Help support TMP

"How Big Should a 15mm Ancients Army Be?" Topic

21 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

Action Log

28 Jun 2018 12:49 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,046 hits since 28 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian28 Nov 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

In your opinion, what should the minimum size of an Ancients army be, in terms of numbers of 15mm figures?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Nov 2017 8:49 p.m. PST

For me, about 700.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2017 8:54 p.m. PST


A DBA army, or 45 of them for Big Battle ^,^

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian28 Nov 2017 8:58 p.m. PST


goragrad28 Nov 2017 9:44 p.m. PST

There are a couple of armies in the DBA lists that can get by with less than 30.

Some of the are fairly competitive.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

My 25mm armies went around 150-200 on the table. Twice that "in the box". You can never have too many chariots or elephants.

When I first got back "into The Hobby" after a hiatus, I was stunned to see a DBM player selling an extra 15mm psiloi element he didn't need. That confirmed my belief that 15mm players are cheap ********.
Group Attack!

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2017 11:02 p.m. PST

500 – 750 – depending on Cav or Inf

bruntonboy29 Nov 2017 12:05 a.m. PST

It really depends on which rues you are playing with. For me though on a pretty (British) standard 120 X 180 table around 300-500 figures looks the part. It does vary with ancients though- 300 Hoplites won't cut it but 300 Huns will.

advocate29 Nov 2017 12:17 a.m. PST

I pretty much agree with Winston here.

Jack Burton29 Nov 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

The size of a respectable Ancients war games army should be 28mm.

advocate29 Nov 2017 3:37 a.m. PST

Of course I ignored the 'should' part of the question. The answer to that is of course, as large as you want.

And for those carping about small DBA or SAGA 'Armies', I quote form the Laws in Ine (694):
'By "thieves" (Peofas) we mean men up to the number seven; by "a band" (hloo) from seven to thirty-five ; by "an army" (here) above thirty-five.'

Sobieski Inactive Member29 Nov 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

About 15mm.

Timbo W29 Nov 2017 5:04 a.m. PST

18mm :-)

maverick290929 Nov 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

I don't know about a minimum, but as a general rule of thumb when playing in 15mm I like to get as close to historically accurate as possible. So if the OOB had 30,000 men I would like my game system to have 300 or so figures on the table.

This is one of the biggest turn offs for 28mm gaming. It's scale just makes the mechanics behind it so implausible it's just silly.

As far as my largest army, that would probably be my Scots Common which is roughly 850 figures strong and ever growing. That said, my WotR army is also getting pretty large.

olicana29 Nov 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Hi maverick2909,

This is one of the biggest turn offs for 28mm gaming. It's scale just makes the mechanics behind it so implausible it's just silly.

That depends on the size of your armies and the size of your table. Doing 28mm does not mean using small armies on a small table. I refer you to some Punic stuff I did earlier:

The collection:


The Battle of Trasimene 217 BCE (which didn't even use all of the Roman army, let alone the Gallic and Spanish armies it used only 580 Romans Vs 857 Carthaginians and Allies out of the 2,164 figs available. The table was 15 x 6, the same as mine at home. ):



Does this look silly to you? By all accounts it didn't play silly.

goragrad29 Nov 2017 1:00 p.m. PST

Sorry Winston, I am have and am currently building armies for Big Battle DBA with most if not all options – 36+ elements, 100 – 400 figures each.

I do intend to see excess figures that are not applicable to yet another set of armies go to someone who will get them on the table (hopefully for more than I paid for them).

Another gamer might well be happy to get an element of psiloi needed for his army rather than buy a pack of 8 or bag of 24 to make that element. And I would have funds to buy more figures with…

evilgong29 Nov 2017 1:54 p.m. PST


MajorB29 Nov 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

Daft question. It entirelydepends on the rules in use and the space available.

The Last Conformist30 Nov 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

About 20% more than you currently have for it.

maverick290930 Nov 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

Very cool Olicana! Definitly the exception and not the norm from the 28mm games I've seen. I'll stick with 15mm though.

Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

The question might be restated to be:

How big a game do you need to have at a convention to get people to stop and look?

My experience is that the number of figures decreases with the size of the figures you use. My 54mm Commands & Colors: Ancients Epic games with armies of 150 figures (and elephants) have attracted more attention than smaller 15mm games on smaller tables, although bigger 15mm games with 250+ figures per side get looked at too.

For the smaller scales like 15mm which can look more like armies in mass, the terrain becomes more important.

The formula is Nice Terrain + Nice Figures = games that get looked at.

And Oilcana! is a hero in this regard.


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.