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"Best model size and battle size for Napoleonics, and why?" Topic

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Lion in the Stars04 Sep 2018 9:32 p.m. PST

The local group can't decide.

Obviously, you can do large battles at 28mm, or only fight with a Division or even a brigade at 3mm.

But what is your favorite size for Napoleonic models and why?

And what is your favorite size for Napoleonic battles and why?

Desert Fox04 Sep 2018 9:43 p.m. PST

For me it is not about the scale of the figures, but how many "units" I have to move and roll dice for etc. these units can be whatever you want them to be-/individual soldiers to brigades. In a convention or club night setting with limited time for setup, dice rolling and takedown and maybe a more leisure atmosphere, I like to command about 12-15 "units". I have gone as large as commanding 20-25 units, but that took a lot more and effort.

May not be exactly what you were looking for, but I hope this helps.

ancientsgamer Inactive Member04 Sep 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

Smallest easily seen and painted quickly is 10mm.

For huge battles 6mm makes a lot of sense but I like uniforms if the era.

I prefer 15mm as figures are widely available and more people have them. Great for large battles too.

If space and money weren't the issue, 28mm.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Sep 2018 10:54 p.m. PST

20mm & 1/72

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You can have something that looks like a battle & the figures aren't too small.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

My favorite miniature size for Napoleonics is 1/72, because they're really cheap, small enough for large units, big enough to make out the details (and paint them!), and a great many are really nice to look at. They're also the best compromise scale – big enough for skirmish gaming, small enough for massing into units.

If I were starting out from scratch, I would stick with 15mm, because it's easier to find gamers who already have some to collaborate with, it's possible to buy entire painted armies at flea markets and on line, and when it comes time to supplement the collection by thine own hand, there are some gorgeous ones around (mostly in 18mm, but some in 15mm) to buy in small quantities for those private artisanal projects.

I have yet to enjoy a Napoleonics rules set enough to keep playing, so I'm the wrong person to ask about battle scale. I *want* to like playing with battalions, because that's the scale that most viscerally depicts all the tactical formations, but I also want to play at the grand tactical level, pushing around whole divisions in fields big enough to provide lots of maneuver room.

- Ix

TMPWargamerabbit04 Sep 2018 11:05 p.m. PST

We use 25/28mm and run historical battles so time and set up generally not issue in the warren.. But for the question answer I think D Fox has the real answer. It is the number of "units" you handle and the game rules. Some rules are simple so more units can be fielded on the tabletop for game. More detail, or more complex rules… lesser units in the count. Amount of time is your second critical issue….. 2-5 hours…. most rules and average unit count…. 12-18 units per side with knowledge of the rules rated "average". Expert rules knowledge…. add more units. If you have longer time period… then slight increase in units within reason. But with this 12-18 unit count…. historical battles larger than a "divisional action" is generally impossible short of the units becoming basically a large tabletop counter marker…. like a board game look. Personally….. miniature size isn't a critical issue except for painting them. A unit could 6 miniatures or 36 miniatures….. it is still a unit and if the miniatures are based in elements or use movement tray… the time to move is short…. but then you give up miniature unit shape or flexibility in formation changes.

For our napoleonic group….
25/28mm miniatures. Generally use 1:80 to 1:100 miniature ratio for # of unit miniatures (depends on historical scenario). Ground scale is 50 yards to inch. Game turns are 20 mins. So a player commands two-three "divisional" size formations, each of 10-12 battalions or smaller if cavalry (4-6 regiments) division or brigade, plus the attached artillery batteries. Games play typically for 6-8 hours… a full game day. Scenarios generally are historical in design and tabletop battlefield. All periods…. from 1796 to 1815 we cover and almost all the national armies represented. Rules are simple and generally use a d10 format for morale (+ – whole number adjustment). It's the sequence of play which creates the back and forth action on the tabletop.

