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"Thinking about starting ancients " Topic

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AlexMacP30 Jan 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

Hi all

I'm considering playing Ancients. I'm interested in the periodic of the Roman invasion of Gaul and the Roman Civil Wars of 48 to 45BC.

I don't want anything skirmish-y. I like the look of large battles. I'm trying to decide what scale to get… 6mm or 10mm. I have many 10mm for SYW and love them. I have never done 6mm before.

What would you veterans suggest for scale and rules?

I would be building both opposing sides because my existing gaming friends are diehards for their scale (28mm and 15mm) and would not consider building their own force outside of their preferred scale.

I want small figures because I want the look of an epic battle…but I still do want nicely detailed miniatures.

MajorB30 Jan 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

6mm figures.
Lost Battles or Hail Caesar for rules.

Mollinary30 Jan 2017 1:59 p.m. PST

6mm, Baccus figures, To the Strongest or Commands and Colors Ancients: Epic Expansion. You'll have a great time!


mghFond30 Jan 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

I don't have an opinion on the smaller scales as I have collections in various scale. As for rules though, To the Strongest is meant to handle large battles easily. And a lot of fun too.

DColtman30 Jan 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

I have similar motivation for a balance between epic scale and detail, and I settled on 10mm. I think they look great, and I use relatively large bases (60 or 80mm) to get that epic feel. I have used figs from Old Glory, Pendraken and Magister Militum. I started down this road with the same period in mind too:


I like To the Strongest and CCA as well for large battles. Hail Caesar works too.

Dave in Edmonton

Sobieski30 Jan 2017 4:24 p.m. PST

10 mm, hands down. I started with 6mm, but you just can't see the details, even if you manage to paint them.

McWong7330 Jan 2017 4:26 p.m. PST

Consider 15mm, if only for the number of options for great figures.

DBA, Warmaster Ancients are my rules recommendations.

wrgmr130 Jan 2017 4:33 p.m. PST

Armati 2 rules would work as well, they are written for 25/28mm but has scaled down for 15mm. You could scale it to 10mm, just cut the movement/ranges down to 1/3.

AlexMacP30 Jan 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

It is my birthday today. I went out and bought myself Command And Colors: Ancients as a birthday present to myself.

It should give me a taste for the period while I collect the figures to play Ancients in miniatures.

I'm going to check out To The Strongest and Hail Caesar for rules.

Syrinx030 Jan 2017 7:44 p.m. PST

We play WAB and HC generally. We have a big table and talked ourselves into a 28mm collection. Looks great but took forever to paint.

Alcibiades30 Jan 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

I won't comment on scale because I'm a die hard 15mm fan for ancients.

However, I can strongly recommend Mortem et Gloriam as a ruleset. Lots of decision making, keeps both players involved throughout and results are reasonable. Best of all, its a lot of fun to play and has pretty good solo suitability.

acatcalledelvis31 Jan 2017 3:33 a.m. PST

To the Strongest.

I'm sort of new to Ancients, and wanted to scratch that itch and found these rules very enjoyable, and easy to pick up and have great games with. You can also get them pdf.
A play through here


charliemike31 Jan 2017 3:46 a.m. PST

I think both 6mm and 10mm miniatures can be a good choice, it depends what you like painting.

As for the rules, I play with Impetus and I can recommend it. I can add that I've seen playing it with 6mm and 10mm and the bases look great.

Mollinary31 Jan 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

The 'Pharsalus 46 BC' TMP thread has pictures of my 6mm armies for To the Strongest. In this case, well,over 3,000 figures on a 6x4 foot table!


Lancer5831 Jan 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

10mm and hail Caesar. not tried to the strongest though.

williamb31 Jan 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

6mm Baccus and Rapier Miniatures infantry are the same size. Rapiers cavalry is closer in size to Heroics and Ros. Heroics and Ros provide packs with a greater mix of poses for their newer packs in their dark age ranges. The pikes for Baccus' phalangites tend to bend more than Rapiers

Scutarii from Hoplite Research link and is currently being offered at a discount from their store. Not sure about LULU's shipping charges to Canada. If too high I can provide copies. Also available from On Military Matters. Allows large battles to be fought within a few hours, even if only one player per side.



Also Hydaspes, Raphia and other battles on blog.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 6:14 a.m. PST

Big Lee is collecting a 6mm pike army at the moment- they look very good. Some (all?) are Rapier. Well worth a look.


valerio31 Jan 2017 7:12 a.m. PST

IMHO Civitates Bellantes from Legio wargames gives me the best feeling of commanding an ancient army. Plus, it's cheap and downloadable as a pdf..

