Liberators Maps at Different Ground Scales

Different rule systems assume different ground scales. So I thought I’d show one scenario map, a Liberators scenario by John Fletcher for the Battle of Ica, at different ground scales. And suggest which Wargaming Rules suit each scale.

Map and Table Scales

The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. In a wargaming context this means the distance on the table to the corresponding distance on the ground. Map scales may be expressed in words, as a ratio, or as a fraction.


Thanks to John Fletcher for permission to use his Ica map to illustrate this post.

Folk from North America tend to use words with inches as the starting measurement. For example “1 inch to 40 yards” or “40 yards per inch” both mean 1 inch on the map or table corresponds to 40 yards on the ground.

Where I grew up, in New Zealand, we use ratios for map scales. 1:25,000, for example, means 1 cm on the map corresponds to 25,000 cm (or 250 m) on the ground. A more common wargaming scale would be 1:1000 which means 1 cm on table corresponds to 1000 cm (or 10 m) on the ground.

I tend to use Ratio scales but I’ll try to put the American equivalent with each.

Map from the Ica Scenario

I’m using the map from John Fletcher’s Ica Scenario to illustrate my point. The map corresponds to an area 2.6 x 1.7 km. There is nothing particularly significant about this map except John originally provided the Ica Scenario as a free give away and it uses his normal ground scale.

Table Ica Scenario
Table Ica Scenario

1:1000 (~30 yards per inch) Wing Scale

The most likely scale I’ll be using, the Wing Scale of 1:1000 (~30 yards per inch), poses problems when using John Fletcher’s maps as I would need a bigger table. Quite a lot bigger. Each square on John’s map would be over 17 inches on the table. A 6′ x 4′ table would be way too small. It would take a 9′ x 6′ table to accommodate the Ica Scenario comfortably although you could, and I probably would, squeeze it onto a 8′ x 5′ table.

Ica Scenario 1:1000 Scale 8'x5' Table
Ica Scenario 1:1000 Scale 8’x5′ Table

Suitable for: Liberators QPR; Shako; March Attack; Volley & Bayonet

You could use this table for Liberators QPR with small bases only one rank deep. You could also use it for any battalion based set of rules using Big Bases, e.g. Shako, March Attack or the “Wing Scale” of Volley & Bayonet.

1:1440 (40 yards per inch) Liberators QPR Scale

40 yards per inch is John Fletcher’s default scale for his Liberators books and the Liberators QPR specifically. John design the Ica Scenario to fit perfectly on a 6′ x 4′ table at that scale. Each map grid square is 12 inches by 12 inches on the table.

Ica Scenario 1:1440 Scale 6'x4' Table
Ica Scenario 1:1440 Scale 6’x4′ Table

Suitable for: Liberators QPR; Liberators HOTT; Volley & Bayonet; “Liberatores Rules: Por El Amor a la Patria!”.

Obviously you could use this table for Liberators QPR however you really should change the rules so that battalions are deployed with two rows of troops. You could also use it for Liberators HOTT on Big Bases and for the “Battalion Scale” of Volley & Bayonet.

1:2000 (~60 yards per inch) Battalion Scale

The Battalion Scale of 1:2000 is where I use a single Big Base for a battalion. Each of John’s map squares is about 8.5 inches. You probably only need a 4′ x 3′ table to fight the Ica Scenario.

Ica Scenario 1:2000 Scale 4'x3' Table
Ica Scenario 1:2000 Scale 4’x3′ Table

Suitable for: Liberators HOTT

You could use the smaller table for Liberators HOTT on Big Bases.

1:2880 (80 yards per inch) Liberators HOTT Scale

The smallest scale I’ll look at requires only a 3′ x 2′ table for the Ica Scenario. Each of John’s map squares is only 6 inches on table.

Ica Scenario 1:2880 Scale 3'x2'
Ica Scenario 1:2880 Scale 3’x2′

Suitable for: Liberators HOTT

The smallest table is reserved for Liberators HOTT with small bases.

Volley & Bayonet

I’ve mentioned Volley & Bayonet, “Wing scale” and “Battalion scale” a few times above. The standard scale for V&B is 1:3600 (100 yards per inch) – this is the “Regimental Scale” and is way too big for South America. But there are Volley and Bayonet Alternate Scales including “Wing Scale” and “Battalion Scale”. These alternatives offer some possibilities for my own Big Bases.

Wing Scale: In Wing Scale each base is half a battalion, so there are two bases for a battalion. Exactly the configuration I’ve used for my Liberators armies. Each of my battalions has two bases, each base being 80mm wide x 40mm deep. So one of my battalions in line would be 160mm wide and 40mm deep.

Battalion Scale: Each base is a full-strength battalion, so my battalions would be 80mm wide and 40mm deep.

Given my preference for metrics, round numbers, and ratio scales I’m inclined to adjust the V&B ground scales.

Rules Battalion Bases Ratio Scale American Scale Battalion Frontage
V&B Wing Scale 2 x 3″ wide 1:900 25 yards per inch 150 yards
V&B Battalion Scale 1 x 3″ wide 1:1800 50 yards per inch 150 yards
Steven’s Wing Scale 2 x 80mm wide 1:1000 28 yards per inch (~30 yards per inch) 160 metres
Steven’s Battalion Scale 1 x 80mm wide 1:2000 56 yards per inch (~60 yards per inch) 160 metres


Fletcher, J. (2005). Liberators! Volume 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Fletcher, J. (2006). Liberators! Supplement 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Volley and Bayonet Alternate Scales

Leave a Reply