But…. we are not the current "in fashion" rules like BP, Blucher, Age of Engles etc. and their units. So others should chime in.

For hundreds of photos…. here is link to the AAR lists of FRW and napoleonic games posted on Wargamerabbit blog: link

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2018 11:08 p.m. PST

I like big battles with 15mm battalions.

I have never liked Brigade scale. It amalgamates all the neat units into one generic brigade. This affects the British the most. I have tried to represent each battalion in a brigade, one figure a Highlander another a Light infantry figure and then a rifle figure. Just doesn't look right.

Rakkasan04 Sep 2018 11:20 p.m. PST

I like big battles and skirmish games. I use 6mm for both.
For the big battles I like the visual effect of the troops on the table top, the maneuver and interaction of the various troop types against either other. I think 6mm gives me that best. In addition to seeing lots of soldiers on the table top, this size meets my limitations of time, money and space (storage and gaming).

For skirmish, I like the focus on the smaller unit and role playing aspects, the smaller game space, and the shorter set up and take down times. I went with 6mm here for commonality of terrain and troops. There are many beautiful 25/28mm figures out there I just don't have the time, money and space. 6mm, for me, was the right choice.

My rules include Blucher, Grande Armee, and Age of Eagles for large battles and Sharpe Practice, The Sword and the Flame, and Buck Surdu's Blood & Swash/Thunder & Plunder for smaller/skirmish engagements. I have not been able to get my head around David Brown's General d'Brigade or General d'Armee, Surdu's Fate of Battle, or Peter Berry's Polemos variant.

Martin Rapier04 Sep 2018 11:22 p.m. PST

I'm a big battle kind of guy, so if it isn't a whole battle, I'm not really interested. That means pushing divisions and Corps around.

My Nineteenth Century stuff is 6mm, but if starting from scratch I'd consider 15mm as it looks hog en masse. I sold my 20mm stuff back in the 1970s.

C M DODSON04 Sep 2018 11:40 p.m. PST

Twenty mm gives me lots of troops with a good level of uniform detail for visual effect.

The twenty eight mm stuff from Perry and the like is beautiful but I use units of fifty men for infantry and twenty five for cavalry.

The Napoleonic era was en masse and visual. If you wish to replicate that the 'grand manner' is the one true way.

Best wishes,


Sparta04 Sep 2018 11:54 p.m. PST

Started in 25 mm, many years in 15 mm – now I genrally think any game not involving 6mm feels fake without room to maneuver.

Artilleryman05 Sep 2018 1:19 a.m. PST

Much depends on the particular aspects of the hobby you enjoy. I enjoy modelling and painting as much as the game itself. Therefore, for me the logic is to go for a figure big enough to enjoy painting, converting etc, but small enough to provide a battle of reasonable size. I have dabbled in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm as being scales that answer to my needs. However, nothing was as satisfying as painting up a 28mm Perry figure so in the end I have plumped for 28mm (albeit with 1/72 scale buildings). The average battle is at the divisional or small corps level but there is always the possibility of combining with others to mount really big battles. I may not be able to be a Napoleon but I can be a Friant or even a Davout.

Green Tiger05 Sep 2018 1:25 a.m. PST

For big battles (which I favour)I use 20mm and there is a lot to be said for that(see above) but I think if I was to do it again I would go 15mm – though it depends on table size.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 1:45 a.m. PST

The trouble (or bonus) with Napoleonics is that you had battles between forces that ranged from 6,000 men or so per side (Maida) and lasted 4 hours all the way up to battles like Leipzig that involved 100x as many men and lasted 4 days.

There is simply no single scale that allows you to depict both extremes on the same table.

If you pick a mid-point and say you want to be able to depict battles of around 70 to 80,000 men per side, that gets you into a sweet spot that covers engagements such as Austerlitz, Eylau, Friedland, Waterloo, and so on. But even at this size you are going to be abstracting away most of the stuff I personally find most interesting, such as skirmish action, lines versus column and square versus cavalry.

