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"A second message from the owners of GHQ" Topic

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GHQOnline Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member24 Aug 2016 5:59 p.m. PST

A while ago we posted a message from GHQ laying out some of the history of GHQ. In it we went over the relationships we developed with the US Army in the 1970's participating in the development of the Dunn-Kempf game. This game was developed by 2 army officers at Command & Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth named Dunn and Kempf. They contacted GHQ to do the miniatures for the game. During this time we took many trips to Ft. Leavenworth to work with the TASO (Training Aids Service Officer) who supplied us with classified photos and drawings of Soviet vehicles on a "need to know" basis. These models had to be very accurate because one of the additional purposes of the game was vehicle recognition training. They chose GHQ for this project because they were familiar with us from using our miniatures in WWII games. They liked the scale and quality of our miniatures. They could have gone with 1/87th or 1/144th, or any other scale. They could have contacted another company in a larger scale, but they thought 1/285th was the appropriate scale for Modern warfare. This was very gratifying for us because it validated our decision to choose 1/285th when we conceived GHQ Micro Armour.

GHQ came about because I became interested in wargaming in 1963. The games played at this time were largely WWII in 1/87th (HO-Scale) with plastic Mini Tanks. Because of the large ground scale chosen, we played on the floor. Historically wargames had been played on the floor by grown men with Britains, and other toy soldiers. This kind of gaming did not appeal to me. I felt that games should be played on a table. I felt that there had to be a ground scale, and a miniatures scale compromise that would allow realistic gaming scenarios. At the time there was no smaller scale miniatures than 1/87th for WWII.

My goal became finding the smallest practical miniature scale that was convenient to use, but still allowed a model to have excellent detail, accuracy, and recognition. I made wooden prototypes to test scales. I concluded that 1/285th fulfilled these requirements, and gave 9 times the geographical playing field as 1/87th. I then set about learning how to cast vehicles. I was already a re-loader, and cast my own bullets out of lead, so I didn't start from scratch. Dow Corning had recently come out with RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) rubber. I bought some, made molds, and started experimenting. Casting lead in RTV was beyond the specs listed, but it worked fine. I contacted Dow and told them about my experiences. They were shocked. I believe that I was the first person to ever use RTV for wargames miniatures, or figures.

At any rate, you can see that the whole purpose of GHQ was to create the best scale to game WWII, and Modern warfare in miniatures…and the US Army agrees (as well as those of Germany, UK, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israeli, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia…) This is particularly pertinent today because of the popularity of Battlefront's "Flames of War", and now "Team Yankee". First of all, let me say that I give high praise to Battlefront for their business plan. They recognized the huge popularity of "Warhammer" and designed a WWII game that played like "Warhammer" in roughly the same scale to appeal to those interested in crossing over to WWII. To their credit they have dragged many sci-fi gamers into historical gaming.
"Flames of War" is an immensely popular beginners gaming system that has attracted many adherents. It has increased the popularity of WWII gaming among beginners, and we thank them for that.

In actual fact they have developed two product lines, a fine set of rules and other support materials such as campaign books, and a large line of miniatures in 1/100th scale. There is great satisfaction with the game rules among most customers for it, but not as much for the way that the miniatures play with the rules. This is caused by the basic incompatibility of combining 1/100th scale miniatures with 1"=100 yards ground scale. This creates the "parking lot effect" that is so bitterly complained about. This is viewed as an aesthetic problem. This is not just an aesthetic problem. It's the problem of creating a system where football field sized tanks are converging on an objective represented in 1" equals 100 yards ground scale. This is the inherent problem with all large scale miniature games with small ground scales. How do you allow modern ranges and speeds of vehicles to be expressed in a meaningful way with the too large tanks and troops? The problem is greatly complicated when terrain features like 1/100th scale buildings, and double lane roads that would be 300 yards across are used to crowd the battlefield. Terrain features that truly are 100 yards are ignored because they are incompatible with the too large scaled vehicles and buildings.

Here are some things that you cannot adequately duplicate on a board when using 1/100th scale vehicles on a 1"=100 yards board:

Proper towns. In human histories roads generally run between commerce centers. When they cross, towns and settlements spring up. These intersections, particularly with towns, were the most important military objectives.

Small ravines and ditches. There are ubiquitous. Rain falls everywhere, and created water courses that get quite deep. These play an important part in battle because they offer cover to infantry, and obstacles to vehicles.

