Friday, 14 September 2012
Tile over Substance
Not mine I hasten to add (thank Google Images!) but you can see what the blue tiles I am talking about look like - and it is a neat layout, missing only some white spray!
Despite my intention to try and limit the scale of my naval activities I have had to bow to the inevitable to an extent and will be using ships in varying scales as needed. My WW2 1/4800th scale adventures will be using the full sized Hexon tiles on a 6 x 4 ft table with a playing area equal to 12 x 18 hexes. The combination of small model size and a large area will give the correct aesthetic scale look to the action – especially with capital ships duking it out at ranges measured in miles. A 4” Hexon tile will happily take the largest ships in this scale with the added bonus that smaller ships can fill a hex in multiples if required – I am thinking of destroyer formations here, say four models to a hex. This will be an important consideration for large squadron or fleet actions – especially when reaching back to WW1.
My plans for earlier periods are a little more involved and I have to say they were causing me a number of problems. Starting with the ACW my dilemma is very simple. I have the large scratch built models available (around 1/600th give or take) and these fit nicely on the Hexon tiles. They also fit in well as part of a combined operations type set up using the block armies. With the increased table area of blue Hexon I now have I will be able to fight some interesting games in this scale with a reasonable area of water to manoeuvre on. The only downside is that should I want to tackle a Heroscape scaled game the ships are simply too large. If the ACW was purely a naval undertaking then of would not be a problem but as I will fighting along the rivers the land side is important and critically, should I want longer playing area (featuring twists and turns and defences in depth) then the Hexon is too large for my current set up. Using Heroscape would appear to be the obvious answer to this dilemma but with only 21 blue tiles currently available its use is rather limited. A Heroscape tile is roughly 45mm across the flats so is less than half the size of the Hexon version. Methinks an extensive trawl of Ebay may be in order!
This whole subject though has got me thinking in a number of directions.
As it stands a standard Heroscape tile will happily accommodate a 1/2400 scale Napoleonic, ACW or 'black fleet' style Victorian ironclad. It will also take a 1/1200th scale galley - be it Ancient or 16th century. So, I reckon that using the smaller scale hexes for the smaller scale models will have the advantage over Hexon in two ways. Firstly, relatively speaking the smaller scale models fit the smaller hexes far better and so aesthetically look 'right'. Placing a 1/1200th scale ancient galley measuring an inch long in a hex 4" across looks a little forlorn to say the least. Secondly, as most galley and ACW river actions feature land on one or more sides of the playing area having the smaller hexes means that terrain can be modeled more accurately whilst still preserving a reasonably sized playing area.
I have a modest selection of 1/1200th galleys for the ancient period and reckon that this scale will probably feature for the 16th century when I ever get around to it so that is a done deal.
I need to think long and hard though about the ACW collection though as I do not want to be painting up the same ships in two different scales.