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"Little Inches" for Microarmor gamers
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Bill Owen
Brigadier


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 1895
Location: Soca, Uruguay
"Little Inches" for Microarmor gamers  Reply with quote  

I have considered using inches with micro-armor but it seems like the tanks would be so much smaller that the HE Templates wouldn't hit as many units at similar dispersion as centimeter ruler units.

The problem with centimeter scale is that the tanks look very close but still miss a lot ...plus the excess board area makes the grandiose part of us want to make games bigger than is practical, for us at least.

And then there is my recent (excellent) experience playing CDtob twice at Winter War got me to thinking about this again with the big 1:76 scale tanks.

Anyway, I have a proposal whereby I suggest microarmor gamers consider compromising with a ruler unit like .67" inches or .78". Call them Little Inches.

The advantage of the .78" ruler units is you can use normal inch templates for HE.

The advantage of .67" little inches is that the battlefield is further enlarged but not overly so and an actual 16" ruler is equivalent to 24" little inches (covering a large proportion of measurements needed & tumble it over for 48"). To make the HE Templates be the right size one would have to make them up at about 78% of the normal inches. I have HE template PDFs at my website below where you can change the Page Set Up of the inch-scale templates from 100% to 78%.

There's more with a diagram to explain this at:
http://www.g-design.us/cd/#inch

The only thing I haven't uploaded yet is a pre-made ruler pdf to paste on 3/8" square dowel so you could make 6 to 10 of them or whatever you need.*

What do you think of this C R A Z Y idea?

*I figured I wait to see what's wrong with the idea first! So fire away.
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CD play aids currently at: https://wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:37 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan
Chief Warrant Officer


Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 308
Location: Medway, Kent UK
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Bill,

you may have already done this with what you call the .67 or .78 inches as i haven't calculated it out.

But what seems a simpler idea to do and eaily covertable in peoples heads is to use double cm ranges. i.e. Instead if 6" converting to 6cm, just make it 12cm.

As there are 2.5cm to an inch (or thereabouts) you automatically get your 'small inches' but saves having to make up measuring sticks and the like. Plus as CD is all about range bands then 0-12, 13-24, 25-36 & 37-48cm and so on should be easy to remember and still permit the use of normal sized HE templates.

Just a thought
Alan

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:41 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Cerberus
Lieutenant


Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 462
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Bill,

I don't think it makes much difference to your argument, but wouldn't Inch based HE templates be likely to cover MORE vehicles, not less? More microarmor vehicles can fit into the same space as 15mm vehicles.

Personally, I like using microarmor with the inch scale because it minimizes the difference between vehicle scale and ground scale. However, my eyes aren't as suited to microarmor as they used to be. Nowadays, even the best painted microarmor tends to look like blobs at normal table distances. Oh well....

Regards,
Mitch Osborne

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:56 am   View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Gunner
Major General


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 2533
Location: Baton Rouge, LA USA
 Reply with quote  

If I planned to use the centimeter scale for microarmor, I'd also convert the templates to centimeters, as well. Doesn't seem to make much sense otherwise.

Unfortunately, as Mitch said, my eyes have pretty much deserted me now when it comes to microarmor on the table-top. I can still recognize some modern stuff, but trying to recognize WW II microarmor has become an exercise in futility. Crying or Very sad

Dudley
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Dudley J. Garidel, Jr.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 of Marines (ret)
Semper Fidelis
Non Sibi Sed Patriae
"Not for Self, for Country"

"Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"
"If you seek peace, prepare for war"
- Publius Renatus 390AD

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:21 pm   View user's profile Send private message
francis garnier
Brigadier


Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 1496
Location: Deux-Sèvres, FRANCE
 Reply with quote  

Another possibility you have is to continue play in inches but base your micro tanks on larger stands.
You could even mount two tanks to a stand and then newcomers to CD scale stop thinking in term of 1:1 and start thinking in term of platoons. Very Happy
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Francis Garnier

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:47 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Jerry Merrell
Brigadier


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 1004
Location: Missouri
 Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by francis garnier:
Another possibility you have is to continue play in inches but base your micro tanks on larger stands.
You could even mount two tanks to a stand and then newcomers to CD scale stop thinking in term of 1:1 and start thinking in term of platoons. Very Happy


My collection isn't micro armor, but I've always thought this was a capital
idea for that scale.

