platform to replace Skype. You might want to check this out.

My opponent Will Fleming set up a server on Discord for voice comms during VASL games and text chat when hanging out.

You can install the app if you want to but you and/or opponent can run this via your browsers with no installs.

Heres the link if you want to try it out https://discord.gg/XxpxAvx

Before you ask, I don’t know what the advantages are beyond what I see on their webpage and beyond feedback from my friends. If you are young and want to try new things with us, here it is.

One of my friends look at it as “VASL lobby on steroids”.

Download Here : MWT1 Four Days to Naples

MWT1

There is a scenario design competition not too long ago: “Chimps on Computers” (a modern day version of the “Monkeys on Typewriters” competition).  My ASL mentor, Witchbottles, came up with a pretty wild design where a handful of Germans tried to delay an Allied column marauding down 5 boards.  Pete Shelling was the judge and Witchbottles came in 3rd.

If you want a game of manoeuvre, this is it.

Here’s his scenario MWT-1 Four Days to Naples for your enjoyment.  He only asked that you leave comments on this GameSquad thread if you have any thoughts or comments.