23 March 2016

La Déviation Fatale - A Discourse on Paper Counters

I'm not entirely sure how it started. I may have made some vaguely taunting comments about using paper counters for gaming - not the printed, card-mounted versions mind, but the hastily scribbled ones on scraps of torn paper.

Some time later, this had become a running joke. It turns out that cheetor has a deep-seated abhorrence towards such low tech gaming aids. Like these:

A helpful clarification.

Who needs a model when you can proxy with paper?

Excellent use of paper and toy proxies.

Several months of gentle taunting later, this came back to haunt me:

Cheetor wrote:

"Asslessman and I are planning the game that we are going to play in my place the night before we head up to Knavecon. Naturally we decided that an RT take on the Irish cinema classic "Fatal Deviation" was in order. Your name came up Axiom...

At a critical juncture in the movie, our hero presents a message that he received to his sensei. The message is supposed to encourage the hero to throw the upcoming tournament fight. It reads as follows:
Note the less than perfect spelling. That bit wasnt a joke, its just that the film is in fact that bad.

We will require an objective marker that conveys the above image, but in a 41st millennium sort of fashion. With your purported skills in the area Axiom, we were thinking that you could make a marker for this.

You love paper markers after all."

After seeking some clarification (was this a serious request? Just exactly what kind of paper counter was needed? Could I just write 'Objective' on a scrap of paper?), I was given 3 key criteria:

1) Rogue Trader themed
2) Paper-based
3) Mis-spelling

Cheetor kindly finished off my brief by adding "I just reckoned a money-where-your-mouth-is challenge was in order, Mr Paper Marker Man."

Challenge accepted!

Paper Counter Challenge - Execution

Several months on, after plenty of thought, I have presented Cheetor and Asslessman with 3 options ahead of their Fatal Deviation game:
Traditional paper, card standee, physical model
Option 1: This is a hand-crafted paper-based objective token, carefully removed from a sheet of high quality paper using the 'tearing' technique for that rustic effective. I forgot the mis-spelling element of the brief with the example above - the final version will certainly involve a poor command of the English language.

Option 2: Using a handy image borrowed from our friends over at Tales From the Maelstrom, option 2 uses Rogue Trader imagery and tongue-in-cheek mis-spelling in a traditional card and plastic counter format.
Image borrowed from Tale From the Maelstrom
If you recall the early days of Blood Bowl, you will have played entire games with your teams illustrated on similar cards and shoved into the plastic stands. This complicated approach involved printing out the image on white paper, gluing it to some cereal box card, and inserting the card into the plastic stand.

Option 3: A real model. But it's not made of paper. So it probably doesn't hit the spot. If you're interested in the model, he's assembled from a Citadel ninja, with the head from one of the early 2000 Imperial Guard Last Chancers.
I added a note (complete with movie accurate spelling), made from a piece of plasticard. He got an oversized backpack from my bits box, and a little electronic doodad from the RTB01 plastic Space Marine kit.

"What on earth does this note mean?"

I look forward to finding out which objective counter gets used in the game!


  1. Consider your mouth packed to capacity with currency of the realm of your choice Axiom.

    The RTB01 handheld techy bit is the icing on the cake.

    I look forward to seeing that model beaten up by a miniature Irish martial artist from space.

    1. You're too kind. I would like to gag on Throne Geld so I can use them for my Inquisimunda warband please Cheetor :)

      Funny how those little RT tech things still have a big draw. I was happy to have a place to use one.

  2. I have to say i'm utterly impressed since not only did you accept the challenge but you also beat it to pulp ! I feel absolutely shameful about not having my part done yet now ...
    This will be a great game and we'll owe it to you in part.

    1. Fist pumping and air-ninja moves being executed now. Glad to be able to participate :)

  3. If only we could all challenge each other to these heights! Excellent work Axiom! Even though JB and Cheetor threatened you with JB's Geisha Sword. MUAHAHAHAH ;)

    Can't wait to see the report...cheers you scallywags!

  4. :-D Nicely done mate, option 3 rocks! (of course)

    1. I kind of like option 2 myself, although option 1 has a naïve charm ;)

  5. Haha, that's absolutely so sweet!
    I may call your attention on the WH40K 2nd Ed box Ork Dreadnought! :D

    1. Don't forget the Warhammer 4th edition cardboard repeater bolt thrower Suber.

      I knew a guy that colour photocopied it so that he could have a battery of the things...

  6. ha! What an amusing challenge, which you not only met, but exceeded. The minion is a great figure too, perfect for use in a number of settings as an objective, follower, or token indicating a burden.

  7. I always used to sellotape (other brands of sticky tape are available) my paper tokens to a 2p coin. I can still remember the unit of 40 copper goblins being torn apart by 10 copper dark elves.

    1. That's a dirty little secret antipixi!! I look forward to seeing you remake the armies. Perhaps a video batrep?

  8. I know plenty of gamers who would be more then happy to play that way, thankfully I'm not one myself & while I wouldn't be in the same league as you guys painting wise I always believe the models should be the stars of the show.

    But if it's a way to wined up a mate then paper models are always expectable lol

  9. I thoroughly approve on the paper sign :-)