[Epic][E40K] Scale and primitive weapons

From: Antony Van Der Linden <Antony.VanDerLinden_at_...>
Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 10:19:50 +1000 (EST)

Hi everyone,

        I was reading the thread about scale and bows and so on.....

In about 6 years of wargaming I've tried more than a few times to figure out
ground and time scales in a few different games and have come to a few
conclusions. These are just my opinions but I think there is a bit of
truth here.

a) Vertical scale and ground scale are very often different. So, in epic
say, the 6mm figures might represent 2m tall superhumans, but on the
ground 6mm might be more or less than that (my vote is that it is more
than that).

b) Many games (almost all historical) are designed from the top-down - ie
decide how a bunch of weapons and troops would behave in real life (this
is already known with histoorical rules) and then scale them down. It is
especially difficult to do this with weapons that are specifically sci-fi
or fantasy based. I mean while we do have guns we don't have bolters or
lasguns as such and their 'real world' behaviour is pretty much guesswork.

c) Some games, especially fantasy and sci-fi, start with a bunch of
premises like " we have these troops and these weapons and this
mythos/backgound and this size table ", and then try to reconcile all
these things to make an entertaining game. I think that designers of this
style of game also try to reconcile their rules with the real world to a
certain extent too, although things like magic or psychic powers are an
obvious 'flavour' addition.

        As far as weapons in WH40K and Epic/E40K go,I think there are a
couple of things to consider.

        The world(s) of our games are not sci-fi in the Star Trek sense
but is really 'backward' in many respects. If you've read much of the
original fluff there was a period of history (in the future) when the warp
flared up and isolated many parts of the galaxy. It was like a Dark Ages
of the future. WH40K and Epic are set post Dark Ages and everyone is just
about starting over again but with scraps of this incredible futuristic
tech. ( comments please if you see things differently )
        As such, I get the feeling that even their best/most reliable
equipment is much crappier than anything we have today, but uses some
really snazzy tech that we don't have in the here and now. So ranges are
probably much reduced in comparison to modern weapons.
        There is also the point that there is no use having weapons with
ranges so large that they extend off the table, not to mention that they
would be incredibly unfair (ahh, Squat megacannon ;) ).

        With respect to bows and other primitive weapons in a futuristic
sci-fi setting. I think it would be really careless to take weapons from
WFB and just cut and paste them into 40K or epic without some thought of
comparing them to existing weapons in that game and modifying them
accordingly. In short, you can't invent or convert weapon rules in
isolation, they _have_ to be created with everything else in mind.
        Don't get me wrong though I reckon that the inclusion of primitive
peoples in a game would be a great idea. But their weapons would have to
be pretty crap and cheap, but you should have hordes of 'em and maybe give
them a home ground advantage of some sort. It's just that I've seen to
many sets of homemade rules that are just a hodgepodge of other rules
which should never have been put together.

        Anyway, thanks for reading this little rant, I've lurked to long
this time And as always please feel free to agree, disagree, comment etc.
(ha, like you all needed to be invited, eh?)

 Tony VanDerLinden - | Department of Computer Science
 E-mail: | James Cook University of North Queensland
 Antony.VanDerLinden_at_... | Australia
Received on Thu Jan 01 1970 - 00:00:00 UTC

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