Kreigsspiel Time Scale

Each turn in Kriegsspiel represents 2 min. Often times, Kriegsspiel is run in real time.  You play a full days battle in 1 full day.  You just got a report in from the Umpire.  You need to write new orders to respond.  How long does that take you?  Well, the clock is ticking.  How fast can you write?  This creates a sense of urgency and timing. 

In a big battle, you might need a team of Umpires to crank out the combat results and issue reports. One option an Umpire has, is to group turns together to speed things up.  This is particularly helpful for operational movement.  So let’s say the forces aren’t even in contact yet.  You start playing by 1 hour turns or even 1 day turns.  Once there is contact, then you slow it down to 2 min turns. 

Keep in mind, the turns are for the Umpire. The players don’t usually know about or track turns.  They just know what time it is. 

So how does the time / movement scale compare to Pub Battles?


This is a 2 min step out march rate compared to the Pub Battles Movement Stick. Keep in mind that the map scales are off by 2:1.  So really, that is how far infantry would move in 4 min of time in Kriegsspiel. 

How long are Pub Battles turns? 1.5 hours.  Wow!!  This is way off.  By direct comparison it is.  Keep in mind how Kriegsspiel is played.  That is technically how fast your infantry CAN move in 4 min.  That doesn’t mean every piece you have moves that far every 4 min.  They don’t move at all if they don’t have orders! 

So first, you have to write an order. How long does that take you?  15 min?  Remember, the clock is ticking.  Now you have to get this order to the Umpire.  He has to assign it to a messenger and track the messengers move down the chain of command down to the actual unit.  How long does that take?  How many people are in the chain of command?  Each link adds time.  It could easily take 20-30 min for a messenger to ride that far.  Let’s say there are 3 key command links that needs to give the orders a once over.  Figure a 10 min delay for each of them while they make plans and the troops are ready to actually start moving. 

That all adds up to about an hour, give or take. It depends on the exact situation.  That leaves about 20-30 min left for the troops to actually march.  That works out to be just about right:  1.5 hours.  An Umpire would track all of these details in Kriegsspiel.  Pub Battles streamlines this for speed.  It is a close approximation.  You do lose some of this detail and texture in command systems.  Pub Battles makes up for some of this with the Turn Alter rolls HQs can do.  Some HQs are rated higher to simulate a more efficient and sleeker command system. 

The Mounted speed is comparable.


Note that this shows the ‘gallop’ speed of cavalry. You can do this but only for short bursts.  Infantry has a variable march speed as well. 


What about artillery ranges?


Very comparable. Again, remember the 2:1 map ratio.  Kriegsspiel breaks ranges down into more detail with the various gun weights.  Pub Battles again simplifies and groups these all together.  A close approximation as a trade off for speed. 

Is that a good trade? How much accuracy and detail are we losing here?  Judging from this, it looks to be about a 5% loss in accuracy.  How much speed do we gain?  Well, if you are playing in real time, a full day battle should take about a full day in the real world.  Let’s call it 8 hours.  How long does it take to play a full battle in Pub Battles?  1 hour.  Would that be an 800% improvement? 

I’d call that a bargain.             

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