Jerry

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:39 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan
Chief Warrant Officer


Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 308
Location: Medway, Kent UK
 Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by francis garnier:
Another possibility you have is to continue play in inches but base your micro tanks on larger stands.
You could even mount two tanks to a stand and then newcomers to CD scale stop thinking in term of 1:1 and start thinking in term of platoons. Very Happy


Arrrgh Confused Just had a flashback to Corp Commander days...

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:01 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Alan Cannon
PFC


Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Re: "Little Inches" for Microarmor gamers  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Owen:
I have considered using inches with micro-armor but it seems like the tanks would be so much smaller that the HE Templates wouldn't hit as many units at similar dispersion as centimeter ruler units.



After many years of playing microarmour usually at the inch scale and then more recently playing in 20mm, I have not noticed much difference in how many stands get caught in one artillery battery burst - i.e. usually 1 or 2 vehicles/stands, more rarely 3 if they're packed close. The big difference in play that I notice is how many vehicles I can fit into a woods line or onto a hill or the like.

BTW In addition to the standard inch scale, I have played with the 2cm=1 inch scale, which works quite nicely to increase playing space when you are limited in table space, turning a 6x4 table to an effective 7.5x5.

Alan Cannon

Post Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:30 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Bill Owen
Brigadier


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 1895
Location: Soca, Uruguay
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan:
Bill,

...use double cm ranges. i.e. Instead if 6" converting to 6cm, just make it 12cm.

As there are 2.5cm to an inch (or thereabouts) you automatically get your 'small inches' but saves having to make up measuring sticks...

Just a thought
Alan


I could make up the measuring sticks in a few minutes (and will post the PDF's this weekend) but I think it would several games of brain numbing difficulty to keep remembering to double all measurements on the fly.
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CD play aids currently at: https://wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:58 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Owen
Brigadier


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 1895
Location: Soca, Uruguay
 Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Cerberus:
Bill,

...wouldn't Inch based HE templates be likely to cover MORE vehicles, not less? More microarmor vehicles can fit into the same space as 15mm vehicles....




Hi ya Mitch, yes, inch scale templates could tag more micro vehicles if they were compacted more than could be done by 1:76 vehicles.

But my point is that if you keep a CONSTANT dispersal of the center of each stand (which may be clearer on the webpage diagram I referred to), then 2 micro armor vehicles' edges might be more than 2" apart and thus only 1 gets hit. Two 1:76 vehicles' centers that are 3" apart might have only 1/2" between their edges and thus both would get hit.

Now there's 2 responses to this: (and not saying either are wrong per se)

1. Players should NOT be allowed to ignore doctrine and bunch up their vehicles and so you should rebase all your microarmor on 2" (or even wider) stands... or require dead ground of 1.5" between vehicles.

2. Players should be allowed to use bad tactics which are punishable by good artilery templates!

Wargames represent a balance between concentration of forces and risks inherant in that. So I lean towards point #2 above. How many games do you see the following? The Chevy 1:76 scale Tank Lot look of numerous tanks 'parked' bogey wheel to bogey wheel, and, where only 2 tanks can get hit by a template.

When playing inch scale with microarmor, each platoon really represents a center of gravity (1 or maybe 2 tanks) for a formation of 5 tanks that might actually be dispersed across several inches.

Incidentally, the Tiger I is one of the widest tanks in WWII and in Inch Scale it's actual size would be just over 2mm wide. So if they were parked bogey wheel to bogey wheel, the platoon would fit into less than 1/2"! If based at all, this is a common base size for micro armor but I've also seen 3/4" to 1" wide also.

Please consider these examples:

A. (2) 1/2"-wide based micro tanks (whose centers are 2.6" apart) are separated by 2.1" of ground in inch scale and has 10 tanks spread across possibly 155 meters (or more since each platoon might disperse out to either flank)...
Let's say a 105mm howitzer with 2" (100 meter) wide artillery barrage template drops in the middle of this 155 meters and can only hit 1 platoon in the game (2.1" between them, remember).

B. (2) 2" wide 1:76 Tiger tanks whose centers are also the same distance apart (2.6") has only .6" of ground between them...
2" (100 meter) wide artillery barrage drops in the middle of this 230 meters of tanks and easily hits both platoons in the game (.6" between them, remember)... A & B are 2 different games!

C. Hog Muffin (Handbook on German Military Forces=HOGMF) said that typical doctrine for a tank company (leading with 10 tanks) was to be dispersed across 500 meters (10" in inch scale) which means that a 100 meter barrage might only impact about 2 of the 10 tanks spread across 10" ...which was probably the point of the doctrine. Even if circumstances had them compact tighter and fudge the doctrine, there would be a point where artillery still hit only 5 tanks before it might hit 6+ or more and thus 2 platoons.

