25mm/28mm playability

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tobi
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25mm/28mm playability

Post by tobi » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:54 am

Hello,

I'm a big fan of 28mm figures and just want to mention some ideas for improving the playability for 28mm - figures.

Following the quite successful introduction of the varios WAB-rulesets, the market for 28mm figures grows and gains more and more "followers". Alas, compared to the figures which were fabrikated some years ago, the miniatures keep growing bigger and need more space on their bases.

There are some players who - like me - like the 28mm figures for their splendid details and better visibility on the battlefield, but don't like the WAB rules. And there are others who like the WAB rules, but wouldn't mind to play other rules with their figures, too - as long as they don't have to re-base them. So that's a good starting point for AoW, isn't it?

Both groups face severe problems with rulesets like DBM or DBA: The Number of figures per base given by these rules are to high for the new big figures (I don't know anybody who managed to get 4 Foundry Wikings on a 6cm * 2cm base - at least horizontally), and players who have their figures single based for WAB can't just group them together, because the WAB-standard base of 2*2 cm doesn't allow to bring four figures on a 6cm Base.

It would be very nice, if the new AoW ruleset would improve the playability for 28mm figures in this respect and would present itself as a wellcomed alternative to WAB for 28mm figures. The idea is to simply reduce the number of figures down to a WAB-compatible and size-compatible ratio. Since for WAB-players "empty" 2*2 - bases could be used to fill the gaps, the system could be something like this:

Cv, Kn: 2 figures on 6cm * 4cm (this tends to be rather small, what about allowing 6cm as an option?)
Lh: 1 figure on 6 * 4/6
Sp, Pk, Bd, Wb (s): 3 figures on 6 * 2 (although there should be an option to represent close formation with 4 figures)
Wb, Ax, Bw: 3 figures on 6 * 3
Ps: 1-2 figures on 6*3

This system should be usable for those who have already based their armies for DBM (no harm done if more figures then required appear on the bases, is there?), the new players have no problems basing their armies to the standard even with big 28mm - figures and WAB-Players have no problems adopting those standards using a few simple adaptions like empty space - bases and deeper moving-trays (there could even be hints and ideas for better adapting existing basing-systems included in the AoW-rulebooklet).

Apart from that, the armies would get a lot cheaper (think of a mongol-army with lots of Lh) and this could also add to the charme of the ruleset. Wouldn't it be quite helpful for the marketing of AoW to have the manufacturers offering AoW-Army-deals, which are substantial cheaper than WAB-deals?

Best regards,
Tobi

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Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback - it's something we will have to consider.

I see 2 options
* Change the size of bases. Existing armies are all based to the DBM standard base sizes, which is based on the base sizes of older rules. Changing the base size would force players to rebase whole armies and probably put off the vast majority, so this is really not something we can consider.
* Allow varying numbers of troops on a base. This can lead to confusion as one of the ways you can tell cavalry from light cavalry is that they are 3 to a base, not 2. Is it possible to take your ideas back to the WAB/25mm/28mm community and get a consensus on where the biggest problem areas are. Then we can see if there is anything that can be done without causing confusion.

tobi
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Post by tobi » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:06 pm

Thank you for considering the idea.

I think it is good to discuss the idea - alas as we can see on the exemple of DBMM, to rech a "consensus" is sometimes a rather high set goal... :(

I will discuss the matter at the german forum for 28mm-players (WAB and DBA/DBM): http://www.sweetwater-forum.de/ and come back with the set of opinions reached there. Would you discuss the idea at the Brittish/ international yahoo-list?

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Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:12 pm

We dont want to get involved in posting to the mailing lists as we'll only get accused of attempting to kill of DBM! If someone else wanted to canvas opinion on the list that would be fine.

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Post by daveallen » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:24 am

As a regular 25mm DBM player I hope my comments might be useful.

Many 25/28mm DBMers have considerable difficulty getting their figures onto the bases both for width and depth. Often they have to be slotted in a bit like jigsaw pieces. Players trying to convert from WAB have the additional problem that existing bases might not fit easily into a 6cm frontage.

Rather than make this a deal breaker for such players I would be willing to take a relaxed attitude towards the number of figures on a base for 25mm. Especially as it is easier to identify troop types from appearance at this scale than in 25mm. Also, the different base depths are more obvious in 25mm thus helping distinguish different types of foot.

