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Subject: A review of Counter sleds rss

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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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In the submissions I have made, you may notice that I am using counter sleds made by a guy called Dennis O'Brien of www.rdoxx.com, who has brought new life to counter games that I have enjoyed over the years.

Renaud Verlaque has produced a classic treaty of Napoleonic warfare between 1805 and 1815; literally from the prelude to Austerlitz in Bavaria to Waterloo.

I have the Avalon Hill version of the same period and I treasure it, but Mr verlaque's version introduces so many political considerations through an elegant card mechanism that I have to say that this is the definitive romp through the zenith of the Napoleonic wars.

Mr O'Brien's contribution is the sled mechanism. The back of the sled "armchair" is exactly 1" x 1" but the base is less, allowing the pieces to sit better. They feel better and they also add fog of war; although, in his enclosed leaflet, Dennis does state that he will not be responsible for altercations caused by their use.

All in all, I love this game and I wholeheartedly recommend the second version of Renaud's rules. I also wholeheartedly recommend that you invest in some of Dennis's counter sleds; they are not cheap. but they will certainly enhance your enjoyment of your game.

Kindest regards,

Jim
Est. 1949

In case you think that I work for this company, you only have my word that this is an independent review from someone who is literally enthralled by the product.

Edited to provide an image of sleds I have painted for Age of Napoleon. I'll paint anything.
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Ed Sherman
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So they basically turn counter wargames into block wargames by propping them up? That's pretty cool!
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Brett Myers
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I wonder at the effects on the game of adding that level of fog of war. It's one thing for a game designed to account for it, but to add it to a game not designed to handle that kind of complete fog seems potentially game breaking.

Edit:

I do think the sleds are very attractive and potentially quite useful in the correct application.
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Ricatoni
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Chula Vista
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I have recently purchased counter sleds and there are a couple of things that need mentioning.

First of all This is what it will do for ASL just for starters



WAY COOL

Second. They come in various sizes. They have counter sleds for half inch, 5/8, 3/4 inch, 1 x 1/2 inch, and one inch size counters. The point here is that there are choices out there for most of the counter sizes you have in the games you play.cool

Third. When gaming there are certain agreements that need to be made on the use of the sleds. For strategic games it is recommended that when units are in adjacent hexes they are considered sighted or revealed. For tactical games revealing units would be based on line of sight. The creators recommend that gamers agree on the conditions under which units are revealed BEFORE the game begins.

Finally. This simple, affordable, device will bring new life to all the hex and counter games out there. Dust them off and enjoy them at a new level.
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A Morris
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Um, aren't these just standard wooden molding available at Home Depot? Buy two feet worth, stain and cut as needed. Yes it would take more effort than buying a set, but this way if you wanted a red and a blue set you have that option...

It still is a good idea in any case!
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Android wrote:
Um, aren't these just standard wooden molding available at Home Depot? Buy two feet worth, stain and cut as needed. Yes it would take more effort than buying a set, but this way if you wanted a red and a blue set you have that option...

It still is a good idea in any case!


Android,

You could certainly use standard plastic moulding, but you would be missing out on hand-crafted hardwood pieces that are specifically designed so that the back of the "armchair" on the sled fits your pieces exactly. Try to do the maths or the geometry - I think RDOXX just managed Euclid 101.

As with all good ideas there are cheaper alternatives, but in my humble opinion, Mr O'Brien has found a niche market that he can supply with a quality product.

With kindest regards,

Jim O'Neill
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Hmmm. The profile of these things is not unlike wood trim molding.

So, I will stop by Lowe's today with a 1/2" and a 3/4" counter, and check molding there.

The difficult part would be slicing up the molding; but as all the cuts are straight, it should not be too much of a problem. My brother has a chop saw with mitre.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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I just started using these, being too lazy (and too clumsy with a saw) to cut up my own. Initially the idea was to use them for The The '45. That game is, basically, a block game using counters. The counters (or most of them), have strengths denoted by counter orientation - the sides are marked by a number of dots, and you have all the current strengths facing the same direction, like blocks but lying down flat. I felt certain right from the start I'd get that mixed up!

But when I saw the sleds, I realised how useful they would be in handling close-packed stacks in bigger games. Like Siege of Jerusalem... I'm just starting off that one again.

And therein lies a problem... it's not at all cheap buying that many of these sleds! They also do pretty much hide the map under them too, but not much more than the counters (the bases are the same size as the counters, but the backs hide a bit more from any common viewing angle).
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Wulf Corbett
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I put the Rdoxx counter sleds into use on Siege of Jerusalem. I've submitted three pics of halfway through Turn 3 (Romans have just completed their phases, Judeans still to go), hopefully some will be approved. Here are my comments.

Siege of Jerusalem (SoJ) wasn't my first thought for sleds, it looked liked they's be too fiddly for THAT many stacks and would obscure the map. However, having handled them, I realised they'd make the stacks much more accessable, and wouldn't really obscure more than the actual counters anyway! I'm playing solo, thus there's no problem with visibility.

Some problems though:
Counters where orientation matters - in this case Siege Towers, Rams and Scaling Ladders. The originals used arrows on the counters, I decided to put the backs of the sleds up against the target hex. The counters are sometimes hard to read, but I can easily squint round.

Immobile counters. In this case, Judean Artillery never moves. I decided to put these counters flat, and place the sleds with mobile counters (infantry) on top. That could have been a mistake, I've missed a few artillery, even though the counters are 5/8", and the sleds only 1/2". Also, wall damage & breach counters - it's hard to find them in the mass of sleds. But would it be any easier without sleds?

Lastly, it's hell picking counters up when you drop them off a sled in the middle of a mass of sleds. Maybe worse than with normal stacks.

One neutral factor. All my counters are on 1/2" sleds, even the 5/8" counters. There just wasn't room for the bigger sleds, and the number of 5/8" counters was small enough not to be a problem.

However, the good factors outweigh these:
Visibility. As I normally play solo, I can see all the counters from my seat, not possible with stacks without craning my neck.

Accessability. Yes, you really can pick them up easier than normal stacks. Carefully, though...

Ease of orientation. I can see what direction a sled is oriented in far easier than a stack, when the board is covered in them!

The look. OK, it's a minor factor, and a personal one, but I like the fact they stick up, like minis.

Overall, I like 'em. I'll be using them whenever possible. The price was higher than I expected, but then I hadn't intended them for such a big game.
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Ulrich A
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Must they be painted? Or can they already be ordered in different coulors?
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Historybuff wrote:
Must they be painted? Or can they already be ordered in different coulors?

They are supplied in a plain natural wood finish. You don't have to paint them.

Jim
Est. 1949

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Scrumpy Jack
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Are these available in the UK?
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
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Graduate of Barlinnie
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Like a good red wine, I improve with age... and being laid.
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SJack wrote:
Are these available in the UK?

Hi Jack,

Unfortunately, they are not.

Regards,


Jim

Est. 1949

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