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"Best Scale for Cold War Gaming?" Topic

35 Posts

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24 Sep 2016 12:38 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,356 hits since 6 Apr 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 Apr 2016 12:06 p.m. PST

Which model/figure scale do you prefer? 3mm, 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 28mm, etc.?

Mute Bystander Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 12:09 p.m. PST

Aerial 3mm.

I have collected some 3mm for land but mostly as targets so it is not TO&E projected for anything but small forces.

Not a big era of interest beyond aerial so not really aware of what is out there beyond aerial.

28mm Fanatik06 Apr 2016 12:18 p.m. PST

The Cold War demands large scale (as in the number of vehicles and infantry, not figure size) clashes between NATO and WarPac forces, so 6mm or smaller is probably ideal. However, I like the visual eye-candy aspect of the hobby so prefer larger figures from 15mm and above. This limits the size of your battles to company or below but that's okay.

For the record I got into CW gaming recently with TY's 15mm releases.

Generalstoner49 Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 12:26 p.m. PST

Depends what you are looking to do!

I love force on force with its swinging initiative system. It allows for a force of infantry with atoms to really plan a nice ambush of an armored column.

For bigger battles I prefer 3mm to 6mm. It gives you enough maneuver ground without taking away from the scope you are looking for. As much as I like the new 15mm stuff it's just to big a scale unless you have a massive table.

Saber Squadron are my go to rules for the 3-6mm games.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 12:29 p.m. PST

I am doing 15mm using modified BattleFront WW2 which has turned out to be very good for moderns, my group has a blast doing Vietnam and Six Day using this set of rules and we are now building forces for the 1985 war. I am also building 20mm units for Force on Force by Ambush Alley games. No one has done anything in 28mm to make it worth while.

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 12:51 p.m. PST

all public gaming should be done in 28mm plus to promote the spectacle of our hobby!

Cold Steel06 Apr 2016 1:01 p.m. PST

10 mm. Anything smaller is too hard for the old eyes to recognize across the table. Anything larger and you really get the fender to fender, motor pool effect.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 1:17 p.m. PST

I use 1/72nd scale figures and HO 1/87 scale vehicles on my 16x7 foot wargame table. Works just fine.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Kropotkin303 Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 1:24 p.m. PST

1/300th for me. That's where you can get the sweep of the battle. Range wise, movement wise and unit wise it gives the right impression on a sensible sizes table.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 1:26 p.m. PST

6mm is ideal, I think.

However, I too want some nice, impressive eye-candy on the tabletop, so have been lured into both 1/144th and 1/100th scales as well.

I think the 1/144th is probably a bit better than 1/100th, since being about 50% smaller, you get twice the playing area on the tabletop, and the weapons ranges look better. Unless you can get plastics in this scale though, 1/100th minis are a better deal, price wise, since they tend to run about the same, and sometime less than the 1/144th scale minis.

At this scale, the infantry still can be seen, and look good on multi-figure bases.

Navy Fower Wun Seven06 Apr 2016 1:30 p.m. PST

Depends on the command level you wish to simulate of course, but my take on scale is that the entire point of miniatures wargaming, as opposed to board gaming or kreigspiel on maps, are the miniatures themselves. So it maximise the impact I pick the largest possible scale I can get away with….so for Combat Team level, 20mm;


and Battle Group level, 15mm…


boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 1:31 p.m. PST

Depends on the scope of the game, but 6mm for companies and platoons per side, 3mm for brigades and divisions, and 15mm for skirmishes.

cloudcaptain06 Apr 2016 2:58 p.m. PST

1/72. Cheap and no end to what is available. Lots of pre-painted stuff to get right into the action.

GatorDave Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 3:20 p.m. PST


D A THB06 Apr 2016 3:31 p.m. PST

I suspect 6mm would be best but went with 20mm as I already have terrain for that scale.

kyoteblue Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 3:51 p.m. PST


MiniPatton Inactive Member06 Apr 2016 4:18 p.m. PST

I use 3mm, but I fight larger sized battles in that time period. If I were to get into skirmish or smaller battles, I would probably look at the 15mm-20mm range.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 4:41 p.m. PST

I like 28mm myself, especially with those FNG figures.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 4:44 p.m. PST

15mm for skirmishing or squad/fireteam bases, 6mm or 3mm for mass combat.

Just my personal tastes.

