Relics changing measurement system

Tor Gaming have announced that they are changing their Relics fantasy rules to use inches instead of centimetres.

From their announcement:

Something had been ‘niggling’ at the back of my head for a little while about Relics, and I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. You know, like when you have that itch in the middle of your head…. No matter how you try, you just cannot scratch it.

Well, I finally figured out what it was. I’m a little surprised that it wasn’t so obvious, but there you go. We had decided, being a UK company, to do Relics in metric. So, this meant centimetres for all measurements. Now it’s pretty obvious that it was a bad idea after all, so we had to bite the bullet and looked into the effort required to change it.

  • I’m curious why inches are so prevalent in tabletop gaming. Are more Americans gamers than those who use the metric system? A win simply because of a majority?

    Most bases are in metric sizes, and using inches, especially for blasts, causes some issues.

    I don’t mind either way, but my preference is inches- I’ve played both. However, when when Dark Age went to inches, I was happy, for example.

    What do the rest of the the readers here at TTGN think- Metric or no in your tabletop games?

  • abbysdad

    I imagine it’s the same reason that the English system is still used in construction. There’s just more ways to evenly and conveniently divide 12 than there are ways to divide 10.

    1,2,3,4, and 6 all go into 12, and 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6 are all even and whole numbers. It’s a lot easier to give people instructions that way, especially if they don’t speak the same language as you, and it reduces the chances of people spotting small measures of a number differently (is that 1/8 of a cm? etc.). That probably applies to spotting distances on a game board too.

    You can’t do that with the decimal/metric system. Now, for small measures, give me the metric system any day! Mils, 1/16th’s, 1/64th’s, etc. are ridiculous distances to measure using inches and feet.

  • Nemesis

    Well… Unfortunately… Some primitive people keep using body parts to mesure distances… ;o)

  • treslibras

    I think it´s a combination of tradition and ease-of-use.

    First, a lot of US and UK people are still thinking in yard, feet, inch, and hence centimetres is something difficult to grasp (and that is what Tor Gaming is admitting). That is natural and ok. As someone raised with the metric system I feel the same about those silly bodypart measures. 😉

    Second, an inch is pretty much the size of a standard infantry base. So it´s really easy to say “this mini can move 6 times its base”.

    Inch also has two other advantages in miniature gaming: the numbers are lower – ‘6 inch’ instead of ’15 cm’. Most people are more comfortable calculating with numbers under 10.
    And last, it gives you a tad more (psychological) flexibility: To you put your mini 1/8 inch further to the left or right is not really important. It´s still an inch, more or less.
    Centimeters are less forgiving (because they have their little friends, the milimeters, just at hand).