Thursday 16 July 2015

Scale - what's it all about

I've always been at odds with scale of wargaming figures to the scale of terrrain, or should I say the lack of true three dimensional scale in wargaming. At times, when querying rules, I have found it complicated to a point of exasperation when trying to put three dimensional thoughts on to sections of rules. But over the last year I've become more comfortable with scale related anomalies. Why?

In the scale that I use most (15mm), each figure (depending on rule sets being used) could represent one or 15 or more actual men. Then in a command stand we paint up a character to represent one actual character figure... or is that 15 Napoleons? Model vehicles/cavalry again represent different number of vehicles/horses but at a different ratio than the figures in the same rule set. Then we come to buildings...... The building size is generally in proportion to the figure height but this does mean that depending on size of building being used, one building can represent a whole village or even whole town. This is all before we start looking at movement scales and firing scales. Within the same scale (15mm) different rule sets will work to different movement and firing distances. Scale in wargaming is all over the place, being stretched and compressed so that a game can fit table space. Figures, buildings, vehicles are only being used as tokens/representations of elements and are not true scale models even though some current models are very accurate representations of the real thing.

However over the last year I've started to become more comfortable with all these anomalies. When looking over wargaming rules I now feel I'm not carrying the scale hang up as much and possible understanding the 'why' a little better. It is still there, I'm just finding it easier to accept it. In asking myself the question 'why has it taken this long' I've been thinking, is just a time thing? Have I been worn down and now know there never will be true three dimensional scale in wargaming unless I'm gaming a one to one skirmish game. Or is it that I'm getting stuck into my other hobby, is my need for accurate scale being fed by the P4 discipline in railway modelling? Hmmmm...... I'll probably never really know but I think the two hobbies can complement each other. I've also recently regained a little more enthusiasm for wargaming and painted a few buildings and figures. I'll put this again down wargaming being an opposite discipline but a complimentary one to railway modelling in that it can be a little light relief. I just need to organise my time between both hobbies a little better.
I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.