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Subject: Warped Countersheets. Humidity: The Hidden Enemy? rss

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Bill Vee
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Are warped countersheets a bad thing? Will the individual counters be warped and difficult to stack? Will the warping get worse over time?

I purchased a newly released game from my favorite gameshop and found the whole stack of counter sheets warped. It's as if the sheets got wet and were air dried. The game is from a publisher of good repute so I doubt this was a QA failure.

Help me fellow wargamers, you're my only hope
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Alfred Wallace
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I've never detected any warping in individual counters from warped countersheets. It happens, it is part of this life we lead. No, the counters didn't get wet and were air dried.
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Brian Morris
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I've seen some pretty warped counter sheets over the years but once the counters are punched it's no big deal.
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Bill Vee
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Thanks for the responses gents. Just wanted to see if it was worth the hassle (on my part and customer service) to get replacements.

Alfred, yeah, I don't think the counters got wet. I suspect some weird differences in humidity between the time the components were made, transported, stored then sold.

There's got to be a meme in the making here.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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I've seen tiny bits of warping on counters - but if anything
it actually helps with stacking - unless they are facing in different
directions.
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Lance Runolfsson
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I have never seen warped counters or sheets that were not clearly water damaged. I guess I'm lucky so far.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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If you haven't punched yet, press the countersheets under a stack of heavy books. They'll be flat after a couple of weeks.
.
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Eric Brosius
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It's like the curvature of the earth. Noticeable if you're talking about a portion of the earth's surface that extends for hundreds of kilometers, but pretty much undetectable if you just look at your back yard.

An entire counter sheet sometimes warps, but for an individual counter, not so much. I have one U.S. Geological Survey map hanging on my wall---the section that includes my house. The map is flat, but I don't think there's much distortion. They cover the entire U.S. with zillions of maps, just like a counter sheet is covered with zillions of counters.
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R K
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I've had warped counter sheets in old ASL modules I picked up (really old, like first printing Red Barricades and stuff) and I also assumed it was humidity. I found that after punching them they were the individual counters were indistinguishable from my non-warped collection...just looks like a big deal when the counter sheet is whole.
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Eric Lai
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On the contrary, I have bought a game from a local fella that didn't store his game very well and the GDW game I got from him (Bloody Kasserine maybe or one of the games of this intro wargame series) was extremely warped with all the counters bent out of shape on the spruces. The counters were obviously swollen bigger and didn't fit in the frame any more and on the edge were zigzag just to fit in the smaller space. The counters themselves looks brittle from all the years of expansion and contraction under fluctuating Hong Kong humidity conditions. Game is still playable and the colors are fine but the counters look thicker and a bit like a dried wanton.

Not to mention the slightly mildew/mold smell. I had to air it out in the sun for a few days as such stuff can easily spread like an infection throughout you collection if you're not careful! Not a problem in more temperate areas I am sure, but in tropical/coastal areas its definitely an issue to be careful of. (much of these observations are due to years of collecting cameras and lenses which have very similar storage problems in our climate.)
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Will Marrero
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Garfink wrote:
looks brittle from all the years of expansion and contraction under fluctuating Hong Kong humidity conditions. Game is still playable and the colors are fine but the counters look thicker and a bit like a dried wanton.


Hmm, my wife has said this too, but I don't think she was talking about my wargames.
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William Ames
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Living in Colorado, I have the opposite problem: dryness leads to warping of games shipped in from more humid climes. It can be a problem for games with large cardboard pieces, but I've never observed it being a problem for counters.

Regarding "will it get worse with time?" as a harpsichord owner, this question is always at the top of my mind. And the answer is: it depends. For any given humidity/temperature condition there is a steady state level of warping beyond which things will not get worse. Something small and relatively permeable like thin pieces of cardboard should achieve it pretty quickly. It gets scary with large, delicate pieces of wood which acclimate slowly and may have a quiescent state which is something like "riven with gaping cracks."
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Silica packets in the boxes also tend to help, had some slight issues with Z-man games things before and throwing a couple of those packets in the box helped soak up the moisture.

The good news on those is that you can also use them as a preventative too, they dont hurt to have a packet or two in your boxes.
 
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Robert Stuart
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Foo Dog wrote:
Thanks for the responses gents. Just wanted to see if it was worth the hassle (on my part and customer service) to get replacements.


I think so. I'd contact the company for replacements.
 
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Eric Brosius
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bob_santafe wrote:
I think so. I'd contact the company for replacements.

A top-service publisher will replace the countersheets even if it's possible you might be okay with the original warped ones.
 
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If you buy a classic AH game at this point in unpunched condition you can almost guarantee it'll be warped a bit. I've never noticed it affecting the individual counters once punched though. If the counters themselves are in pretty good shape ... punch and enjoy! If the counters are warped a bit, just pile some books on that sucker for a few weeks and it should take care of itself. Let gravity help!
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