Mollinary31 Jan 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

The pikemen on Big Lee's blog are actually Baccus!


steamingdave4731 Jan 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

Definitely 10mm. Great ranges from Pendraken, Magister Militum and Old Glory, with more limited ones from the likes of Adler and Steve Barber.
As for rules, take a look at Impetus. Using the " big bases" for units gives the right kind of look for the period.

Kenntak31 Jan 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

I agree with Valerio. For me right now, Civitates Bellantes provides the most realistic, playable, and solid rules. The author, Simon MacDowall, has written a number of books on ancient history, and this is aptly reflected in the rules.

sillypoint31 Jan 2017 1:04 p.m. PST

Check out what players in your local area play.
Our group plays with Might of Arms.

AlexMacP31 Jan 2017 10:16 p.m. PST

I just bought Civitates Bellantes. Looks great so far!

Kenntak01 Feb 2017 7:12 a.m. PST

Congratulations Alex. If you have any questions, I can try to help (I actually put together a FAQ for the author). You should see the FAQ in the files section. Happy gaming!

Marcus Brutus01 Feb 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

I think Impetus does a great job in representing the struggle between legion infantry and warbands. Lots of drama and the strengths and weaknesses of each type make for fun games.

Glenn Pearce01 Feb 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

Hello AlexMacP!

"I want the look of an epic battle…but I still do want nicely detailed miniatures"

Go to the Baccus6mm site, you will see epic battles from their conventions. Just amazing looking games. Buy some of their figures and see the detail for yourself. Again amazing. The beauty here as well is Baccus gives you the detail, but you don't have to paint it all if you don't want to. In 6mm your really painting a unit not single figures. So you can paint the figures to whatever your own personal skill level is.

The other two great advantages are time and cost. It will cost you a lot less to buy a 6mm army then a 10mm army. You will also be able to paint it in half the time if not sooner. On another topic (AWI) a fellow just painted both armies in 12 weeks.

They take up less space in storage, are easier to transport and you can play on pretty much any size of table.

Should you want to move into other areas in the future all the same advantages apply. Our club moved from 25mm to 6mm in the 70s and have never looked back.

Best regards,


Jon Lead Slayer02 Jul 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

For the period you want your best bet is 15mm metal or 1/72 scale plastic models. There are lots of good lines of 15mm scale miniatures, and then there are the the makers of plastic models who though known for their cars aircraft ships and military vehicles are not so well known for their plastic miniature figures. The best manufacturers for plastic Romans and Gauls are HaT and Italeri. With them with the purchase of a few boxes you can field vast armies for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for similar sized metal or the larger plastic 28mm scale miniatures the other companies make. P.S. Prime their plastic mini's with PVA or white glue and use it as a varnishing coat as well. Your paint will do a great job of bonding and holding the paint onto it.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Jul 2017 11:07 a.m. PST

Might of Arms is good for convention games with multiple players.

I am currently looking at using GMT's Great Battle of History rules for miniatures. The conversion is very easy, particularly for the Simple version (version 2.0) has just been released.

Some interesting options might be Imperial Romans vs Brits, allowing you to have chariots.

I'm currently doing Successor battles, which would also allow you to do Successors vs Successors, or Successors vs Republican Romans. If doing that you add a Carthage army and be able to do a lot of combinations between Republican Romans, Macedonians (either Pyrrhic or Antiochus, et al), Carthage. A lot of battles you could do with that mix.

I have Athens vs Sparta using The Perfect Captain's Hoplomachia rules. Good rules. Not much in terms of tactics though.

DungeonDelver12 Sep 2017 4:17 p.m. PST

Sorry if I am waking the dead by posting to this after a lapse. My vote for rules would be Triumph! which is available for download on Wargames Vault. It is a fast play set (games about an hour), no bookeeping, and uses standard base sizes.

One of its strengths is that it truly is scale agnostic. The measures are based on the base widths you use so you can choose how best to present small to large figs as suits you – or repurpose existing bases by changing the measures.

The army lists are free on their site The rules are still new but have had a lot of play at east coast US conventions like Historicon.

I've played probably two dozen roman vs gauls games. That match up is hard to balance, but in my experience Triumph does it well, keeping the outcome uncertain until the end.

jstone648708 Dec 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

Does anyone know who manufactures shield decals for Old Glory 15 Byzantines?

arsbelli11 Dec 2017 4:53 a.m. PST

Little Big Men Studios makes shield transfers for Old Glory 15s "Late Romans": link

As for Ancients 'big battle' rulesets, I highly recommend Swordpoint: link

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