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"Getting back into NB," Topic

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DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2015 12:50 p.m. PST

I'm looking at getting back into Napoleonic Battles, using Napoleon's Battles (the green box), don't have the new version. I also have LaSalle, but I prefer NB. The scenario I'm looking at is Quatre Bras from General 101. It has a variety of troops in it for the Anglo Allied force. However, as they say hindsight is 20/20 as I had sold off all of my 15mm troops a couple of years ago. DOH!! So now I'm at a bit of a dilemma as too what scale I should go for…6mm, 10mm or 15mm.

1- 6mm. Looks very nice as it gives the impression of very large armies on the battlefield. From what I've heard as well as they are quick to paint up…I have 6mm WWII and Moderns so I can understand that part and look rather nice when done up too. But when standing about 2-3 feet away, I think you'd only see stands.
I've been looking at Baccus and Adler and both look good. Basing I think I would do in the number of stands required.
Example: In QB, Anglo Allied, First Division there is 16 BrGd. That's in 16mm…needing 16 troops so that'd be 4 bases of 4. In 6mm I'd do 4 bases each with maybe a few strips of troops.
Now…would a person leave the ranges the same? So shooting at 4" would become 4cm or just leave as is?
Board size. Some of the battles are large, requiring 9x5. Going 6mm, would that be doable on a 6x4 or 6x5. Guess it depends on if one goes from imperial to metric.

2- 10mm. Just like 6mm, it would be a rather impressive look on the board for sure. I don't have much else to say as they are in the middle of 6mm and 15mm. Basing I would leave the same…as in the example above, only 4 bases with as many troops as I could fit onto them. Scale I would leave the same.
Pendraken, Old Glory Grand Scale and even GHQ have some nice looking troops.

3- 15mm. Yep…I had them, now I don't have them. I had a decent amount of French and would only have to build up the Anglo Allied force, but alas, I sold them. At this scale, it's a little more of the 'Wow! Those are nice' kinda feel, plus that's what the game was centered at for scale wise. However it's the cost factor vs 6mm and 10mm. But in the end, won't be as impressive as say a 6mm force moving on the table, but the eye candy for the size is nice as well. Old Glory, Battle Honors (I've had BH and rather nice looking) are pretty good for the amount you get for the cost as well. But in the end, it will cost more in dollars when compared to 6mm or 10mm.

So yeah…3 options for sure. But more towards either 6mm or 15mm being tied for first place with 10mm in second place.



Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2015 1:04 p.m. PST

Strong with the Dark Side is 6mm…but resist it you must. The Master does post here, with buttons on his figures, but remember somewhere there is always an apprentice

Even more wicked is plastic, from former Warsaw Pact countries, in 1/72. Honest God-Fearing Airfix was bad enough in the 70s (Hussar drummers, tiny little Cuirassiers, French Infantry carrying a wounded comrade etc) Strong you must be.

Only one true scale. Men are men and you can see their fingernails…. Be mindful of Perrys, Westfalia, Gringos….even Front Rank in their latest superb releases, getting away from the Hobbit look.

You are "getting back into". Is this wise? This way lies madness. Are you not better with Market Garden, Agincourt or Tolentino (Great paintings x 3. I got to see all three in 2014! Good excuse for a jaunt)

Wretched Peasant Scum29 Dec 2015 1:05 p.m. PST

Go 10mm.
There's a local group that plays large battles in 10mm. It looks good to me.
Small enough to get a mass effect, but large enough to show some detail on the figures. [6mm just doesn't do it for me.]

Brian Bronson Inactive Member29 Dec 2015 1:57 p.m. PST

With 6mm you have 2 choices: leave the basing sizes and ranges OOTB and pack more figures per base (much better massed look) OR reduce the base sizes and ranges to cm (3/4 cm x 1 cm?) and put 4 figures on each base just as OOTB (battles take up a smaller space).

I'd go with same bases and ranges as OOTB but with more figures.

Glenn Pearce29 Dec 2015 2:05 p.m. PST

Hello DougEagle!

