A designer in Canada, Alan Findlay of Broken Ground Design, endeavoured to rethink the whole (minus Japanese & Chinese) ASL counter set. In the process, he also expanded into new counter designs as well – Snipers with SAN, Fanatics, Heroic Leaders, Wounded Leaders, Partisans, Berserkers, Free French and more. Those who know me, know I am as far from a “counter-slut” as you can get – almost all of my games are on VASL. Not only do I not have the space, I don’t have the patience to deal with physical counters. I believe if I can do counters, I can be playing.
So I don’t like dealing with counters to start with and having seen the designs that Alan posted, I also thought they are too cartoonish to be part of ASL games.
But you know what? These counters are NICE. (Okay … and I was wrong.)
I am going to post a lot of pictures in this review. I am also going to give you my thoughts and my experience with the Broken Ground Nationality counters, so you can make your own decision as to whether you should make the purchase.
Partisans (Balkans) & Axis Minors
Now before I continue, Alan stated two known issues :
- Due to the short run, this batch was digitally printed. This means a higher possibility of mis-alignment with the die-cutting. The full project will use professional offset printing.
- This batch is too thick. Four of my counters stack as high as 5 official counters. The next sample batch will be corrected for thickness.
Oh, you should also know that I don’t clip counters, not ever. So chances are if you think these images are nice, your purchased counters will look even nicer than these.
I mentioned that when I saw Alan’s counter designs earlier in the year, I thought they were too cartoonish. Now that I’d seen the actual counters – they are not. They sure look like they belong to ASL games.
I had only made cuts down each side of the rows, took entire strips out and broke each counter off by hand (stop screaming like a little girl). The high quality of the die cut makes it possible. However in a few instances, the back of the counters came off and shifted.
The good new is, I was able to “coax” the shifted graphic back in place with properly applied pressure (and meditation).
The graphics look terrific and the numbers are very visible, including the MMC identification letter on the top left. The issue I have is with the smoke number. Not only is the smoke number important by itself, the smoke number in a swapped colour set differentiates the Assault Engineers. Not that it’s any worse that the existing counters we have, but I can’t comfortably see the smoke numbers on Broken Ground’s counters without proper lighting and magnification.
Broken Ground counters laid out a lot of SMCs. There are:
- “normal” leaders
- wounded leaders
- fanatic leaders
- wounded fanatic leaders
- heroic leaders
- fanatic-heroic leaders.
I have only been playing for 4 years but I can hardly remember a leader going heroic, much less fanatic (by SSR mostly?) or fanatic-heroic.
Having said all that, having “specialised” SMC counters is nice, instead of piling on information counters on existing leaders. If nothing else, the Wounded Leader counter will be used quite a bit. Having Assault Engineer full squad and half squad clearly differentiated is nice as well.
Here are the Broken Ground counters against the new MMP Yanks 2 counters …
French 1st line, Fanatic Elite, Polish Elite
French Fanatic Heroic Leader, Wounded Fanatic Leader, Jedi Master, Fanatic Polish Hero
A couple of action shots …
A wounded leader huddles in the gully with a broken unit while the 2nd line squad is about to head into the smoke laid down by the neighbouring 1st liner in the woods
Here I have my AH French counters alongside the Broken Ground counters ..
The French MMC & the 8-1 First Fired at the SS HS that Assault Moved down the path ..
I find the Broken Ground Nationality Sets to be attractive and highly visible. The “extra” counters that Alan added are useful and contribute towards lessening the stacks.
Alan asked :
If your FtF opponent wanted to play a scenario using Broken Ground counters, would you say “no”?
No I won’t. However the Broken Ground counters are so visible and looks so much better that it’s going to put a positive modifier on my Personal Morale Checks. Postgame that Flame in my wallet is going to turn into a Blaze and burn a hole right through!
Any questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
(All Photos are Copyrighted to the Hong Kong Wargamer. Do not use without permission.)
Product Review : Broken Ground Design Vehicle Counters