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Subject: WWII SS Counter Colours rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Correct me if Im wrong but werent the Parade Guards and the Tankers the only SS who actually wore black?

I doubt the color of the chit has anything to do with being PC since I dont see how a color can offend people.

Now something that gets to me is when people use symbols in lieu of the Swastika, I completely understand why designers/artists wont include it in the game but just leave it off, dont bother trying to put something else in its place, or swirling it.
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Pete Belli
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According to wargame hobby folklore the first game to use the inaccurate (but graphically striking) black SS units was Anzio by AH.

The color scheme caught on and the fad lasted for years.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Ya, I understand what you were saying Brian, I was just curious as to how the color on a counter could offend people.

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Lucius Cornelius
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Ya, I understand what you were saying Brian, I was just curious as to how the color on a counter could offend people.


Wouldn't yellow or brown be symbolically offensive for military units?
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Wendell Martin, Jr.
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I dunno, I can see why white on black was chosen for the SS:





(from Fowler's Nazi Regalia and Davis's Badges & Insignia of the Third Reich)

Is there a reason that's considered inaccurate? Thanks.
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Mike Windsor
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I'm old school:

In the European theater:
Wehrmacht = gray
SS = black
U.S. = green or olive
U.S.S.R. regular = brown or a dark mustard color
U.S.S.R. guards = red
French = light blue
British and Commonwealth = tan

In the Pacific theater:
U.S. = green or olive
Japan = Yellow
British & Commonwealth = Tan

The only differences in units of the same country that immediately come to mind are the German SS, the Soviet Guards, and the U.S. Marines in some games. Why people insist on reinventing something that works just fine....





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Malcolm Sleight
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I think it is also to allow games to be sold in Germany without having special editions just for them.I believe there are laws in Germany that prohibit certain references to the SS and I seem to remember that the color black for counters is one of them.
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J.L. Robert
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Brian C wrote:
Is this a new trend? Do game designers not want to offend the Euro Wargamers? Has anyone else noticed this?


Yes. Yes. Yes.

Although I can take it or leave it. Remember, even SS units were pink, once upon a time.

That said, I'm keeping my counters from A Bridge Too Far: ASL Historical Module 6.
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Alan Sutton
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I'm playing Arnhem at the moment and all the Germans are the same colour, even the SS, ie not black.

I vote for black too. These guys were the true Nazi believers so I think black is accurate for them.
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Steve
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I say stick with the pink ones.
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Chris R.
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I don't know enough about World War II, but the brown Confederate counters in the GMT version of For the People annoy me.
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Andrew C
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(Oscar from the Office) Actually, the SS wore Wehrmacht grey after the war started. (/Oscar)

That said, I likes my black on white SS counters as seen in The Plot to Assassinate Hitler
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Colin Hunter
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While I'm sure you've all seen this, but I love this clip. It seems appropriate.

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Randall Shaw
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"...I was just curious as to how the color on a counter could offend people."

Oh, you'd be surprised. Some are positively rabid over it.

"...but the brown Confederate counters in the GMT version of For the People annoy me."

Why? Not a fan of butternut?
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Steve Arthur
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I'm with Mike above...the long term standardisation of colour schemes for counters,even if by default,is just too convenient to mess with...
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Andy Beaton
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It's a very controversial issue in the ASL world.
The reasoning is that no other nationality gets a second colour for it's specialist troops - to make a special exception for the SS is to glorify and/or glamourize them. Personally, I tend to agree. I don't want to see special treatment for a bunch of war criminals.
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WendellM wrote:
I dunno, I can see why white on black was chosen for the SS:





(from Fowler's Nazi Regalia and Davis's Badges & Insignia of the Third Reich)

Is there a reason that's considered inaccurate? Thanks.


Pink piping? I never knew that before. "Yeah, the panzer SS are the guys with the pink piping."

I'll have to save that for a face to face game.
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Steve Arthur
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aiabx wrote:
It's a very controversial issue in the ASL world.
The reasoning is that no other nationality gets a second colour for it's specialist troops - to make a special exception for the SS is to glorify and/or glamourize them. Personally, I tend to agree. I don't want to see special treatment for a bunch of war criminals.