In effect you are always bathtubbing. If your table is 8' by 5' then you can fit maybe 300 figures per side onto that. It's then only a matter of taste whether you decide that 30 figures are a battalion or that six figures are a brigade. Either way you're deeming 300 figures to be an army.

My own taste is to see and do the lines and squares thang but that's because I like bigger figures. I've never tried one of these Wagram / Borodino refights with teeny tiny figures, so I've no idea whether I'd like it, but the playaz seem to do so. I have to say I'd probably buy a boardgame to refight something like that. It's instant gratification and it's not like you can actually see 6mm figures anyway.

I was at Salute a year or two back and there was a 28mm demo game of Sharpe Practice going on. It was quite entertaining but what I did notice was that despite this being purportedly a 1:1 skirmish game among light troops there were cavalry and artillery on the table – in, presumably, ahistorical strengths of 10 or 12 horsemen, one individual gun, etc. This says to me that whatever scale one plays in there is always a bit of a hankering to have every unit type reflected and "operable".

langobard Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 1:57 a.m. PST

Another vote for starting with about 10-15 units per player.

At that point I like Age of Eagles in 15mm, where each unit is a brigade and a player can command a couple of corps, or 28mm for Black Powder where units are battalions/regiments and a dozen units are a divisional command.

Most of my tables are around the 6x4 size.

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 2:17 a.m. PST

I like all scales but my preference is 15mm

Footslogger05 Sep 2018 2:39 a.m. PST

I work with an awkward compromise of 28mm figures (for the uniforms and detail) but have a mere 12 infantry or 4 cavalry to a unit, and that unit represents a brigade.

So large battles, big figures – but 12 figures does NOT look like a brigade.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 3:02 a.m. PST

I also stand with the one true scale wink 1/72.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 3:07 a.m. PST

I'm not surprised your group can't decide. In my experience, groups seldom can. I've seen groups of wargaming buddies wrangle for years over which ruleset, which figures and which basing to use, all without a single figure getting painted or a single game hitting the table . . . which is why I came to the conclusion that it's sometimes best to just decide what you want to do, go ahead and paint the figures, learn the rules and put on the games.

As for what's my favorite (though it's almost certainly not relevant to your situation): at least a division per player, in 10mm. Why? Because I found it to be the most effective way to create a sense of spectacle in a reasonably sized space and at a reasonable cost.

arthur181505 Sep 2018 3:44 a.m. PST

4th Cuirassier, perhaps the Sharpe Practice game you saw was a recreation of the television Sharpe series, and therefore completely authentic in its portrayal of the source material?

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 3:59 a.m. PST

@ arthur

Could be. I don't recall any Seen Been figure on the table, but the build of the 28mm figures being used and of the watchers was quite similar except all our heads looked too small.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 4:14 a.m. PST

I think it's more a matter of "preferred" than "best." I grow more partial to brigade to division size actions with individually-mounted figures, for which 1/72 is the practical answer--cheap, portable and using a smaller table. But I prefer 28mm castings when I have the money and table space.

redbanner414505 Sep 2018 4:24 a.m. PST

I do historical battles almost exclusively so units are battalions or brigades. 15mm works for both.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

"what is your favorite size for Napoleonic models and why?
And what is your favorite size for Napoleonic battles and why?"

I like refighting historical battles to get a better understanding of how and why they took the shape they did. Apart from the historical interest, I find that historical situations are more subtle and complex and therefore more fun to play than any generic encounter game or any imaginary scenario I might create.

That necessarily means I want to fight the battles that really mattered, which tend to be the biggest, and I want to fight them in their entirety. Give me Leipzig, Dresden, Borodino, Bautzen … smaller ones too, but really I want at least 20-30,000 men a side. I want to be a field marshal, not a colonel or a captain, as I think the tabletop challenges in higher level games are much more varied and interesting than the limited combos from pushing a few battalions around.

