Sunday, January 20, 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Scales

A funny thing happened while teaching my kids how to play Necromunda in 15mm.  We played two different games, one in the big rocket using the standard movement and ranges in inches, and one in the urban terrain converting all measurements to centimeters.

We test drove this WIP terrain - not a fan of playing
on unfinished terrain, but sometimes you takes
what youse can gets.
Oddly enough, the inches worked fine in the rocket ship, and centimeters didn't work in the urban terrain.  Obviously, converting to centimeters essentially 'grows' your terrain, and the rocket is meant to be a small, confined space.  As it turns out, using centimeters wouldn't work in the rocket, because you'd spend two or three turns just crossing one room.  When you use inches, the confined space favors the pistol packers and the melee specialists at the expense of the long range shooters - as it should be.

On the other hand, we didn't much care for the use of centimeters in the wide open city.  It made the city feel  way too big.  It took too long to get anywhere, and moving your little doods a whopping 8-cm per turn running?  It didn't feel like you were accomplishing anything.  Instead, we scaled the game down by cutting the ranges and movement in half.  And that scale was juuuust right.

Turns out scaling down by 50% instead of 60% makes a big difference in the feel of the game.  Who knew? At any rate we're going to stick with halving all ranges...

Sort of.

There's one aspect of the game we're going to leave as-is - templates. 
Hand-painted and way cooler than the black
and whites in the rulebook.
Here's where things get interesting.  I honestly don't know how close to the RAW these templates get.  I just printed up the page from the rulebook onto a 5-inch by 7-inch card and used what the printer spit out.  These could be too big for our half-sized rules, and are certainly too small for our full-scale fights, but we don't care.  They are too big or too small for everyone, and that's how we balance things out.


  1. I was wondering how you would scale it down, I'd though of doing this for weapons the range thing isn't to bad but the 4cm for movement.....

    As for templates can't you get hold of the hand flamer template from 2nd Edition 40k?

  2. I haven't had any trouble with using the inches to centimeters conversion with my 10mm collection - including the "heroic 10mm" minis that are actually 12mm due to scale creep.

    I guess that I'm so used to seeing my figures run 8cm a turn that it's normal to me now.

    That said, I could see where the inches to centimeters range might feel a bit small for 15mm. (Are your 15mm minis truly 15mm or has scale creep affected that portion of the hobby too?)

    Templates are a tough call. I scanned in my 2nd edition WH40k Dark Millennium templates and reduced them to 40% of the original. (Then I used a paper punch to put holes in the center of the round ones to help align them with the target point.)

    I admit the end result seems a bit on the small side but heavy weapons are pretty potent in most GW games anyway so if anything the smaller AoE has made for better play.

    Simon's idea of using the hand flamer template might work but the normal flamer template is quite a bit more slender, so it would cover more area than the original.

    1. We do use centimeters with the 10mm figure - somehow that looks right for the littler guys. At that point they are able to run 8 bodylengths in a turn, where that same distance is only 5 bodylengths for a 15mm figure. Maybe that's where the 'feel' comes in.

      And yeah, our experience with Necromunda was that the template weapons were a bit overpowered. That big flamer template always tore things up, too. I find the biggest difference these days has more to do with out attitude though - we just don't think about balance as much as we used to. Sometimes you're the underdog fighting to lose with as much dignity as you can, and that's just as fun as winning a head-to-head even-stevens match.

  3. (And although the Dark Millennium templates are pretty, I like yours just as well. They're a fun, colorful, and creative solution.)

    Happy Gaming!