Saturday 4 November 2023

To Clip or Not To Clip .. Board Game Counters .. That is the Question!

Although I do like my modelling (ahem, understatement) and my table top wargaming - along with plenty of models, even better when serendipity strikes and I get my to play with my painted toys on table too - I also enjoy SPI, Avalon Hill and GMT board gaming. I think it's that formative teenage Squad Leader experience coming back to me. Counters in place of figures is one thing (and sometimes a tactical board game gets brought to life on a table top), but it then begs an awkward question If you go all-in on models and bother to shade/highlight them and then lovingly flock your bases (and what is not to like about a good flocked base). Should you not really go the extra step in board game world and clip your counters too? (see below, the raw tatty square look fresh from the counter sheet that we all know and love):  

But look, a small matter of a clipper and a bit bit of counter TLC - a few (four in fact) corner snips and the ugly ducklings are transformed into deluxe state-of-the-art swan (or "melee markers" in my case)  that could be auctioned off at Christie's or proudly used at a convention (see below, what a change, smooth in the hand): 

Half tongue in cheek perhaps, but well why the hell not - apart from the thousands in my combined board game collection. Does it also remove the need for tweezers? [I am not going there!] I await for the Internet to speak back to me in due course .. "profanity filter now engaged"! I also believe there is already a high quality You Tube Channel devoted to this subject ..

Thank you Ardwulf!


David Crook said...

Hello there Geordie,

There are several schools of thought about this subject! Clippers swear by them whilst others swear at them! I tend to use a fresh scalpel blade to trim the tufts off - mind you I also use a scalpel to free the counters from their ‘tree’ to ensure a clean finish - this is especially important with double sided counters as if the die cut is not deep enough there is the risk of tearing the reverse of the counter.

I guess that places me firmly between the clipping and punching school!

All the best,


Simon said...

Non clipped of course! Clipping is heresy and will be punished!

Jonathan Freitag said...

I am firmly in the Counter-Clipping Camp!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello David/Simon,

In my Avalon Hill SL days is was a sign of "manhood" to see ragged torn corner edges to represent that 9-1 Russian Leader and his 4-4-7 across the street of Stalingrad.

It sure looks pretty but it takes time ..

Best Wishes

Martin Rapier said...

Having seen tufts be responsible for scattering what we're once orderly stacks all over the table, I can see the point of clipping. I only ever trimmed the worst offenders though. A decent pair of tweezers is all you need.