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Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: The Science of Counter Clipping rss

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Joe Maverick
United States
Illinois
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Greetings!

This is my first post on Board Game Geek. I'm a wargamer getting back into the hobby after about a 15 year hiatus. I started out in the late 80's with Avalon Hill/Victory games and then The Gamers games in the late 90's/early 2000's. I went to a few Homercons, and made the trip to Homer, IL several times to help collate new games.

Anyway, I've been following the counter clipping threads with interest. I had never clipped counters and never really saw the point in doing so. It seemed to be a waste of time and most clipped counters that I saw actually looked worse than non-clipped counters. I was also worried about errantly clipping a counter and ruining it.

However, I noticed the rounded corners using the corner clippers from Oregon laminates, and I was intrigued since the rounded corners were quite nice looking. I ordered the 2mm deluxe clipper and have clipped about 20 counters with it so far as a test.

One night I made the realization that the icons on the iPhone actually looked very similar to 1/2 inch counters with rounded corners. I figured that if Apple had a reason to round the corners on their icons then there must be a solid reason behind it. I then started searching for articles on rounded corners vs square corners.

I was able to find several articles about the science behind rounded corners as well as the reason Apple uses them. There seems to be some solid evidence to support the counter rounding phenomenon. I'm still on the fence myself. I actually like both. I definitely think the rounded counters look better than square counters that have the little cardboard nubs sticking out of the corners, but if the square counters were perfectly cut without those nubs then I think it would be a harder choice. When I think of square counters I think of battle maps that always use rectangles or squares to represent units. Also, since it is a wargame maybe the harder edge of the square is more appropriate than the softer edge of the rounded corners. On the other hand I do think the rounded counters are easier on the eyes and probably more aesthetically pleasing.



Below are some of the links to articles that I found about the science behind rounded corners:


http://bgr.com/2016/05/17/iphone-design-rounded-squares-expl...

http://designmodo.com/rounded-corners/

http://uxmovement.com/thinking/why-rounded-corners-are-easie...

http://www.basement.org/2005/11/why_do_we_love_rounded_corne...

http://www.basement.org/2009/08/why_do_we_love_rounded_corne...



Another thing that I have been thinking about is the sizes of the rounding. There are a lot of posts about which size is best. However, it seems to me that the correct answer would be to change the size of the rounding so that it "scales" with the counter, and so that the proportions remain the same across counter sizes. Otherwise if you use the same size on all counter sizes then the shape of the counter will change. For example, a 1/2 inch counter with a 3mm rounding is going to look "rounder", whereas a 1 inch counter with the same 3 mm rounding is going to look "squarer".

For example, if we say that we're going to use a base size of 2mm for 1/2 inch counters, then to get the same mathematical proportions on a 5/8 counter we would need to use 2.5mm.

The math would be:
1/2 inch counter = .5 inches
5/8 inch counter = .625 inches

.625 inches / .5 inches = 1.25 (in other words a 5/8 inch counter is 25% bigger than a 1/2 inch counter)

So if we multiply the 2mm size for the 1/2 counter by 1.25 we come up with 2.5mm for the 5/8 inch counter.

If you do the math using the 2mm size as the base for the 1/2 inch, then the sizes come out to:

1/2 inch counter = 2mm
5/8 inch counter = 2.5mm
3/4 inch counter = 3mm
7/8 inch counter = 3.5mm
1 inch counter = 4mm

It's interesting how the math works out so perfectly. I don't believe that 3.5mm and 4mm rounders are available, but perhaps they should make them. Maybe Oregon Laminations could sell all 5 sizes as a set.


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Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
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Welcome back Joe. You'll find there are a lot of returning wargame veterans like yourself who have rediscovered the hobby they once loved.

Interesting that your first BGG post is on counter clipping. Like most things around here, you find vocal proponents of each viewpoint! I personally am a fan.

Hope you enjoy your return to wargaming. There's a lot of new stuff out there that is worth looking into.
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Etien
United States
Thibodaux
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Very valuable entry.

Good to have one of our own back in the ranks.
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Cameron Taylor
New Zealand
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Just the nib, dear God, just the nib!
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Joe Maverick
United States
Illinois
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Thanks Jim! I'm glad to see that the hobby is making a comeback. I thought that it might have been on it's last legs by now with the way it was going in the late 90's and early 2000's.

I think the thing that has surprised me the most is the quality of the components of today's games. Those 3 inch boxes on the GMT games are solid and a thing of beauty! The counters are also much more colorful and attractive.
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401k? More like .357
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There's only one way to do it, and that's the way it's always been done: with a razor blade, an X-Acto knife and an emery board, like the artisanal craftsmen of eras past...each counter lovingly and patiently clipped, de-nibbed and gently manicured to four perfect corners, each a 90 degree testimonial of love.

Clippers, pfft. The very instrument of your own oppression. The chain that enslaves you.
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Kai Axford
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Plano
Texas
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Just getting back into this as well, having been an ASL player back in the day, and always wondered why the fuss about clipping.

SWEET MERCY! They look a 100x better. I'm out on the oregonlam.com site ordering one now.

(Off topic: Anyone got a decent forum for getting Memoir 44 Air Pack PDFs out onto matboard? Ping me via GM!)
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Michael Schmauss
United States
Lacombe
Louisiana
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Derek Case (SingleHandedWarfare)
Has a very nice video about clipping counters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKO7OLAlMdw
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dan pancaldi
Canada
Les Coteaux, Que.
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Counter clipping is used in the same sentence as science, SCIENCE!
Ladies and gentlemen , as a person who works day to day in the science of the mind let me tell you it's OCD! Maybe even ABC! If it gets worst it will become XYZ, and then you are screwed!surprise
Beware of counter clipping!

All that said.....they do look better! modest BUT, nevertheless, abstinence is best! ABSTINANCE! Or is it Absinthe is best! Carry on.
 
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Joe Maverick
United States
Illinois
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That video was a good comparison between the sizes. At 6:00 minutes into the video all the sizes are side by side and the 1/2 inch clipped with the 2mm, and the 5/8 inch counter clipped with the 2.5mm do look identical to me as far as the scale of how round the corner is.
 
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