I would not be happy to see base width increased if the corollary would be reduced playing area for 25mm. We are already squeezed tightly enough as it is! Base depth might not matter so much in AoW as in DBM and I would have no problem with an option to increase cavalry bases by up to a centimetre to accomodate figures - I suspect this would be more of a problem for the owners than their opponents...

Without seeing the detail of the rules I don't know if variable figures per base will be easy to achieve but I would suggest you might include a special dispensation in 25mm for players to reduce the maximum number of figures to two cavalry and three for close/loose formation foot where the figures need it. I would not want to see further reductions as imo a lone skirmisher would look silly. There would also need to be some other basing convention to make a clearer distinction between regular and irregular loose formation foot, or line cavalry and skirmishing cavalry [say, in each case the former being tightly linked on the base and the latter being more scattered]. Base depth should, of course, differentiate close/loose formation foot.

I, of course, have no difficulty with the present base sizes but then I use plastic figures :D .

Incidentally, I would be willing to be a Beta tester for 25mm if you need any more [as would one or two of my regular opponents].

Dave Allen

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Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:10 am

Thanks Dave. We will give your comments serious consideration. I think that even in the DBM community a fairly relaxed attitude is maintained about numbers of figures to a base in 28mm. (Keith McGlynn's 2-to-a-base Bretonnian Knights spring to mind - those figures are huge).

Just to clarify the situation in my mind, how deep are GW cavalry bases. Would 2 Warhammer Knights fit on a DBM/AoW sized sabot base? Width-wise? Depth-wise?

How about foot bases?

Depth is not at all critical in AoW, as far as I can see.

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Post by daveallen » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:08 am

Hi Richard,

WAB cavalry bases are 2.5cm x 5cm Foot bases are 2cm sq and 2.5cm sq.

Many 28mm cavalry models no longer fit easily onto a 4cm deep base. I thnk even DBM players would welcome an option to have deeper cavalry bases in 25mm.

Regards,

Dave Allen

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Post by tobi » Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:06 pm

Hello Richard, Hello Dave,

I can only confirm this. I lately finished two 350p 28mm DBM Armies - After
some experiments and some consideration I reduced the number of figures
for cavalry-bases by one (3 Figures for Kn(x), 2 for other Kn and Cv, 1 for Lh).
This looks very convincing and realistic. Since I've used Foundry and Perry Horses,
the depth-problem wasn't prominent and I've dealt with the occasionally larger horse
by positioning it slightly diagonally on the base when needed.

For foot, I used the numbers given in the rules, except that ALL auxilia and warbands
have only 3 Figures per base. This works fine, spear, pikes and blades can stand
thightly packed together with 4 figures and still do have a realistic appearance.

My oppinion is, too, that the base depth should be allowed to vary and - more importantly -
that the figures per base should be allowed to vary. The overall appearance is much more
important: I don't think anoyone would mistake an uniformed, disciplined rank of roman
auxilia for irregular because of having only 3 figures per base. And, as I've stated in my
earlier post, to reduce figures per base means reducing cost and painting-time.

Best regards,
Tobi

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Post by airmaster » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:07 pm

Dear All,

I have been a great fan of ancient warfare for many years - sadly my interest waned with DBM and I have several 15mm and 25mm armies gathering dust.

I am very excited about the prospect of AOW, espcially as it is being designed by a team of acknowldged experts. I do however have one concern and that is the 2500 year timescale. I suppose this post is more a question than a statement namely: Is it not the case that over 2500 years of war armies of subsequent eras should almost ALWAYS be able to beat those of previous eras. Put simply New Kingdom Egyptians and Hittites would always have been beaten by Greeks and early Roman, Macedonian and Carthaginian armies, who in turn should be beaten by Imperial and Later Romans and those in turn by Dark Ages and those by Early Medieaval. As I write I can already think of many obvious objections/exceptions to this logic but there must be a way of classifying armies in terms of training organisation and technology. In extremis should not almost every non-chariot army be able to beat a chariot army - which is why chariots were eventually dispensed with? Are there significant technological developments (stirrup, composite & long bows, armour types and quality) that simply put some armies in a different class?

Regards

Simon

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Post by jre » Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:53 am

Dispensing with particularly effective tactics (which is why steppe nomads were so succesful for most of those 2500 years) you are right, if you consider the army a certain size settlement could field out.

However when you ignore the actual costs of fielding an army and consider individual point costs, technology becomes some washed out, as that longbowman costs the same as two Egyptian unarmoured bowmen, and that knight costs the same as a fully equiped three man chariot. If Egypt could field 2000 chariots while France could raise 15000 knights is not important, as you will have six against six, because you have the same points.

