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What is your opinion on measuring distances in wargaming.  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
What is your opinion on measuring distances in wargaming.
Every measurement must be exactly perfect every time, if you move a space marine 6.01 inches in his movement phase you are cheating.
As exact as possible, the game will take a lot longer, but it will be worth it in the end.
Try to be exact, but don't sweat the little stuff, especially in the first turn or 2.
Measure exactly for the first guy in the unit, then just arrange the rest so they are in roughly the correct position around him.
Eyeball it.
Just put your guys where ever, we assume superhuman space marines can manipulate the space-time continuum.
To cut out all the boring tactical positioning stuff we just arrange our troops in melee at the start, no measurements needed.
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Made in gb
Splattered With Acrylic Paint

Lost (and possibly Damned)

Im somewhere between measure the first and move the rest around him, and eyball it, because in my first few games, at local gw, i was told to do the former, and have done ever since, but after a few years of playing, you just know whether that lasbolt's gonna hit him right between the eyes, or fall short. My friends dont mind, and theyll correct me if im wrong

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Possessed Khorne Marine Covered in Spikes

New Hampshire

I like eyeballing it after moving the first guy exact. Move the first line and everyone else behind him, it makes the games go faster and I don't think a fraction of a mm makes that big a difference in a battle anyway.


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Devastating Dark Reaper

It's hard to think that any soldier would ever move ever move the exact same amount as his comrade unless you were genetically altered or something like that (*cough* space marines *cough*) but I don't think it makes a difference as long as you get it within a half of an inch.

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Wing Commander

I usually do the measure the first guy exactly method, but generally the more important movement is at that moment, the more precise I'll be.

Otherwise, moving a guard blob is an exercise in tedium that no one enjoys.

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Incorporating Wet-Blending


Measure from the front of the base, move to the back of the base is the most common cheat I've seen.
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Long-Range Black Templar Land Speeder Pilot


I think that so long as your opponent is playing by the same rules and ethic as you are then you are in for a good game. A truly great game should be a cinematic experience or a tense tactical event, where the battle comes down to the last moves. In a massacre does it really matter if those 7 guardsmen are moving 6.5inches away from my carnifex?? If you are playing a cinematic game then precisely measuring everything gets in the way, whereas in a tactical encounter you don't want to leave any room for doubt. There. I feel better now justifying my inconsistency!!

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Possessed Khorne Marine Covered in Spikes

I tend to go down eye level with the model then slowly shuffle to the side, using parallax I can work out the distance quite accurately.

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Grey Knight Purgator firing around corners

Not a long-time player, I tend to mix the 'exact/will take longer but-' with the 'eyballing' mode:
If I want to make a "normal", straight move without changing formation, I measure the first model and keep the others in the same relative positions (but if, at a glance, the move puts me in a borderline range, I'd measure any model in the unit)
If I want to make sort of a maneouver, such as a turn, I measure the model who will have to travel farther, then position others accordingly: if the model who moved the biggest distance moved 6", it is obvious that other moved less than that.

Coherency tends to be not a big problem, since with my friend we tend to keep the units compact (i.e. more or less an inch - actually 2-3cm), but if we choose to spread the formation, we'd check the 2" coherency.

I have to say that I did not think about the 2-4-6" measure, always using tape. It's a nice idea

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Battlefield Professional

St.Joseph MO

I think this poll is a bit scewed.

In 40k, your moving 100 models or so, and it can be more loose.

Warmachine needs to be more exact.


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Cold-Blooded Saurus Warrior

E. City, NC

My thoughts with this are the same as about everything else: just don't play with douchebags. If you are playing with someone who "has" to win, you better measure everything. He might cheat. If you are playing with someone who laughs everytime he rolls all 1s and 2s with his terminator squad, I'm gonna say don't sweat it as much.
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Bloodthirsty Chaos Knight

Went with be exact, as had too many people measure 1 guy in the unit from the front then suddenly the ones behind are arranged in front of him giving them that bit extra movement. Yet these people are the first to scream that their opponent is 0.2mm short of a charge

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Longtime Dakkanaut

First turn or so doesnt really matter to me, of course as long as we are 24inches apart as per the set up its all good. I do try to pre measure a few moves ahead normally, i.e if I want to measure how far away a charge is etc I'll do that and remember. (although this can give away my next move)

I also advocate pre measuring charge distance and agreeing with opponent before rolling the dice, that way there can be no arguement if it is pre agreed.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/04/26 10:49:44

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Made in gb
Lurking Gaunt


At the end of the day I play for fun.
Again play with a friend regularly and we will quite happily say, dude that's not cool, we will come to an agreement on what's just happened and move on! And that's the end of that issue.
I also look at it as the squad can move 6" not the individual. But again don take the p*ss with your boyz!
I think it's only important to be really anal about that kinda thing when it's necessary, critical assaults, shooting attacks and so forth.

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Made in nz
Disguised Speculo

Option #3 master race reporting in
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Regular Dakkanaut

I'm all for moving the closest model and then bringing up the rest(as long as you're not taking a long line of spaced out troops and ending them all in a tight bunch to get a bit more movement out of the back ones), but I hate it when people pick the tape up after measuring, then place the model down about an inch or so forward of where the tape ended. It's as if they think I didn't notice where the end of the tape had been.
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Ultramarine Scout with Sniper Rifle

Anaheim CA

Just to add my two cents. I like measuring the first model then estimating the rest. However, if I am going this route I usually intentionally short change myself a bit. If I think the unit will have some action in a turn or two, I will measure each unit.

