Board Sizes and MU comparison

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hercimurthemediocre
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Board Sizes and MU comparison

Post by hercimurthemediocre » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:23 am

I recently posted an announcement for a FoG tournament in both 15mm and 25mm scales at Origins in Columbus, OH on June 27th. My intent was to run the 25mm tournament using 8'x5' tables and an MU of 40mm.

There's recently been quite a bit of discussion in North America about the size of the MU when playing in tournaments for 25-28mm play (in one such post, I displayed my ignorance of the Queen's English :oops: ) A combination of old habit and mathematical calculation tends to favour a 40mm MU because we're used to it and because it makes the 8x5 board into relatively the same playing surface as 1"/25mm does for 6x4 tables in 15mm scale.

However, there's also an opinion that we should use the 1"/25mm MU as laid out in the rule books on an 8x5 table. Some players have found this to work just fine, but it does cause generals to have relatively smaller command spans in 25mm and it also causes the "maneuver phase" of the game--the period before the main lines clash--to last longer.

I don't see North Americans playing on 6x4 tables for 25mm--that really does change the game--even with 650 points of troops vice 800 at 15mm--and it seems to a lot of folks playing now that reduced points is less popular for the 25mm players.

I suspect all of these issues came up in your beta testing, so could one of the designers weigh in with thoughts on how you see 25mm being played in tournaments? And why? We'd like to get this "right" before the big summer tournaments start up--and we'd like to get it right once and not have to fix it later.

I've noticed that in past threads the issue of the 40mm MU did come up and the design team seemed to regard it as permissible. Is this still the case?

Jeff Fletcher

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Post by Cam_Millar » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:23 am

I really appreciate the sentiment of the question, but I suspect the horse has well and truly bolted and it is every man for himself with 25mm.

The only constant we know is that the 25mm base frontage is 50% bigger than the 15mm frontage. So to get the same game as a 15mm game on a 6'x4' table we would need to increase the MU and table size by 50%. So play with a MU=37.5mm/1.5in on a 9'x6' table and everything will be perfect ... if you have a 9'x6' table.

But a 40mm MU is not a 50% increase for a start - it is a 60% increase. So our table now needs to be 9.6'x6.4' to have the same area. (Bloody metrics - a 1.5in MU would be better for a start).

If we have an 8'x5' table with a 40mm MU, the frontage is only 83% of what it "should be" and the depth is 78%. The area is only about 2/3rds of the equivalent 15mm space.

A 1in MU means the table means the frontage is 33% bigger and the depth 25% bigger, so the area is about 2/3rd bigger than the 15mm equivalent.

In terms of table area, the closest would be a 30% bigger MU (say a MU of 33mm). This would get the table area to be about the correct area.

But whatever we do with the MU, with base frontages 50% bigger, unless the table width increases by 50%, armies will take up more width on the table than the would in 15mm. This will probably introduce biases.

I don't think there is a right answer in the absence of a bigger table - my guess is a 40mm MU is the worst choice (since it favours slow moving heavy armies), and a 1" MU next worst. A 33mm MU is probably the least worst - but also the least likely to be adopted at this stage!

Cam

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Post by bignic » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:26 am

Hi Cam

We trialled 35mm MU on a 8x5 table on Sunday. Felt about right, although my current thinking would be to go for slightly less points, say 725-750 and trial again.

Going to 33mm seems a bit, err, well, y'know, scientific :-)

cheers
Nick

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Post by pyruse » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:18 am

30mm would seem to be a good vbalue for 25mm MUs, because then the MU is a multiple of the base size, and the 2MU restricted zone is a base width.

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Post by Kineas1 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:41 pm

How much play-testing went on in 25mm? I assume there was a great deal... And what was the consensus for scale/MU/Table size for 25mm?

We can do the math on the table size vs. depth. What did you guys actually play?

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Post by durrati » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:51 pm

Kineas1 wrote:How much play-testing went on in 25mm? I assume there was a great deal... And what was the consensus for scale/MU/Table size for 25mm?

We can do the math on the table size vs. depth. What did you guys actually play?
Well, I played whats in the rules - and had no problems whatsoever. The main effect is that in 25s the generals command radius is less, which means you have to think more about where you put them.

Peope that talk about how much bigger a table / MU should be seem to presume that there is something wrong in the rules for 25mm - which in my experience there just isn't. OK yes it sounds odd that the move distances are the same in 15mm as well as 25mm but why presume that this means that it is wrong for 25mm? It would just be correct to assume that the rules are correct for 25mm and that you need to have a smaller MU on a smaller table for 15s.

I play with both 15s and 25s and really do not see what all the fuss is about really.

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Post by Kineas1 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:55 pm

So you play the same size table and the same points?

That would sure cause me to make a fuss--I like LH.

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Post by durrati » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:02 pm

Ah sorry, not the same points. Tend to use 650 points for the 25mm, which gives harder choices in the list drawing up stage. This though could be seen as a good thing.

