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"What Size Forces do you use in your 15mm Games" Topic

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Timothy V Inactive Member13 Sep 2012 9:34 a.m. PST

I was wondering what Scale engagements other 15mm Gamers are playing. I myself got into 15mm so I could play Games on a Larger Tactical Level & be able to use Combined Arm Forces without it being Silly as it is in most 28mm Games. I Have Been Playing Tactical Engagement using a Minimum of a Full Platoon + associated Support Units & have started playing Games with Multiple Platoons & even in some cases going above the Company Level with some Forces. I always attempt to keep Forces Involved in the Game Balanced & Rarely need to use the Point System as all Point Systems are abstracts & I prefer to play Narrative Story Driven Scenarios. When I First Started Playing Gruntz I Used the Point System but after a few Games My Gaming Group Decided we could have more fun with playing without it & using Full TO&E's for the Forces Involved. Gruntz has been a Really Good Rules System for this Size Tactical Engagements & only Required a Couple of Small Tweaks to Make the Rules Work for Platoon & Company Level Games. I am using a version of the Optional Card Activation from the Core Rules to allow Larger Games of Gruntz. The First thing I do is Before Troop Deployment & the Beginning of the Game Every Unit is assigned a Card to represent it. This Card will activate the Unit when it is Drawn. In Addition All Weapons Specialist have to be Assigned to a Particular Squad or formed into Small Squads with 2 to 4 teams per squad, they Activate as A Squad but May Choose up to 2 Targets when Firing their Weapons & must stay within 6" Unit Coherency.
Commanders, Sub Commanders, who Must be assigned to a Squad making it into a Command Squad which gain a Unit Coherency of 6" Since they are led by a Commander or Sub Commander. Medics & Mechanics must be assigned to a Squad Starting with Command Squads then they may be assigned to other Squads but may use seperate actions when activated as long as they stay within unit Coherency .
Vehicles & All other Specialist will also be formed into squads of 2-6 models with a 6" unit coherency for Specialist & Squads of 2 to 4 models with a 9" unit coherency for Vehicles to represent their size. This is for large games above the Platoon Level. These rules work for games including Multiple platoons even going up to Company Level engagements & Larger. Approximately 1000 or 2000 Points & Above. Using this Activation system really give a feel of the chaos that occurs on the battle field as you are not guaranteed when your next unit will activate or which of your units will activate & make it so you don't have to wait for your opponent to finish all his Units activations before you get a chance to respond. I am very interested to see how these Rules Modifications will work in Gruntz Version 1.1 as it appears that the rules have been Refined. Gruntz 1.1 should be Released in the next week or 2 I'll let you Know how they work for Large Tactical Engagements in this Post then.


Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

Well, first it depends on era.

Napoleonics are division+, with 50-70 models per Regiment/battalion, and 7+ battalions per side.

My Northwest Frontier forces are slowly progressing, and will be 5 battalions of infantry, two cavalry regiments, a Mounted Infantry unit, and two artillery batteries. Modeled 1:5, for 80-man infantry battalions, 10-man companies.

Flames of War is often a short battalion (2 companies of infantry and the BN support platoons).

This Quar's War is a company+supporting sections, roughly half the model count of Flames.

Force on Force and Tomorrow's War is usually a platoon or two.

billthecat13 Sep 2012 10:26 a.m. PST

'Platoon level'… 20-40 individually based models sometimes with up to 4-6 support robots/vehicles, per side.

Basically the original scale of 40K:Rogue-Trader and similar knock-off games, before 40K went triple on the model count, and other 28mm games went to squad level (4-12 infantry per side, cool in 28mm, but too small in 15mm IMHO.)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 10:32 a.m. PST

Most of my 15mm are ACW; infantry units are 20 – 32 figs each, and a typical game has about 9 to 18 per side with bigger games having 30 plus per side

As you might suspect, Grand Tactical (Fire and Fury or Volley and Bayonet)

Lesack Inactive Member13 Sep 2012 10:54 a.m. PST

I'm about the same as billthecat, or slightly smaller. I'm not a fan of bookkeeping or extensive setup times, so less is more for me.

Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 11:04 a.m. PST

I like to refight historical battles so it often boils down to how big the original battles were.

For Operational Level games (20th Century mostly) I like NQM and Megablitz but none of this s really scale specific.

I don't like big tables, however so would generally prefer several smaller table to anything over, say 8'x 5' (not a fan of the current fad for big games on big tables) …


sharkbait13 Sep 2012 11:37 a.m. PST

I like small games, a couple infantry squads per side with a rare vehicle or two.

When the Big Battles rules for 5150:Star Army are out, then I may try some bigger battles.

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 11:46 a.m. PST

Anywhere from 4 or 5 up to 50 or 60… I do Traveller skirmishes, so often a starship crew vs. much larger aggressor forces…

Victor Kravenhoff Inactive Member13 Sep 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

I never feel right about having less tham 20-30 guys on a given side in any battle in 15mm, and thats when they're very elite. I like to have 50-200 people per side, but more than 100 is really stressing the limits of what can be easily done in most rules, so it ends up like 70-100 per side. Gruntz sounds badass though, so I think I'll try it.

Skipper Inactive Member13 Sep 2012 12:54 p.m. PST

I tend to use the size known as umm…. 15mm……. ; )

Seriously, I tend to use them for skirmish games only…in numbers from 5-6 to about 25, in Sci-fi, Fantasy, Zombie. and WWII, and soon to be pulp and Wild west.

Russ Lockwood13 Sep 2012 1:16 p.m. PST

It depends on how much you can handle in a given time period. Some games use individually mounted figures, others have individual bases atop movement stands so you move all the unit's figures by moving one big stand.