Reading your post indicates to me that you really only have one choice, Baccus 6mm. They will be the cheapest, fastest to paint with options to paint full detail or speed paint, look great in small numbers and fabulous in mass. Baccus sells everything you need, bases, basing material, flags, rules and a full range of other periods should you want to expand. Matches up with your WWII and moderns so your terrain is all in the same scale. You can fit most battles on your 6x4/5 table. Have a look at the Baccus site and you will see some amazing photos of 6mm games, pure eye candy at any distance.

If you do pick 6mm don't base for any particular rule set. Use the Baccus Polemos basing concept. You can play pretty much any rule set out there with them as is or with a few minor rule adjustments. They also match the way Baccus sells their figures. Four infantry battalions in a bag or five cavalry regiments.

We recently fought Quatre Bras along with all of the battles from 1815 on a 9x5 table. Didn't have to be that big, could be done on a smaller table. Regardless both 10mm and 15mm will always require a bigger table unless you really shrink the size of your units which generally does not look very good.

I'm in Toronto with a huge Baccus collection, what part of Canada are you in?

Best regards,


Timmo uk29 Dec 2015 2:35 p.m. PST

I'd buy a sample pack of each size and see which you enjoy painting the most. Which ever size you go for you are in for an awful lot of painting. Since you can't paint them all at once you don't need to buy them all at once so consider the cost spread out over time. Whilst on the subject of time you might want to think about how long you are prepared to spend before being able to get a game in. That's were others come in. If you have a local group then you need to fit in with what they have.

It may be that you consider the 3mm blocks or even Kreigspeil blocks since you could probably paint all you need in six weeks or less. You could still buy and paint the blocks if you choose 15/18mm. If you really like 15/18mm buy a few samples of AB they are amazing figures if you liked BH these are the same sculptor but even better.

cae5ar29 Dec 2015 3:15 p.m. PST

I have to agree with Timmo regarding 15mm AB – they are very nice but it depends on your budget. Another plus for 15mm is the availability of second hand armies which I haven't seen in such proliferation in the other scales. 10mm has a lot going for it in terms of massed effect while still looking like little men. 6mm is just that bit too small for me – good for WW2 vehicles or sci-fi mega droids perhaps but the infantry are just so small and lack the detail of the larger scales.

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2015 4:16 p.m. PST

Another vote for Baccus. They are sculpted with the painter in mind. We use Grande Armee, but do it at 4/5s scale simply by reading centimetres x2 for inches. It makes a huge difference with respect to the battles that you can fit onto a 4 foot wide table.

Good luck.

DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2015 4:54 p.m. PST

Thanks for some input guys. I appreciate all the advice.
I think for basing I will stick with what's recommended for Napoleon's Battles, the old Avalon Hills rules in the green box. Those were the first set of rules that I tried out and like. I've tried LaSalle, which is good for smaller battles and have tried Shako, but I still prefer Napoleon's Battles.
Whatever scale I end up getting will be a reward when all are done.

Glenn Pearce- I live in Northern Alberta. About 4 hours north of Edmonton.



coopman29 Dec 2015 5:02 p.m. PST

You might want to give the "Blucher" rules some consideration too. No formations and fiddly small stands to be repositioning. One base = a brigade. Each base could be it's own little diorama in 6mm scale.

Edwulf29 Dec 2015 7:21 p.m. PST

I have Napoleonics in 6mm and 28mm.
I have seven years war in 10mm.

6mm is easiest to paint. But both 10-6mm have the mass effect wow factor.

My 6mm are all baccus. I give very simple paint jobs. But you can still make out facings, cross belts, waterbottles etc but you can skip the annoying thing that is lace. Adler and Baccus work well together. Heroics and Ros are also good but tiny. Irregular might be worth a look.
For 10mm Pendraken are very good.

I base mine in 40-48 man units on 5-6 square bases.

Both scales offer good value for money. There is a bit more detail on the 10mm than on the 6mm but I'd strongly suggest getting samples first see which you like.

