Source: Warhammer Fantasy: 6th Edition

Notes on Scale and Measurement
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Metric Measurements

Warhammer utilises traditional imperial measurements of feet and inches, but it is perfectly possible, if less convenient, to play the game in centimetres should players prefer to do so.

Rather than attempt to translate distances into their metric equivalents, we recommend that players simply double all distances and measure in centimetres. So 12" becomes 24cm, 4" becomes 8cm and so on. This has the effect of slightly reducing the Movement distances and ranges compared to a game played in inches, but this is tolerable and can even be regarded as advantageous in that it allows a game to be played in a slightly smaller area. Randomly generated distances can also be accommodated easily using this method, simply by doubling the scores rolled.


In Warhammer each model represents a single warrior, monster, machine or whatever, whilst an inch on the tabletop is equivalent to about five feet in real life - the same as the scale height of the models themselves.

Players might correctly point out that in the real world a bowman can shoot an arrow well over 200 yards rather than the paltry 40 yards or so represented by the weapon's maximum Warhammer range of 24". The reason is that we have reduced all measured distances to produce a playable tabletop game. The game's designers reduced distances roughly in the proportion of 1" equals 10 yards, so a bow with a range of 24" is judged to have an effective range of 240 yards. The alternative is to allow the bow a range of 144" and fight all battles in a car park!

A similar observation could be made about the number of models comprising a regiment of troops. It would be impractical though not actually impossible to field regiments comprising hundreds of models, so battles are represented using fewer troops than a literalist might demand. The ten or twenty models in a game unit stand for a regiment of several hundred troops, and for this reason regiments manoeuvre and react as if they were larger formations. As both sides field regiments reduced in size, the relative values are preserved and the results amount to the same thing. To put it another way, if 10 Elves can beat 10 Goblins then 100 Elves can beat 100 Goblins just as convincingly!


Players sometimes ask how long a time is represented by a single turn of play. Does a turn last for hours or does it represent a few minutes? Warhammer has been designed as a game, events which might realistically last for hours have been compacted into a shorter time though with the same overall results.

A real battle might last for most of a day, whilst a Warhammer game will typically last for 5 or 6 turns on each side. We presume that these 5 or 6 turns represent the passage of about the same number of hours or perhaps slightly longer.

Of course, in reality a warrior can shoot more than 5 or 6 times in that many hours, he can move much further, and so forth. However, we compact events together and cut out all the time spent in inactivity. In a real battle troops stand idle for much of the time, only moving into action when required, and then expending much of their energy all at once.

If you like, think of a Warhammer turn as a short period of activity together with longer periods idleness, waiting for orders, resting, and so forth. Similarly, just as one model stands for many, so an arrow or crossbow bolt might be thought of as representing a whole shower of missiles fired by shooters who have limited supplies of missiles, and who would soon become tired by
repeated firing.

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