I do take the point that if you have lots of toys painted you want to get them all out on the table. Not sure if getting all our pretty toys on the table should be the decisive force in deciding how a competition is organised. Have played games with shed loads of models on 18 foot of table and these are indeed the most memorable games I have played - this is better done in a none tournament setting though, probably.

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Post by hazelbark » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:10 pm

durrati wrote: Not sure if getting all our pretty toys on the table should be the decisive force in deciding how a competition is organised.
:D
I think it is as good or better reason that many other critieria.

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Post by durrati » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:22 pm

:D
I think it is as good or better reason that many other critieria.[/quote]

Fair comment and one that I mainly agree with. The only criteria that should be more important are avalible space and avalible time.

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Post by Montezuma49 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:16 pm

This is something I have wondered about. Being used to playing 6th Edition I am also used to the doubling of distances but not the doubling of table sizes. However, I can see merit in using the same distances as 15mm with smaller armies on standard 6' by 4' tables, and I have been assured by fellow 25mm afficianados that using the same distances works well. However, I must admit I have yet to play in either scale, something which will hopefully be remedied next week.

regards
Paul

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Post by korvus » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:47 am

I would also like to see this settled, in particular, officially.

First off, as a 25mm player, I feel like the rules treat the scale as an afterthought, or a second class citizen. I can't recall a system where the answer to the scale problem is "You get less stuff (650 vs 800), oh, and some of your stuff (leaders) doesn't work as well."

That said, I have been enjoying the other aspects of the game a great deal. However, you, the designers, need to talk among yourselves and make a decision quickly as to how to deal with the question of playing FoG on larger tables and the question of the size of MU so that the 25mm community gets to enjoy the game fully, as opposed to a "less bang for your buck" format.

I believe an official position is essential, as otherwise there is a serious risk the 25mm community will fragment into small groups with their own variation to let them get the full effect of the game, which is a disservice to yourselves and the 25mm miniature manufacturers you're associated with. A common community with a common set of standards makes for readier growth of the hobby. It also allows us to travel and play each other without having to remake terrain and rulers, which is a disincentive to travel and growing the hobby.

And I for one can readily say that I want the world:

- A good game (which you've got)
- The ability to enjoy it fully (which the current rules limit me from doing unless I make some changes on the fly)
- The ability to go and play people all over (which, if I have done the former I limit myself from doing)

So, please, consider quickly and make an official ruling on what the FoG standards will be for playing 25mm on larger tables!

Thanks
Cole

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Post by Cam_Millar » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:53 am

korvus wrote:"... make an official ruling on what the FoG standards will be for playing 25mm on larger tables!"
And if the "official" answer was: "you must play 25mm on a 6x4 table with a 25mm MU, larger tables can not be used" :shock: - you would accept this? I am not sure there is a lot the authors can do - a consensus will emerge from the players playing and telling each other how it went.

I would be interested in feedback on how much playing testing went on in 25mm on 8x5 tables with different MUs. In particular how the interaction of quite different armies (say Parthian v Roman, or shooty Cav v Knights) went as the table size and MUs were changed (to stop players having to reinvent the wheel if it has already been extensively tested). It would be good to know that (unlike DBM), the 25mm game will not favour "heavier" armies (whether on a 6x4 or 8x5 table).

Cam

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Post by Andy1972 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:16 am

hmm.. Why not for 25mm increase the command range? I dunno.. I havn't played a 25mm game yet. say.. a TC 6" a FC 12" and IC 18".. maybe the IC is a bit high.. make FC 10" and IC 15"

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Post by ars_belli » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:50 am

Here are links to some earlier discussion threads in this forum:

viewtopic.php?t=4422
viewtopic.php?t=4657
viewtopic.php?t=5185
viewtopic.php?t=5563
viewtopic.php?t=5674

Cheers,
Scott

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Post by Kineas1 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:09 pm

Okay (breathes deeply).

First, yes, if the design team says "6x4 tables and 25mm MU" I'll play that, and hope that tournament directors mostly abide by it. It's not the standard that I want, but it is a standard, and it does allow for the development of doctrine--that is, tactics and strategies tailored to fit the specific reality of the game.

If the tables vacillate between 6x4 and 8x5, terrain AND play style are called into question.

Putting toys on the table is not the issue. I have 1600+ points of Bosporons/Scythians and about as much again in Achaeans and about as much again in Komnenan Byzantines... I'll never get it all on the table. (But I'll try!)

I have played a dozen or so games, all in 25mm, and I've used6x4, 8x4, 8x5, 40mm MU, 25mm MU.

First, let me say that I love this game, and every game played has been fun and excellent. BUT VERY, VERY DIFFERENT! Subtle alterations in MU (25mm to 40mm) change the feel of the game a great deal. Most ways in which the game is changed are already available in various threads. They're true, and Cav/LH armies suffer on smaller boards, as do rough terrain infantry armies (up to a point, and then the terrain saves them--that's another subject.) A single thought exercise should be sufficient--simply make a Roman or Offensive spear list in your head, and fit it on a 6x4 or an 8x5 and measure the flanks... if you can cover a table in Superior and Elite HF, then the LH are going to have a very difficult time barring high risk commitments like a flank march. This is a debatable subject. It CAN all work, and I won't dispute it.

