Monday, 4 May 2015

Engagement Distances

The ground scale in my rules has always been 1" = 100m, which is a throwback from the WRG rules I used for a number of years back in the day. It is nice to get more than a square kilometre on one terrain tile but there is compromise between 'getting more area on the table' and units and elements being a bit too close together for convenience, not to mention aesthetics.

Mark Luther's Hannut
In this Hannut game, the ground scale for larger figures (possibly 28mm) was used in an IABSM game with 6mm miniatures and the effect is undeniably realistic-looking. I know I don't think too often about how the real life battlefield translates to the wargaming table or consider what a target 500m away actually looks like but this is easy to do in your own local area.

If I look across the fields to the lane on the horizon, vehicles there are pretty much tiny specks among the hedgerows. Comparing the view on Google maps tells me the T-junction over there is about 1km away, almost the maximum effective range for most small calibre tank guns in 1940.

Another location where I first did this comparison was Harlow Common, which is an open bit of land bordered by country lanes and houses. I sometimes looked across and wondered how it would translate scalewise onto a wargaming table. Calculations indicate that the width is around the extreme end of rifle fire effectiveness.

My direct fire chart goes all the way out to 2,000m for anything over 75mm, although even at 2286m, the 88mm apparently could still penetrate 6" of armour but when you look at ranges in the real world landscape you can understand why it can be a 2% chance to hit.