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Subject: Corner Cutting....Why? rss

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Brett Bayely
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I am happily getting myself involved ever deeper in my war gaming obsession. I have ASL Starter #2 shipping. I have OSC's Reluctant Enemies on preorder as well as Korea: The Forgotten War and VCS Salerno. As I have been a miniature board gamer, I am not used to war game counter culture and as I research more into this world I have come across a large group of self professedly ashamed OCD individuals who on dark and stormy nights, huddle on the BGG forums to discuss guilty and in hushed tones their dark satanic practices of corner clipping counters.

Tips about how to, what size, what product is best. Fascinating stuff just to read about. But my question is why???? Does it enable better handling and longevity of the pieces. Is their some good juju that comes of it. Why alter your games this way? Is this just a purely aesthetic practice, because it looks nice. my favorite theory is that its a subconscious act of violence and hatred projected towards your war game for making you suffer through those huge, dense satanic grimoires called rules manuals.

Please enlighten me as enquiring minds would like to know, why do you go through the torture of corner clipping everything in Case Blue, literally working yourself to the bone if a craft knife should slip, shedding blood and tears over this pursuit?

Thanks
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Eric Brosius
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I am not a maniacal clipper, but I think I can explain the practice.

Most wargame counters, after they are punched out, have little projections on the corners (these are what held them in the cardboard frame.) When you put a bunch of these on a hex map, these projections tend to hook onto neighboring counters, so that when you try to move one you drag others along and disarrange an entire section of the map. This is especially true if there are a lot of counters in a small area. Clipping eliminates this.
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K H
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I'm no wargamer myself, but the answer I've been given to the question of "Why clip counters?" is two fold:

1) Octagons fit inside hexagons better than squares do, particularly as the width of the chit approaches the width of the map space.

2) Obtuse angles are more resistant to splitting and fraying than right angles.
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Bryan Thunkd
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So if one was to skip this practice... would that be cutting corners?
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Christopher Taylor
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Calpurnius wrote:
But my question is why???? Does it enable better handling and longevity of the pieces. Is their some good juju that comes of it. Why alter your games this way? Is this just a purely aesthetic practice, because it looks nice. my favorite theory is that its a subconscious act of violence and hatred projected towards your war game for making you suffer through those huge, dense satanic grimoires called rules manuals.

Yes. To all of the above (well, except _maybe_ the satanic grimoire part).

Clipped counters (and the best way to clip is to use a corner rounder) look better, fit in the hexes easier, stack better, and don't fray.

And the very act of clipping counters is a peaceful meditative process.
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Richard Irving
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Thunkd wrote:
So if one was to skip this practice... would that be cutting corners?


You are going to cutting corners either way!
 
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Yes, I am the same way... I cut corners by not cutting corners.
 
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Tim
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I don't clip, I round, and I do so because it just looks better than having all that fraying cardboard at the corners. It makes them look like itty bitty iOS buttons.

I can post some pics when I get home...
 
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tofarley wrote:
I don't clip, I round, and I do so because it just looks better than having all that fraying cardboard at the corners. It makes them look like itty bitty iOS buttons.

I can post some pics when I get home...


Yes, post pics! But also explain... how do you "round" the corner?
 
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David Janik-Jones
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Never understood the practice, myself, in more than 40 years of wargaming.
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Christopher Taylor
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Metal Slayer wrote:
Yes, post pics! But also explain... how do you "round" the corner?

Ahhh. This thread is the ultimate guide to corner rounding:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/753278/implementing-the-perf...
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J T
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I think back on some of the 'bookshelf' games a friend of mine had when we were in university - these were things like Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945 which routinely had 1500+ counters in them. Clipping all of the corners off of those (6000+ cuts per game) makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.

And people do this regularly??!?!
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Edward Uhler
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jeffcuetis wrote:
I think back on some of the 'bookshelf' games a friend of mine had when we were in university - these were things like Pacific War: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945 which routinely had 1500+ counters in them. Clipping all of the corners off of those (6000+ cuts per game) makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.

And people do this regularly??!?!


It's called being a true grognard tyvm. And the link a couple posts above mine cover this topic as well as can be done.

