So how compressed is the TY and FoW ground scale? In short, a LOT. Just taking a couple of examples (and I'll use metric for ease of conversion):
The Soviet 125mm gun used on the T-72 has an in game range of 80cm. Multiplying that by miniature scale (~1/100), you get a "real world" range of 80m for the T-72 gun - or less than the length of a football field (which ever type of football you prefer!). In reality, the effective range for the Soviet gun is between 800m (nighttime) and 1000m (daytime), which means the ground scale is compressed by at least a factor of 10 to 12.
Similarly, battle rifles like the AK-47 and AK-74 have a range of 20cm, which translates in the real world to 20m. In reality, the effective range of these weapons is between 200-300m - again representing a compression factor of at least 10, maybe as high as 15.
|Correcting the miniature size based on true ground scale|
|Not so close as the table would lead us to believe!|
So assuming we have two AFVs that are 3m by 6m (roughly the size of the hull of a T-72 or other modern main battle tank) and they are sitting 2mm apart, what does that represent if we actually remove the compression and go to a true ground scale? First the miniatures themselves have to be "shrunk" to the right scale using the center of mass as a reference point. Once that is done it is fairly easy to check the distances, and what you end up with is two 15mm miniatures 2mm apart corrected for range compression actually represent two vehicles nearly 30 METERS apart on the battlefield!!!
And that sort of gets to the crux of the issue. Team Yankee and Flames of War both make certain compromises to provide an enjoyable game that makes a reasonable representation of late and early 20th Century combat respectively. Neither game is a hard core simulation. One compromise is the miniature size - 15mm is a good size to get good detail while retaining ease of painting. Smaller scales have less (and in some cases a LOT less) detail and are exponentially harder to paint to a high standard. The standard 4' x 6' (yeah, I went back to Imperial units, deal with it) would need to be 40' by 60' to achieve the right "look" on a company scale game with 15mm miniatures - which is impractical at best.
Ultimately the player needs to decide whether these compromises are acceptable. It is also helpful to keep in mind what the compressed ground scale really means - even when tanks are "fender to fender" on the tabletop, they're effectively representing tanks at least 20m apart because of the compression. Granted, this causes some strangeness locally when dealing with buildings and line of sight, but that is yet another compromise of the system players must judge on their own.