That said, one of my pet peeves with DBM was the relative technology ratio that had Alexandrian Companions as better troops against projectiles than Medieval German knights. Technology is good, but you have to pay for it in points.

That means that armies will hopefully keep some flavour, rather than nationality and period being a buffet choice.

Jos?©

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Post by tobi » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:56 am

Hello Jos?©, Hello Simon,

no offence meant, but have you noticed the topic of this post? It's not about
whether a game could/should cover a long period, but about base-sizes for
28mm figures :roll: . So please open a new topic for your discussion. Any
thoughts about base-sizes are highly wellcome, though!

Best regards and sorry,
Tobi

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Base sizes

Post by honvedseg » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:46 pm

Cavalry does get a little crowded, especially front to back. Changing the base depth doesn't have a lot of effect on most games, but varying the width or number of figures could lead to a lot of discontent. I for one would really not like having to rebase everything, but would be perfectly content with having some on a deeper base than others. My recommendation would be to allow for either the standard or optional deeper base, to allow the figures to be "shoehorned" in a bit more easily without hanging off the front or back of the base.

The number of infantry per stand has become pretty much a concrete definition of the unit type throughout the gaming industry, and I don't recommend altering that, but again, you could allow for (optionally) deeper bases to allow a little more flexibility in placement, for those who need it. The link below shows one flank of an ancient Assyrian army, consisting of 28mm skirmishers screening a double line of medium spearmen and bowmen. The spacing between figures looks loose enough, with the standard 2 figs per stand for skirmies and 3 for mediums, without spreading them out even more.

http://www.voidgamers.com/images/data/p ... _MI_01.jpg

These are "mostly" Irregular Miniatures Assyrians, except for the back rank of archers, which were originally Irregular's medium spearmen cut apart and cobbled together again with body parts from various sources into archer "Franken-figs". Since they don't make medium archers, I improvised a bit.

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Base sizes

Post by sergeis64 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:15 pm

Hmm, I cannot complain here about fitting figures on the bases. Playing DBM/DBR/DBA in both 25/28 and 15mm with our group in RI , USA we have close to 60 different armies amongst us- only problems arize with double based Kn - that might be a bit hard to fit in. I have Teutonic Knights made out of Bretonnians ( with some conversions)- no problem fitting 3 per base- sometimes however there is a tiny gap between bases. Same with heavy foot- I use all sorts of manufacturers ( and have my own little company) and if figures are "too wide" just put them sideways- actyally a better representation of closely packed ranks.
I see a bigger problem if base size was changed- all my figs are based for DBX format and redasing 15 armies/thousands of figures surely turn away me and many others. Warrior is using the same base size/number of figs as DBX, so why cant AoW do the same...?
Sergei

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Re: Base sizes

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:09 am

sergeis64 wrote:Hmm, I cannot complain here about fitting figures on the bases. Playing DBM/DBR/DBA in both 25/28 and 15mm with our group in RI , USA we have close to 60 different armies amongst us- only problems arize with double based Kn - that might be a bit hard to fit in. I have Teutonic Knights made out of Bretonnians ( with some conversions)- no problem fitting 3 per base- sometimes however there is a tiny gap between bases. Same with heavy foot- I use all sorts of manufacturers ( and have my own little company) and if figures are "too wide" just put them sideways- actyally a better representation of closely packed ranks.
I see a bigger problem if base size was changed- all my figs are based for DBX format and redasing 15 armies/thousands of figures surely turn away me and many others. Warrior is using the same base size/number of figs as DBX, so why cant AoW do the same...?
Sergei
Fear not, Sergei.

We certainly are using the same base sizes and figure numbers per base as DBM/DBA as our standard basing system. The only question is whether we also allow some optional alternative base sizes/number of figures to accommodate oversized figures and to allow WAB players to sabot base their figures.

Richard Bodley Scott

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Post by sergeis64 » Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:03 pm

Thanks, Richard!
If you, guys need any input on army lists or Beta testing RI group would be happy to help.
I think the earlier posted question on cavalry bases and the fact that horses usually "hang outside" is inevitable in most cases, but certainly not the most important. My Early Samurai are largely "Legend of 5 rings" figures- probably the best looking horses and most anatomically correct, but since they are in full gallop stretch the legs are way past the base.
Only problems- with forming a column and during actual HtoH combats- usually very resolvable with friendly opponents.
Sergei

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