Ridges and undulating terrain. Like the small ravines and ditches, but also offer hull down cover for vehicles.

Streams and rivers. A 100 yard wide river is a major obstacle. A 4" long tank looks ridiculous being stopped by a 1" wide stream.

Hedge rows. The problems of dealing adequately with these are insurmountable in any based on 1"=100 yards with 4" long tanks that are 1-1/2" wide.

So, you see it's not just an aesthetic question about "the parking lot effect." It really has a huge effect on your ability to attack, or defend a realistically created defense in depth on a wargame board, conduct an attack on a defended river crossing, properly defend and fortify a town, create an urban warfare scenario like Kholm or even a piece of Stalingrad, or any of the other hundreds of scenarios that can't be done adequately with anything but 1/285th scale. Those of you who are already playing FoW and Team Yankee in 1/285th scale know what I'm talking about. Those who haven't need to know that you don't' need any changes in the rules, or scale, to use Micro Armour for FoW. Don't change the ground scale, don't change the templates. Just play the game. You will be amazed at how much more gratifying it is in 1/285th. The added benfit is that you will be playing with the most accurate and detailed line in any scale. GHQ Micro Armour is the standard by which all others are judged. Micro Armour is the easiest to assemble and paint, and you can buy an entire army for the price of a few larger scale (1/100th, 15mm, 18mm) models.

The idea of playing FoW with GHQ miniatures has been around since shortly after FoW was introduced. Initially we found out about it from a store manager who said that a lot of his customers were doing it. We researched the phenomenon online, and found that there are people writing about it on The Miniatures Page, websites, blogs, Facebook groups, etc. from all over the world. This isn't just a crazy idea cooked up by GHQ (although we completely support it). A couple of the more active online groups are on Facebook Team Yankee 6mm, and Flames of War 6mm. Both of these groups are very active, and are an easy way to quickly get in touch with about 1,000 people who have seen the light, and are actively playing FoW and Team Yankee in 6mm.

Take a look at our website,, and you will see the vast range of incredibly detailed and accurate models of virtually all military vehicles from WWII to today's current equipment. You will notice that we have a complete range of 70's and 80's military vehicles from all participants of the Cold War, and they are all available today.

Thank you for your support,


MacrossMartin24 Aug 2016 6:35 p.m. PST

So – in essence, this is a rather lengthy way of requesting wargamers to stop buying 15mm scale forces, and buy (your) 1/285th scale stuff instead?

Strange method of marketing!

I think you are too quick in dismissing 15mm as a viable scale for modern warfare. While I would agree that 1/285th 'looks right' in terms of practical ground scale, it is a very unappealing scale in terms of the 'hobby' side of wargaming (painting, modelling, etc.)

Viewed from head-height to table, most 1/285 vehicles become dark, rectangular dots, while 15mm vehicles can still be discerned for what they are.

Although I don't like the 'parking lot' effect that often appears in FoW games, I don't believe it is inherent to 15mm (or larger) scale. I've played 20mm WW2 games in which such a phenomenon does not present itself. It is more an issue with the FoW rules than the scale.

You are out by a significant margin when you claim that 15mm and 32mm (Warhammer scale) are 'roughly the same scale'. :)

I believe most 15mm gamers have not found hedges to be 'insurmountable' problems. Checking Ebay, I see no evidence of 15mm armies being sold off by gamers frustrated by the unending woes inflicted by roadside bushes. :)

I do like the stuff GHQ produces, particularly your WW2 warship lines, which leave me shaking my head in disbelief at the craftsmanship. But, I'd like to suggest that dismissing (even attacking?) 15mm and alienating its enthusiasts is not the wisest strategy.

Personal logo Brigadier Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 6:40 p.m. PST

I don't see it as an attack on 15mm or BF but a suggestion to try gaming in 1/285. I applaud it.

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 6:44 p.m. PST

Thank you!

You are first class. If you make it and I need it, I won't consider anything other than your models.

One of the few great US manufacturers left.

+1 Brigadier General

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 6:46 p.m. PST

FOW and TY will both look much better, using the existing weapons ranges, with 1/285th vehicles.

I wish they'd bring back some of the earlier Cold War vehicles they used to produce, which are no longer listed in their catalogs, in addition to making some new Cold War minis too.

Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

My issues with 1/285 and the reason I don't play in that scale any more are due to the relative fragility of the models. Keeping tank barrels straight was an impossible task.

McWong7324 Aug 2016 6:50 p.m. PST

Well, make us minis where the tank barrels don't bend within five minutes and I'll consider it.

But thanks for telling us we're doing it wrong.

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 6:54 p.m. PST

Well stated. Back in the '80s, I remember an Army Sgt. who brought some of the Dunn-Kempf terrain and Micro Armour to local conventions. While I'm not a FoW player, but a CD player, 1/285 has been the ideal scale in terms of aesthetics and ground scale for me. I have been collecting your Micro Armour since the early '80s and have amassed quite a large number, and I will no doubt add to my collection. Thanks for doing what you do.

Blutarski24 Aug 2016 7:28 p.m. PST

Largely agree with the GHQ position here. It is evident (at least to me) that the greater the disparity between model and ground scales, the greater the distortion problems become in terms of game mechanics.


tbeard199924 Aug 2016 8:01 p.m. PST

Over 20 years ago, I designed the first version of A Fistful of TOWs for the explicit purpose of playing with lots and lots of Micro Armour. Over the years, I've flirted with 15mm, but I always come back to 1/285 scale. There are numerous advantages to this scale:

1. You can fight large scale battles on a reasonably sized table without having to line vehicles up hub to hub. This is especially relevant to post WW2 games since modern MBTs are much larger than their WW2 counterparts.

2. Large forces can be had for far less cost. At ~2.25 per miniature, I can field 3-4 times the tanks compared with 15mm.

3. The above advantages come at no loss of detail -- the typical GHQ 1/285 model has as much or more detail than its 15mm counterpart.

4. Armies can be stored and transported in much smaller containers.

I'd also respectfully dissent from the notion that gun barrels are easy to bend. While this was definitely true 30 years ago, the modern pewter alloy used in Micro Armour is stiff enough to resist bending.

Anyhow, for large battles, Micro Armour can't be beat in my opinion. Thanks GHQ!

McKinstry Fezian24 Aug 2016 8:18 p.m. PST

Tried 15mm and after building a fairly substantial mid-war US Army I dumped the 15mm figures for 1/285 and FOW for BKC but that is just my preference. If some like 15mm and FOW, more power to them.

I will say that modelling and painting of 1/285 requires every bit the talent and eye for detail as 15mm, just differently applied but I've seen 1/285 setups and paint jobs as good or better than anything I've seen in larger scales.

agrippavips24 Aug 2016 8:31 p.m. PST

I do WWII in 1/1285 and 15mm and 20mm. All have their places and rulesets. More power to everybody.

rmaker24 Aug 2016 8:42 p.m. PST

Boy are there some defensive wargamers out there.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 8:45 p.m. PST

I have enjoyed the background and history covered in the OP's two posts. Though spacing between paragraphs would be nice. grin

However, I find it odd that the OP dismisses FOW et all as a "beginner's game" for the "Warhammer crowd", and then complains about bathtubbing, and how FOW players are not getting the most out of the subtle nuances of (more) true-life scale ratios.

That's a bit like me complaining that the sandwich you're eating tastes bland.

I can appreciate that some rulesets are designed by military men with an eye towards simulating the real-life battlefield as accurately as possible. But no one with any sense thinks FOW is about that.

You could have posited that just as GW games are a springboard into Battlefront games, so the FOW crowd may transition into "grown up" wargames like microarmor. But you didn't.

I have never played FOW, but others enjoying it as a hobby and pastime doesn't impact my enjoyment of my own games.

zaevor200024 Aug 2016 8:55 p.m. PST

Have to agree with Ty and others. Many of us have invested heavily in 1,000s of GHQ minis due not only to the superb quality, but also how they enable you to fight engagements at ranges that "look right".

At my preferred scale of 125 meters/inch a 6ft x 4ft tbl provides me with a 9km x 6km area.

Since a Soviet Regiment under Soviet doctrine attacks on a 3-5km frontage for its primary axis, it allows you to have 2 Sov. Reg side by side.

Also, since NATO defensive frontages for bn's is also usually 3-5km, this size table allows you realistic frontages and battlefield area.

GHQ's 1/285 just look so right at that scale.

No surprise that many militaries would go with that scale.

