Hex/counter games with the nicest counters
Carl Olsen
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whitemarsh
MD
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Most hex/counter games have very bland counters featuring some numbers and a box with an 'X' through it, other games like panzer grenadier have very artful counters featuring infantry, tanks and such. What other games have graphical counters like this?
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1. Board Game: Panzer Grenadier: The East Front [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5387]
Carl Olsen
United States
whitemarsh
MD
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2. Board Game: Jutland [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3291]
Brian Newman
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Jutland has large, long counters for each capital ship with a unique detailed overhead view of every ship.
 
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3. Board Game: Rivoli 1797 [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:5758]
M. Kirschenbaum
United States
College Park
Maryland
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"Most hex/counter games have very bland counters featuring some numbers and a box with an 'X' . . ."

What you're referring to here is standard NATO symbology for military units. Thirty years ago what you say (about "most") would have been true, but no longer. Companies like GMT, Clash of Arms, and Avalanche have really raised the bar. Here is an entry from a publisher called SimTac which publishes gorgeous Napoleonic games--each counter, if you look closely, models the torso of an actual uniform.
 
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4. Board Game: Beyond Valor: ASL Module 1 [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Chris Severs
England
Birmingham
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I think ASL counters look pretty funky. Specially considering how old they are.
 
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5. Board Game: 7 Ages [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1459]
Gerald Squelart
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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The counters in 7 Ages are gorgeous, especially the leaders. And the "unnamed leaders" (play testers?) are a nice touch too.
 
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6. Board Game: Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1738]
kevin long
United States
Portland
OR
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the cards for each character show the hex shaped counter for each - same leve of art is used on the equipment, pet, etc. chits
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7. Board Game: Dragon Pass [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3124]
Ray
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Carpentersville
Illinois
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My favorite counter in any game is "Hungry Jack" (The giant Pumpkin Creature in the center of the side photo). Simple line drawings, but wonderful character.
 
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8. Board Game: Alexandros [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:8744]
John Burt
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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I love the counters to this game, bright and well made.
 
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9. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:2369] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Brett Pierotte
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Visalia
California
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Really nice counter art in this hex-based game. Almost a photo-realistic effect.
 
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10. Board Game: Prussia's Glory [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:5082]
Brett Pierotte
United States
Visalia
California
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Most of GMT's games have really high-quality counters, but those that come with their pre-twentieth games (Prussia's Glory, Guilford, This Accursed Civil War, etc.) are particularly colorful
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11. Board Game: Second World War at Sea: Eastern Fleet [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:5957]
 
Brett Pierotte
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Visalia
California
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And let's not forget the War at Sea series from Avalanche Press. Although I'm not a real fan of the combat system, the counters themselves are very colorful and artistic.
 
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12. Board Game: Age of Napoleon [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1658]
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Corvallis
Oregon
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Age of Napoleon has spectacular counters. In fact, you could probably make a case for any of the Phalanx games.
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13. Board Game: Star Fleet Battles [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1671]
Robert Stetler
United States
Unspecified
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Say what you will about the complexity (i.e. rulebook bloat) of the game. And the basic counter set that comes with the game isn't impressive. But the MegaHex counters (sadly, no image available on file - the map set is indicative of the maps that came with the mentioned counters) for this game were the most beautifully illustrated of any starship combat game I've seen. Too bad the negatives are toast, making an identical reprint unlikely.
 
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14. Board Game: Alexander the Great [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:5123]
Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I really enjoyed playing with the special jumbo-sized "Phalanx" and "Elephant" counters used in this old AH classic.
 
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15. Board Game: Blue Max [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1644]
Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
European Union
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Astonishingly nice full-color counters. Far better than in any other air wargame. And a great exception among the war boardgames of more than 20 years ago.
 
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16. Board Game: Dawn Patrol [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:4085]
Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
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Nice full color counters. But not as great as Blue Max's ones.
 
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17. Board Game: Paris vaut bien une Messe! Les Guerres de Religion 1562-1598 [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:9056]
Roberto Zaghis
Italy
Sesto San Giovanni
Milano
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TOO MANY GAMES FOR A SINGLE LIFE.. I'll have to consider undeath...
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Any game included in the french magazine Vae Victis has spectacular counters but, alas, they come unmounted...
 
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18. Board Game: The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1289]
Roberto Zaghis
Italy
Sesto San Giovanni
Milano
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It's already been said that GMT graces all of his games with good counters, but the whole line of the GBOH games from this game onwards has great counters, with good graphics despite the fact they suffer from info overcrowding
 
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19. Board Game: Mustangs [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:4468]
Roberto Zaghis
Italy
Sesto San Giovanni
Milano
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Wonderful plane counters for this simple Avalon Hill game...
 
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20. Board Game: Cry Havoc [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2417] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Roberto Zaghis
Italy
Sesto San Giovanni
Milano
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One of the most beautiful counters ever, every character is named and has from 2 (infantry) to 4 (cavalry) counters!!
There is one side for each carachter depicting it:
Healthy on horse > Horse only
Wounded on Horse > Dead Horse
Healthy on Foot > Stunned
Wounded on Foot > Dead

Infos on the counters are kept to a minimum. The game system isn't one of my all time fav, but surely the counters are a pleasure to use...
 
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21. Board Game: PanzerBlitz [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2006]
David Mitchell
United States
Elk Grove
CA
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Large counters with nice silhouetts.
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22. Board Game: Streets of Stalingrad [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:6853]
David Mitchell
United States
Elk Grove
CA
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The large, fairly thin but sturdy counters are the shades of the uniforms of the armies according to the designers. Instead of the usual American style designations on the counters to depict what type of unit it is the designers used the actual designators used by the separate armies. This could be confusing except for the wonderful large player aids supplied with actual photos of the unit types.
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23. Board Game: Flowerpower [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2426]
Fritz Schwartz
United States
Modesto
California
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Thought I'd sneak this "pretty" game in with all of the wargames. This is actually an underrated two-player game that's every bit as tactical as some wargames I've played.
 
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24. Board Game: Gladiator [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3502]
David Cloninger
United States
Belmont
North Carolina
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This game, Gladiator, is pretty good for its era (1981). The box are it beautiful, and the individual counters are very nice too. The counters show the fronts (pictured here) and backs of the fighters. Go take a look at some of the other images to see the box art and the backs of the counters.
 
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25. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1816]
Adam Starkweather
United States
New York City
New York
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Hopefully, you guys won't mind a little promotion. For anyone that doesn't know, this is the front and back of a USN carrier for Fire in the Sky. The production counters are big too...full one inchers.

Niko Eskubi is the artist.
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