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"How hard is it to add a map scale //RANT//" Topic


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565 hits since 3 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Just downloaded a book of scenarios. Very nice but NONE OF THE SCENARIO MAPS HAVE A SCALE. Are these tables 4x6? 12 x 40? No grids, no markers, nothing. Should the villages be 6" apart or 18? Are those woods 3" deep or 12?

Grrrrrrr……

So now I have to look up the areas, measure, then calculate the map ground scale, then determine table size. If i wanted a word problem I'd go back to high school.

And of course that's no help for fictional type scenarios or for SciFi/Fantasy……

//End Rant//

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 7:10 a.m. PST

Name the book, EC. I need to add it to my long list of similar.

Pattus Magnus03 Aug 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

I blame the general drift in wargaming toward rules that ignore defining ground scale. If a rules writer can't be bothered to state up front that 10 cm = 10 yards (or whatever it happens to be), then scenario maps don't need scales "because it's all relative anyway". I think it's a lazy cop-out and tends to over-simplify things too much for the convenience of "playability".

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Fine. Skip ground scale. Tell me how big the effing table us then!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 11:39 a.m. PST

Good luck, EC! I've been known to follow the classic writers around--Grant, Morschauser, Featherstone and others--taking notes trying to get all the info in one place. A really depressing number never discuss unit frontage, distances in rules and table dimensions all in one place. For a modern, I'm not sure I'd bother. If they're historical battles, you should be able to find ground scale by way of, say, Allison's Atlas or the West Point Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars. But you're right: you shouldn't have to.

Of course, there's always Plan B. Set the games up based on your convenient table size. Make the largest units, when deployed, 1/8 to 1/6 of your frontage.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

+1 PM

I have been complaining about this to deaf ears for years now. It used to be only the rules and scenarios across the pond where leaving out ground scale. But more recently the practice is appearing in US rules and scenarios. It is just laziness.

It has gotten worse. When authors/designers expect customer to write the rules. You can do this or you can do that, so whatever works for you. Have fun!

I am not the game designer. I am paying you for a finished product not a book of suggestions. I can do this myself without having to pay $40.00 USD+.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 5:05 p.m. PST

I don't give scale, but I always give size and internal dimensions. These are directly related to the default movement rates.

Also, try $1.00-#2.00 You're certainly welcome to play $40.00 USD+ for any of the "pay what you want" options.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 7:42 p.m. PST

So not just me then?

I don't care about ground scale much frankly. I've set up games on a 4x6 only to realize they were *clearly* meant for a much bigger table…

The scenario books from Last Square for Johnny Reb are good about this. Not just scale, they have a complete map guide. 1 square = 1 foot, this symbol is heavy woods, this is light woods, etc.

per ardua30 Aug 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

Next, they'll be taking photos of miniatures next to a coin rather than a rule containing a unit of measure. :-)

jdpintex15 Sep 2017 5:21 p.m. PST

Lack of a scale cost me 10 points on my first map in Geology field camp.

I've never forgotten a scale since

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