If I'm fighting a mass battle, I want it to look like a mass battle. 2mm gives the right aerial view appearance but is so small it loses some of the other aesthetic dimensions. 6mm is very good and that's what nearly all my armies are. However, if I were to start again, I think I'd go 10mm: still small enough for mass effect, large enough to retain uniform distinctions and look pretty individually.

I hope these comments help. Good luck with finding the right size of game and figures to suit your group.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member05 Sep 2018 5:23 a.m. PST

So we're all agreed that 1/72 gives more 'bang for your buck'?
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Arcane Steve Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

I very much like 28mm scale. The figures are large enough for me to paint, model and convert. I am also happy with plastics as well as metal so the ranges available are superb and within budget. All my units are or will go onto movement trays, which allows some flexiblity when deciding how to field my army and what rules to use, although Black powder is predominately our rules set of choice. For the small 'club' battles I use 12's for infantry and 6's for cavalry but when we get to play larger battles, 24's and 12's. Also , if skirmish encounters, I have enough figures to deploy as singles.
As for size of Battles, Skirmish up to about 3 – 5 brigades per side is common for 'club' battles. Occassionally, we organise a larger encounter with eight or more players and over 3000 or so figures on the table.

Lascaris05 Sep 2018 5:51 a.m. PST

15mm, big battles but units not brigaded so I use ESR which meets all my requirements.

GatorDave Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

28mm Big Battles. I do like the brigade as the base unit. My group uses Blucher.

patrick76605 Sep 2018 8:37 a.m. PST

15mm, have had and gamed with 6mm, 10mm, 1/72, and 28mm also…
I just found that 15mm for me had the best combination of uniform detail and mass look. 1/72 was a close 2nd… but availability of many types in plastics, and the expense and limited availability of many metals was an issue…

Oh, battalions, like March Attack and Piquet Field of Battle for years…


darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

+1 ChrisBBB2

14Bore05 Sep 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

15mm, detailed yet small. Do give kudos to some collectors of smaller sizes but the avg painter should be able to put up reasonable figures.

Greystreak05 Sep 2018 1:20 p.m. PST

28mm, come big or stay home.


Timbo W06 Sep 2018 2:26 a.m. PST

1 72 for me, basically because that's where I started and repainting all those figures in another scale just isn't going to happen. Unit size is loosely based on old quarrie rules 1 to 33, so divisional to corps size battles can be done 'as is', However I'm also doing bathtub versions of the larger battles, no I ally 1 to 100 but using 1/4 the number of units.

Brechtel19806 Sep 2018 4:00 a.m. PST

The question, I guess, was two-fold. And Robert suggested that 'preferred' was a better term than 'best' with which I agree.

My preferred size of figure for painting and display is 54mm. The detail is there and the figures are in scale as to weapons, heads, etc. And they are a lot of fun to paint and are easy to convert.

And as I have posted before, I have wargamed with 54mm, usually on the living room or den floor and my eldest brother and I made a simple set of rules to use.

Marc the plastics fan06 Sep 2018 4:05 a.m. PST

1/72. Big enough to see and paint well if that is your thing, small and cheap enough to both buy and put on the table.

We have around 4,000 in use. Using BP but working on moving to Gd'A

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2018 4:36 a.m. PST

I've got a lot of time for 54mm for many of the same reasons. I started to collect and paint a few too. The trouble was twofold. One is scale inconsistency: Call To Arms does nice French line fusiliers and nice Guards flank company figures, but although billed as 1/32, they are clearly in two different scales. HaT is yet another scale (smaller) and Italeri, while among the nicest sculpts, is yet another scale again (larger).

The same scale inconsistency besets the Airfix 1/32 range, but as these are mostly WW2 where the figures aren't often in base to base contact, it's less of an issue. They are in fact between 1/30 and 1/35 scale depending which figures.