/thread
 
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I notice on my ASL start kit, when I stack things they don't stack right because of all these little "tails" that the counters have on their corners, plus sometimes the "tails" hook together when I try to pick one up. I think clipping them would be a help, it is just the time it takes to clip them, I don't want to do! lol.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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It is an addiction for me.

I found unclipped counters easier to handle (especially with tweezers),
but once I started....
 
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Robert Stetler
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anarchy wrote:
Clipped counters (and the best way to clip is to use a corner rounder) look better, fit in the hexes easier, stack better, and don't fray.


The latter points, perhaps. But "look better"? I can't help but remember the times I've looked over an array of misfit proportioned octagons that used to be square counters on some convention wargamers' board and wondered what fit of post game loss loathing prompted the games owner to mutilate his game in retaliation of.

I've no doubt there are gamers who manage to make perfectly clipped counters that look like a precise machine did the task - but most of the ones I've seen look more like a crystal meth addicted termite nibbled the edges as a snack.
 
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Tim
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anarchy wrote:
Metal Slayer wrote:
Yes, post pics! But also explain... how do you "round" the corner?

Ahhh. This thread is the ultimate guide to corner rounding:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/753278/implementing-the-perf...


This is the exact rounder I use for thick counters. For thinner cardstock/laminate work I use the general corner rounders available in any craft store.
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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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Which size works best of ASL sized counters? 3mm?
 
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William Bowers
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Think you sorta answered your own question: OCD
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Matt Brown
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As soon as I got my first wargame with chits I started to clip the edges. Saying that, I would much rather deal with putting stickers on blocks and calling it good since blocks are vastly easier to handle.
 
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matthean wrote:
As soon as I got my first wargame with chits I started to clip the edges. Saying that, I would much rather deal with putting stickers on blocks and calling it good since blocks are vastly easier to handle.


If I had to pick between cardboard chits or stickered blocks, I'd pick the blocks too, they look nicer and are easier to handle for sure.
 
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Brett Bayely
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TankBoy wrote:
"Calpurnius"At first I was Like
Yup, they look much nicer being clipped and stack better without those little tuft sticking off the corner. Or could just be the OCDdevil "Calpurnius" Then I was like

The combined and since clipped 5,500+ counters for Case Blue & Guderian's Blitzkrieg II

 
"Calpurnius"Then I was like surprisewowwowsurprisesurprisewowwowsurprisesurprise and inside i was cry for you


PS
In all seriousness beautifully organised and sorted sir, epic.
 
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Brad Wagnon
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I like the look of clipped counters. It makes them look more "finished". It is truly a matter of preference, however.

I have purchased used games where the counters looked more like octagons, and I agree that more than a very small amount off the corner is too much.

As for the time it takes, I have an old cd case with the corner sanded off that allows just a bit of a counter's corner to be nipped off with a set of small nail clippers. You can run through a hundred counters during a half hour TV program pretty easily.

The need for clipping has become a bit less as die cutting seems to have gotten better on many games.

Some random ideas for you consideration.
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Christopher Taylor
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KGBRadioMoskow wrote:
The latter points, perhaps. But "look better"? I can't help but remember the times I've looked over an array of misfit proportioned octagons that used to be square counters on some convention wargamers' board and wondered what fit of post game loss loathing prompted the games owner to mutilate his game in retaliation of.

I've no doubt there are gamers who manage to make perfectly clipped counters that look like a precise machine did the task - but most of the ones I've seen look more like a crystal meth addicted termite nibbled the edges as a snack.

Fair enough. Using the right tool is essential to making the consistent perfect cuts which are critical for the proper aesthetics.

I used to use finger nail clippers and thought I did a decent job. Once I switched to the 3mm corner rounder tool it made my previous clips noticeably yucky. I actually reclipped the nail clipped counters with the corner rounder, when possible.
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Christopher Taylor
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Metal Slayer wrote:
Which size works best of ASL sized counters? 3mm?

Most ASL counters are 1/2". The 3mm makes a pretty severe cut on smaller counters like 1/2". I personally like it, and I've trimmed my ASLSK sets, but YMMV.

They are coming out with a 2.5mm tool later this summer that I think would be perfect for 1/2" and 5/8" counters.
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