Alan 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.
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].
Mr 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.
- 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
- 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.)