The other issue with 54mm that I found was that it's hard to complete any army with all the troop types you might want. For example, in no scale does anyone do British centre companies, except in metal at very high cost for how many you'd need.

I still like the scale but I paint them more for therapy than gaming. Scenery is a bit pricey though.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

I am surprised at how many post 1/72. I have ACW in that scale, but no one near me use that scale. Most use 15mm and some 28mm for Napoleonic.

I agree with Desert Fox. It depends on how many units you want per player, how many players, and table size.

Elsewhere on TMP I heard excellent advice saying you should have no more units than how many it takes to lay them out in a line end to end per side. I found it a good rule of thumb to allow enough room for maneuver and mass. Obviously the bigger the scale the less units. Choose a rule set and a game space, then you can calculate what scale to use.

I have been in too many games where a table is full of gorgeous 28mm but the game stunk because it was a big traffic jam. The game looked like a figure display more than a battle.

Glencairn06 Sep 2018 5:19 a.m. PST

Like most other people back in the early 70s, I began with 20mm, and built quite a collection. The bases seemed to be the ŕight´size to depict awkward manoevering,and you could get a greater variety as Zvezda, Hat et al joined in.
But then I found 20mm a bit sore on the eyes to paint, and switched to more dramatic 28s, although, like Artillryman above, I use 20mm buildings or even smaller, to reduce footprint.
That said, I love 25mm. It combines a nice size with enough detail and a bit of character. If I hadnt invested a pile of money and time in my 28s, this is the scale Id choose, but so few gamers have a collection in 25..pity.
Much depends on your table size, numbers per unit, and your patience in resolving a turn, so you dont get bogged down in nitty-gritty…Its that same old question, isnt it? We want realistic, no-nonsense, fast resolution situations on the table-top.

Sho Boki06 Sep 2018 6:11 a.m. PST

6mm – 15(18)mm or 1:300 – 1:100.
Great for game and for showbox.

Minimal terrain scale will be from 10cm = 1km with 6mm figs to 25cm = 1km with 15mm figs. Enough for normal and big battles.

There are no differences in details and quality between 15mm and bigger figures up to 52mm, when smaller details (like eyelashes) may be added to figures.

So 6-12mm for big battles and 15-18mm for show off and smaller battles.

I prefer normal and big battles. Waterloo, Wagram, Borodino.
I am not interested in sergeant or colonel level control. Brigade General is lowest commanding level in game, if I want to play full battles. Smallest independent game units are also brigades, divided to battalion stands.

Trajanus06 Sep 2018 7:45 a.m. PST

The trouble (or bonus) with Napoleonics is that you had battles between forces that ranged from 6,000 men or so per side (Maida) and lasted 4 hours all the way up to battles like Leipzig that involved 100x as many men and lasted 4 days.

There is simply no single scale that allows you to depict both extremes on the same table.

Says it all really. All I would add is there's no single set of rules that let you do it either!

Olaf 0306 Sep 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

I agree with 1/72. I have thousands. No if only someone lived near me that gamed in this scale it would be great.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2018 11:44 a.m. PST

Olaf 03, you have our sympathy. Where to you live, pray? Are we talking way north of the Arctic Circle where only polar bears throw dice to determine attack/retreat?

There are some things that you can do alone, that will not make you go blind. One is solo wargaming (I tried that and was massacred every time). The other is just collect, convert, paint, photograph, stick into dark storage in sealed boxes…….and try to answer the question "But why do you do it?"

The question posed by the title is strangely like the very old Irish joke. Basically this eejet asks for directions to somewhere; this Bleeped text gives them in great detail, but finally finishes "But, ah sure, I was you, I would not start from here".

I think I am trying to say that posing this question to anyone who looks into this forum, is probably too late. "We're here because we're here, because etc"

A few minutes later…….

Aw, how did they spot the Irishism of a Gob S Haitch I T E (all as one word). This IT these days. Ah sure tis marvellous.

