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"Red / green colour blindness" Topic

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869 hits since 27 Mar 2017
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4th Cuirassier27 Mar 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

I have read that the inability easily to distinguish the above is the commonest type of colour blindness. Does anyone suffer from this, and does it manifest as a problem in gaming? Does anyone struggle, at tabletop distances, to distinguish Rifles from Foot Guards? Or is there more to it than that?

I ask this because without suffering from this myself, I perceive this effect with minis anyway. If you look at 28mm figs from normal viewing distances, they tend to turn to anonymous blobs in which the darker colours of backpacks, musket woodwork and shakoes predominate. So the bright colours that would normally ID them tend to vanish. Looking at photos in other people's AARs it is often hard to work out even what era is being played without quite close study. So I am wondering if the red/green thing is similarly experienced?

GurKhan27 Mar 2017 6:52 a.m. PST

I suffer from a mild version of this – I have in the past been accused of painting green horses, and as a small child I required convincing that grass wasn't a shade of red – but not to the point that I'd confuse Rifle green with Guards red. It's the faint or borderline colours that get me – telling some greens from browns, some pinks from grey, etc.

What I do sometimes have difficulty with is the colours of dice. "The blue dice is for Command 1, and the purple one for Command 2". "You mean one of those dice is purple?".

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

In part this is why I never worry about getting colors "right." I want my Union boys to be BLUE, so I paint them a much lighter/brighter blue than is "right." But at 4' in typical gaming lighting you can see they are blue.

As for Napoleonics, you're right – the coat color is most obvious to the *owning* player* but even then is a tiny proportion of the overall visual. Back packs, blanket rolls, etc. predominate.

One reason I hate painting post WW1: no fun colors. Might as well spray paint the entire lot "mud" and have done.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 7:48 a.m. PST

My father in law was a painter and decorator before retiring. He is colour blind!

His daughter passed it to our twin sons (X linked recessive so girls carry it and their sons, because Y must come from Dad so X must come from Mom, will get it.) Girls have XX, one from Dad and one from Mom so the dominant X protects them from getting the problem….unless of course a female carrier marries a colour blind man……. daughters now have two Xs, both may now carry the gene.

Very few completely lack the colour receptors. They are just sparse. A thin red/green line is a challenge, two distant spot lights at sea (one red, one green) are almost impossible, as falls on a very small area of retina. Big objects present a larger image on the retina for the few receptors to work on.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 8:14 a.m. PST

Distinguishing red stop lights from green or amber seems to be more of a universal problem.

I had a friend who was an electrician and was afflicted maybe afflicted is too strong a term. I always wondered how he was able to distinguished the colors in large bundles of control wires, as some of the differences were quite subtle. As far as I could tell, he never made a mistake.

awalesII27 Mar 2017 8:40 a.m. PST

I've dealt with this issue before. The game required groups of troops in colors; black, red, green, blue. We painted the base edges with the colors to make it easy to see.

It worked except the color blind player kept making mistakes. We laughed at our naivety and added stripes to the base edge color scheme.

Ends up looking a little like Vegas poker chips but it's very clear. When our color blind player wants to shoot the last red guy he never plays an entire turn setting up to shoot one of the green guys.

Cards are associated with the groups so we added the color and pattern to the cards as well. This helped even the non color blind players keep the right stats with the right groups.

Marcel180927 Mar 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

My experience is almost exactly the same as GurKhan, including painting some green horses and seeing grass as almost a shade of red. I fin doubt, I will ask help for painting certian shades and labelled pots of paint such as "French artillery green" or or Russian dark green" helps a lot.

Rubber Suit Theatre Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 9:20 a.m. PST


Footslogger27 Mar 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Now that is just plain wrong. Spraying a horse red like that.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

It's the faint or borderline colours that get me telling some greens from browns, some pinks from grey, etc.

Yup. I'm often asking my wife to help me match paints with color schemes.

As a child, I hated (and still hate!) coloring pencils that aren't labeled.

As a game producer, my UI artists have learned to use icons/shapes/etc in addition to color as indicators. They know I'll call 'em on it otherwise.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

Having some troubles currently as a side effect of cataracts. I keep thinking I have the full spectrum, but I need a lot more light, and even at that, things like telling dark blue from black facings just won't happen. Some non-wargamers who have been through this tell me I'll be amazed at how bright and vivid everything is after surgery.

Mister Tibbles27 Mar 2017 2:13 p.m. PST

Now that is a horse of a different color! grin

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 2:44 p.m. PST

Makes me ashamed to have a real Irish passport….. when I see that horse……

Must have seemed like a good idea, at the time.

The whole idea, of how we all perceive colour, is quite fascinating……….

Dark or light is easy. It is shade that is so personal……

It does all come down to red/green and, so, brown vs purple also. I see this every day, but my lads are now beyond Lord of the Rings 28mm figs. At 22 yrs of age, they have discovered the fair sex….

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 2:59 p.m. PST

Deadhead – Just gotta wait 8 years or so, then they'll be back to gaming to get away from the fair sex :)

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 4:13 p.m. PST

Heh. Some of us were playing the boardgame Colditz a few weeks ago and a fellow who said he had this color blindness kept referring to the red pawns as "orange" and every time he said this we would all cry in unison, "RED!" It got to be comical, even to him. We'd crack up laughing every time, but he just couldn't help himself.

And I have another friend who avoids playing Settlers of Catan because he loses track of the red and green player pieces, and it affects his ability to compete.

I suppose in Napoleonics, we might see incidents galore of British and Russian friendly fire?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 4:17 p.m. PST

A passing thought -- can we be sure that there isn't a color -- or colors -- out there that we ALL can't see? And we aren't even aware of it? Could such a thing be possible?

Or do we understand via physics or science or light principles that our familiar rainbow spectrum is all that is possible?

Lion in the Stars27 Mar 2017 5:48 p.m. PST

I'm also diagnosed FALANT colorblind. I don't have a problem reading red part numbers on zinc chromate green parts, but the red or green side lights on ships would get me in trouble.

Every once in a while, I need to get some help with painting, because a color I will choose will have an off shade in it.

Stryderg27 Mar 2017 7:47 p.m. PST

@ Piper909
Infrared and Ultraviolet, lovely shades of red and blue, that no one can see…except for elves and dwarves.

leidang28 Mar 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

One of our local gamers is severely color blind. I didn't know it and we were using pipe cleaner pieces as status markers in a game. He asked for some wound markers so I tossed him a dozen or so red pipe cleaner pieces. He missed catching them and then looked astonished and couldn't find them sitting right in front of him on the green felt ground cloth. he had to get down to table level to see them sticking up above the plane of the table.

Since then we have gone to other status markers.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

Color is not as straight forward as you might think. There are cultural things involved. Some cultures do not see different colours as different as Europeans do.


. For example, Russians see blue differently link

Wrap you head around all that !!!

DHautpol04 Apr 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

"Distinguishing red stop lights from green or amber seems to be more of a universal problem."

Round where I live, this seems to be an optional extra anyway.

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