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(TFT) TFT Wargame 3
More thoughts on scale:
I said in an earlier post that if a
company was 30 to 70 men then we wanted
to use hexes that are 21 meters across
rather than the 55 meter hexes.
This is an over simplification. In
Lords of the Underearth (LotU) they use
21 m hexes and each hex has a stacking
limit of 1 friendly company per hex. But
if went to a scale of 55 m, each hex
would have 7 times as much space so
logically you could have stacking. (And
people will WANT to stack. It is a vital
military principle to concentrate force.)
Actually you have room to fit a couple
small companies in a Lv 4 hex so the LotU
system is a bit of an over simplification.
However stacking of 2 or 3 is lots better
than stacking of 10 or 20.
Note that the LotU rules suggest that
their companies are around 35 men in size.
The larger LotU scenarios had around
10 companies on a side. I think our game
should be able to double or triple this.
More than that and I would be tempted to
do a strategic game.
Going with that idea, we can have 1500
men on a side. This is a pretty fair
sized battle for those days. Roman
legions were larger (from 3000 to 6000
men depending on the era). But Rome had
an unusually large and well organized
10 Cohorts --> 1 legion (4800 men)
3 Maniples --> 1 Cohort (480 men)
2 Centuries -> 1 Maniple (160 men)
1 Century --> 80 men.
Centuries were originally supposed to
have 100 men but this value soon dropped.
For most of the Roman armies existence a
Century had 60 or (ideally) 80 men. These
values were picked after the Marian
reforms of the army in 107 BC.
However a goal is that we want to have
battles were a group of PC's make a
difference and limiting the situation to
2 or 3 Cohort's worth of people (per side)
seems a reasonable maximum.
I've done some research on castles and
most are under 100 m on a side. This
suggests we may be able to get away with
reasonable sieges with 21 m hexes. We can
cheat this of course. If a castle is 25
meters square, we could say it fits in a
single hex, or put the castle on the
boundary of a hex and have it cover 3 or
4 hexes. (Which is more fun as now the
defender has a bit of maneuvering to cover
weak spots in the defense.)
Siege weapons fired from 150 m to 400 m
for typical weapons. These ranges work
nicely for 55 m hexes but require a LOT of
hexes for Lv 4 hexes.
Likewise Bows have an effective range of
90 to 120 meters (with Crossbows going
somewhat higher). With 21 m hexes archers
will dominate a small map. Maps that
represent a few hundred meters on a side
are not so bad. With 55 m hexes archers
will have ranges of 2 or 3 hexes which is
nice; at these ranges Line of Sight (LoS)
rules can stay simple.
So stacking and castle size suggests that
the smaller hexes would be best. The
missile ranges prefer the larger hexes as
their short ranges simplify LoS.
How big do we want to make the physical
hexes on our game board? 15 years ago, I
was a big fan of 16mm hexes. You get lots
on a map that way!
However, lately I have been playing the
Block games and they do well with a far
smaller number of hexes.
If we make the hexes reasonable size (say
20 to 25 mm) and the counters fairly large,
then it is easier for people to make home
We can also have the larger counters use
Facing to show which way the unit is
oriented. Units could have 3 fronts and
We could use special counters to show if
a unit is oriented in line, column or
circled. (e.g. when a unit is circled all
facings are front, but it is much harder
Large counters allow more values to be
printed on them which is what I think I
If we have 20 mm hexes and want a very
small map (say the same number of hexes of
LotU), it will be 44 cm across. This is
not too bad for a war game. It can be
doubled in area with out too much trouble
but beyond that it gets awkward to play at
a regular sized table.
Ok, let us say that we have a map that is
60 cm by 90 cm. That will fit on most tables
ok. It will have ~30 by 45 hexes or ~1500
hexes. With Lv 4 hexes it represents an area
of 600 by 900 meters. With 55 meter hexes
it would cover ~1600 by 2500 meters.
Both of these are workable for an
operational level game.
I'm doing this fairly. Of course you can
cheat. Sometimes say that the hexes are
Lv 4 and the companies are 50 men. Sometimes
saying the hexes are Lv 5 and the companies
are ~350 men. Double the time scale and
pretend that the archery ranges are still ok
(or half them). All the other rules stay the
same (not strictly realistic but not too
much of a problem I think). "Squads" in the
basic version of 5 to 10 men would now be
the smaller companies of 30 people (which
PC's might still control / train with).
This cheat would give us the best of both
worlds and allow us to simulate a wider
variety of battles.
Ok, I think I have come to a decision! I
will go with Lv 4 hexes (21 meters) and keep
the simple stacking rules. The main cost will
be long archery ranges that will require LoS
rules to make them work.
It may be a while before the next post in
this series. I need to give some serious
thought as to what to print on the counters
and what elements of the various forces should
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