With apologies to our Transatlantic cousins, who must be thinking what the….heck…is he on about?

Osterreicher06 Sep 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

I chose 18mm, because while I preferred to paint 28mm (with shading, eyes, etc), I also wanted game larger battles. I also mount the 18mm 2-deep, in order to halve the space required for a unit.

My scale is 1:50, so battalions are around 12 figures, and I can still see formations, even if as a player I don't micro manage such things in the game.

I'm looking to do medium to large scale battles eventually, once I paint more. After getting a much better education on Plancenoit from Herr von Winterfeldt, I've been working on von Losthin's brigade at Plancenoit.

I found that with 10mm I would end up painting more per battalion for look and feel, and have the same unit foot print.

I might have still gone with 10mm, but Pendraken didn't have Peninsula British and 1806 Prussians. I ended up selling all my 28mm, and still have an urge to paint up some (Three Armies & Black Hussar), but I'm trying to restrain myself.

I don't prefer 6mm as for me they are too small to enjoy painting. For 18mm, I can still shade around the eyes for forced perspective and can paint the correct kilts on my Highlanders.

I do use 10mm buildings to present a lighter footprint. I do the same for my SYW figures as well.

Glenn Pearce06 Sep 2018 5:54 p.m. PST

Hello Lion in the Stars!

"The local group can't decide."

Fairly common problem as our hobby is full of scales, periods and favourite size of battle. In most groups or clubs the dominate scales are 25/28mm and 15/18mm, so that's what is generally played, regardless. Logic and or practical will often lose out to preference.

The first step would be to eliminate "favourite" and establish what is the most "practical" and how do you get there.

We had similar problems over 40 years ago. We had an established group/club now called the "Napoleonic Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto" (presently in our 53rd year) that had about 15 members at the time, now over 30. We had over 10,000 25mm figures and generally gamed on a 8' x 12' table. We hit the wall on a number of issues, but the main one was space or table size. For a large battle our figures were edge to edge which meant you simply fought the fellow across from you. Without any real options to maneuver your game was basically a dice roll. Although some players actually felt that it was great as the sight of all the large figures on a large table brought them great pleasure, others were not "feeling it". The game lacked any real sense of "generalship". Despite playing on a gym floor once and a couple of times using a board room with multiple tables you still knew that the scale would never really work. This was brought home big time when we played an extremely large 15mm game on a 5' x 35' table. Even the players were elbow to elbow. Very impressive looking, but a dud of a game. If you didn't have better troops or couldn't roll higher than the fellow directly across from you, you were doomed.

Once we realized that "scale" was the real problem we zoomed in on 6mm. 6mm at the time and still is the smallest scale that you can still "practically paint" collars, cuffs, turn backs and facings. So for anyone still wanting to paint specific regiments, you can, I do and yes they are noticeable.

The original plan was we would use 6mm for all of our big battles and retain the 25mm for small actions. Well once we got into 6mm we realized that there was no need for the 25mm figures and they have never been used again. Some players sold off their collections of 25s and one key player left the group (former president) as he only wanted to play 25mm.

The entire dynamic of our games changed "maneuver" and "flanks" became very important. No longer were table edges or the guy beside you used as "secure flanks". Players actually had to develop a flexible plan just to survive and needed a brilliant one to win. High dice rolling meant nothing without a viable plan.

"now I generally think any game not involving 6mm feels fake without room to maneuver."

Amen, to that brother.

