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From: Frank Pittelli <frank-at-rctankcombat.com>
Subject: Re: Maus? [TANKS]
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 10:20:46 -0400
Reply-To: tanks-at-rctankcombat.com

Stacy Hilton wrote:
> But a 3 foot Maus is another story. I think this scale "thing" will
> need to be tightened up in the future. I understand the reason for
> having the "either or" option. But as more tanks are built, it would
> seem fair to stick to 1/6 scale as a rule.

I'm not sure you do understand the reason for the "1/6 scale or 36 inch" 
rule, so I will explain.

In any competitive hobby, there is a tendency for participants to start 
"gaming" the rules to gain an advantage.  As more people participate, 
the likelihood of someone doing that increases, so others start gaming 
as well.  This isn't "wrong", but it can de-stabilize the game.  For 
example, if we declare that all vehicles must be 1/6 scale, then there 
will be a tendency for people to build the smallest tank design they can 
find under the "theory" that size matters on the battlefield (which, by 
the way is a false theory).  Nonetheless, the tendency would cause more 
small tanks to be built, and fewer M1A1s, King Tigers and other truly 
impressive tanks.  Bad for game diversity and enjoyment in the long-run.

In fact, the original rules said "all tanks must be 36+ inches".  That 
is not only the "fairest" rule (all tanks are the same basic size), but 
also the "easiest" to enforce (which will become important one day as 
the number of participants increases).  From a gaming standpoint, that 
rule is almost impossible to bend, twist or workaround.  But, the major 
advantage of the 36 inch rule, is that it allows some of the greatest 
tanks in history to be built at a reasonable size.

Interestingly, it was the "scale" guys who argued for 1/6 scale to be 
added (thereby making the rule less fair) so that they could use 
commercially built vehicles and parts.  There is also a tiny faction who 
believe that "mixed-scale" is simply "not right" ... but with a little 
diversity training, attitudes like that will eventually die off  :-)

So, I don't mind re-addressing the issue and having a nice debate.  But, 
be careful of what you ask for in a democracy.  There is a good chance 
that we could go back to the absolutely fair 36+ inch rule and abandon 
1:6 scale completely.

        Frank "Every Rule Has A Story" Pittelli