First, let me state that I understand where you are coming from and your already explained position. I commented in that thread and have read it. You are entitled to your opinion and I share some of your concerns.
It kinda boils down to an all or nothing thing with me… either put everything to scale, or don’t do it at all… you’ve already got American OOB Shermans the same size as Tigers and Panthers, yet nobody complains about that…
Forgot to mention the OOB Type 95 Ha-Go Japanese tank is basically the same size as the Tiger and Panther as well… people play with this stuff all the time without thinking it weird… it “works” because all the tanks are the same size, even though in reality the Type 95 is a tiny fraction of what a Tiger would be. HBG has a Type-95 too… another tweezer job… while it makes sense in comparison, I don’t like PLAYING the game with these tweezer jobs.
For OOB, no, that isn’t weird because it has always been that way and there is only one tank type per power. If you have three (or more) different tanks for a given power, I would think you want some sort of scaling because things would start to look odd if you have a Pz III that is the same size as a Pz VI. Even in HBG units, the Sherman and Panther should be about the same size because both fill the middle slot of a “medium” tank. Yes, a Panther was bigger than a Sherman in real life, but we aren’t talking about absolute scale here, but a class-level scale within the game.
plus, HBG isn’t consistent with their scaling which is another issue… it’s not three tiered or consistent. Some of their light tanks are more on a 4th or 5th scale down from OOB… the 7TP is so damn small, you practically need tweezers to pick it up, and that doesn’t work well on a crowded game board. HBG’s P-51 is way too small to other aircraft and even their own, it’s off-scale. Also, teaching new people that something you need tweezers to pick up is the same combat value as something 4x its size is another issue.
Lately (meaning beginning with the German Expansion set, or after) HBG has been pretty consistent with scaling. I can provide links to all the consistent ones if you would like since you seem to be a little late to the process. The earlier sets like the Soviet Set, Allied Supplemental, Axis Minor and Neutral sets were all before they settled on a more standardized format and some of the pieces are noticeably small. Sometimes unplayable in my opinion. All of the examples you gave above are from these pre-standardized sets. I believe HBG made the decision to more properly scale with OOB A&A pieces because of the complaints about it. And so their pieces would more seamlessly integrate with OOB pieces.
Bottom line, as I stated in the other thread about HBG unit scaling, there’s so many things that the scaling messes with… there are Cruisers the size of Battleships, which is historically accurate but damn confusing in a game like A&A especially when you’re teaching new people to the game unfamiliar with equipment differences… scaling things all over the size map with the exact same combat values can just throw monkey wrenches around… I know it’s a personal peeve of mine, and certainly not shared by all, but I like the simplicity of similar sized sculpts for same unit capabilities (in A&A a tank is a tank is a tank, we don’t have 3 or 4 tank ratings).
I feel for you when it comes to teaching new people. Keep it simple. However, I question why you are even using extra HBG pieces at all if you want consistent size and simple one-unit types.
I suspect that it is because you are a bit of a piece junkie, like myself, and that you (like me) get some sort of thrill from being able to pick a Tiger tank or a Pather, Yamato or Nagato, Fw190 or an Me262. There is nothing wrong with that and I hope your quest for consistency and variety goes well… it just seems like you will never be totally satisfied because you will likely have to choose between the two and never fully have both. At least not the way you are defining it.
As far as a breakdown on HBG scaling, let me see if I can explain this better for you, as I understand it and have observed it:
- Ships: Each ship type (BB, CV, CA, DD, SS) has a three tiered sizing convention to denote Light (or Early), Normal (or Med) and Heavy. As you pointed out, that could mean that a heavy cruiser is the same size as a light or medium battleship. I don’t know that HBG intends to use all three tiers for all types or just use the convention if a situation arises, because I have only seen one size of Destroyer so far. And a light destroyer essentially becomes a DE and I don’t think the intent is to drop that low in the food chain. Similarly, you may as well not differentiate a heavy destroyer and a light cruiser.
Ships are where the greatest amount of confusion should arise, particularly where Cruisers look like Battleships or Destroyers look like Cruisers. But then again, I play with guys who are by no means noobs and they still cannot tell the difference between an OOB Cruiser and an OOB Battleship. Ultimately, the HBG system is overkill for nerds like us who can not only tell the difference, but can also tell the class of said ship.
Tanks: Same deal as above (theoretically), except that there should only be between 3 and 5 different types of tanks per country as opposed to around dozen different BB-CV-CA-DD ship classes per country. The caveat here is that HBG has produced what amounts to Super-Light, Light, Medium, Heavy tanks for Germany in their modern run of sets. That would be the Pz II, Pz IV, Pz V and Pz VI, respectively. They also came out with a Pz III back in the Axis Minor set before the “standardization”. So you can take the rule with a grain of salt in the sense that they don’t seem to be sticking to only L-M-H. I have no doubt that someone will lobby for the Maus to be included under Super-Heavy at some point. Ridiculous, but whatever.
Aircraft: This is where the standardization would seem to meet your requirements. Since OOB effectively already has a three-tiered structure of fighter-tac bomber-strategic bomber, HBG seems to have stuck with that. I don’t have confirmation that this is their intent, but it sure seems that all the new fighters in the modern sets are roughly the same size (as an OOB fighter), all the tacs are just a bit, but noticeably larger than fighters (like OOB tacs) and strategic bombers are strategic bombers. Pretty simple.
That does not include HBG’s earlier sets that I mentioned above. The P-51s, P-40s and old FW 190s are insanely small.
In the end, I decided to keep units of same ability to be basically same size, which means sticking with OOB units… and that includes Shermans the same size as Tigers, and nobody complains about that issue. None of the pictures on HBG’s site show scale to OOB… HBG has some finely crafted units, but many of them have drastic size differences that are all but impossible to tell until you have them in hand. My final thought on the HBG Pz-III was that it was nearly half the size of all other OOB tanks, so I would skip on it (like I said, it should be an all or nothing on scaling, not some are scaled while others are not). If the HBG Pz-IV is same scale as OOB, or just a tad smaller, I can work with it… but if it’s another model that turns out be tiny compared to OOB units it won’t fit the bill of the set of units I’m working on.
You also have to realize that HBG is making these pieces just as much (if not more) to coincide with their own game; which is both more complicated and has provisions to utilize all these different L-M-H designations. So for them the scaling convention is an integral part of the game. Many people are playing Global War and using these pieces the way they were intended. You and I are using them in their secondary role as OOB replacements/additions. So I guess we have to accept that they are not exclusively designed for that purpose.
If you get your Pz IVs and don’t like their fit I will gladly take them off your hands for a very small fortune!!!