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Subject: Counter Font Discussion rss

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Matthew Lohse
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We have given some thought to the question of the font/text size of the numbers on the WaW counters. There are several options that I want to mention and my/our thoughts on each of them. But given that this discussion has occasionally gotten a bit lively in the past, I want to begin by asking everyone to be civil to each other during the discussion and to understand that we may not be able to take your preferred course of action… or that if we can do your preferred solution that someone else is probably going to be unhappy. We want the solution that works as good as possible for the largest number of people and that is doesn’t work for the smallest number of people possible.

In any of the options discussed below, the plan would also be to be much more careful about issues that have caused problems in the past like how shiny or textured the counters are and the borders on/around the numbers.

1. Move to a larger counter (and also map) size going forward. This would render everything in the series to date obsolete and create a break where nothing new in the series would work with anything older in the series.
2. Keep the counters as is (at least size wise). To address the problem that some have had reading the counters, have a couple of printed sheets of player aid cards with larger versions of the front and back of all the different unit counters in that module for players to consult. In addition to putting these sheets in all modules, have them available on the LnL website for people who already have the modules to download for free. This wouldn’t happen for everything all at once… they would definitely be put together as items are reprinted and other modules would get them made as someone had the time to do so.
3. Keep the counters the same size, but do more drastic changes to help the readability. In addition to possible font changes, do something like have a fixed color box or other shape behind all AP/HE/Assault/Save values and then numbers of a color that shows up good on that background (so maybe a dark background and a light color number… say white numbers on a brown box). The new counter style would be used in reprints/new items. I don’t know if extra counters could be made for people who already have various modules to purchase. This might be coupled with the player aid suggested above. This doesn’t render old items obsolete, but it would still be a pretty big difference and would also mean the counters would probably look a LOT different than they do now. If there is broad interest in something like this, we could get mockups of a few example counters to show what this would look like in practice.



Now that I have mentioned the various options, what do I think is the best course going forward? Given the amount of stuff already in the series, I do not view option 1 as a viable solution or as fair to everyone who has already bought anything in the series. I also think that going with option 1 would instantly alienate a sizeable portion of the WaW community. So given that I don’t think option 1 is viable, what is the plan going forward? Personally, I prefer option 2 as it maintains continuity with all of the previous items. The player aid card(s) with the counters for each module are not a perfect solution but they are fairly straight forward and something that can easily be made available to people who already own WaW materials. It is not a perfect solution, but it attempts to address the problem while not rendering everything before now obsolete. That said, I wanted to see what people thought about option 3 and to see if we should at least look at counter prototypes of that style for comparison purposes.

So with all of that said, feel free to give your (hopefully civil) input.

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I think that continuity is key.

I really like idea #2. Mark had the idea as a stretch goal for the EG Deluxe I believe? It obviously didnt get met. Put the units and their stats on cards for easy reading.

I think the cards are a handy way to go, it keeps them readable and dont take up a ton of table space. Just take the cards outs for the units you have and you are good. Ala Memoir '44's reference cards for terrain/units/etc.

As it is, being 26 and having 20/20 vision, Ive had zero problems reading the counters, however, I do understand I hardly represent the majority in this field and at some point my eyes will go. To be fair though alot of the regular units stats are already memorized just from use. laugh This however doesnt work for other folks trying to get into the game and not having this memorized knowledge obviously.

Kudos for attempting a solution!
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Warren Smith
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I don't like the idea of a complete change in size. I don't think the current size is necessarily a problem. To me, the big problem is that ridiculous font! Yeah, it looks cool but it is a complete nightmare to read those numbers. The font is great for box art and the like. Completely unsuitable for unit values. The glare from the counters certainly doesn't help with this but the font is the first thing that has to go, IMO.

Along with changing the font, unit reference cards would be nice. I had actually started to do some of these myself but never finished the project.

