It must be age but sometimes I find a solution to a problem and then, after a couple of years, I completely forget and look for a solution again. That is what happened recently with ground scale in Megablitz. The rules recommend two ground scales and suggests some base sizes to match. All my WW2 kit is based for Crossfire so does not match the Megablitz recommendations. In this post I outline what I’ve done so that I can use my Crossfire armies for Megablitz.
Although I have been told it several times, it has taken my a while to realise the basic measurement in Megablitz is the battalion width. Basically a battalion stand is 1km wide. So a 4cm wide stand at ground scale is assumed to be 1km wide in reality.
My Crossfire bases are 3cm and that means in my games 3cm = 1km. That in turn means my ground scale is 1:33,000. That is the logic, but it was also a suggestion by Martin Rapier (thanks Martin). My ground scale is half way between the two official scales: 1:25,000 and 1:50,000.
Here is a summary of the three ground scales. My choice is in bold.
|1′ / 30cm on table||7.5km||10km||15km|
|2′ x 4′ table||15km x 30km||20km x 40km||30km x 60km|
|4′ x 4′ table||30km x 30km||40km x 40km||60km x 60km|
|6′ x 4′ table||45km x 30km||60km x 40km||90km x 60km|
|8′ x 4′ table||60km x 30km||80km x 40km||120km x 60km|
|Nominal figure scale||15-20mm||15mm||5-12mm|
|Infantry Battalion stand||4cm x 4cm||>>> 3cm x 3cm <<<||2-4cm x 4-6cm|
|Infantry Regiment stand||6cm x 6cm||4.5cm x 4.5cm|
The most significant data in there is the 3cm x 3cm for an infantry battalion stand at 1:33,000 scale.
The ground scale has a big implication for the maps and size of the table. The maps I drew for my A Dot in Russia Megablitz Scenario highlight how ground scale impacts the map/table. I’ve reproduced the three of the maps for the scales of interest.
Russian Rifle Regiments
In Megablitz the Russians fight in regiments. These have more men than battalions and hence are bigger on table. Where a 15-20mm battalion stand is 4cm x 4cm, a rifle regiment would be 6cm x 6cm.
All my infantry stands for Crossfire are the same size (3cm x 3cm) so I’ve elected to use sabots for my infantry regiments. To keep the scale consistent – regiments are 1.5km wide and deep – I’ve gone for 4.5cm x 4.5cm sabots.
My vehicles are not on bases at all.
Of course I could ignore the difference and field my Russian regiments on the normal 3cm x 3cm bases. In fact if I went for 1:50,000 ground scale, the rules allow me to do that. If I felt guilty about that I could give the regiments a bigger zone of control. Normals stands have a 1km (3cm) zone of control and the regiments could have a 1.5km zone of control (4.5cm); the effect would be very similar to using a bigger stand.
Megablitz stands are meant to be identified by name. I don’t do that. I’ve only played two games and haven’t found it necessary.
If/when I do need stand labels, all my infantry have unique stand IDs. For Crossfire these are “B-C-P S” = Battalion, Company, Platoon, Squad. For example “G-2-1” and a red dot is a squad (usually with infantry anti-tank weapons) in the 1st platoon, 2nd company, of the German Infantry Battalion.
Obviously, with the different troop scale of Megablitz the ID has to mean something else. “C-D-R B” = Corps, Division, Regiment, Battalion. For example “G-2-1” and a red dot is a battalion in the 1st regiment, 2nd Division, of a German Infantry Corps.
In Megablitz Russian infantry stands are regiments, not battalions, so the ID has to mean “A-C-D R” = Army, Corps, Division, Regiment. For example “R-2-3” and a yellow diamond is a regiment in the 3rd division, 2nd Corps, of a Russian Army.
My vehicles might pose a problem as they don’t have a unique ID. If it matters I’ll print up separate labels for the vehicles.
Option of 1:50,000 Ground Scale
The base sizes for 5-12mm figures at 1:50,000 ground scale would give me a bit of a easy option. My 3cm x 3cm bases (for 15mm figures) is perfectly within the range given for base sizes for 5-12mm figures (i.e. 2-4cm x 4-6cm). Choosing this scale would also mean I don’t have to have separate arrangement for Russian Rifle Regiments. Hmmm, no decisions are ever easy.
[As I said I’ve solved some of this problem before – happens to have been in my Megablitz Clarifications and House Rules.]
5 thoughts on “How to use Crossfire Armies for Megablitz”
While I have always been fascinated by the concept of an Operation Wargame on the table top and have investigated both of the major rule sets for it – I have never liked the “look” of them on the table top. I find that the “look” is just as important to me as the content.
(1) What is the other major rule set for Operational Wargaming?
(2) Why don’t you like the “look” of them on the table top?
My regular opponent Chris says of Megablitz, “Ah, so it is a board game and the units are counters”. He’d prefer I use 1/300th scale figures for my counters. To which I reply “All wargames are essentially board games and the units are counters. It is just the level of abstraction that varies. And I’m not going duplicate my figures and terrain!”
Isn’t “not Quite Mechanized” the same game scale? I base my”look” comment on battle reports I’ve seen on the Megablitz and NQM Blogs. I have to admit that your Dot ARP looks very good. It’s personal taste, I guess but so many vehicles so close together on the table top just turn me off. For similar reasons I dislike Flames of War with 155mm Howitzers on the same 4X6 table as the opponent’s tanks and infantry.
“Not Quite Mechanised”, “Hurrah Stalino!” and “KISS Rommel” / “KISS NW Europe” / “KISS Blitzkrieg” are all operational games. I wasn’t sure which you meant was the other “major” one.
I agree about FoW. Fire teams (half squads/sections) fighting it out on the same table as the 155mm Howitzers firing indirect in their support. That is some strange ground scale. The also obviously rewards masses of tanks bumper to bumper as this is also a common sight in FoW games. Seems odd to me in a skirmish game.
But I don’t mind seeing two Panzer battalions side by side in an Operational level game, even if both are represented by a single Panzer III model. That looks about right to me because I know the ground scale is 3 or 4 cm to 1 km. (It isn’t a skirmish game.)
As the French say “A chacun, sont gout”