Loved GHQ since I got my first 2 packs of microArmor (1 pack Jagdpanthers, 1 pack King Tigers) at the little Eisenwerk right off 225 in Houston back in 1978.

Was very cool finally finishing the entire 8th Guards army down to platoon level back in 2008.

I always mount my minis on flocked 1" wide by 1 1/2" deep balsa stands with a unit label at the back.

The stand helps to remind that it is a UNIT, not an individual vehicle and also helps prevent the barrel getting twisted and bent.

I have ALWAYS loved GHQ and been a very loyal customer for almost 40 yrs now…


The Enigmatic Baron Trapdoor24 Aug 2016 9:05 p.m. PST

Over 250… no… 375… no 831 years ago I discovered 15mm toy soldiers and I liked them. My friend liked them too.

Several centuries later my friend discovered micro armour, and he liked them. I liked them too.

We built a very big sand pit and we both play with our toys in it and sometimes at the same time too.

Now Napoleon once told me he liked my toys better than my friends toys, especially when practicing tabletop maneuvers prior to battle. I said "Whatever floats your boat mate."
When I told my friend this he didn't care in the slightest.

His simple remark was "Aint worth getting pissy over…it's just toy soldiers"

I concurred and we both lived happily ever after.

(Disclaimer: this is not a true story but I think it illustrates something)

acctingman186924 Aug 2016 9:27 p.m. PST

Love ghq stuff but the barrels……./shudder!!!!

6mm stuff is too damnesty small and 15mm is too big

The Enigmatic Baron Trapdoor24 Aug 2016 9:51 p.m. PST

Interesting side note; I believe Jack Scruby was the first hobbyist to manufacture lead figures for wargaming in RTV silicone rubber back in 1955. (Just prior to Don Featherstones entrance into the hobby) Jack produced his own designs which he then sold at 15 cents a figure… how times have changed.

Navy Fower Wun Seven24 Aug 2016 10:27 p.m. PST

Well for the record I was talked into Flames of War from micro gaming by Soldiers, both Regular and Reserve, most of them combat veterans! They found it as reasonable a facsimile of armoured combat as you will find playing with toy soldiers, and the most fun…

For me, if you want realism and the 'proper' ground scale, play using maps and chinagraph pens, the way we did in the Service. If you want the pleasure and appeal of playing with toy soldiers, then accept its about the visual appeal and prescence of the models, and go for the largest scale that seems sensible or popular in your neighbourhood!

(GHQ models are second to none in the micro scale, no argument there!)

Personal logo green beanie Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2016 10:47 p.m. PST

I was turned onto war gaming back in the mid 60's as a kid using Airfix troops and ROCCO Minitanks. In the mid 70's I joined the Army and got to see micro armor for the first time. When I left the Army in 1981 I started buy GHQ micro armor. I those day a pack of 5 tanks ran $3.50 USD and the infantry figures were crappy. II stuck with micro armor until 2012 when my eyes started getting bad and I could no longer paint so I went to 15mm and have stuck with it. Before I got out of micro armor though I felt GHQ was starting to over price for their minis claiming better detail. As mentioned once you get above the table top detail is not seen much. Just goes to show you that in my life time I have gamed 3 different scales and who knows when I get up there in my 70's I may need to up scale again.

Decebalus25 Aug 2016 2:52 a.m. PST

The whole argument is mood, because FOW isnt 1"/100 yard scale.

john lacour Inactive Member25 Aug 2016 3:19 a.m. PST

Well, I keep hearing how "the tank parking lots" were in "every scale and rules", yeah?

We were a group of teenagers crowding around my 8x8 foot sand table and funny, we knew enough(or not enough) to spread out. I can say it was so rare on our table as to be beyond my memory, or some of my remaining friends who were "there".

As a side note, we "found" GHQ at a "long bus ride" FLGS where we first went to by D&D stuff in 1977.

Anyway, MAC'S Hobby Hall IN BETHLEHAM, PA. They had a wall of GHQ packs they could not move, so they were on sale for $1 USD per! Long story short, after a sweaty late spring after noon in my basement building my sand table, we went every saturday on that "long busride" to Macs and bught between our gang EVERY PACK on that wall. WW2 and what was modern in 1978.

Mac;s went out of business a few years ago, and do you know what I found? 2 packs of GHQ, a pack of leopard 1's and a pack of bmp 1"s.

