Thursday, February 24, 2011

A question of scale

The Black Powder rules were written for 28mm miniatures, with an infantry battalion represented by 24 to 36 guys. So how do I represent them in 6mm scale? It's certainly not as simple as multiplying everything by ~0.2...

The first thing to consider is the scale of the battlefield. The authors state that they play on a 12'x6' (3.6mx1.8m) table and the rules are designed for something similar. Also all measurements in the book (range, movement, etc.) are based on multiples of 12". To save myself unnecessary maths when playing the game I wanted to use the straightforward conversion of inches to centimetres - i.e. 12" is read as 12cm. This changes the battlefield size from 12'x6' to 1.44mx0.72m, something that easily fits on the regulation 6'x4' (1.8mx1.2m) table and gives scope for nice large games.

The ratio of converting numeric inches to numeric centimetres is 1:2.54, or about two-fifths. So if we use that ratio to convert the battlefield we should use the same ratio to convert other measurements... like unit frontages. Take the 36-man battalion mentioned above. In two ranks it would have a unit frontage of 360mm. When converted with the 0.4 ratio that becomes 144mm (the 24-man battalion would have a frontage of 96mm after the same conversion). Similarly a cavalry unit of 16 models in two ranks would have a frontage of 200mm, which becomes 80mm after conversion.

With those figures in mind, what sort of basing scheme should I use for my 6mm miniatures? After much consideration I have decided on 40mmx20mm bases, each holding 16 infantry figures or 6 cavalry. A standard battalion of infantry or squadron of cavalry will be four such bases modelled along the long edge for infantry and the short edge for cavalry. This gives a standard infantry battalion in line a frontage of 160mm (11% wider than the calculated 144mm) and a standard cavalry squadron in line a frontage of 80mm (bang on). Artillery will probably be based with two guns to a single base along the long edge with range etc. measured from the centre-front of the base.

Formations on the table then look like this:

When my bases finally arrive from Litko Aero I'll do some mock-ups and take some photos. Until then... Adieu!

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