Help support TMP

"15mm Ancients Figure Sales Slipping?" Topic

48 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Ancients Discussion Message Board

Back to the Scale Message Board

Action Log

02 Jul 2016 7:41 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

06 Jan 2017 9:21 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from DBx board

2,670 hits since 9 Oct 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Oct 2015 5:31 p.m. PST

Writing in this topic – TMP link – Thomas Thomas asserts that 15mm figure sales are falling:

A great version for 25mm bigger bolder bader. This may account for the slippage in 15mm figure sales as many are putting together new 25mm armies. At Historicon I had more players in 25mm than 15mm tournaments. Big crowd for the Ice and Fire game on Saturday night in 25mm.

Do you see 15mm figures becoming less popular for Ancients?

Timotheous Inactive Member09 Oct 2015 5:39 p.m. PST

If they are, I think it has as much to do with the proliferation of 28mm plastic kits for ancients.

RudyNelson09 Oct 2015 5:51 p.m. PST

Mine have slipping for several years. This includes packs, loose castings and DBA army bags.
The shift from a set of rules that use larger armies to one. That uses smaller armies did not help. For a few years, players had obtained their tournament armies so did not need more troops.
In the DBA area, the shift from 2.2 to 3.0 is not a reason.

kyoteblue Inactive Member09 Oct 2015 6:41 p.m. PST


Keifer11309 Oct 2015 6:41 p.m. PST

For some reason, gamers seem to prefer skirmish games to big battle games.I don't know if it's lack of commitement or being cheap….

This can be seen in the shift from Warhammer 40K to Warmachine which has fewer figures which, while per figure price is the same as 40K, has an overall smaller entry price.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Oct 2015 6:59 p.m. PST

I already have all the painted 15mm Ancients armies I need.

And the Titanic is unsinkable.

Attalus I09 Oct 2015 7:00 p.m. PST

If a company like PSC came out with a comprehensive line of quality 15mm plastic ancients, especially if it contained enough figs in a box to do an entire DBA, BBDBA, or LADG army, I think you would see a resurgence.

Nick Bowler09 Oct 2015 7:19 p.m. PST

I agree with Attalus. I could envision a sprue with a few legionaries, a skirmisher, and auxiliary, an cavalry figure, and an officer. 3x same sprue = DBA army, and more sprues for bigger armies. You don't need to do all of the exotic stuff, but romans and barbarians with some shield options and you have a large chunk of the ancients you would need.

(I also keep hopeing for 15mm ACW in plastics!)

The Wargames Room09 Oct 2015 7:34 p.m. PST

When I first started wargaming figure scales options were limited. Likewise only a few rule sets were available, including some from the local library.. Today we have a wonderful range of miniatures and rules each with their own benefits and limitations.

Ranges today include 2mm, 3mm, 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm, 40mm and 54mm figures, to name a few. Some people enjoy one scale and become fixated on this. On occasion they undertake a crusade to convert the world. Fortunately, most people see through this and can see that each scale has its own merits. Locally I see many of the above ranges and people building armies in their selected scale.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 8:07 p.m. PST

Hmmm, I need some Goths…

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 8:12 p.m. PST

Not in my house!

And there's still a whole lot of DBA armies I don't have yet ^,^

kyoteblue Inactive Member09 Oct 2015 8:15 p.m. PST


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Oct 2015 9:02 p.m. PST

You need Burmese, too… wink

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 9:18 p.m. PST

I have been in this hobby since the 70s and I have never seen any 15mm Ancients. I have never seen them advertised, used at tournaments, in stores, not a one. Honestly, I didn't know they existed.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 9:20 p.m. PST

You guys are making all this up, right?

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 10:08 p.m. PST

All of my ancient armies, and I have LOTS of them are in 25mm, 28mm, 10mm and 6mm. I have never even considered doing ancients in 15mm.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2015 10:39 p.m. PST

I always leary of anecdotal evidence from "one guy" who thinks the sky is falling when a ceiling tile hits him on the head.
Ask the 15mm Ancients manufacturers.

Black Hat Miniatures10 Oct 2015 1:57 a.m. PST

Nope, sales are still as strong as ever….


CATenWolde Inactive Member10 Oct 2015 4:09 a.m. PST

For what it's worth, when I finally made a foray into Ancients, using Dux Britanniarum, I took a game meant for a skirmish in 28mm and made it into a battle game with 15mm, using 12-14x 15mm figures in place of 6x 28mm figures. When I do my 1:1 Viking skirmish project, it will also be in 15mm. The big new 15mm figures with so much personality – Splintered Light is leading the way here I think – make it not only possible but a great choice.

