A Sci-Fi whiz's wargaming blog about Ogre/GEV, Battletech, and Heavy Gear amongst other things.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Scale 2: More About Scale
The trouble with using a ground scale smaller than the figure scale is that
models will be bigger than the terrain features. This is especially true of
buildings that are in scale with the vehicles, because
what appears by linear measurement to be quite large area often ends up
as just enough room to fit three small buildings. Hardly the town it is
supposed to represent?
Put another way, a village scales up as having
multi level hovels!
On the other hand buildings to the same scale as the
terrain will be dwarfed by the vehicles, and the problem is made worse
in games like BattleTech, because the mechs already dwarf buildings as a matter of course. Then there is the problems of representing roads, rivers and
woods when ground scale to figure scale generated distortion. At the end of
the day it can all look ludicrous, and undermine the purpose of having
the miniatures and terrain in the first place, which is of course to
make playing the game easier and things look more realistic.
Let us consider the problems in detail and
go back to our hypothetical 6' x 4' wargaming table. At 1/300 ground
scale it is the equivalent to an area of 18 x 12 hexes, whereas a
similar hex mapboard equivalent in 1/900th scale would be an area of 2' x 1.5'.
Therefore a six by four table is similar to using four Battletech map
boards at 1/900 ground scale, but only one map board at 1/300.
Now if we
took the Atlas, with its auto-cannon 20, and placed it on the table at
1/900 ground scale the range of its weapon is 30 centimeters, but if you were to
use 1/300th, then the range would leap up to 90 centimeters. At the larger
scale the Atlas would dominate the whole table with its 180 centimeters (six foot)
diameter of fire, which would mean that the emphasis of the game had
changed. The area to move in is such that all the combat is now taking
place at very close range from the start, and this leaves no room for
This would cast a different light upon the
the types of mechs it would be advantageous to field and change the
nature of the game.
However, using the 1/900th scale also has its
problems. Since the ground scale is so much smaller than the model one,
there are going to difficulties when fighting in and around towns, for
reasons stated earlier. Also, our table has now become much larger which
is not necessarily the advantage it first appears to be.
because play testing has shown that there is a relationship between the
size of an area to weapon ranges at the sort of model densities which
are fielded. Battletech slows down considerably when you get much above a
dozen models on the board. The use of 1/900th scale on a six by four
table means that the game will literally eat a dozen models, and you'll wonder
where they've all gone. Most of the action will take place in the
centre with everything milling around each other.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Now if only the miniatures are halfway decent and a usable size for wargaming. Even if not who can resist? Re...
I currently do not run an email list and have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future.
For those who subscribe to email updates for this blog, your personal data may be collected by the third party service. I have no control over the tool.
Blog posts or comments may include personal data such as the names of people who've made comments or similar. These posts are often shared on social media including my Twitter and FaceBook pages. The privacy policies of Twitter and Facebook will apply to information posted on their websites.
If you would like any personal data which is included in my blogposts or comments to be removed or have any questions, please email me through my contact widget.