"The trouble (or bonus) with Napoleonics is that you had battles between forces that ranged from 6,000 men or so per side (Maida) and lasted 4 hours all the way up to battles like Leipzig that involved 100x as many men and lasted 4 days.
There is simply no single scale that allows you to depict both extremes on the same table.
Says it all really. All I would add is there's no single set of rules that let you do it either"

We have played hundreds of Napoleonic battles "Maida" to "Borodino" on a 5' x 9' table for well over 30 years in 6mm with no problems. Same scale of figures, same rules. We use Polemos "Ruse de Guerre" (written by me) and sold by Baccus6mm as our house rules. The rules were written for the North American wars "French and Indian War", "American War of Independence" and the "War of 1812". Using some "scenario specific" rules we use the same rules for all our horse and musket periods which presently include "Seven Years War", "Napoleonic", "American Civil War", and all the smaller wars in North America prior to 1754 (at one to one). So you actually can play any size of battle that you want using one set of rules. Although designed for 6mm games you can use pretty much any scale of figures.

"But what is your favorite size for Napoleonic models and why?"

Hopefully, I answered that, but if not it's 6mm, because it has minimal limitations.

"And what is your favorite size for Napoleonic battles and why?"

All of them, because if done properly they all pretty much have their own unique attributes.

Hope this helps you out in some way.

Best regards,


Lion in the Stars06 Sep 2018 8:59 p.m. PST

Personally, I'm pushing for 15/18mm. Still big enough to paint uniform details (I certainly can't paint collars, cuffs, and turnbacks on 6mm or 3mm), and most of our terrain is already in that scale due to playing Flames of War. I blame Forward March Studios for distracting me with 3mm and representing nearly every single trooper in every battalion, it looked really good and allowed you to play at a scale of 6"=100yds.

One of the other guys bought 28mm, but will buy something different if we all agree on something.

What is your favorite size for Napoleonic battles and why? may have been poorly phrased. I wanted to know what everyone's favorite 'player-in-command' level was. Do you like commanding a battalion or a brigade/division, or do you want to command the whole battle?

@Glenn Pearce, sounds like you game whole battles, player as Wellington/Napoleon.

We get tempted towards skirmish scale as we watch the Sharpe series, but I think 2-3 of us want to be Wellington or Napoleon and play out the entire battle.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2018 10:29 p.m. PST

most of our terrain is already in that scale
This right here is a huge deal to me, and a big reason why I continue to collect 15mm. I just don't want to build and store multiple terrain sets. That said, many of my 3D terrain items are tall enough to look okay alongside 1/72 figures as well.

- Ix

Rod MacArthur06 Sep 2018 11:30 p.m. PST

Everything I have, Napoleonics, Jacobite Rebellion, Zulu War, Medieval and (unpainted) Roman era are 1:72 plastics, collected over nearly 60 years. Most of my figures are on a 1:30 figure ratio, although my Zulu War figures are half that at 1:15 figure ratio. My terrain is all one scale down at 15mm. I have no plans to change anything.

You can see many of them on my website:

I have always created my armies first, then found (or modified) rules to suit them. Since rules have gone in and out of fashion over the years, I find this approach works best for me.


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2018 3:04 a.m. PST

@ Glenn

We have played hundreds of Napoleonic battles "Maida" to "Borodino" on a 5' x 9' table for well over 30 years in 6mm with no problems. Same scale of figures, same rules….we use the same rules for all our horse and musket periods which presently include "Seven Years War", "Napoleonic", "American Civil War", and all the smaller wars in North America prior to 1754 (at one to one).

I suspect that wouldn't work for most players…

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2018 3:06 a.m. PST


rules have gone in and out of fashion over the years

How very true.

For me the constant is the painting of figures. The rules come and go, quite often to accommodate players' interest or lack of it in doing so.

If Napoleon were a wargamer he'd go for corps-level action and above. He obviously would have no interest in battalion-level action as he never commanded a battalion.

Olaf 0307 Sep 2018 10:17 a.m. PST


There are a number of great gamers in my area, there focus is on 28mm. That is fine as I have SYW and FPW in 28mm. But growing up my father had a decent gaming group and they did a lot of 20mm ACW and Napoleonics. That group is no longer around unfortunately and I have not been able to find people interested (at least yet) in painting and gaming 1/72nd Napoleonics.

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