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"Best Scale for Waterloo? 6mm!" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Sep 2019 5:38 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

If you were to play Waterloo on the tabletop, which scale of figures would you use?

31% said "6mm"
28% said "15mm"
14% said "25/28mm"

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2019 6:52 p.m. PST

Large battles really do work better at smaller scales. 6/10mm are ideal

Old Contemptible16 Sep 2019 9:28 p.m. PST

15mm or a board game. I can't see well enough to paint 6mm or to even see the detail on the figures. There are so many board games for the battle or the whole 100 days campaign. For me that is a much better alternative than to do it in 6mm.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 1:52 a.m. PST

As I see it there are perhaps 2 sides of the hobby. Perhaps not quite as black and white as there are those that like writing rules for example. But you might know what I mean

1) Is the painting side of things .

2) The Gaming side of things

So for me it would be 15s as that is the smallest scale IMO that would satisfy my painting needs.

holdit17 Sep 2019 2:27 a.m. PST

I'm on the gaming side of things. I've adapted the John Tiller Napoleonic Battles series to use a virtual tabletop for solo Napoleon's Battles gaming (but it would probably work for any rules using 1" = 100m). The graphic mods I use have a very 6mm look, I think.


alphus9917 Sep 2019 6:03 a.m. PST

Fascinating, @holdit, how did you adapt the original computer game in this way? (The virtual tabletop thing)

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 6:44 a.m. PST

The Seabourne game is in 9mm (National army museum-London). It looks far too big to reach over unless dangling from above. It is 20 feet by 20 feet and covers the main part of the battlefield.
Thus the ground size would need to be "dot moved".
Maybe do the game in parts?


holdit17 Sep 2019 8:57 a.m. PST

@alphus99 It's not all that difficult. That screenshot is just of the graphic mod I use, by the way not from my own setup, not that it looks very different.

The main work is creating the OOB file to match the NB's OOB. Then you create the scenario as if it was a scenario in the game, but you just stay in the editor and use the rules as your "engine", and because you're in the scenario editor, the game's own engine doesn't interfere with what you're doing. (I've played Age of Eagles this way too.)

I'll be posting more information online over the next week or so. There's nothing in it for me personally, but I've been thinking the method might be of interest to some with limited time, space, or money…or all three. :-)

Old Peculiar17 Sep 2019 12:38 p.m. PST

I would have voted 2mm if it was an option.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 1:47 p.m. PST

MG. the Siborne was 1:1--OK for a diorama, but I think most of us would use a higher level of representation and thus a slightly more manageable ground scale.

forwardmarchstudios17 Sep 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

I would also vote for 2mm. Nothing like Waterloo at 1:1.

Lieutenant Lockwood17 Sep 2019 3:29 p.m. PST

Yep, 2mm is GOS. (God's Own Scale)

Brownand17 Sep 2019 11:03 p.m. PST

no blobs please!

Lancer5818 Sep 2019 12:26 a.m. PST

Didnt see it in time, but my answer would have been 10mm without a doubt, followed by 6mm

alphus9918 Sep 2019 1:20 a.m. PST

@holdit how interesting! Didn't realise you could do this so the computer games acts as a virtual tabletop, but you fight it with your tabletop rules cool.

Yes, please do share more when you can :)

Bindon Blood18 Sep 2019 2:50 a.m. PST

interesting how close 6mm and 15mm were.

Personally, I would say if you want to represent every unit, then 2mm, if you want to bathtub it slightly then 15mm, if you want a real spectacle, then 28mm…

but no one approach is right or wrong, unless it includes teddy-bear fur terrain, which is just an abomination before God…..

holdit18 Sep 2019 2:53 a.m. PST

teddy-bear fur terrain, which is just an abomination before God…..

You mean cutting up your kids' teddy bears and painting their pelts green is a bad thing now…?

Glenn Pearce18 Sep 2019 6:26 a.m. PST

No question 6mm.

I have played it 3 times in 25mm and 5 times in 6mm.

Everyone of the 25mm were so full of compromises and scale problems that the only thing Waterloo about them was the name. Corps were composed of 10 units or less. Actual scale 25mm buildings ate up huge amounts of table space. The width and depth of the tables crammed the battle into an unrealistic small space. The rules were cumbersome, overly complicated with very little emphasis on actual Napoleonic warfare.