Both marked $1. USD

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 3:21 a.m. PST

<q<The whole argument is mood, because FOW isnt 1"/100 yard scale.

An moot point about a moot argument? Irony! FoW doesn't actually have a stated ground scale.

john lacour Inactive Member25 Aug 2016 3:43 a.m. PST

Well, I say "play what you like", mean to say, there are quite a few scales out there, these days.

Having said that, I was looking at someones "Team Yankee get togeather" and I remember thinking, that terrain looks great(I have always been in the "make great terrain, worry about great paint work later" group) but its ruined by all those t-72's moving like a skool of fish.

I know you guys are gonna pile on with the "its a moving scale" comments now that I mentioned the packed t-72's, but you need not. I'm sure you TY 15mm guys are ok with it.

But its just jarring to my eye. If I was a kid who ever looked at a picture of a fleet of t-34's moving at speed across the stepps of old russia, I'd not be interested in playing a miniatures game with hub to hub packs like that.And I'd certainly be turned off when the guy what was teaching me the FOW/TY rules would say, with a wink and a nod, "it reduces flank shots and if you pack 'em like this, they can all shot at the smae targets!"

Sorry, but my kid knows tanks don't operate like that.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 4:21 a.m. PST

I started with micro armour in the late 1970s – not GHQ sic you needed a second mortgage to afford them and I was still at school, so my first collections (Western Desert WW2 and modern Brits and Russians) were initially Sytrex and Heroics. I continued with 1/300 and 1/285 (since I was earning I was able to supplement my collections with some GHQs – lovely models but those bloody gun barrels, snapping far, far too often). But recently I've moved to 15mm, better infantry figures, more opportunities to customise vehicles and easier to work on as age advances.

Durban Gamer Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 4:28 a.m. PST

1/300 mostly Heroics and Ros & Scotia have proved super for me over 30 years of collecting and gaming. If tank barrels are fragile for some, I just snip off, drill and replace. Infantry all get slow setting transparent epoxy between legs after painting – so they never break either. High magnification takes the challenge out of detailed painting and placing of decals! So happy I chose this scale now I'm in a smaller place with less storage space.

langobard Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 5:24 a.m. PST

Sure seems to be a case of 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' to me. I happily play FoW in 15mm, BUT I play largely infantry vs infantry games. To me (and my friends) WW2 infantry games in this scale are more appealing for company / battalion level games.

However, if I want a large scale (brigade on upwards) type game with lots of tanks and supporting units, then I play CD using GHQ. I have thought about using GHQ to play a company of Panthers or whatever in FoW terms, but, I sort of start to think along the lines of 'why a company when I can just use CD for a brigade?'

Certainly for the look of the thing, I don't want to play infantry games in 1/285th. That simply doesn't appeal at all.

Dynaman878925 Aug 2016 6:10 a.m. PST

> Viewed from head-height to table, most 1/285 vehicles become dark, rectangular dots, while 15mm vehicles can still be discerned for what they are.

Only if painted wrong. You have to paint 1/285 a shade lighter than "reality" Do that and they pop right out on the table.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 8:07 a.m. PST

There are obviously a lot of gamers doing it wrong (have they not realised it yet?)
Military "tacticals" are not designed for social and fun purposes. They tend to be a bit dry and lack enjoyment. Thus they might not be the desire of wargamers trying to relax after a hard week of work.

What would be the proper breakfast cereal, music or car I wonder?
Such a pompous attack (with no quoted statistics) on FOW seems against the nature of this forum??


Dynaman878925 Aug 2016 8:17 a.m. PST

> Such a pompous attack (with no quoted statistics) on FOW seems against the nature of this forum??

Seems to be right on the money for these forum(s).

I take it more as an attack on the scale, and a sales pitch than anything else. It is not saying to stop playing Flames of War, just to start playing it with 6mm miniatures.

leidang25 Aug 2016 9:29 a.m. PST

To me gaming is all about the look of the table recreating what we are trying to game. For a large scale battle to me 1/285th is the scale of choice. For platoon to company level engagements 15mm and for skirmish 28mm. For me these scales each have their appropriate use.

I would whole heartedly agree that for what FOW is trying to accomplish 1/285th is the most appropriate scale. That doesn't mean anyone else has to agree with me. Just means I think the OP has very valid points about appropriate ground scale.