If you want to do something fancy with coloring the values/backgrounds/etc., that's fine. I don't even necessarily care that new counters would be different than old counters though I can understand that some would care or that it could cause some confusion if they were mixed in a game. Anything that enhances the readability and quick identification of needed game data is helpful. Just be careful not to forget function over form, which I think is the major problem with the current counters.

All respectfully IMO.
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Craig Foster
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Idea #2, please!

Don't want #1 or #3. There is an elegance to WaW, includng the counter design. I would hate to see it changed.
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Mark
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I don't have trouble reading the counters (except 5' and 6's look similar). The font could be more user friendly. I don't like NAW;s bigger counters because the maps are not compatible with WAW, and the larger size is too much of a good thing. But, I can't read many of the NAW counters because the color choices are really not user friendly. My middle-aged eyes need contrast more than larger counters. Narrow white outlining does not do the trick on dark background colors. Cards as an augment would be OK. Cards as a substitute would not.
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Kevin Davidson

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ZombieMark wrote:
I don't have trouble reading the counters (except 5' and 6's look similar). The font could be more user friendly. I don't like NAW;s bigger counters because the maps are not compatible with WAW, and the larger size is too much of a good thing. But, I can't read many of the NAW counters because the color choices are really not user friendly. My middle-aged eyes need contrast more than larger counters. Narrow white outlining does not do the trick on dark background colors. Cards as an augment would be OK. Cards as a substitute would not.


Nothing really to add to what Mark already atated, other than I agree. Mid 50's here and anything that help me not have to reach for my times 10 reading glasses would be great.

Cheers
Kevin
 
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That typeface is a mess. Working around it doesn't help. Make the counters readable if readability is what you're after.
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Michael McCalpin
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At the risk of violating some Internet code of ethics by creating consensus here:

I agree that option #1 is too disruptive and not necessary.

Option #2 sounds very useful and not too terribly expensive.

Option #3 may not really be necessary as long as clearer font and contrast choices are made. Particularly if option #2 is exercised, it doesn't seem like radical changes need to be made to the counters' appearance.
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Jim Millard
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How about option 2.5:

Change font to something more readable; provide free downloadable .pdf's of existing products' counters.

Option 1 is a bad idea, unless you want to alienate your current customer base.
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Matthew Lohse
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For pretty much the same reasons people have mentioned here, I don't view option 1 as viable either. That also made option 3 less than ideal in my view as well. But we did want to see what the community thought on this topic.

My understanding is that trying to have a better font, and better color/color contrast choices (I like the term option 2.5) is the plan going forward as even with aid cards we really want to minimize the need of people to use them. Not having an art/counter design background, I don't really know how much better it can/will be but David wants to make it as good as possible.
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Matthew Lohse
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medlinke wrote:
That typeface is a mess. Working around it doesn't help. Make the counters readable if readability is what you're after.


Yup. That is the goal going forward. But we want to have something to help people who already have stuff in the series as well.
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Jim Daniels
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I'll just add my vote that option 1 is not a customer friendly optio. Item 2 sounds good, working on font readability also good....thanks for asking
 
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Sava Toufexis
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It's easy. Change the font from Bauhaus to Helvetica and make the cards. Bauhaus has never look right. ASL and ATS use Helvetica and they are readable in WaW size counters. However, I think the cards are essential.
 
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Keith Plymale
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The one change abbsoletly need is to make the top of the '3' look like that rather than having flat toped like the '5'. Look at the M60A3 counter for what I'm talking about. At any distance the 3's and 5's look the same.

If you change the counter and map size I'm done with WaW. That was the reason why I never have and never will buy NaW.
 
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Brett Skinner
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I'd hate to see option #1 - please keep all the games comparable size-wise.

I do think the font could be easier to read, I have a very hard time with it. I think if the numbers were outlined in white, or a better contrast was implemented, they would be clearer.

But, #2 - charts with all the units in a larger, clearer display would be first rate! This would be a great addition!

Brett
 
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