|Now I just need to cut them all out and file them away somewhere safe...|
Although not a mechanical, or necessary, part of the game, one element that has always stood out about Villains & Vigilantes was its use of counters (rather than stand-ups, meeples, or miniatures).
The majority, if not all, of the old adventures would come with a card centre-spread of counters tailored to that scenario (with most having great reuse value).
In this age of advancing technology and shrinking profit margins for small press publishers, these counters tend now to presented as PDFs, with the onus on the gamesmaster to print them out himself. For instance you can find five, free, PDFs of adventure counters on the Monkey House Games downloads page.
As the game progresses into its Third Edition (currently being Kickstarted as Villains & Vigilantes 3.0: Mighty Protectors), I'm guessing this aspect will continue - either as PDFs, card inserts, or on the back cover of adventures.
Painted minis (whether lead, pewter, or plastic) are great, but it's really hard - and possibly very expensive - to come up with exact figures to represent all the unique player-characters (there's more variety in appearance of player-characters in superhero RPGs than, I reckon, any other genre), let alone all the supervillains (some of which might only ever make a single appearance in your campaign).
With counters, you can even get away with an inch square of card with just your characters' name if there isn't anyone in your group with an artistic bent. And someone with a better grasp than me of Photoshop - or similar software - could probably produce their own counters, using sketches and photographs for illustrations.
At some stage, I'd like to see a collection of generic card counters - cars, civilians, robbers/muggers, police officers etc - to help populate the streets of my campaign. I reckon there's a good chance I'll be recycling the HeroClix maps I've accumulated over the years as well!
There are only a few days left on the Villains & Vigilantes 3.0: Mighty Protectors Kickstarter, so if you're thinking about backing it, don't think for too much longer or you might miss out.