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2015 4:21 a.m. PST

If Forged in Battle had enough demand to launch such a large and comprehensive range then I think there must be some people still playing them…..

I have 3 good sized ancient 15 mm armies, and lead for a few more.

aynsley683 Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2015 5:26 a.m. PST

Just bought a 15mm pile of lead for a new army I will paint this Autumn from 3 separate manufacturers.
A nice little Romano British DBM army with figures from splintered light Saxons, Khuarsani supplying the bulk ( late roman and Germanic mixed together) and some Peter pig stuff for another project actually( causality markers for my 15mm samurai army that is trying ADLG).
Personally I have never seen 6 or 10mm stuff anywhere, we mainly do 15's at the club with the odd 25 game at weekends. The 15mm scale is the smallest I want to paint I think.
The Saga rule set certainly got people doing more of the 25's I think as it was affordable to get a whole army in that scale.
If sales are slipping for 15's is there any evidence from anywhere to back it up? Black Hat hasn't seen any tiles falling form the ceiling yet.

Personal logo bauedawargames Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Oct 2015 5:26 a.m. PST

I think more people is playing 15mm ancients now then at any time in the past.
That is probably true also for 28mm and for other periods and non historical, so the relative perception can be different…

Henry Martini10 Oct 2015 6:15 a.m. PST

War and Empire is an attempt to capitalise on and repeat the commercial success of FoW, which after all, uses 15mm figures.
Whether that happens rests on West Wind's ability to draw in the FoW/GW crowd. I certainly think there's a better chance than with Napoleonics (Napoleon at War), which is too tactically inaccessible and too time consuming and difficult for that market segment to paint, and which, unlike Ancients, has no celluloid buzz to speak of.

jameshammyhamilton Inactive Member10 Oct 2015 12:12 p.m. PST

I am far from convinced there are more people playing 15mm now than in the past. You certainly don't see any massive tournaments like there were back in the early 2000s with DBM.

What rules are these people playing?

In the UK FoG is in a decline, DBMM is stable at best, Impetus has a small niche, ADLG looks to be a new kid but so far has not made a big bang.

Personally I have not bought any 15mm Ancients for perhaps 5 years and until I find a new ruleset that grabs my attention I don't think that will change.

Black Hat Miniatures10 Oct 2015 12:32 p.m. PST

I am selling a lot to France for ADLG at the moment.


Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2015 7:33 a.m. PST

We are hoping 15mm and Ancients are of interest to younger gamers just getting into the market. The plastic guys (HAT, etc) have plenty of 1/72nd figures available such that you can do accurate, affordable armies. But 15mm metals armies compare very favorably in price and quality and range and you have more natural opponents. I think the FOW comparison is valid. I have heard the comment about the lack of a rules standard discouraging people from 15mm projects.

Bill Hupp
Thistle & Rose Miniatures

Borathan12 Oct 2015 9:59 a.m. PST

One thing with it is that I assume there are people migrating from the Fantasy and SciFi market to expand into other games types.

Unlike, say Flames of War where unless you're heavily into Pulp games, with Ancients and other Historicals, you have a lot of people who already have 28mm terrain that they can use and see that as a starting point into the eras.

On top of that, most people moving into things also tend to think less of the big battles and more of the various myths and heroes, which tends to point towards more skirmish level games than the larger number of troops…which again leads more towards 28mm stuff due to the focus on the individual minis before spreading out into an army at a later point…at which point they already have a starting point in 28mm and aren't thinking of going to another scale.

And other than Flames of War, I don't really see anything happening in 15mm. There are a lot of things with smaller scales, and a couple larger ones…though there are a couple people playing OGAM and TOBAH in 15mm, but that's really it, and even there, they also and more often play both in 28mm

Thomas Thomas12 Oct 2015 1:28 p.m. PST

First let me say that my comment was based on one response re 15mm sales declining and just general observation – it is not scientific.

When I bought my first Ancient/Medieval army it was an Essex 25mm (big figs) English HYW army. At that time you could just go into a brick and morter store which had boxed 1000 point armies ready to go – all in 25mm. I used the same army for WRG and Warhammer.

That all changed when 15mm appeared for historicals. Stores stopped carrying many historicals and went pretty much with fantasy 28mm. At about the same time 5mm started to rival 20mm for WWII games. With similar effects.

