Proving Grounds: Scale of games

Character and Scale
Average height of a character is around between 5 and 6 feet tall.  This is equivalent to 4 cubits.  To ease in game play, miniatures of 25-30 mm or 1/56 are considered to be the standard scale.  Each inch on the gaming area is therefore is 3 cubits, or right around 5 feet.   Scaling in this fashion includes all obstacles, walls, doors and other interactions, in three dimensions.  Depending on the complexity of the scene and the needs of the players, some gaming tables may feature very detailed scenes.  Be it a terrain filled three dimensional space, or simply lines on a piece of paper, this scale is an industry standard that allows for the vast majority of miniatures and terrain pieces available in game stores to be used with Melee: The Eternal Adventure and Melee:  Factions and Orders.   Keep in mind that scaling in this fashion also means that maps and other materials can be made to scale by using the 1 inch = 3 cubits = 5 feet conversion.  

Range and Reach
The range of attacks by a ballistic weapon and the reach of a melee weapon are likewise measured in inches.   Range and reach play a pivotal role in determining if an attack is successful.  For ranged attacks, the target must be both within the range of the ballistic weapon and within the area of reach from the ballistic projectile.  Melee weapons conversely only measure the reach from the attacker to the target.  

Close Range is standard for all techniques and is always considered to be within 2 cubits or under 3 feet from the opponent, while Long Range is specified on some techniques and requires the enemy to be over 4 cubits or 6 feet away from the target.  Of course a Long Range technique still requires reach to be effective, using a pole weapon that is 5 feet long at 7 feet away is not effective reach.  

Variation in Scale

Variations in scale should be addressed first and foremost in the spirit of the game (does it affect the game), and ultimately the miniatures that vary dramatically from scale should be used as agreed upon by the players and the Arbitrator.   To facilitate scaling issues further, in cases where the miniature is posed in such a way as to be confusing, consider all figures to have a square base underneath.  When standing still or otherwise not obviously extending beyond standard personal space, the figure will take up the space allocated by the square base.  This base should be between 20 and 25 mm, which are again industry standards.  Should something come in contact with the area that this base takes up, regardless of figure pose, it is fair to say the character will be affected.  Whether the character can dodge or otherwise mitigate this intrusion is up to the story and the dice.  

What’s a Couple of Cubits Between Friends?
We have a saying, if there is no money on the game let it ride.  This is basically a sportsmanship rule in all gaming.  When using measurements and miniatures, there are bound to be moments wherein the players are in dispute as to how close or accurate they are.  Inevitably once or more a game a player will be within a couple cubits of range, but not technically within range.  
The rule here is simple.  If it is within 2 cubits, or less than one inch, generally let it count as within range.  Now this is not a license to add an extra inch to measurements, but rather a means to avoid arguments and slowing down of the game.   Of course not all players want to extend this leniency, so all involved ahead of time should agree it upon the leniency, but we strongly encourage players to adopt this principle and just have fun with it.  


Posted on January 24, 2017 .