I suppose you could justify it by saying that the Waffen SS were an army within an army like Napoleon's Imperial Guard...in many ways an entirely separate organisation...

Also I just remembered that most games featuring Japanese forces seem to colour their counters yellow...perhaps some cause for offense there...
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Jeb
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
aiabx wrote:
It's a very controversial issue in the ASL world.
The reasoning is that no other nationality gets a second colour for it's specialist troops - to make a special exception for the SS is to glorify and/or glamourize them. Personally, I tend to agree. I don't want to see special treatment for a bunch of war criminals.


I suppose you could justify it by saying that the Waffen SS were an army within an army like Napoleon's Imperial Guard...in many ways an entirely separate organisation...

Also I just remembered that most games featuring Japanese forces seem to colour their counters yellow...perhaps some cause for offense there...


I can't think of any modern game gives the Soviet political troops (NKVD) a special color. And I can't think of any modern game (other than Clash of Arms with their bizzare unit color schemes) that gives the Imperial Guard their own color.

I agree with the traditional colors for WWII troops ... but I'm fine with SS not being given a special color.
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castiglione
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I really don't see why the Waffen SS should be black. Didn't their infantry normally wear camouflage smocks during WWII? Wasn't black just for their dress uniforms?
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Charles Vycichl
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Actually black is not historically speaking the right color for Waffen SS units. Black uniforms were worn by the Allgemeine SS and sometimes Waffen SS but not at the front and mostly prewar.

Only soldiers in panzers had black uniforms (like the panzer soldiers of the regular army) not the rest of the Waffen SS troops, who wore field grey exactly like their regular army counterparts. This means that only a small percentage of soldeirs of a SS Panzerdivision wore black uniforms, and none in other SS units. .

The only major difference in color was that the Waffen SS troops wore camouflage smocks over their field grey uniform (although some regular army units and luftwaffe units like the Hermann Goering division did the same).

So the Waffen SS units in the panzergrenadier serie of Avalanche Press are the most accurate historically although wargamers just like to see the Waffen SS in black.so Avalanche Press issued bkack Waffen SS counters for the panzergrenadier serie.
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J.L. Robert
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aiabx wrote:
It's a very controversial issue in the ASL world.
The reasoning is that no other nationality gets a second colour for it's specialist troops - to make a special exception for the SS is to glorify and/or glamourize them. Personally, I tend to agree. I don't want to see special treatment for a bunch of war criminals.


ASL? The game with rules for Prisoners, Commisar executions, Banzai Charges and No Quarter?

Those players get their panties all up in a bunch about black counters?

Am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy in such PC BS?
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Steven Mitchell
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jeb123 wrote:
I can't think of any modern game gives the Soviet political troops (NKVD) a special color.


OCS. Brown for standard troops, red for NKVD, and orange for Guards.
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Jens Hoppe
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The discussion of the morality of using black SS counters goes back as long as I have seen discussion of wargames on the internet (and I started frequenting Consimworld many years ago).


Like it or not, as shown by the many enthusiastic replies here, black counters do make SS units "cooler" - so it is in effect a way of glorifying them.

If you don't have a problem with thinking of the SS as the "cool" part of the German army, black SS counters can hardly offend. However, many wargamers don't like to single out the SS in any positive way so for them, black counters do look out of place: It's one thing to simulate a historical conflict involving the SS, but quite another thing to put the SS troops on some sort of pedestal in the process.

Add to this the fact that the SS itself was very conscious of the image they projected for the purpose of propaganda: The liberal use of a "cool" color like black, designer clothing, nifty unit badges (eg. the totenkopf shown in the Mitchell & Webb clip above), etc.: They projected an image of being cool bad motherfuckers, lethal and professional, and the fact that wargamers 65 years after the end of the war still cherish their black counters really shows how well that worked. As has been pointed out, regular Waffen SS troops did not wear black uniforms during the war, so what exactly are we trying to convey with the use of black counters? The same thing the SS itself was aiming for, as it turns out.

Now, I am not calling for anyone to boycot black SS counters (I know I am not) even though some wargamers do. But at least, whenever I catch myself thinking how nifty those black SS counters look, I try to give an extra thought to exactly why I think that is...
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