Piece size



  • I knew the answer to this once upon a time but I cant remember for the life of me, What size are A&A pieces?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    It depends what you mean by size.  If you’re asking what their physical dimensions are, the answer is: it depends on the individual pieces.  If you’re aking what their scale is, meaning their reduction ratio relative to the full-sized equipment the sculpts represent, the answer is that it depends on the unit type, and that it varies enormously between the four major groups (infantry, land units, air units and sea units).  Just as one example, consider the fact that the infantry sculpts are roughly the same size as the aircraft carrier sculpts.  I think there are threads on the board in which some forum members have attempted to compute the rough actual scales for unit classes.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The word is scale.

    infantry are HO scale 1/87
    Tanks and such 1/300
    Ships generally 1/2400
    Planes 1/600


  • 2018 2017

    Scale is always a problem for wargames;  the best and most detailed AFV models are 1/35 but at that scale where the tank is about 8 inches long, a tank gun would fire effectively within 42 meters of real distance, which would require 6x6 (THIRTY SIX!!) standard 4x6 gaming tables (a measly 864 square feet of gaming space) to make an “in scale” game work across its longest square dimension.

    On the other hand, you have the 10mm model standard, which allows you to denote entire regiments of Prussians and some realistic firing/marching distances in scale, but it is so small that while you can get all of the pieces on the table, you can’t really paint any detail on them without Chinese factory hands.

    Then you have AxA, where all such realism is thrown out the window;  an aircraft carrier is the length of 3 tanks (not thirty), the men are scaled for embarkation on miniature trains (but there are no railroad rules), a factory is smaller than the troops created within, and ships sail more or less their own length in the course of 3 months of simulated game time.  Either the ships are approximately 432 miles long per inch, or their maximum speed is about 1 mile per year you decide.

    Now that’s a game.



  • @taamvan:

    Scale is always a problem for wargames;  the best and most detailed AFV models are 1/35 but at that scale where the tank is about 8 inches long, a tank gun would fire effectively within 42 meters of real distance, which would require 6x6 (THIRTY SIX!!) standard 4x6 gaming tables (a measly 864 square feet of gaming space) to make an “in scale” game work across its longest square dimension.

    On the other hand, you have the 10mm model standard, which allows you to denote entire regiments of Prussians and some realistic firing/marching distances in scale, but it is so small that while you can get all of the pieces on the table, you can’t really paint any detail on them without Chinese factory hands.

    Then you have AxA, where all such realism is thrown out the window;  an aircraft carrier is the length of 3 tanks (not thirty), the men are scaled for embarkation on miniature trains (but there are no railroad rules), a factory is smaller than the troops created within, and ships sail more or less their own length in the course of 3 months of simulated game time.  Either the ships are approximately 432 miles long per inch, or their maximum speed is about 1 mile per year you decide.

    Now that’s a game.

    Lets not start about the scale of the Axis&Allies game board and pieces in relation to eachtoher. Last time i checked the atlantic was slightly wider then the med was, and the channel was just a bit smaller then the baltic sea.
    Just in Axis&Allies the pieces all have their own scale that is unrelated to other pieces or the board, apparently size does not mather is just needs to look Ok and recognizable ( cruisers vs destroyers ?? )

    I would love to play a wargame with the sizes you mentioned you could set up a soccer field and play wargames on there. Sure people will look weird at you but if you are with 20 people there is verry little difference to what they normaly do there 🙂


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Back in the 1930s, a fellow named Fletcher Pratt designed a naval wargame that used whole fleets of correctly scaled wooden miniatures.  He and his friends would hold model-carving parties, to produce the required scale models of battleships and aircraft carriers and so forth.  The game itself was played on the floor of ballrooms, which Pratt and his friends would rent for an evening every now and then.  Players (who were required to play in their socks, to avoid crushing the models by accident) would have to estimate – by eyeball – the correct distance to the enemy ships when they “fired” their guns.  Pratt, who was so good at the game that he usually headed a panel of referees rather than actually playing, would then use a tape measure to determine where the “shells” landed, and the shell splashes would be marked with upside-down golf tees.  Very labour-intensive, but probably a lot of fun.  Ballroom rentals were cheaper in those days than today, of course.  Pratt calculated and recorded individual ship damage using individual “ship cards” which were prepared in advance using an elaborate and rather arbitrary formula, which unrealistically treated each ship as basically a homogeneous mass of metal that had to be utterly demolished piece by piece before it was declared sunk.


  • 2018 2017

    Very interesting, Mr. Marc.  We have some friends here in Kansas City that work/teach/study at the Leavenworth staff college and we were just discussing a few weeks ago the German Staff College Kriegspiele Game and how these original 19th c. simulations are the origin of modern wargaming, with many of the modern conventions reflected, such as dice, complex ruleset, modular setup, special rules/exceptions, piece types, attempted realism, etc.  The professor in our group spoke about how he uses modern wargames to teach modern warfighting and what games/rules they emphasize, he’s basically a professional gamer (jealous!).

    I find it interesting that many of the older Jules Verne style early wargames, like the one you describe, required some measure of dexterity in order to fire at your enemy as opposed to dice based games that simulate the hits/misses/damage.  Real naval gunfire has some element of timing/patterning/watching your misses in order to zero onto your target, there are some different considerations than trying to fire a pog or something.  I think we would hate to lose to people who are simply better shots than we are rather than better generals.


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