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"New to miniatures and Napoleon some basic questions." Topic

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12 Oct 2017 3:48 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "New to miniatures and Napoloen some basic questions." to "New to miniatures and Napoleon some basic questions."

896 hits since 12 Oct 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

dirtcheap Inactive Member12 Oct 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

Decided to jump in feet first after playing a couple board games on the subject. Been reading the forum here the last couple weeks or so but have specific questions.

1. Best method to find a local group to play with? I am in SoCal but facebook/meetup has nothing on Napoleon miniature gaming.

2. I solo a lot of wargames which lately have included some Napoleonic games (tactical). What is the most solo friendly miniature game rules for leisurely historical study?

3. Is there really much difference in 10mm or 6mm on how you would base or play? I am a total noob but I see many people love 6mm for large formation rule sets and 28mm for skirmish. Is that basically correct?

4. Is there a list of links to all the miniature companies here somewhere that sells Napoleon minis? If not is there another website that consolidates supplies for this hobby?

Thanks for reading this. Looks like a very deep hobby and something I could really sink my teeth into, but the initial financial and time investment up front is kinda daunting, especially if I am stuck playing solo.

JimDuncanUK12 Oct 2017 5:15 p.m. PST

You've got a lot to pick up on JR but your best bet is to find a local mentor to get you started. Maybe this post will pull one out of 'ether'.

Looks like a budget conscious start would be useful to you. Look online for 'free' wargame rules and pick up some cheap figures. 1/72nd plastics come to mind.

I've been in this hobby for over 50 years and I'm still learning.

RudyNelson12 Oct 2017 5:26 p.m. PST

A lot of rules have 10mm based the same as 15mm. The bases are often pretty close.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

Here is my advice: pick a battle to start with. Then you can at least look at an order of battle and make a list of units you need to buy and paint. Start with reasonable sized units of 6 or 8 bases. While you paint up your first units look for local game groups. Track down the local HMGS chapter and start there.

As for basing: some gamers think you need to adjust basing depending on the base size. I disagree. The bases are so far wrong most of the time that you can use the correct size for your game and put whatever minis on it you want and the game will work just fine.

Unlike many other periods/genres there are no standards in Napoleonics. Basing is all over the place. People use 12 man units of 28mm and 60 man units of 6mm. And 15mm is a very popular in between size.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 6:35 p.m. PST

Good to see what people locally are doing. I am a grand tactical guy but you can do it in any scale from 6mm to 28mm

I have mostly 6mm and I base them on the Age of Eagles bases for a rule set that it designed for 15mm – difference is I don't use 4 infantry or 2 cavalry per stand, I use 9 infantry and 6 cavalry

As to 6mm versus 10mm, both are good, depends on what you like to paint – also to my first point what the people you are likely to be gaming with have

I Drink Your Milkshake12 Oct 2017 6:48 p.m. PST

Find what size Napoleonics and rules "the locals" use. Anything else is an endeavour in solo gaming, which I would rather just play John Tiller games.

Gonsalvo12 Oct 2017 7:07 p.m. PST

I would definitely seek out some mentors in Southern California.s. If you're unsure what scale to collect (I use exclusively 28's myself and routinely field many hundreds of figures, but any scale can work) and what rules you'll use (which will influence how to organize them into units), I'd wait a bit until you have a better idea what you're aiming to do with them before purchasing any miniatures.

Maybe a post "Looking for historical gamers in Southern California"? I actually know quite a few myself, and I live on the East Coast!

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

My buddy and I are getting rid of our older 15mm Napoleonics and 'upgrading' to 18mm, mainly AB and CGM.
We like big-ish battles and the slightly larger 18s could also be used for skirmish type games. I still collect and paint 28mm. Perry and Victrix mainly.

Captain Avatar12 Oct 2017 8:40 p.m. PST

If you don't see any meetups, try starting one yourself. You would be surprised how many people may be out there waiting for someone to start a meetup. Cross post here and on Facebook. There are plenty of Napoleonic gaming Facebook groups.

cncbump Inactive Member13 Oct 2017 7:27 a.m. PST

There is a group who game only Napoleonics in Redondo Beach.
ping me and I will give you the point of contact and his phone number.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 8:15 a.m. PST

Welcome to Napoleonic's as well as this website. You will find a wealth of information as well as opinions here. It also never hurts to search the forum. Most of the time I can find the answer to what I'm looking for just by searching previous posts.

When it comes to figure scale I think the real consideration for many players is the ability to represent the many uniforms and different units and nationalities. It was the colorful uniforms that got me into miniatures as a child. The bigger the figure the more detail. For you it might be about available time and money. 6mm paint up pretty quick, while 1/72 plastics are pretty affordable.

I would echo what most have said about finding someone in your area. They most likely have plenty of figures so you won't need to provide your own right away. It will also give you a feeling for what you like or don't like abut various scales of figures or scope and complexity of the many rule set available.

Keep posting!

Timmo uk13 Oct 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

Before you buy any miniatures I'd look to see if you have opponents in your area and if so do you want to follow them with whatever force you are going to collect. Keep in my they may move away when you are half way through painting an army so it's vital that you choose the right figures that you want to collect.

