Below are some graphics files which can be used to create so-called
"counters" (playing pieces) for board games, whether tabletop- or
computer-based. The intention is that players use the graphics
available below to create countersheets, print them out, and use
them in tabletop play.
Together with the free gaming maps
graphics provide a good starting point for designing custom games.
csv2countersheet, countersheet generation tool
Perl script can be used to generate counter
sheets from CSV (comma-separated values) files which describe the sheet layout by listing individual
graphics files, like those available for download below. In addition,
it supports a very basic macro syntax to make creating such files "by hand"
somewhat simpler (alternately, you can use your favourite spreadsheet
program to create these files).
It requires a Unix-like
environment and the ImageMagick convert tool
to create countersheets. (Sorry Windows users - you'll need to lay out your countersheets using
your favourite graphics program.)
: to create double-sided countersheets, simply lay out the CSV descriptions
so that the front sides are on one half
of the countersheet (e.g., top or left half), then the bottom sides are on
the other half (e.g., bottom or right half), then print them out, put some glue
on the back side of the printout, and fold
the sheet so that the front
and back sides line up. This trick works pretty well, especially when used on
small counter sheets (where there is less room to make a mistake in the folding).
Known bugs and mis-features:
Some versions of convert have a broken -border option which mistakenly
colors the whole background of an image instead of bordering it. If that is the case on your box
(as it is on my box with convert version 6.2.4) then csv2countersheet's -b option will not work
as advertised for you. This does in fact make generating usable countersheets much more difficult
because without the borders you don't have lines to follow when cutting out the counters!
See this bug report for a description:
This tool was written as a quick hack some years ago and may seem a bit funky. Hack it to suit
Counters: Dungeon hacking
angband-counters-32x32.tar.gz (1709476 bytes, last modified 2009.Jul.27)
Here is a collection of 2320
(!!!) dungeon-themed graphics, each
one 32x32 pixels (so you may want to scale them up when printing them, to avoid
that the printed counters are too small to handle).
i grabbed these graphics from http://www.thangorodrim.net/
(see their downloads page, which i can't link directly to because that site uses
frames). The only difference between this
set and the one available from the link above is that these are chopped up into individual PNG
graphics with transparent backgrounds, whereas the original is available as one big BMP file
with a black background and a separate "masking" image file.
License: see the included README.txt file.
Counters: Generic armored combat
cisco-sci-fi-counters.tar.gz (60199 bytes, last modified 2009.Jul.27)
Here is a set of generic counters for use in games centered around
armored combat (in particular near-future/sci-fi genres). Created
by Francisco "Cisco" Cestero, they are identical to the graphics available
on my Ogre page
except that these copies have no
unit statistics printed on them, making them more generic.
The counters include a variety of ground vehicles
(various sorts of trucks, tanks, and hovercraft) and infantry counters,
plus a few extras like craters and buildings. Also included
is a ready-to-use countersheet, in various colors, suitable for
printing. These graphics are all 48x48 pixels, which normally prints
out to exactly 1/2 inch (a common gaming counter size) on most printers.
These graphics are freely usable in non-commercial
contexts, but may not be used in commercial contexts
(see the included README.txt file).
Counters: Generic armored combat SVGs
wanderinghorse.net-VEG-SVGs-20130209.tar.gz (855147 bytes, last modified 2013.Feb.09)
This set contains a large collection of SVG-format graphics based loosely on the "cisco" set
listed above, but with more variety, including new infantry and armor units, as well
as over 65 unique cybertank counters. These graphics (plus a few more) are available via
a public Google Drive folder
(anyone with a Google account can view them), but downloading this bundle is normally simpler than fetching
them via Google Drive.
License: Public Domain
(This set is called "VEG" because the graphics were originally created for use in a custom game
of that name.)
Counters: Plastic army men
joe-counters.tar.gz (225206 bytes, last modified 2009.Jul.27)
This set contains a handful of 60x60-pixel counters which i created by photographing
plastic army soldiers and touching up the photos to get silhouette-style images. They were
created for the CGME Joe game
, but can probably be
used for a variety of games.
License: Public Domain
Counters: Space Ship Silhouettes
wanderinghorse.net-svg-spaceship-counters-20150814.tar.gz (1621272 bytes, last modified 2015.Aug.14)
This set includes over 340
individual silhouette-style spaceship counters, suitable for use
in a wide range of space-themed games. The master copies are in SVG, and small PNG versions are included.
Also included is a print-ready sheet which has the counters laid out in a 0.5x0.5-inch (12x12mm) grid. They can be re-scaled, re-colored, etc., using an SVG editing program like
, and many sorts of conversions/transformations can be performed in batch mode using the ImageMagick
family of tools.
License: Public Domain
These graphics are maintained in a public Google Drive folder
, and the latest editions can be found there.
distribution is not always 100% current vis-a-vis the GDrive collection, and is provided primarily to simplify
downloading all of the files at once (which is not as trivial as it could be in GDrive).
When using Inkscape, by selecting individual images (or groups of
images from the larger countersheet) and applying various filters from the Filters
menu you can get some really interesting effects.
Some which i liked:
- Textures-->Tinted Rainbow (or Melted Rainbow)
- Ridges-->Thin Membrane
- ABCs-->Specular Light (or Diffuse Light)
- ABCs-->Black Outline
- Bevels-->Button (probably my favourite, especially when the counters are brightly colored)
- Bevels-->Matte Jelly (in particular when the counters are colored)
- Shadows and Glows-->In and Out
- Shadows and Glows-->Inner Shadow
- Shadows and Glows-->Darken Edges
You can also use such filters to create, e.g., counters for destroyed ships by mutating the original counters (in Inkscape try (Textures-->Riddled or Protrusions-->Fire) for that).
Achtung: when applying textures to the invididual ship images, it may be necessary to first reduce them to a single path to avoid side-effects having to do with the polygons used in constructing the pieces. To do this, mark all elements of the graphic, ungroup (Shift-Ctrl-G) all elements (recursively - do it until no more groups remain), then use the (Path ==> Union) menu. That simplifies the image's internal structure. Do not
do that to your master copies, as this loses data (nothing immediately visible, just internal structure of the SVG). The ships included in the larger preview countersheet are already "reduced" in this fashion.
Editing tip: while the originals look
black, they are actually color code #030303, and
they can be globally re-colored using any text stream editor (e.g. sed
by simply replacing that color code with a hex color code of one's choice. For example to
convert them all to bright red, use the following commands from a Unix shell:
$ mkdir red
$ for i in ship-*.svg; do sed -e 's/#030303/#ff0000/g' < $i > red/$i; done
The colored copies will then be the 'red' directory. Other effects (e.g. color negation, for white-on-(other-color)) are easily achieved using the ImageMagick "convert"
command-line utility, e.g. the following command will negate a ship's graphic to white-on-black:
$ convert +negate ship-0001-0001.svg foo.png