Personal logo Tacitus Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 10:06 a.m. PST

They do look good. But so does 15mm. To many, wargaming is like watching a movie. Very very different than being there. We are the directors. We choose the angles, we choose the shots, no one gets hurt. Just as directors pan out for large engagements so you can see the large scale of big battles, so too does he close in on smaller engagements so we can see our heroes. Different desired result, different shots. Different rules, different scales. And no one gets hurt.

GatorDave Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 11:11 a.m. PST

Long time GHQ fan. A couple of years ago I talked myself into doing North Africa WW II in 15mm. First time I put 2 brigades of British Armour on the table it looked like rush hour on the interstate here in Atlanta:) I'm sticking with the small guys.

Toronto4825 Aug 2016 11:14 a.m. PST

Choosing a scale is just that "a choice". There are many reasons for choosing anything that are based on personal opinions, prejudices and likes, choice, cost, availability, etc. It is OK to choose something else because it is after all a choice.

Your choice is as valid as any other choice Supporting your choice against others is again a personal choice . This does not make your choice any better then someone else's or your choice right. Denegrating someone else's choice is wrong

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 11:20 a.m. PST

The argument also ignores the fact that many choose 1/100 because that scale benefits from modelling, complex paint schemes on vehicles, and infantry that fairly well showcase the characteristics of the intended troop types.

And because it's really all about the miniatures.

And well-put, Tacitus.

Landorl25 Aug 2016 11:47 a.m. PST

I am a multi-scale gamer.

I like 1/285 for larger battles and particularly for modern stuff (Post Korean War and beyond).

I do 15mm almost exclusively for skirmish or small battles. All of my 15mm figures are individually based.

I also have a ton of 10mm scale wwII. I think it is a great scale for larger battles, but I have never been very happy with the figures available. There are a lot of great vehicles, but I haven't seen as many good figs…

nazrat25 Aug 2016 11:59 a.m. PST

I agree with Martin. I found it to be a pompous attack indeed. I hate it when somebody tries to tell me how to play with my toys the "proper" way. It's just plain silly.

GHQ are nice models (which I would never ever buy) regardless.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 12:04 p.m. PST

I used to play Tractics on the garage floor with microarmor back in the day. We measured ranges in feet, not inches. It looked real. Today I play 28mm with 1:1 ranges on a terrain filled tabletop. This looks real too, but it is a squad level game with few vehicles.

I guess what matters is the ground scale to miniature scale ratio as it departs from 1:1, the game starts to loose it's footing in reality. That is not say that game is not fun (FOW or Bolt Action as example). It maybe time to try microarmor again.

ScottS25 Aug 2016 12:07 p.m. PST

I'll play what I want, thanks.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 12:13 p.m. PST

I like both scales a lot.

Thomas Thomas25 Aug 2016 1:15 p.m. PST

Once again the Red Herring crowding arguement about larger scale miniatures. Again – a larger scale miniature takes up enough space to cover the operational area of that type of vehicle. So a 20mm miniature covering an inch and half covers say 30 yards if your ground scale is 1" = 20 yards. At the same scale you can cram 3-4 tiny tanks in the same space so now you've got 3-4 tanks on a 30 yard frontage – that's crowding and is unrealistic for various reasons.

Unless you mount the small tanks on large bases they will crowd and you'll need extra rules to deal with the problem. Its really bad at platoon level were one tank = 5.

So play with whatever scale you like to paint or see on the table top. Small does not = "Realism".

Flames does not have ground scale because armor, infantry and artillery use vastly different range scales.


Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 1:31 p.m. PST

I still use those old Roco Minitanks in HO 1/87 scale on my table top, along with 1/72nd scale plastic figures. It works for me and has since about 1960.

Having a dedicated game room, I can play for as long as I want to, and use as many vehicles as I desire, my table is about 150 square feet.

I get most of my HO scale vehicles from my best friend, Randy, TMP advertiser Fidelis Models. Another shameless plug on this thread.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 2:06 p.m. PST

"Such a pompous attack (with no quoted statistics) on FOW seems against the nature of this forum??"

Martin, surely you jest :D

CPBelt Inactive Member25 Aug 2016 3:52 p.m. PST

There is also 10mm, which hasn't been mentioned.

miniMo Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 4:02 p.m. PST

I'm with Bunkermeister! 1/87 is still my largest collection and preferred scale for WW2. I can admire and identify all the tanks and infantry stand types when they're out on the table.