I haven't bothered with 15mm these days. AB are closer to 20mm than true 15mm. AB are the best 18-20mm figs about but there are many complimentary ranges now. Personally I prefer 28s to to the 20s… Now plastics are about.

Kevin in Albuquerque Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2015 7:32 p.m. PST


And here I thought I lived in the middle of nowhere!. 4 hrs north of Edmonton is even further north than Slave Lake, a really incredible fishing lake. The only thing between you and the north pole are a bunch of short trees and caribou. And the odd bear here and there …

You and Gunfreak should have a TMP contest as to who is closer to the arctic circle.

DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2015 1:08 a.m. PST

Kevin- That's gotta be one of the funniest things I've heard! LMAO Funny guy eh?

Westerner Inactive Member30 Dec 2015 4:48 a.m. PST

Liberate yourself from the snobbish tendency to equate softer plastics with toys and go with 1/72nd plastics. They provide a source for large armies without the need for a second mortgage. The best are very good with detail that would satisfy all but the most diehard fingernail counters and they avoid the excessive heft that has traditionally afflicted their metal counterparts.

For me, the release of the HaT Industrie Spanish Infantry sets was the impetus to get back into Napoleonics; they were just too good not to buy and paint. IMHO some of the best are by Zvezda, not the new tiny-but-pricey hard plastic Art of Plastic sets, but the big old sets.

Plastic Soldier Review allows you to sort the Good from the Bad and the Ugly without having to buy first.

There are also some stunning 1/72nd metals around to fill the gaps.

Or, take one of those nobbly plastic hair brushes, invert and paint in a rough approximation of a battalion of men and you have a cheap way into 6mm …. (!).

Widowson30 Dec 2015 2:26 p.m. PST

You might want to start by considering ground scale. Quatre Bras is a pretty wide battlefield. Get a map, measure the width in miles/yards, and do some math.

That may be the decisive factor on figure scale.

CoolHistoryGamer Inactive Member30 Dec 2015 2:34 p.m. PST

My collection is all 15mm, but if I somehow lost it all and had to start over again I would go with 10mm. I recently collected a bunch of 10mm ACW and they look great. More figures gives a better impression of the large units like NBs brigades.

Westerner Inactive Member30 Dec 2015 3:30 p.m. PST

It's good to see such variety of approaches. If I had the budget and was starting afresh, could I resist 28mm hard plastic Napoleonics? But, then, I might be seduced by the superb 18mm figures now being produced.

It is perhaps fortunate, then, that a large collection of unpainted plastic 1/72 figures makes such a choice unnecessary and the Big Battalions affordable.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2015 5:19 p.m. PST

As I am reading this on the 6mm Napoleonics board, I am assuming that you might want a few words about the pros of using 6mm figures.

It really is very simple. Good 6mm figures carry excellent detail and far from being the 'blobs', 'hair rollers' and 'grains of rice' of hearsay and legend, are quite outstanding pieces of sculpting and animation. There would be no problem at all about getting the correct Napoleonic 'feel' for your armies.


Where they score heavily over the lumbering giants of the wargaming world can be looked at in three ways:

1) Cost. For the price of the collective fingernails of a company of 28mms you get a battalion of 6mm. What buys you a battalion in bigger figures gets you a division on 6mm. If you dream of commanding corps, then you can do so without selling your soul to the highest bidder.

2) Painting: You simply are not allowed to paint bigger figures to any standard other then excellent. The prevailing culture in the hobby demands, at least three levels of shading on everything from gaiter buttons to eyeballs. I've heard painters proudly/wearily/resignedly tell me that they can take up to a week per figure. That aint going to get your corps on the table before the end of the decade. 18mms are as bad as 28mms here nearly as much detail but far smaller area to put it in. 6mms on the other hand can be painted up to a great standard in super quick time.

