Once the counters of a wargame are punched and clipped, what does one do with the remaining tree, denuded of all its counters?
Now, before you answer, recall that we’re talking about wargamers here, people who willingly spend hours moving small pieces of cardboard from hex to hex or space to space according to rules both simple and arcane. Specifics matter to wargamers—it has to be la bonne pièce, no other will do. Completeness and accuracy in all regards are grails to wargamers.
So, the obvious answer, that one throws away the now-empty and useless counter tree, is not necessarily the correct answer, because the counter tree, whether laden or barren, is still a part of the game. On those occasions when a punched and played game is sold or bartered, can you honestly say it’s complete without including the counter trees?
Well, yes, you can, and I stopped hugging my trees a few years back, though I confess that when I sold my punched Star Fleet Battles collection about a decade ago, I included all the empty trees, some fifteen or so. And I bet the recipient appreciated them, even as he tossed them promptly into the trash.
I’ve never received an empty counter tree when I’ve purchased a punched game, so perhaps I’m an aberration in this regard. Am I the only wargamer who ever kept his trees?