BG Review - Rebuttal?

THE GOOD
Provides new counter options
THE BAD
Fonts are too large, aesthetics are merely adequate, storage issues, cluttered design
ORIGINALITY
3.00 star(s)
PRESENTATION
3.00 star(s)
FUN
3.00 star(s)
PLAYER'S VERDICT

5 'Mediocre'

Spencer Armstrong

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Yet Another Broken Ground Counter Review

Introduction:

Alan (footsteps) is a friend. When I lived in Toronto, we actually played a game of ASL, his first FtF in over a decade, when he was in town. He reached out to me when he was sending out the sample BG counter sheets. To his credit, he did this with full knowledge of my stated preference in counters: I have always preferred the one-color official counters; I generally consider colored counters to add nothing of value and look cartoonish to boot. This is especially true with infantry, vehicles bear coloration better. When assessing counters, I am generally interested in functionality and convenience, not “shiny.” I have incorporated various useful TPP counters into my main set where they add something (various fire markers, factory counters, etc.) that’s useful and makes actually playing ASL easier. Likewise, I leave some official counters out. So I’m really here as the “opposing view.” My review is coming much later than others due to a vicious conspiracy between Canada Post, USPS and Alan’s subconscious (He “accidentally” messed up my address.)

Are the BG counters so much better than any previous TPP counters to make me change my mind? Read on.

Initial Impressions:

When pulling the counter sheets out of the envelope, the first thing that strikes the eye is how “big” the main fonts look. Busting out the ruler, it’s actually 2.5MM vs 2MM on regular counters, but it’s boldface so it’s much thicker. It’s difficult to compare left-to-right width precisely since it varies on official counters due to exponents and characters. BG avoids this by putting smoke exponents above the firepower factor (overprinting art in fact). And this brings us to my second impression: The counters look somewhat cluttered to my eye. The combination of colored art, multiple color fonts on every counter and fonts being oversized just packs the counters full.

Features:

I expect this is the third to fifth review most of you are reading this so I won’t belabor the details. The main features of the BG counters are: Larger fonts, color and specific counters for every situation (fanatic, wounded, heroic, berserk, etc.).

Commentary on Features:

Aesthetics:

In my opinion, the aesthetics are…ok. I don’t personally think the larger font is that much easier to read and the riot of color actually makes it harder to get the information I want quickly from the counter, though I admit that may simply be long familiarity with the official counters. I do realize that with the integrated counters (wounded, fanatic, etc.), some of this is necessary to indicate what the counter means. Though some of it’s not (why are ID letters a different color?) I don’t like the heavy printing of concealment counters at all, though I know that’s going to be toned down. The art itself is neither better or worse than “late model” BFP or LFT counter artwork. To my surprise, SWs are “side view” depictions. These end up looking smaller and less distinct than official artwork, which seems out of place.

Functionality:

Have you ever wanted to have just exactly the right counter? To not have to bother with two info counters on top of that heroic wounded leader? Well, you’re in luck, now you have that counter! For me the big wins here are actually acquisition counters beyond “F” and snipers with the SAN printed on them. The reason for that is simple: Storage. The cost of always having the perfect counter is having to store a hugely inflated number of counters. While stacking can get to be an issue, as I think through storing all the additional kinds of squads, leaders and heroes, it makes my head hurt trying to think about organizing it all. I’d rather deal with a few more counters on the board and many fewer in the storage trays. I know exactly where my berserk, wounded, fanatic and heroic counters are and can have any of those (fifty or so) counters in a heartbeat.

Conclusion:

I have preordered two copies of the SAN/acquisition sheet. Having the other physical counters in my hands hasn’t changed my plan. Those sound handy and useful and I look forward to having them (and supporting a friend’s endeavor). The rest is, frankly, a lot of chrome that doesn’t add much as far as I’m concerned. Aesthetics are always going to be personal. I happen to prefer the clean simple black line counters. I do think that even if I thought these counters to be beautiful and play-enhancing, I would still be put off by the storage issues. My bottom line is this: They’re fine. If you think they’ll be fun and have the (substantial amount of) cash to throw at them, go for it. I won’t refuse to play with them or anything like that, but I won’t be spending my ASL budget on them.

EDIT: SWs are side view, not SMCs. Oops.

EDIT: Clearly having problems with images...Imgur doesn't work? Really?

 

Brian W

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The system will store small images for viewing; at least it does for vasl map images. I try to keep them very small, though, under 50k.
 

Tooz

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I have been waiting for the final versions of these for some time now. For now, my copied and pasted counters (along with those released in his sample set) get used every playing.
 

jrv

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EDIT: Clearly having problems with images...Imgur doesn't work? Really?

You can't just reference the page. You have to get the URL for the actual image, e.g. https://i.imgur.com/MZic3MV.jpg:



When you view the page in imgur, right-click on the picture and choose, "copy image location" or similar. gamesquad will not parse up the page to find the image.

JR
 
Last edited:

volgaG68

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I may be in the minority of his pre-ordered customers, but I am happy with the counters I already own from MMP, BFP, LFT, and LCP. I do understand that many of his pre-orders are from those who want quality counters of those nationalities currently OOP 'officially'. What I liked, and pre-ordered, was counters that no one else (reputable) has made. Although it would be a storage-system nightmare if every single nationality that fought in WWII had its own counterset, there are a few I have always felt should, but don't. The Free French easily top my list, followed by a 'full' Partisan set, followed by the Romanians. Those are what I ordered, as well as the sniper sheet.

Personally, I do not overly care for, nor will use, the counters depicting fanatic/berserk/wounded units. I have simply become too accustomed over the years to seeing those various color-coded informational counters in use, and readily identifying what they mean. Counter-clutter has never been a real issue for me, and if these BG variants only come into play a couple of times per scenario, why have half a Plano full of them?

I admire his ambition, and laud the goals he fulfilled for me as a player (FF, Prt, Rom), but I simply have no interest in the rest. I likewise have no complaints about what other varied needs his other customers have; whether they simply seek to fill holes like myself, or replace their entire set with full-color ones. I am not "replacing" any counters, just adding a few new ones I think were long overdue for the system. YMMV.
 

mi80j

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So, when are these countersets available for ordering?
Really champing at the bit to get these on my ASL maps.
They are so great looking (IMHO, of course)!!!
 
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