How routinely in wargames do we see tank platoons, in any scale, 8" apart?!

This is simply to say that if microarmor gamers use inch scale, your artillery template should be either be approx. double the size (4" instead of 2")... or ...keep the templates the same size (2") and make the measurements 60-80% of size, i.e. little inches. My original point.

Otherwise you're playing a very different game that has fundamentally greater concentration of direct fire forces with lessened impact by indirect fire.

I'll test this. And I'll post the pdf's for anyone else who wants a leg up on making the measurement sticks. Y'all can do whatever y'all likes! Smile
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CD play aids currently at: https://wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:58 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Owen
Brigadier


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 1895
Location: Soca, Uruguay
Re: "Little Inches" for Microarmor gamers  Reply with quote  


quote:

...I have not noticed much difference in how many stands get caught in one artillery battery burst - i.e. usually 1 or 2 vehicles/stands...

BTW In addition to the standard inch scale, I have played with the 2cm=1 inch scale, which works quite nicely to increase playing space...


Hi Alan, I think that games with 20mm tanks reduce the option to bunch up and thus maintain good doctrine. Since you said you didn't see it happen much with microarmor either, one must conclude the players were experienced (possibly by bad experience!) and wanted to avoid the possiblity of having their tank battalion decimated by artillery!

But part of the game is to have realistic options to take risks knowing one may be punished by better tactics. But it's arguable that a battalion commander wouldn't mandate bad doctrine on the spot.

The playing space expansion is a double edged sword in that it may tempt players to have larger units than is practical when centimeter scale is used for BOTH measurements and HE templates. So I see it as practical compromise to use .6-.8" Little Inches between 1 cm (.393") and 1" as long as the HE templates are fully inch-scaled to discourage over concentration.
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CD play aids currently at: https://wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:09 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Cerberus
Lieutenant


Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 462
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Bill,

I understand your examples, and you have a point. But in actual practice, I've seen things happen a little differently. In larger vehicle/stand scale, a 2-inch template will rarely hit more than two stands due to the physical constraints. But it isn't that uncommon to see three micro armor vehicles/stands hit. Mainly, I think because the smaller models LOOK more dispersed even when they aren't. You have to think more deliberately about the dispersal issue because the visual cues are not as obvious.

If I stick with microarmor (I've got so much of it, including a huge amount of buildings and assorted terrain and my progressive lenses help a lot), I am really tempted, due to this conversation and someone's earlier suggestion, to go with 1-inch standard bases, with an increased number of infantry for personnel stands, and two models for vehicle stands. This would visually reinforce the platoon-level emphasis of the game. It would largely solve the template problem and any similar measurement difficulties. The downside is that my basing would be incompatible with the vast majority.

Regards,
Mitch Osborne

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:50 am   View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
craigden
Corporal


Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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I have asked the same question regarding base sizes, and everyone seems to have a different view. Basically go with your own interpretation. The thread is under rule questions.

Denis

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:26 am   View user's profile Send private message
Bill Owen
Brigadier


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 1895
Location: Soca, Uruguay
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Hi Mitch,

Rebasing a larger collection seems to be a huge waste of time to me. Probably take days, weeks or at my rate years. I could make a new move ruler in a few minutes. And keep inch-scaled HE templates I've already got.*

I think you are making my point that new players will tend to bunch up their troops more than is safe because of the obvious benefit of concentration of fire. The downside is getting more vehicles hit or at least suppressed by artillery! So they will tend to learn.

The advantage of microarmor over larger scales is that you can demonstrate this risk/reward readily.

*at my website below if you want to make new ones quickly
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CD play aids currently at: https://wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:13 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Cerberus
Lieutenant


Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 462
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Bill,

I wouldn't rebase either. But I'm in an unusual situation. Virtually all of my painted microarmor and figures is/was from the NATO-Warsaw Pact era. I've sold off about 75-80 percent of that and I bought a good deal of WWII stuff. But I haven't had time to paint and base it. I can go in any direction I want. Including selling it off for larger figures - but I haven't quite brought myself to that, yet.

BTW, if any of you ever participate in Dan McDonagh's NSDM mega-games at Cold Wars or Fall In, chances are you'll see my old Soviet microarmor. I sold him about a Division's worth (in CD terms).

If anyone is interested I still have my infantry - two full MRR's and an airborne battalion, plus a US and German battalion plus a fairly large assortment of unpainted vehicles and infantry.

Regards,
Mitch

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:13 pm   View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
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