It's a generalisation to say that 6mm are grand tactical and 28mm skirmish as many play big battles with 28mm. However, an army of say 400 pieces in 28mm takes a long time to paint. If you want to fight complete battles then you will need a big space to do so in 28mm.

If you are going to start collecting miniature armies I suggest you get some samples of different sizes (from 6mm to 28mm) and from various makers and paint them. Choose which ever you enjoy and take to painting the most. Next buy one battalion of line infantry of the range you like the most. Paint it, base it and then buy another one. Keep the work in hand manageable and keep aiming to score little victories along the way to getting larger numbers that will come in time. Start with the line infantry. You need lots of them and your painting will improve over time, then do the guard or some other elite unit.

If you enjoy painting the more or most expensive ranges don't let that put you off buying them. Buy what you can afford and once they are all printed buy some more. You don't have to buy a whole army at once as that can be both expensive and a daunting prospect to them paint.

Take a look at AB Miniatures and Perry Miniatures, these are 18mm and 28mm respectively for starters. Then look at other ranges for comparison. A bit of time here will throw up other makes such as Old Glory, Baccus, Elite, GHQ, Alder, Minifigs, Xan, the list is a long one.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 12:33 p.m. PST

Whatever size figures you select, and whatever level of
battle representation (skirmish/tactical/grand tactical)
start painting ONE unit of either side, then paint ONE
unit of the other side.

Proceed in that way until you have forces enough for a

That way, you just need another player 'cause you'll have
the figures all by yourself.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 10:56 p.m. PST

Regarding question 4, there is a list of 28mm Napoleonic figures here…


davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

@Cedric Thanks for the link. I do wish the site included OG 25's since they border on being 28's.

Personal logo Ooh Rah Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

I think the mistake I made when first starting out was buying too many figures in a particular scale before I knew whether or not I enjoyed painting that scale. I think Timmo's suggestion about trying out various sizes and then buying what you ENJOY is very good advice.

dirtcheap Inactive Member14 Oct 2017 10:08 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I will purchase some 6, 10, 18 and 28.

I am interested in the the battles up to 1812 so I will probably focus on 1805-1812.

I have also across the miniature book "Platoon Forward" from two fat lardies and was wondering if anyone has used it to solo game? I know its talking WW2, but the concepts should be easy to convert over.

I am having zero luck on finding a wargaming group or buddy in Ventura County. Some here play Warhammer but I am not interested in fantasy at all.

setsuko21 Oct 2017 6:49 p.m. PST

As for too fat lardies, I think Sharp Practice lends itself to solo play, as the activation is partly randomized. That way you get some more tension, even when playing solo, as you don't run into the problem of being 100% sure how each side's turn will play out.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 5:34 p.m. PST

6mm offers either smaller space needs or mass look for a bit more realism. Fastest painting and Baccus and Adler are the best IMO. Both of these are really 8mm in size.

10mm is an in between scale but works great and you can use N scale plastic railroad models. Faster to paint than 15mm. I find cost advantage over 15mm is lost as we tend to put more figures per base for a more mass look. Pendraken and Magister Millitum are great. Bend Sonister are gard to get but nice. Old Glory 10mm paint up nicely but aren't as crisp in detail but can be had cheaply and have advantage of discount with Old Glory Army Card.

15mm is usually 18mm these days. Detail can rival 28mm but when it does the costs do too… lol A very popular scale as it takes up less space when doing large battles. AB is the best detailed but is pricey. Blue Moon has a bit less detail but paint up well and are more sturdy. Battle Honours were the old AB line before he started his own venture and are 16mm. CGM are nice but people complain hands are out if scale, doesn't bother me. Old Glory are unique some people love them, others complain about some wacky poses. Old Glory and Battle Honours can be had with 40% off bulk order discount. Khurasan has a limited line that is nice. Man at War are the largest at around 19mm, they are pricey.

20mm, although less popular has the advantage of plastics by the toy companies as well as HaT Industrie that has packs catered to wargammers. They can be cheaper but I have gotten 18mm cheaply through bulk order and 10mm with OG card makes them really cheap.

28mm are truly lovely but cost the most with the exception that plastics can be had cheaply through multiple companies like Perry, Victrix or limited lines with HaT Indistrie. Calpe, Front Rank, Perry, and Foundry have great figures on the metal side. Plastics have made me rethink this scale but space and transport keep me to 15 or 10mm (I love 6mm but no local opponents 😀) If you want the details, 28mm and up is where it's at but 18mm AB is mighty close.

Just wait till you decide on rules😂😂

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

Brookhurst Hobbies, although maybe not close to you might be a good place to help you find gamers?

With rules, you can do 1:1 skirmish all the way to army level and points in between. Lots of choices and each caters to different complexity and levels of command.

I like games from Sam Mustafa such as Lasalle and Blucher. Am also looking into General d'Armee. Have heard devent things about Shako but Napoleon's Battles lost me with the number if versions and now it is Spanish owned which may make English rules version a bit different?

Snce you like Too Fat Lardies, I would look at Sharp's Practice and Le Feu Sacre.

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