3) Tabletop play. How many games on a standard table have you seen that simply consist of two lines of 28mm units face each other off? No reserves, no second lines, no depth of deployment, no hanging flanks and no real thinking required. You can choose to send units forwards, backwards or stand still. The smaller footprint of 6mm units unlocks the space for you you allowing for much more open battlefields which look better and far more imaginative and creative generalship.

The simple rule is that the bigger the action you want to play, the smaller the figure is required and vice versa. Use 28mm if you want, but for Sharp Practice. For playing real battles in a practical area then 6mm is the way to go.

CATenWolde Inactive Member31 Dec 2015 5:59 a.m. PST

If I remember correctly, the default base width for NB is 3/4" or 20mm, right?

One way to look at figure choice is how you want each base (and thus unit) to look. With 6mm, you can fit 2 ranks of 4 figures (I prefer Adler for their variety and detail, but Baccus are fine figures and come on 20mm strips already). With 10mm, while you used to be able to fit them on the same frontage as 6mm figures, nowadays you can fit 2 ranks of 3 (coverage for the Napoleonic period has been an ongoing problem, but Pendraken seems to be working their way through). For 15mm, you can fit 2 ranks of 2.

So, do you want bases with 8, 6, or 4 figures? Do you prefer painting the detail of 15's, are you okay with more broadbrush approach of 6's, or the middle ground of 10's? Also, think of terrain! 6mm buildings are much cheaper and handier to use on the tabletop than 15mm buildings, etc.



Westerner Inactive Member31 Dec 2015 9:17 a.m. PST

Each to his own. I see the detail in the pictured 6mm figures, very impressive it is too, but they do look a bit podgy in that photograph. The picture made me think "Napoleonic Hobbits".

Timmo uk31 Dec 2015 9:44 a.m. PST

Baccus makes some very valid points about the effect of using 6mm figures but such an approach is only one of many. Napoleons Battles was designed around the notion of using largish model units of 15mm figures about 24 36 castings. These units typically represent a brigade.

However, that written, supposing you did use 6mm, Baccus or H&R then I'd suggest you stick to the NB structure but use smaller bases than the 15mm sizes given with the game. Take a look at the 6mm games of Bruce Weigle in which the terrain plays a major role. His Franco-Prussian games are grand tactical and use small units of 6mm figures. I'm not suggesting you go as far as putting a whole unit on one base as he does but the effect of having small units of small figures in a beautifully modelled terrain is stunning. I think the approach to make the game about the terrain is a great thing to do. Rather than just having zillions of 6mm to paint and basing hundreds of them on base sizes designed for larger figures, I'd use the scale to what I think is it's best advantage as Bruce Weigle does. Small figures, small units, small table but effectively, at least as far as the game goes, a big and beautiful landscape.

DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2015 7:49 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice on what you all were suggesting, I appreciate it. However, after discussing this with my wargaming buddy, whom played Napoleon era battles, we decided on 15mm. We're both used to the 15mm scale and think it would be best for both of us to go with this scale.

Thanks for all your input.


DougEagle Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2017 6:36 p.m. PST

Well…here it is, November 26 2017 and still on the fence about this. We never did get into this era of gaming at all. We got into WWII 6mm as we both had good sizable forces.

But now, my oldest boy of 7 is curious about my gaming and had asked about Napoleon Battles when he saw my Avalon Hills Napeloens Battles.

4th Cuirassier27 Nov 2017 2:45 a.m. PST

I have to say I look at the photo in Baccus 6mm's post and I'm afraid those do indeed just look like blobs to me.

The competitor to 6mm isn't the 28mm figure, it's the cardboard boardgame counter. If I was ever tempted to buy 6mm, I'd probably buy a boardgame instead.

Marc at work27 Nov 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

For a 7 year old, try and grab him with colour, so go for bigger figures. I rate 1/72 as for price/quality they rank second to none. I am with 4th re 6's, but I know people are fans so each to their own. But a 7YO may find them visually dull

Murvihill27 Nov 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

If you are already gaming a different era in a scale I'd go with the same scale. That way your terrain is interchangeable. Otherwise, I'm gettin older and older and the larger scale the better for me.

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