Miniature have one great advantage over even computer games – visual appeal, if this aspect is lessened then board games and computer games with their greater conviance will dominate.

Games Workshop got this point early and stuck with 28mm eventually dominating the market. Battleground eventually figured this out for WWII and went with 15mm (really 18mm) essentially reviving 20mm (but not quite as they wanted to resell us new armies), replacing tiny 5mm.

I think we are seeing, with the wave of 28mm plastics, the same trend for ancients and medievals. Visual appeal coming back to the fore front. I've managed to get high school kids raised on computers and GDW's 28mm to play historicals by using 28mm (they have no interest in 15mm). Helped greatly by local stores carrying the boxed plastic 28mm historicals, so that they can buy armies (a box comes close to creating a DBA 3.0 army).

Could be a very positive development for historical gaming.


Personal logo bauedawargames Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Oct 2015 1:38 a.m. PST

I would agree that the tournament scene is not the same it used to be (at least in UK, last DBMM open in Italy attracted 40+ players which is more than there are ever been AFAIK) but that is a firect effect of the PB-RBS schism, when there was a single dominating rule set it was easier to organize big events, now the same number of players is split over at least the 4 sets you mention + DBA3.0 which I think is attracting many tournament players now, with many more playing other less known rule set or simply not playing competitions, lots of people just dropped out of the tournament scene but continue playing at local clubs, often using established if dated rule sets like DBM or WRG 7th just because they like it, or rules designed for 28mm like saga… in short the scene is certainly much more complex and fragmented than it used to be but is very vital and is expanding, W&E last year raised £53,687.00 GBP for a new line of 15mm ancients which was mostly drawn from people who until then only played 28mm or 40k/WH have a read at the comments on their kickstarter page, many who baked that project thought 15mm ancients was such a new original idea and wondered why nobody else ever did it before… GW boys going into 15mm ancients, can you imagine that happening in the 2000?

Father Grigori13 Oct 2015 5:39 a.m. PST

I wonder, in these days of austerity, if it's simply a case of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed insisting that lead mountains get cleared before new ones are accumulated.

Khusrau14 Oct 2015 5:40 a.m. PST

I probably spend about $1,000 USD a year on 15mm Ancients & Medieval. For DBMM2 and DBA3. Baueda gets some of that, but also Essex, CB when they were still around, Lancashire, Mirliton etc. I have about 10 or 12 large'ish (200+ figures) 15mm armies in various painting stages currently, to add to the existing armies. And there at least another 6-10 locals who can say much the same (expenditure may vary, but the purchases are largely 15mm Ancients and Medieval). The beauty of the period is that there are so many different armies to play with, many of which are unique, and play entirely differently.

Wargamer Dave30 Oct 2015 6:45 a.m. PST

bauedawargames – your Kickstarter and the Forged in Battle one from last year are very interesting developments.

Looking back at the launch of FOW in the early 2000s they basically took their existing massive range of 15mm WW2 and rebranded everything whilst putting out a pretty rules book.

The reaction you say the FiB Kickstarter backers had to 15mm Ancients is much the same as what FOW received a dozen plus years back.

It will probably only take someone putting 15s in pretty boxes with lots of color pictures and publishing a glossy rules set to achieve something similar.

The Young Guard30 Oct 2015 4:01 p.m. PST

I think the quality of 15mm has dramatically increased certainly since I've been gaming (13 years). The older brands have their charm but can they really compare with Forged, xyston etc?

Wargamer Dave30 Oct 2015 6:13 p.m. PST

I completely agree with you TYG that the quality of the sculpting of the more recent 15s/18s is far superior to what's come before. Really the whole hobby has upped its game quality-wise.

Henry Martini30 Oct 2015 11:39 p.m. PST

As Wargamer Dave says, to catch the attention of the GW/FoW crowd you have to dazzle them with lots of 'ooh… shiny' and spoon feed them the complete 'hobby' package. FIB has gone for a potentially commercially risky symbolic, minimalist, big badge box art style. I've only seen images of the box tops, so I don't know if there's any supplementary imagery, such as photos of painted figures, elsewhere on the box, but I fear that without some sort of art that unambiguously shouts the contents the kiddies will just pass the boxes by without even recognising them for what they are.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member31 Oct 2015 5:22 a.m. PST

So there's no consensus that 15mm ancients sales are sliding, then? And of course fantasy is not ancients for many (most?) of us …

I sympathise with the 'I've done that' sentiment but have yet to find a scale that really does what 15mm does. For me it would most likely be flats if I could find enough fellow enthusiasts to engage.