But that's not my plea. I have a different plea, which may well fall on deaf ears but I'm going to try...

TERRAIN. Here in North America, since about 2000, tournament organizers have put a good deal of emphasis on improving the hobby's terrain. On the one hand, there's more and better commercial terrain available than ever before--but the best, and most playable terrain is still designed and built by players. I dislike intensely playing on a board where my opponent uses squares and rectangles of felt to represent terrain. I put a great deal of effort into my figures and my terrain, and playing on an ugly battlefield is a waste of time. Insert strongly worded rant here.

The effort to improve terrain has paid dividends, and I think it has done so in both scales and in every rules set. FoG will only benefit from this trend--unless the designers and players drop the ball on this, and leave us with an indeterminate ground scale and table size, in which case there'll be even less incentive for players to model and build accurate, aesthetic and playable terrain.

I own about 10 carefully sculpted hills, cut from foam and mounted on fiber-board and sculpted and painted and flocked and etc... I've built olive groves and vineyards and a couple of villages and about a million trees. I've painted a quantity of burlap and cut it to various shapes to make realistic and playable woods, marshes, and so on. I don't mind re-modeling it, or other terrain, ONCE--that represents a reasonable commitment to a great rules set. I would very much mind doing so two or three times. And if we do that, the quality of terrain will take a hit.

The standard for 15mm was set in stone--6x4, 1"MU, and 800 points. I haven't seen a bit of disagreement on it. The situation left for 25mm players makes us feel like red-headed step-children and will eventually impact the game.

Rant complete. Back to making an army list for tomorrow...

Christian

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Post by ars_belli » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:24 pm

Guys,

The rules do give recommended army sizes, MUs and table sizes for both 15mm and 25mm scales. Whatever controversy that exists has come from the fact that some players in countries outside of the UK apparently object to the recommendations for 25mm scale tournaments published in the FoG rule book. The response of the authors has been that tournament organizers are free to set their own standards, if they don't like the ones published in the rules.

So I am at a loss as to what sort of additional 'ruling' folks would be expecting here. To me it seems pretty clear that the FoG authors are not going to attempt to forbid tournament organizers from using standards different from those given in the rule book, if that is what they want to do. That is both wise and practical, IMHO.

So the onus is now on tournament organizers and national governing bodies in various countries. If you do not wish to use the UK standards for 25/28mm tournaments of 650-point armies with 1"/25mm MUs on 6' x 4' tables, then you will need to come together and agree on different ones. :roll:

Cheers,
Scott

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Post by durrati » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:37 pm

Kineas1 wrote:
The standard for 15mm was set in stone--6x4, 1"MU, and 800 points. I haven't seen a bit of disagreement on it. The situation left for 25mm players makes us feel like red-headed step-children and will eventually impact the game.
Christian
No, the standard for 15mm is not set in stone - not table size or size of army, the rules do however say 1"MU.

Likewise, the standard for 25mm is not set in stone, not table size or army size, the rules do however say 1"MU. The situation for 15mm is he same as for 25mm.

People that claim that the situation for 25mm is up in the air seem to believe that the rules do not mean what they say.

Of course, if when you play a game you and anyone you play with can change whatever you want. Likewise, if you are organising a competition you can put any rules for your competition that you want.

But to the question, 'can we have official guidlelines from the rule writers on 25mm'. I don't think you can expect them to say anything other than 'we agree with what we have said in the rules'.

Of course I am being presumtious in giving an opinion of what other people may say. But the silence of the rule writers in this thread is possibly as clear as a thousand word post.

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Post by korvus » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:00 pm

Actually, I just found this in another post:

Richard Bodley Scott wrote:
>We are happy for people to use a larger MU if playing on larger tables if they so choose and we will probably add this to the FAQ on the (forthcoming) web site.

I think we all agree that we can do this, what a fairly interested community would like to see is the game designers weigh in with an officially recommended standard for MU when playing on larger tables.

The reason for this is simple; if there is a standard we can base our hobby decisions on, its good for the community. If there's not, people will do all sorts of different things, and we'll find a fragmented community that is less able to expand, grow, and play together.

And if the designers say we haven't done enough playtesting in 25mm to make that decision, I'm down with that too, we can playtest various scales as long as we're sure that there will be an official position and a schedule for reaching it. Its for the good of the hobby, and the sales of this game.

Thanks
Cole

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Post by durrati » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:33 pm

Yup, the game designers say they are happy for people to do what they want as they choose - correct decision on their part in my opinion, even if on the grounds that they could not stop it anyhow.

For the game designers to weigh in with an offically recommended MU, surely they have already done so - with what they have quite clearly said in the rules - 1" or 25mm = 1MU. Surely the standard must be what the rules say?

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