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"Ground scales less than 1:1" Topic

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03 Dec 2020 1:27 p.m. PST
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UshCha03 Dec 2020 12:22 p.m. PST

I have looked into ground scales and found that figures are too bit to fit into a 1:1 ground scale environment. I am curious with the enthusiasm for small figure games whether anybody has reduced the ground scale scale relative to the figures so that they can fit into a detailed environment. By that I mean fit sensibly into say a European environment. That is like my house a small front garden(like mine 30 width but only about 8 ft wide so barely a figure base wide at 1/172 scale.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

By 1:1 are you meaning, say, 1:300 for 6mm figures or 1:150 for 10mm ? That is 1:1 relative to the figure scale.

Also not sure what a detailed environment is. Are you referring to the terrain ?

Yesthatphil03 Dec 2020 2:27 p.m. PST

When I did my model game of Bosworth, the ground scale suggested that a 60mm frontage base would actually represent the real estate taken up by between 300 and 500 soldiers.

To help people understand what this really meant, I made up a base using 350 2mm figures (in reasonably authentic depth etc. etc.) … the terrain on the battlefield itself was mixed to allow some harmony with the size of the model soldiers without destroying the illusion.

In 6mm, 1:1 is quite challenging, even for medieval battles. Here's a shot from Raurigh Dale's Towton game …

… in which I think he managed to achieve about 1:2 (although that does depend on how many people you think fought at Towton!!) ..


cmdr kevin03 Dec 2020 2:27 p.m. PST

Are you referring to the reduction of ground scale to less than the scale of the figures?
IE; 1/72 figs to 1/100 ground scale

I find reducing it by "one step" works for example;
1/56 with 1/72 terrain or 1/72 with 1/100
and 1/100 with 1/300
houses, buildings and roads will be out of scale but movement and weapon ranges are better

Wolfhag03 Dec 2020 2:59 p.m. PST

Good question. I'd expect it would be based on the real footprint of a unit compared to the model you'll be using.

At a scale of 1mm = 1m a typical tank would have a realistic footprint of about 3mm x 6mm. A 1/144 scale model a footprint of about 35mm x 23mm. If a realistic spacing between tanks is 50m-100m that would translate to 1/144 scale models having vehicles fairly close together.

You'd need a scale of 1" = 5m to realistically accommodate 1/144 scale models. That means a 6 foot table would be about 360m which would be good for a tank/infantry battle and the tanks would be about 50m or 10" apart so probably about 6x tanks per side + infantry.

That's how I envision it. I play 1"=25m with micro and 1/144 scale and it seems to work well enough with the 1/300 scale buildings. However, I do use a real scale footprint for tracing LOS and things like measuring blast radius.


Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 7:04 p.m. PST


Chain of Command is one game that does that, if played with 15mm figures, which I do.

12 inches equals 40 yards, or about 3.3 yards per inch. So, 15mm is just about a scale size of 5'10"

BrianW03 Dec 2020 9:45 p.m. PST

Like McLaddie said, Chain of Command does that. I Ain't Been Shot, Mum has an almost 1:1 ground scale if you use 6mm figures.

Some naval games use a 1:1 ground scale. Post Captain by ODGW specifically states that ground scale and figure scale are the same. This applies for 1/1200, 1/2400, 1/2000 and any other scales up to about 1/600 or so. Heart of Oak, by Fantasy Games Unlimited has a ground scale of 1/1000. It was written in the late '70s, so 1/1200 ships were the only thing in town.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 9:56 p.m. PST

Skirmish games are probably the only situations where having the same ground scale and figure scale will work.

UshCha04 Dec 2020 2:18 a.m. PST

You ghave got the gost at 1:1 but certinly wih modern figure 1:1 means if you put in the fine details yoy fine the figure don't fit. As an example I had to desighn m own figures so they fit in the correct scale vehive. Otherwise you need out of scale vehicels. The same seems to me would be the case for terrain features.

Yesthatphil, interesteing illustration of the sort of issue.

Andy ONeill04 Dec 2020 11:13 a.m. PST

I've used overscale buildings ingames where players control 1 to 4 figures representing 1 to 4 people.
Role playing and low level skirmish like hostage rescue.

Decades back. For these sort of games.
I used flat card plans for houses so no walls to get in the way.

At the club one group used to use extra off board buildings and larger scale models for in house combat.
Sounded fun but not so sure about practicalities.

AICUSV18 Dec 2020 2:35 p.m. PST

My ground scale is very flexible. First off vertical scale may not be the same as horizontal scale within the same game I have some games I play were 28mm figures are used with 10 mm terrain pieces. Right now I'm play a solo campaign were 1 foot = 1 mile for terrain, with 15mm figures. Movement and ranges have been adjusted, but still that is at a different scale than the terrain.

Blutarski19 Dec 2020 12:43 p.m. PST

My personal experience, for whatever anyone thinks that might be worth, is that the further one strays from a 1:1 figure/ground-scale relationship the more problems there will be with the rules.



Albus Malum13 Jun 2021 5:44 p.m. PST

I mostly play fantasy miniature games ( using Battlesystem ) and I use 15mm Miniatures. I am gaming on a Pingpong table (ie 5'x9') Things with the longest ranges for weapons would be Longbows. Even with stated rules, the scale is off, but it is still visually believable. 15mm for simplicity is 1/100 (ie for the 18mm miniatures I use) and assume longbow max range of 200 yards. If you use using 1" on the table as 10 Feet, then longbow range is 60" on the table, where as most rules list them about 20" to 24". Ya, so Im approximately halving the distance. In my mind, I can handle that. but lets say your using moderns for future, ie.. WW2, or 40k or what ever.. then the distances on the table are all whack, and I feel that at that point, what the point of playing those games. Of coarse, at 6mm things are a little better, but if one is playing 28mm? with futuristic weapons that would have to have a longer range then say a modern rifle to justify their existence over a rifle? I just cant see how anyone gets any enjoyment out of those game.

Ancient, Medievals, Fantasy, and blackpowder based game can be believable, on the table, even if your halfing the distance, but anything past that in time period? or at larger scales of miniatures, then its totally unbelievable in my mind. If you had a basketball court to play on, and used small scale ships, then maybe you could believe a WW1 battleship type game, or WW2 tank game, but on a 3'x5' table, totally unbelevable. And when I look at a miniature, I see ONE not ten things! 1:1 figure ratio is what I see, not 1:10.

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