My guess is that, related to the level of new releases (of which there aren't that many certainly not in tradition sized 15mm), 15mm sales are probably holding up very well …

Ancients on the Move

Dobber31 Oct 2015 8:28 a.m. PST

Just my opinion; don't kill me!

I think the issue is the scale itself. it was great before guys like pendraken and baccus came along. 28mm is a wonderful skirmish scale, amazingly detailed models, but once you get a few terrain features on the board you run out of room quick. 10mm and 6mm can really give you a AMAZING mass effect, with beautiful ranked troops everywhere. But 15mm… well its kind of 6 of one and a half dozen of the other. I love 15 for skirmish, and it is really a great thing to have senic boards with great amounts of maneuver room, but you don't get the amazing detail of 28mm's every figure has a name syndrome. its just a little big and expensive to give the right mass effect too, especially with the big 18's on the market today. Especially true if we look at FOW, where there is never room for anything other than Napoleonic cavalry tactics for your tanks.

Just my opinion, and I'm an opinionated weirdo.

freecloud31 Oct 2015 3:25 p.m. PST

As I get older I can't see 15mm so well to paint, so its 25mm for me.

Besides, I have all the 15mm armies I want (honest, guv).

I now seem to be recreating exactly the same armies in 25mm. Original, me?

Father Grigori31 Oct 2015 7:32 p.m. PST

I think I'd agree with Dobber. All my armies in the UK were 15mm, and I still have some here (in the process of painting…)but for mass effect I now go for 6mm armies. A DBA game still looks like a battle in 6mm, and something like DBMM or FoG is just amazing – you don't focus on individual figures, but on the look of the army as a whole. I also find 6mm easier to paint – just the main points that would be seen – and storage is much easier. As a last point, 6mm are relatively more robust, too. They take less damage from earthquakes than 15s or 25s.

Tarantella01 Nov 2015 11:13 a.m. PST

It's the calm before the storm of 15mm plastic ancients hitting the market.

Wargamer Dave01 Nov 2015 7:44 p.m. PST

Cool! Tarantella: who's bringing them out?

Mute Bystander Inactive Member05 Nov 2015 7:17 a.m. PST

Two words.

Wishful Thinking.

And I don't even play ancients.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2015 12:58 p.m. PST

There will be a point when even 25-28mm are too hard to paint, or see. I have moved on to 75mm, pre-painted, plastic figures. Very little damage also from earthquake or flood.


Wargamer Dave05 Nov 2015 1:15 p.m. PST

That's brilliant. Well done.

maverick290906 Nov 2015 6:08 a.m. PST

Wow, thank you for sharing, that picture definitely brings back some emotions. I played with Playmobil all throughout my childhood. I had hundreds of figures and the castle and everything. What I liked more about Playmobil than Lego was the versatility in armor, weaponry, and detail among the figures. This looks like a lot of fun and I am starting to wonder if I could replicate this with my children/younger audience some day.

lkmjbc306 Nov 2015 7:57 a.m. PST


Wimp. We old men are moving to GI Joes on ceiling tiles.

Joe Collins

Swampking20 Jan 2016 1:38 p.m. PST

When I decided to do my pseudo-Trojan War project – I only wanted 15mm. The visual appeal of masses of chariots, for me at least, is better in 15mm than in 25/28mm. Furthermore, the cost of masses of 25/28mm chariots is prohibitive to me.

The only problem I have with 15mm is that I really love the Redoubt and Foundry lines and there doesn't seem to be enough 'character' in the current 15mm lines. While I'm still on the young(ish) side of 50, I can still paint 15mm but it takes a bit longer. As for changing to other scales, unless I become a millionaire or build a new house with a bigger games room, that'll never happen. I started out with 15s and I'll finish with 15s.

As for the sales declining, I don't know. Just this past Christmas, I dropped about $300.00 USD and if Falcon Figures or Mick Yarrow would've responded to my emails, it would've been about $500.00 USD.

If a games company would develop a Trojan Wars 15mm plastic range, I'd be the first to hop on it. I believe the market would bear such a range given the dearth of figures with 'character' (I'd suggest future manufacturers look at Wargames Foundry for suggestions on how to do this), it would be great to supplement existing lines.

Maxshadow20 Jan 2016 9:57 p.m. PST

Sales still strong in my house.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.