MK HeroClix House Rules

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Labels A to Z, Part 8

Meerkats - NSL - The meerkat a small mammal that is a member of the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years. I use this label when talking about

Model Making - MSW - Models: Just before the 20th century, the British historian (and science fiction author and forgotten mainstream novelist) H. G. Wells published a book, Little Wars, on how to play at battles in miniature. His books use 54mm lead figures, particularly those manufactured by Britains. His fighting system employed spring-loaded model guns which shot matchsticks.
This use of physical mechanisms was echoed in the later games of Fred Jane, whose rules required throwing darts at ship silhouettes; his collection of data on the world's fleets was later published and became renowned. Dice have largely replaced this toy mayhem for consumers.
For over a century, toy soldiers were made of white metal, a lead-based alloy, often in architect's scale-based ratios in the English-speaking countries, and called tin soldiers. After the Second World War, such toys were on the market for children but now made of a safe plastic softer than styrene. American children called these "army men". Many sets were made in the new scale of 1:40. A few styrene model kits of land equipment were offered in this and in 1:48 and 1:32 scales. However, these were swept away by the number of kits in the scale of 1:35.
Those who continued to develop miniature wargaming preferred smaller scale models, the soldiers still made of soft plastic. Airfix particularly wanted people to buy 1:76 scale soldiers and tanks to go with "00" gauge train equipment. Roco offered 1:87 scale styrene military vehicles to go with "H0" gauge model houses. However, although there is no 1:72 scale model railroad, more toy soldiers are now offered in this scale because it is the same as the popular aircraft scale. The number of fighting vehicles in this scale is also increasing, although the number of auxiliary vehicles available is far fewer than in 1:87 scale.
A more recent development, especially in wargaming of land battles is 15mm white metal miniatures, often referred to as 1:100. The use of 15mm scale metals has grown quickly since the early 1990s as they allow a more affordable option over 2mm if large battles are to be refought, or a large number of vehicles represented. The rapid rise in the detail and quality of castings at 15 mm scale has also helped to fuel their uptake by the wargaming community.
Armies use smaller scales still. The US Army specifies models of the scale 1:285 for its sand table wargaming. There are metal ground vehicles and helicopters in this scale, which is a near "one-quarter-inch-to-six-feet" scale. The continental powers of NATO have developed the similar scale of 1:300, even though metric standardizers really don't like any divisors other than factors of 10, 5, and 2, so maps are not commonly offered in Europe in scales with a "3" in the denominator.
Consumer wargaming has since expanded into fantasy realms, employing scales large enough to be painted in imaginative detail - so called "heroic" 28mm figures, (roughly 1:64, or S scale). Firms which produce these do so in so small production lots that they are necessarily made of white metal.
I use this label when talking about the models I am making for my MS Wars game on my MS Wars blog.

Movement - MSW - Military and Naval meaning: a change of position or location of troops. I use this label when talking about Movement for my MS Wars game on my MS Wars blog.

MS Wars - NSL - Mobius SRACU Wars, or M.S. Wars for short, is a Mecha based miniature war game that I have been designing. Originally it was going to be Gundam M.S. Wars (Gundam Mobile Suit Wars) and was going to be based on meanly Gundam with other mecha shows like Code Geass and Macross being added. But I had decided to change things by making a whole new universe for it. I use this label when talking about the game or the blog from the game on my main blog.

Naming - MSW - A name is a label for a noun, normally used to distinguish one from another. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person, and may or may not include a middle name. The name of a specific entity is sometimes called a proper name (although that term has a philosophical meaning also) and is a proper noun. Other nouns are sometimes, more loosely, called names; an older term for them, now obsolete, is "general names". The use of personal names is not unique to humans. Dolphins also use symbolic names, as has been shown by recent research. Individual dolphins have individual whistles, to which they will respond even when there is no other information to clarify which dolphin is being referred to. Care must be taken in translation, for there are ways that one language may prefer one type of name over another. A feudal naming habit is used sometimes in other languages: the French sometimes refer to Aristotle as "le Stagirite" from one spelling of his place of birth, and English speakers often refer to Shakespeare as "The Bard", recognizing him as a paragon writer of the language. Finally, claims to preference or authority can be refuted: the British did not refer to Louis-Napoleon as Napoleon III during his rule. I use this label when talking about naming units.

The next Labels A to Z post will be Necromunda, Neoscream's Life, Other Smartz Girls, Pendraken and Pictures. Until next time, enjoy.