Personal logo Buckeye AKA Darryl Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2016 5:22 p.m. PST

1/285th AKA 6mm.

Dynaman878906 Apr 2016 7:12 p.m. PST

6mm, but I pretty much use that for everything including skirmish.

Charlie 1206 Apr 2016 8:32 p.m. PST


Martin Rapier06 Apr 2016 11:08 p.m. PST

I use 2, 6 and 15mm. Smaller stuff for bigger battles.

nickinsomerset06 Apr 2016 11:27 p.m. PST

Depends on the size of table! 20mm on a 34 ft table is good, 6mm on the same would be mega!


At Salute H&R, South Somerset Wargames Group and the Army Wargames Association are putting on a modest size 6mm game, Gyros Teller Pt V, Can the Belgians hold the Doberitz ITB, how will the Herman Schutzen Fest M-48 fare against T-80, will the Cotbus based Air Assault unit take the bridges, will 248 manage to link up with them, will the 1 QLR BG manage to hold long enough for the RHG(D) to arrive, so much to see! (Oh for the TY gang some T-72s (NVA of course))

Tally Ho!

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2016 8:53 a.m. PST

15mm – enough detail on the infantry to recognise weapon types, and helicopters and riverine boats fit nicely on a game table with room to maneuver.

Augustus Inactive Member07 Apr 2016 10:16 a.m. PST

1/72 here – the selection is vast and the stuff is light enough to carry.

kallman07 Apr 2016 12:46 p.m. PST

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin. As all the comments above can attest the Cold War can be played in just about any scale and the scenario will be dictated by table size and said scale. While I stared with micro armor which I believe is 6 mm, I have switched to 15 mm because of Team Yankee. I did start to collect Cold War and Moderns in 28 mm but it is kind of limited at the moment as to what you can get. I would agree that given time, sources and funds that 20 mm might be the best of all worlds if you are going for company level with perhaps going a bit higher or bit lower in command level. For now I am going with 15 mm as I can readily find players now.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2016 6:52 p.m. PST

Cold war is associated with armour battles but it always makes me a bit sad that people don't tend to recognize what a great skirmish scale it is.

williamb07 Apr 2016 7:57 p.m. PST

6mm. Have used Cold War Commander and OPFOR depending on size of battle being fought. OPFOR for division or more per side, CWC for less than a brigade or two per side.

RudyNelson08 Apr 2016 9:32 a.m. PST


Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 7:08 a.m. PST

I really like 1/600 from PicoArmor and am in the process of equipping NATO & Warsaw Pact forces. I am filling out forces for imaginary and one off wars like the Alto-Cenepa War in 1995 and 2016.

However my imaginary nation state of Prussia is 6mm and I am considering an expansion into 15mm or 1/72 for another imaginary middle eastern/north african state.

I sold off all of my 28mm moderns back in 2012-13. Done with that scale in this period.

SovietCanadian09 Apr 2016 11:51 a.m. PST

I only have 6mm, and I am rather happy with them since they give a nice impression of massive maneuvers (also their price) (also also, ease of painting and storage).

I would like some larger scale moderns (15mm), but mostly just to look at, since I am not very fond of modern skirmish games (except those in third-world nations where you play warlords and such, such as Peter Pigs 'AK47 republic'. I would totally play some of those if I had someone to play with)

Really though, it is whatever I have on hand and what others are willing to play that would decide it for me.

capt jimmi Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2016 3:14 p.m. PST

..again,.. depends on the size of the action you like to play.
I like 15mm for 'Company-plus' sized games (up to a BTN + supporting air) on a table-tennis sized table. 15mm is just big enough to make out weapons and enuf detail to make it aesthetically pleasing/relevant …and are simple/fast to paint and modify/ scratchbuild terrain as need be (relative to the larger scales).
Bigger battles than that and 6mm is the way to go.
You can still "skirmish" out squad-to-Platoon sized games in 15mm, but yes the larger scales are nicer to look at.

Red Fox Inactive Member20 Apr 2016 12:21 p.m. PST

6mm! Looks great on table like an actual armoured engagement + with room to manouver etc. I'm hoping 6mm modern / WWII is making a come back – great scale and some lovely stuff out there. Just got some lovely stuff from H&R / Armstrong.

chrisswim Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2016 6:12 p.m. PST

7 foot by 36 foot table is great…. for 6mm (1/285) MICRO armor game. Do a lot with it.

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