Rule of thumb…

Convention game: 5-6 units
Introducing a basement game: 10-12 units
Grognard game: 20-25 units

I define a unit as a collection of half-dozen bases, usually with three or four figures per base.

The physical aspect of moving units, even large units with lots of bases, doesn't take as much time as figuring out what those units are going to do, are doing, and what happens when the enemy units do what they do. But the number of units certainly impacts the pace of the game.

That said, the more players in a game, the fewer units should be given per player. Oh, and time -- the shorter the gaming period, the fewer units should be given to a player.

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 1:57 p.m. PST

Depends on era and table size available.

Thornhammer13 Sep 2012 2:05 p.m. PST

Roughly the same size as Skipper. I just play skirmish games, so usually six to ten per side max.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2012 3:29 p.m. PST

Could be anywhere from a few figures a side with zombie games, etc., to a three hundred or more a side for ancients.

infojunky13 Sep 2012 4:31 p.m. PST

Tim, it all depends.

For historicals it can be a huge number, depending on the rule set and period.

For 15mm SF, I tend to be close to RPG scales for the number of troops/units on the board 20 to 25 figures individually based, using something close to a 1:1 figure vs. ground scale.

Scale is the real kicker with all games of this ilk. While to be honest I am not really a simulation-ist, the lack of scale in a lot of modern games does bother me when it gets in the way of game play.

McWong7313 Sep 2012 5:53 p.m. PST

What Russ said.

freecloud13 Sep 2012 11:14 p.m. PST

So far about 20 30 troops and about 5 vehicles in Gruntz, about double that in Hammers Slammers. I do think most 15 mm sci fi rules don't deal with big enough forces in an evening game, I think it needs to be a c 100 figure game (what we typically are playing in modern wars at 15 mm scale) tor it may as well be 28mm game

For historical gaming where people fought in close order formations, way more figures.

Personal logo John Treadaway Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2012 1:48 a.m. PST

It depends (obviously) on the size of the game. An average evenings game using The Crucible rules has around two detachments a side. That might be (say) a dozen vehicles and 4 squads of 4 infantry (so 16 figures) if they were an two detachments of an elite, armour-heavy force (like the Slammers) on one side versus a dozen vehicles and 150 infantry on 35 stands for a militia force of two detachments (like the Solace Militia) in a typical asymetric warfare game.

Depending on the experience of the players and the luck of the dice, that game would last anthing from 1.5 to 3 hours or so.

John Treadaway

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2012 2:10 a.m. PST

For WW2 I use 15s for everything from 1:1 skirmishy type stuff up to multiple Corps level 1 base = 1 battalion/brigade type things.

Just adjust the ground scale to suit.

WW1 they tend to be used for brigade-corps sized actions.

Wartopia Inactive Member14 Sep 2012 6:28 a.m. PST

For our 15mm troops we field one company per side and each infantry stand or vehicle model represents 2-4 fire teams, special weapons, heavy weapons, or vehicles. This keeps the relative number of weapons/assets balanced with one another (eg a stand could represent about 3 anti-tank guns or about 3 tanks) while allowing us to field a combined arms force with a reasonable number of figures and maneuver elements.

So a typical infantry platoon is about 3-4 infantry stands and its troop transport model.

In some rare cases we aggregate platoon level weapons up one level to company level if there's only one per platoon creating stand at that higher level.

Infantry are based 2-3 per stand and we use the small Flames of War stands. In general rifle squads get 3 figures and special/heavy weapons stand have 2 figures with the appropriate weapons (eg ATGM). However, individual infantry figures don't count…only the stand matters.

Timothy V Inactive Member14 Sep 2012 11:51 a.m. PST

Victor Kravenhoff If you Decide To Play Gruntz at an Actual Tactical Level Using A Platoon or more The Link May Help you it will take you to the Gruntz Forum where I posted the modifications I have been using to play Large Tactical Battles using Gruntz Version 1. The Largest Engagement I have Done Using these Modifications was on one Side 195 Lt infantry +36 power armor +24 1/2 track APCs 2 Med Tanks +24 1/2 tracked Support including 8SP Artillery. Against78 Hv Infantry + 60 Power Armor War Bots + 24 Hv War Bots & Drones + 6 APCs + 6 Mechs Using Proxies Models for most of the Vehicles & Unpainted Models for the Infantry Played on a 4' By 8' Table.

All My Games I play are a 1 to 1 Figure & Vehicle Ratio & On a Large Table I Will Usually Multiply the Range of All Weapons By 1 1/2 Times There Original Value. Ground Scale I am Not Really Sure About In my Games Lately All Urban Engagements Side Walks Are 1 1/2" & the Average City Block is about 2' to 3' with most Building being 8 to 16 inches on each Side Which I Know is nowhere near 1 to 1 But is Larger than what I have Seen Most people Use in 15mm.

Victor Kravenhoff Inactive Member14 Sep 2012 12:10 p.m. PST

thanks, timothy :D thats really cool!

jake264 Inactive Member17 Sep 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

For larger game I would be using 6mm. I play Flames of War (15mm) at about 1500 points (reinforced company) and the board is too crowded IMHO. I played 40k briefly (love the figures, hated the rules), and will never go back to that scale (25mm). 15mm is a good compromise, but I think 6mm is where it's at, I just wish it were more popular.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 7:06 p.m. PST

I have a 800 figure AWI Army and still to add more French and Some Spanish as well . Working on a Paraguayan War army next .

stewart46A03 Oct 2012 8:36 a.m. PST

i mainly use Peter Pig range of rules and they all include Army lists, from Coy size in PITS and PBI to Div or More in CWB or Square bashing. In number of figures this equals 120 to 250 15mm per side.

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