All of the 6mm games had no real issues. You definitely got a much better sense of the battle then in 25mm. Every unit was represented. Building footprints were still a little off, but no where near the problems of 25mm. The rules were simple, easy to learn and fast to play. Just seeing all the formations properly deployed created a sense that you were actually looking at the battle of Waterloo. You also had a feeling that you were faced with similar problems as your historical counterparts.

I think I will pass on my next 25mm Waterloo game and can't wait to play my next 6mm Waterloo game.

Delort18 Sep 2019 2:02 p.m. PST

Glenn: which rules did you use for your 6mm Waterloo?

4th Cuirassier18 Sep 2019 3:15 p.m. PST

2mm or even 6mm tall crumbs of metal just don't do it for me. Those aren't figures.

Glenn Pearce18 Sep 2019 3:30 p.m. PST

Hello Delort!

Thanks for asking.

They are a rule set that I wrote for Baccus6mm in their Polemos series, called "Ruse de Guerre", covering the wars in North America from 1754 to 1815.

During the development my club the "Napoleonic Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto" decided that they would make an excellent set of "Club Rules" for the entire Horse & Musket period. Presently we are also using them for the Seven Years War, American Civil War and Napoleonic's. Keep in mind that the SYW is the same period as the French & Indian War and the War of 1812 is a Napoleonic war.

For all of our games the rules are played as is with the provision that the Scenario Designer is free to write in any extra rules that he feels are unique to his game. In over ten years the extra rules have been few and far between. They were all pretty much to do with the unique circumstances of a particular battle, not the period. We needed a flexible set of rules because a lot of our members only show up occasionally and the last thing they want to do is learn a new set of rules.

Best regards,


Glenn Pearce18 Sep 2019 3:49 p.m. PST

Hello Bindon Blood!

"interesting how close 6mm and 15mm were."

I think over the last 10 years 6mm has seen a lot of growth including a couple of new manufactures. So today it does not surprise me to see it very close to 15mm in any survey.

Best regards,


martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Sep 2019 11:06 p.m. PST

Always a shame to see TMP discussions decline into "I am right and everyone else is wrong". The art of discussion seems to have "evaporated" in such internet discussions. There seems to be little distinction between subjective and objective.

Seeing as I know best, green is the best colour ever. It is God's own colour and any one who thinks otherwise is very wrong. How could they possibly disagree with my opinion. Outrageous. All my friends like green so that matter is surely closed?

Don't forget to denigrate the choices of others. That should put them back in their place.

The most important thing is that this is my opinion and thus must be put forward as the most important.

Let's have more self puffery to help discussions?

Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 12:12 a.m. PST

My vote goes for 10mm. No wait it didn't even make the poll!

4th Cuirassier19 Sep 2019 1:54 a.m. PST

So you must be opposed to polls, then, Martin?

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 2:59 a.m. PST

To a degree the ideal scale depends on the amount of room one has at their disposal .

I was looking at a feature in Septembers Edition of Miniature Wargames whereby Waterloo was depicted in 28mm scale . The boards looked as though they were set up in some sort of warehouse and they were very long . I havnt read it yet but lengthwise it was over a 100m and required nearly 100 people to operate the armies.

Even on this size it is probably larger than what most clubs could accommodate.

So I can fully understand the rationale of a small scale 6mm being the most popular choice

JimDuncanUK19 Sep 2019 6:55 a.m. PST

Hi Mysteron

When you get the chance to read the September issue of Miniature Wargames you will be please to know the following.

The 'sort of warehouse' you espied was actually the Kelvin Gallery in the University of Glasgow built around 1870. It costs over £3,000.00 GBP per day to hire.


USAFpilot19 Sep 2019 10:18 a.m. PST

The actual size of the figure, 2mm or 28mm is irrelevant. What is important is ground scale and base size and what does a base represent. If a single base represents a battalion, then it's a battalion; no matter if it has three 28mm figures glued to it or if it has two dozen 2mm figures.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 10:46 a.m. PST

Battalion with three 6mm figures on base is also battalion. ;-)
But no 28mm figures can't be clued on such base, not even one.

holdit06 Oct 2019 7:30 a.m. PST


Here's how the conversion is done:


There is also some information about NBIV and the JTS Napoleonic Battles games, and also part 1 of a Marengo AAR, which I hope to complete soon.

alphus9921 Oct 2019 2:39 a.m. PST

Brilliant @holdit thanks!

holdit21 Oct 2019 4:54 a.m. PST

I've made the Marengo files available for download. Others will follow once I've made some changes to the way artillery and wagons are treated in the .oob file.

They'll only work with the correct games, though.

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