Question about rules

I received this question via my YouTube channel today:

I’m a newcomer to the 6mm scale, what would you recommend as a good rules set for microarmor with a 1:1 scale [ one figure represents one of what it represents ( also known as WYSIWYG { what you see is what you get } ) ]. ( it doesn’t matter if it is WW2 or modern, just a good launch pad into the hobby. )

Here is my answer:

Jacob, that’s a question that you can ask a dozen people and get a dozen answers.  My favorite is a set of rules that was published way back in 1981 called TACFORCE.  For some reason it was only published once then simply faded away.  It is a 1 to 1 ruleset and it’s a great mix of ease of play and realism.
The main issue with it is that since it was published in 1981 and at the time it was considered “modern” you are not going to find M-1 Abrams or T-90s in the rules, the vehicle data stops at the M60A3 (although they have something they call the “XM-1”) and the T-72.
Fortunately one lunatic (yes,,, me) has spent the last 30 years updating the vehicle and weapon data for the rules and in the end basically created a whole new game system loosely based on TACFORCE.  Write me privately if you want more info on that.
If you are fine with playing scenarios from the VietNam era through the Cold War, see if you can find a copy of TACFORCE on eBay and pick it up.  I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

Ground Scale vs Actual Miniatures Scale

People that are new to miniatures gaming often ask why there is a scale for miniatures and different scale for distances (Ground Scale).  It would be great if the miniatures scale and ground scale were the same but in most cases this simply not practical.  The problem with using a ground scale that is the same as the miniatures scale can be seen in the photo below. In this photo you see a set of game boards that belong to the author, the entire setup is made up of 18 individual boards, each one is 20” x 20”.  One of the reasons 20” was chosen for the board size is because at a ground scale of 1” = 50  meters, each board is one square kilometer.  If a true 1/285th scale ground scale was used it would be aprox. 7” = 50 meters.  You might be thinking “what’s the problem with that?, that would be perfectly realistic”.  Yes, a ground scale of 7”= 50 meters would be very realistic, but it creates real problems for the game. 

One problem is vehicle movement;  Image you have an M1 Abrams at the far end of the table, and it’s on road movement is 1100 meters per turn.  1100 meters at a scale of 7” = 50 meters is 154 inches of movement per turn or almost 13 feet.  This means that an M-1 could move from one end of the table to the other end of the table in one game turn. 

The other problem is firing ranges, at a true 1/285th scale ground scale, a 50 caliber machine gun could cover the entire table, and larger guns could cover two or three table lengths.  If you had that sort of space to play a game that would be great, but most people do not have that much space.  So, the compromise is a smaller ground scale.  With a 1 = 50 meters scale, that same M-1 moves about one individual board length per turn instead of the entire table length, and it can fire just over 3 board lengths rather than across multiple tables.

So, this is why we use ground scales that a significantly smaller than the miniatures scale .. it just makes the game more playable.  It’s worth noting that in small skirmish games that involve only infantry and are played at larger scales like 15mm, 20mm, or 28mm quite often they are played at a ground scale that is equal or very close to the miniatures scale.  In armor games, especially modern armor where vehicle speeds are high and gun ranges are very long this is simply not an option.

©Allen Rockwell, GameCraft Miniatures 2014

Thunder Run 2003 – The Final Big Game

Had a great game tonight with 6 players, 3 per side. In the end, the Iraqis made a hell of an effort and eventually lost but they took out a lot of American armor in the mean time. The Americans ended the game with 2 M1A1 Abrams and 3 M2 Bradleys remaining. I think the Republican Guard would probably consider that a pretty good day against the Americans.

Playtesting TAC II

Did a little playtesting of TAC II tonight. I had a small area so I doubled all distances. Game lasted just 7 turns and the US won the battle with 4 M2 Bradleys left at the end of the battle. The forces at the beginning wer 10 BMP-2s VS 9 M-2 Bradleys.

Modern Micro Armor Rules from Proving Ground Games

This is a set of rules for modern micro armor (1/285th scale AKA 6mm) combat that is published by Proving Ground Games.  I intend to do a compete review of these rules once I’ve had a chance to really learn them and use them a few times,,, but I fear that I’m so busy right now that might not happen for a little while.  So I at least wanted share this with you and let you know that I have flipped through the entire book and from what I’ve seen so far I think I really like it. If you are looking for a set of modern micro armor 1 to 1 combat rules I think this is a book certainly worth looking at. You can get more info on these rules at http://www.provinggroundgames.com/fieldsoffirenews . Their website does not seem to have an online shopping component so I think you just have to contact them for pricing and ordering information. If you contact them please tell them that you heard about these rules from Allen at GameCraft Miniatures.

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Playing with myself again (wait, that does not sound right)

Spent some time tonight in the spare bedroom (AKA, the office, AKA the doggies room) doing some playtesting of my TAC II data and refreshing my old brain on the mechanics of TacForce.

I only played 4 complete turns but in that short time the US troops were geting their asses handed to them.  I was playing both sides, so it had nothing do to do with the players, it was mostly the luck of the dice … it seemed that every time I rolled for the US I got crappy rolls and every time I rolled for the Iraqis I got amazing rolls … that’s just how it goes sometimes I guess.

Here are a few pix (click on em to make em bigger)

Even with all the US units blowing up around her, she slept through the entire battle.