Also, if I have a unit that I moved to avoid assault, I usually measure how far the threat is in a straight line. If they're 14" away and reach me on a 7" to charge, then someone got a little anxious on their move.

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Hangin' with Gork & Mork

The Ruins of the Boston Commonwealth

Again like pretty much ALL the other Ork players here I measure and move one guy in a mob then eyeball the rest of 'em.

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Longtime Dakkanaut

United Kingdom

 Overlord Thraka wrote:
Again like pretty much ALL the other Ork players here I measure and move one guy in a mob then eyeball the rest of 'em.

I'd at least ask for the front and back line to be measured, everyone else can be squeezed in. And with the advent of pre-measuring in 40k, there is no reason not to be exact.

Also, holy necro threading guys.

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Personally, I voted for "try to make it exact but don't worry about it Too much". Of course, it's easy for me - I play marines, so using some 6-inch measure to just plot up each member of a unit is fast anyway. If I played Orks or 'Nids it might be a different story, but with Marines movement is pretty quick.

I think a more telling question is, how specifically do you measure distances when it comes to things like a charge or weapon range or whatever?

It seems a major issue to me to be even Slightly lax in movement and then a stickler to weapon ranges. It's like the basketball game where everyone blames the guy who missed the last shot for losing the game. No - it's all the other missed baskets that lost the game. Similarly, it's the Almost correct movements that make trying to be somehow magically EXACT when it comes to range for charge or weapons fire ridiculous.

I have some friends who agree with this and some who don't, but my general policy is, if the business-end of a measurement ends up coming within say, a fourth of an inch, it gets a d6 roll. 4+, it has range, 1-3, no good. As a general policy.
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Beast of Nurgle

For me it depends what I am playing. In WHFB every single millimeter counts so me and a lot of the people I play with tend to be fairly anal about measurements. 40k on the other hand seems a lot of the time to be just moving models wherever and thinking yeah that looks right.

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Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!

Conroe, TX

Being an 8 year guard Veteran, measuring the first guy and arranging around him IS the only way to measure distance.

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Kabalite Conscript

The Dark City

Like many people, I also play horde orks, and so just decide to measure one model then eyeball the rest, unless they're being moved through terrain, in which case I measure each one individually.

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Hellacious Havoc

"Measure exactly for the first guy in the unit, then just arrange the rest so they are in roughly the correct position around him"
when playing with friends and in a tourny I move the exact distance with every model

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/09/18 23:26:18

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Longtime Dakkanaut

United Kingdom

psnmario wrote:
"Measure exactly for the first guy in the unit, then just arrange the rest so they are in roughly the correct position around him"
when playing with friends and in a tourny I move the exact distance with every model

I guess you don't play Greentide or hordes of nids then?

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Other: in fantasy every little bit counts, in WH40k measure the first and move everyone around there

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Junior Officer with Laspistol

pontiac, michigan; usa

For me i feel like doing it a little less is actually fair. I mean if you're a half a centimeter less it's still fair rather than getting the absolute exact amount each time and possibly cheating somebody. I don't have all day but i won't do a small cheat either.

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Keeper of the Holy Orb of Antioch

avoiding the lorax on Crion

Mesure the first guy and roughly do the rest, mesure any that are biyt more tricky but in general stick to the rough measurements.

Long as its not too out, everyone can give a fraction of a inch eather way n save a ton of time.

Against orks, watching 100 boyz n trucks mesure indevidualy would be painful

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Rotting Sorcerer of Nurgle

The Dog-house

Unsaid house rule is you. just measure the first guy and move the rest... Until that. one guy tries to move the rest of his squad 12-15 inches

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Regular Dakkanaut

Lincoln, UK

I've played games where one player's handspan became the unit of measurement - about 8" or so. Fortunately, the base model move was 8", and ranges were multiples of that (or thereabouts). Partial distances were guessed, and if there was any question of hitting or reaching cover, the answer was always "yes".

Also a fan of games like Crossfire - you can hit anything you can see on the table, and move as you like between scenery items until the other side gets LOS to you and interrupts.

Between friends, it just works.

God of Battles states explicitly that you measure from the unit leader and arrange models around it. Some guys gain a couple of inches in loose formation. Again, it just works.

In a (slightly) less friendly environment, measuring for the two guys at they ends of the formation and making an attempt to "fill in" correctly between them is fine.

Not a fan of cm or mm-scale shenanigans, which finally drove me away from DBA, and "rulesy" tricks like Rat Dagger (using a minimum-sized unit exactly placed to force an attacker to expose its flank to a bigger threat)... well games like that are not for me.
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Dark Angels Librarian with Book of Secrets

A Protoss colony world

Extreme precision should be used for certain things, but earlier in the game, it can be somewhat relaxed for sake of time. After all, it would suck to have to call a game early before a crucial charge or something just because you were taking too long to precisely measure movement. For the aforementioned crucial charge, you should be precise, as the game could swing based on whether it succeeds or fails. Things like that in any game should be done right.

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