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"What is bathtubbing?" Topic


23 Posts

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2,037 hits since 6 Jul 2006
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jul 2006 8:00 p.m. PST

Title says it all really…

Bardolph Inactive Member06 Jul 2006 8:14 p.m. PST

Gaming wise it is using a reduced scale to play a larger operation. Command Decision did a bathtub Barbarossa where battalions took the place of divisions IIRC. So you could concievably play out the whole Eastern front.

MiniWargamer Inactive Member06 Jul 2006 8:14 p.m. PST

I think that the term came about when GDW was still publishing Command Decision. They released some campaign modules for the Battle of the Bulge (and another one or two, I forget) and had scaled down the forces and area so it was manageable. I think the divisions were represented by brigade style units and so on and the campaign area was 5 or 6 gaming tables wide and deep.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 Jul 2006 8:15 p.m. PST

"Bathtubbing" is scaling a campaign down in terms of time, geography, and units, to make a playable game.

Frank Chadwick invented the term, as far as I know, and published bathtub campaigns for the start of WWI, the Barbarosa campaign, and the Battle of the Bulge.

Bathtubbing can make for a fun campaign, though the consequences of shrinking the geography make the technique questionable IMHO for simulation purposes/historical accuracy.

Some other name Inactive Member06 Jul 2006 8:15 p.m. PST

I think it has to do with reducing something very large to a manageable level, but almost to the absurd (well maybe not for some). I think Command Decision which had a "bathtub" version of the Eastern Front where a battalion represented a corps or army.

Some other name Inactive Member06 Jul 2006 8:17 p.m. PST

Ok, so what does a bathtub have to do with it? I've always wanted to know.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian06 Jul 2006 8:17 p.m. PST

Scaling a campaign to fit a table top. Comes from the method used to fight the East Front using command decision. They took Europa maps (1 hex=25Km) and used them as 1 hex=1km. They then took the OOB and scaled down by a factor of 25, Corps became Battalions. IIRC there were @ 50 tanks in the whole German army.

THe method was also used for WW-I in Over the Top (also GDW).

Mostly a way to make the battles feel like part of a greater scope.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian06 Jul 2006 8:17 p.m. PST

WOW that was fast!

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian06 Jul 2006 8:18 p.m. PST

i.e. Make the campaign fit in a bathtub

Loren Wiseman Inactive Member06 Jul 2006 8:53 p.m. PST

> Ok, so what does a bathtub have to do with it? I've
> always wanted to know.

The first game where the reduction in scale took place was Frank Chadwick's reduced-scale Barbarossa campaign. Frank boiled the Soviet navy down to a handful of vessels, and created models of them which were . . . shall we say . . . lacking in certain details.

John Harshman saw the models, and remarked that they looked like something suitable for sailing in a bathtub. Frank loved the notion, and the campaign was henceforth called "Bathtub Barbarossa."

The rest, as they say, is history.

Loren Wiseman
GDW Emeritus
lorenwiseman.com
irbw.com

Mark Plant07 Jul 2006 2:53 a.m. PST

"though the consequences of shrinking the geography make the technique questionable IMHO for simulation purposes/historical accuracy."

There is no doubt needed here, esteemed Bill. Reducing the scale of any battle greatly affects the end result, to the point of meaninglessness if the reduction is too great.

Martin Rapier07 Jul 2006 2:54 a.m. PST

When artillery can fire from Kiev to Moscow, that is certainly true.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jul 2006 6:59 a.m. PST

Thanks all.

I was thinking of doing World War 2 where 1 figure = 1 country. I think the whole war will fit on a placemat.

Griefbringer07 Jul 2006 7:07 a.m. PST

Extra Crispy: "I was thinking of doing World War 2 where 1 figure = 1 country. I think the whole war will fit on a placemat."

You could further reduce that to having one figure for the Allies and another for the Axis.

Griefbringer

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jul 2006 7:16 a.m. PST

And play on a business card! Brilliant!

Anyone suggest a rule set?

Bardolph Inactive Member07 Jul 2006 8:04 a.m. PST

I would suggest area movement with rock,paper scissors for combat resolution. Then you will have a ruler-less, dice-less chart free system.

DwarfMan1 Inactive Member07 Jul 2006 12:40 p.m. PST

"Anyone suggest a rule set?"

Ever look into Axis and Allies? Great game and pretty historically acurate.


DwarfMan

alien BLOODY HELL surfer Inactive Member07 Jul 2006 4:09 p.m. PST

And there was me hoping I'd learn something new and rude! What a waste of a phrase. It should be (maybe is) used 'and then we went bathtubbing together….' or maybe something worse.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2006 5:28 p.m. PST

We bathtubbed the early moves of Gettysburg using Brother against Brother rules. Each unit was scaled down to about a squad each, a battery a single gun.

Personal logo GuruDave Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Sep 2006 1:19 p.m. PST

How about "thimbled" WW2? Fits in a thimble. Just roll 1d6.

1-4 Historical result. Major Allied victory.
5 Marginal Axis victory.
6 Major Axis victory.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2007 6:38 a.m. PST

GuruDave beat me to it, though my CRT was going to be 1,2,3 = Allies eliminated, 4,5,6 = Axis eliminated.

Personal logo andygamer Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2007 8:09 a.m. PST

But rock, paper, scissors eliminates the need for dice, Vincent, and you could call each play a "campaign". (Unless someone comes out with a "quick play" version that cuts back on the historical accuracy to attract the teen market--sold along with your "official" gloves that you must wear to play in tournaments.)

mad mac Inactive Member14 Jan 2007 10:24 a.m. PST

andy gamer

Yes like the gloves idea, these could be changed on an annual basis eg different colours, patterns, piece of elastic joining them together so you don't lose them. Place them in a nice box and charge £50.00 GBP

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