BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Any questions relating to Beneath the Lily Banners rule system.
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Grenadier
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BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by Grenadier » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:56 pm

Barry(or anyone else)

I'm new to BLB2 having just received my copy and I immediately noticed something odd(to me, at least) regarding ground scale. Working through the math of the typical 700 man, 3-4 rank, battalion frontages and your base sizes I come to the conclusion that 1" roughly equals 30 yards when using 28mm figs, which is all well and good. However, upon looking at musketry ranges I see that,

Close is 4" (120 yards)
Effective is 8" (240 yards)
Extreme is 12" (360 yards)

This seems off kilter, or my math is. From all I've read about 18th century musketry and from every other rule set out there, the ranges above should be at least half of these. It also seems movement rates are extreme. Can you give me some insight on your reasoning behind this?
I am otherwise thoroughly enjoying reading BLB2.

Brian
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Re: BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by quindia » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:37 am

Welcome to the forum!

We had a discussion about movement rates during the development of the rules here:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2029&p=11041&hilit ... BLB#p11041

I'll let Barry speak more to the specifics of your question, but the art of rule writing often involves balancing realism vs playability.
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Re: BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by barr7430 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:28 am

Welcome to the Boards!

Anyone who has read Republic to Empire or seen me witter on ad nauseam about ground scale and ground to height ratios will know I like the maths to add up. BLB was actually conceived in a rather abstract way though compared to the science behind R2E.

The severe limiters were: the slow moving, linear tactics of the infantry combined with poor fire drill and limited weapon ranges. If we'd gone for purely accurate ground scales versus model to man ratios and weapon ranges it would have made for very slow, dull and mind numbingly boring games. Troops would have spent almost the entire game shuffling towards each other to engage in point blank fire fights. It would have looked nice but you might have been better off buying a painting of Blenheim and looking at it for 6 hours.

I attempted to create the 'feel' of a period battle by bending some of the science to give quicker flow, command decisions and frustrations based on communication, troop limitations and tactics. I completely agree with your analysis of the weird maths however if you play a game of BLB the period feel is right! It's a short response really in the respect that I never pretended BLB was anything else but an arithmetical fudge to make the game play full of command challenges and fun.

cheers
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Re: BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by Grenadier » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:53 pm

Barry,

Ok, your goal is to get "stuck in" quickly. I assume it also has something to do with using 28mm figures, which look a bit odd moving and shooting out to only 4". As you mentioned, the issue of scale height to distance ratio can get dodgy as, the larger the figure, the perceived need to have a corresponding larger ground scale. That is the problem when using big figures. I prefer 6-15mm figs which keeps the ground scale more in line with the limited size of tabletops, but, as you say, your intention is to get your big, wonderfully painted minis in action quickly.
I'll shut up now and continue reading the rules, thanks for your perspective.

Brian
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Re: BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by barr7430 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:22 pm

No need to stop asking questions Brian. I have written long and frequently on the distortions between horizontal and vertical scaling in wargaming. If you are using 15s or 6's easy thing to do is convert inches to centimetres or alternatively half ALL movement and shooting ranges. The game will still have the right feel. Wargaming is a complex series of trade off and compromises. The whole concept is absolutely ludicrous to begin with so there is no real point in trying to make any unarguable logic define principles.. in my experience it is all about suspension of disbelief to an extent that doesn't make you feel your drop an acid tab.
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Re: BLB2 ground scale and ranges

Post by Grenadier » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:18 pm

Ha ha!
Yes, I'm one of those serious, reality based weirdos who also sit in the movie theatre and burst out "Oh, that couldn't happen!" My current favorite TV character is Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory" who, on innumerable occasions says, "In what universe ...." You fill in the blank. My wife says Sheldon is based upon me.
I just read through the BLB2 playtest threads and wish I had joined the group sooner so as to take part in the discussions-good stuff. I have no qualms with modifying rules to suit my sensibilities, I just like to know the philosophy of the designer. I have just about every ruleset covering this period and find it fascinating how many different methods are derived at when attempting to simulate the impossibly complex nature of battle in a way that is both "realistic" and entertaining.

Brian
"In what space, sir. In what space?"
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