09 November 2011

GameTalk - Counters or Figures?

Ever since Memoir '44 became a breakout hit, more and more serious grog-quality board games are crossing over and including figures instead of counters. Tide of Iron uses the figures to denote not only unit strength (like M'44) but also composition. Axis & Allies has been using figures forever, as did the rest of MB's old Gamemaster series of big boxes. The A&A minis game (and the War at Sea extension) contain very nice figures with a maddening market scheme.

Which do you prefer, and for what kind of gaming? Have you successfully migrated one to another? Is there much to be gained by having a figure on the map and a "counter" (i.e., stat card) sitting on the side of the table (like A&A minis)?

Talk to us about counters & figures....

By: Brant


Matt Purvis said...

I grew up playing Risk and Axis and Allies. The minis were fun for a kid. I even dabbled in Warhammer. I loved idea of pushing little guys around the table.

Now, I prefer counters. I love the detail and information about capability that is presented on the game piece itself. I don't want another card to reference.

Brian said...

Miniatures were good to try and suck the young'uns into gaming; my son still likes the occasional board game with a good toy factor. (He never got into real minis wargaming; his Warhammer phase was mercifully short and therefore not that expensive.)

Problem is, that's where a lot of the suckees stay, toying with the toys, and not "graduating" to The Land of Counter-pain.

(weird captcha today, it's "popina", a Latin term for a wine bar where people want to drink, have snacks and pass time playing games. Ludi Popina is a website that makes free games available in French, off the Warpspawn website: http://ludipopina.free.fr/)

mad padre said...

For me and toy soldiers, it's go big or go home. I don't get having a plastic playing piece side by side with a stats card. If I want to play ASL or whatever, I don't need figures.

If I want to play a game with miniatures, I want it to look good, like these games look:
Admittedly these examples are over the top, but I think you can wargame with miniatures and still be a serious student of warfare. Some of the work done by Richard Clarke introducing the concept of friction into miniature gaming is a good case in point.