Skip to main content

Design Discussion: Counters

Dead counter by Sam Alcarez

One thing that most miniature games have in common is the use of counters. I fell in love with miniature gaming because of the immersion that comes with the visual experience. One of the things that has always detracted from that visual experience though is all of the on board clutter that comes from counters littering the field of battle. There have been some more artful approaches like upright blast markers, but cardstock or plastic counters have a hard time preserving the look and feel of my game area.  I am one of those extremists that has an assortment of fully modeled counters for some of my armies just so that I can maintain an attractive play area.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love in-game effects like being drugged, set on fire, knocked unconscious, shocked, etc. When you have a lot of in-game effects, you need counters to keep track of them all. In my early playtesting of Broken Contract, the field was littered with ugly counters to keep track of. And they got in the way of the models too, so I started studying other games to see what I liked about them.

Character Dashboard by Sam Alcarez

Some games use lists making counters an absolute necessity. Others use cards that you can sleeve and check boxes on with a dry erase marker, but the cards are playing card size or smaller and don't account for every in-game effect. Others use mid sized character dashboards where some wounds and effects are logged on the dashboard but others are still marked on the board with counters. And finally, there are no more than a handful of games I know of that strive to keep all notation on the dashboard. After playing some of these games, I started to feel strongly that this was the way for Broken Contract to go.

Restrained counter by Sam Alcarez.

We're working to make sure every in game effect has a corresponding counter to place on the Character Dashboard. The exception will eventually be dropped equipment and prone models. The equipment pack that was the last reward added to the Kickstarter will be ideal for dropped weapons and prone models can currently can be laid down. Ideally they should get sculpts to represent them so people who paint their models don't get them all chipped up.

I think for those like me who got into miniature gaming because of the look and feel of the models played on fully modeled boards will really appreciate this attention to preserving that. Though I know, without a doubt, some will use the game cards, without the dashboards, and will litter the table with the counters just like they always have. This will give everyone the option of playing the type of game they want to play.

Our first public play testing session in the Milwaukee metropolitan area is this Thursday at Realm of the Dragon in Wauwatosa, WI. You can get the full details here:

Broken Contract Playtesting at Realm of the Dragon

Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Building a Punk Venue for WitS Pt. 1

Chris from Slow Death Games/Wild in the Streets isn't going to be able to make it to AdeptiCon this year so the Breaker Press Games booth is going to be running Wild in the Streets demos in addition to our yearly introduction to Broken Contract. This means that I'm going to need suitable scenery to use for demo purposes, as well as for photos used in Tooth Chipper Fanzine. With that in mind, I looked around the internet in search of buildings that fit my vision of the hip neighborhoods I've frequented around the country as my old bands toured. Everywhere I looked, the modern buildings I was most drawn to were all from the TT Combat City Scenics line.

I looked at their entire range, and even though their old theatre, comic book store, and music shop all seemed like automatic selections, I needed to get the most bang and flexibility for my buck, so I ordered their Take Away set online, which is meant to be a stripmall with 3 restaurants in it. Eagerly, I waited for it to ar…

Three New Releases for April 2018

At AdeptiCon we debuted three new releases and they are available on the Breaker Press webstore now!
Broken Contract The Day-to-Day Starter Box This Starter Box is a revised and reimagined version of last year's starter box. The box we brought out to the world through Kickstarter last year contained a lot of stuff, but in retrospect may have been a touch overwhelming to new players. The focus then was on creating a sandbox for players who wanted to create their own characters and crews, but it was too much stuff to make a smooth introduction.
The Day-to-Day Starter Box seeks to resolve that by adding our Introductory Episode Book, The Day-to-Day and keeping the cards and models strictly to those on the sample crew rosters included in the book. The three scenarios are meant to guide the players through progressively more involved Acts, composing a mini-campaign called an Episode. 

The Day-to-Day Starter Box is the perfect introduction to the miniature game, Broken Contract. Contained…

Vision of Fire: Broken Contract Battle Report

(The following is a narrative battle report documenting a new Act called, Visual Recognition. In this Act, Black Squadron Security team up with two Recognition Drones who have the objective of capturing images of breaking miners to confirm their identities. The role of the drones is to not engage the enemy. They are there to provide visual documentation for the files of the transgressors. It was a really fun mission to play and then put into words. The Black Squadron were played by Hal, and the Knife Syndicate were played by myself. Enjoy! -Nick)

"Work Site CI08 reporting. That new guard jacked up the count. He's not sure how many slipped away while we were dealing with those other worthless breakers, but we're short several bodies."

"Understood. Don't sound the alarm just yet. We're sending over a Recognition Team, and a squad is moving from holding to section CG04 to intercept. They'll be rounded up. Hold your crew until their daily target is met. …