I do have a small force of GHQ in 1/285. Very lovely to paint, and I can't tell a Pz.III from a Pz.IV apart from each other, never mind any of hte infantry, when they are out on the table.

I also have a smattering of 1/56 for skirmish gaming.

And now 1/100 for Girls und Panzer tankery (much cheaper than expanding my 1/87 for those teams).

Don't have any 1/144, but they are very cute and I like them. So someday I may add a fifth scale for WW2 ^,^

Personal logo HidaSeku Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 4:14 p.m. PST

Nothing wrong with using other scales for Flames of War. I go with 1/72 with increased distances simply because I like the 1/72 infantry models better than the 15mm infantry models. I find the human anatomy on 1/72 minis to be top notch, even better than 28mm.

Although, Baccus has come out with some great looking WWII infantry in 6mm. Must… resist… urge…. to start another scale…

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 4:37 p.m. PST

I collect all three scales, well 4 5+ really, but primarily 1/285th, 1/144th, and 1/100th (1/87, 1/76, 1/72, 1/48-1/50th, and even a smattering of 1/600th, though these little guys are primarily targets for the aircraft minis).

I think 1/144th seems to be the sweet spot for vehicles mixed with stands of infantry.

1/100th and larger are better for individual infantry, IMHO.

In 1/285th, the infantry are tiny, but I do like the looks of the vehicles on the tabletop.

I really hate the look of the whole tank park, where vehicles are lined up tread to tread, due to the too short weapons ranges, and lack of rules against that. Miniature wargaming is supposed to be about aesthetics, and that just kills it for me.

Reminds me of DBx-Modern, or a Warhammer 40K game, rather than Modern, Cold War, or WWII combat.

For FOW and TY, I think the weapons ranges should be tripled, and movement rates left the same, since being able to move almost if not more than your maximum weapons' firing range in a single turn is just wrong too.

Don't get me wrong though, I do love the look of the larger models as well, since they are impressive to see on the tabletop.

Mark 125 Aug 2016 5:08 p.m. PST

I think the OP put into one place many valid points that are discussed in a variety of threads on TMP.

The distortions of ground scale vs. model/figure scale is not an uncommon issue in our discussions. Having streets that are 2-300 yards wide, or cottages that are 100 yards long, having 4 inch long tanks that can't cross 1 inch wide rivers, having towns that are many hundreds of yards from one end to the other, and yet have only 4 or 5 buildings … these things all affect the aesthetics of the game for many of us.

I think the suggestion of moving to smaller figures and models while NOT changing the game's ground scale is a useful input to the conversation. Or if you'd prefer, try reducing the figure/model scale by 3, but the ground scale only by 2 (ie: go from 1/100 to 1/300, and double the ranges). In either case I think it does affect the aesthetics of the game.

For those who see the OP as an attack on your games, I think that's an over-sensitive reaction. Yes GHQ has stated a preference, but many of us do in these forums all the time. So what? GHQ also offered many comments of respect for FoW (And some interesting company/personal/professional history.)

Taken as a whole, if I were an FoW player (I admit I am not) I would think I'd have gotten at least a "well, hmmm, that might be interesting" out of it.

(aka: Mk 1)

john lacour Inactive Member25 Aug 2016 5:56 p.m. PST

well, let me ask an honest question to the FOW/TY guys here…

Without going to the "ground scale cop out", as my friend rich calls it, Why do you pack vehicles like that? It has to be some kind of GAME-Y thing, right? Mean to say, is there a reason why it always looks like that, and forget the BS answer "if I had aircraft or arty, I'd show that guy" because thats a very weak answer, because I see plenty of "on board" arty/rocket launchers, and its still hub to hub tanks.

I just honestly want to know what in game benefits you get by packing vehicles like that. And again, its an honest question, as I don't know the rules. I bought the first edition RED book when it first came out, and after seeing infantry platoons (from every country)attackig in one lump, I got rid of the book.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2016 6:17 p.m. PST

It should be a rule that all vehicles are separated by at least one hull width from one another.

In TY, if that isn't maintained, an immediate neutron bomb strike occurs over the unit, disabling all of the vehicles, which can then be retrieved and manned by the opposing side in the next campaign game turn.

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