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"Advice for Starting in 6mm" Topic

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Malarith30 Jul 2021 10:20 p.m. PST

Hey All,

I have been dabbling with napoleonics for a while, but have not been happy with the larger scales. 28mm just looks wrong to me, and while I am enjoying 1/72 it still misses that mass army vibe that I am looking for.

From what I have seen so far 6mm seems perfect for getting those massive armies on the field, without needing a gaming space larger than my home.

I am however a bit stuck when it comes to making the initial jump into 6mm. Currently I am leaning towards Baccus for the figures themselves, but I have no clue on the rules, basing, or even what a good first purchase would be.

I have not got a particular Nation or Battle that I am looking at collecting, as in the end I think I will end up collecting most of the major players.

I am open to any advice you could give me on getting started in 6mm.
Thanks in advance!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian30 Jul 2021 10:53 p.m. PST

If you like small, you might also consider 3mm link and 2mm link grin

Steamingdave231 Jul 2021 2:12 a.m. PST

I have a lot 6mm napoleonics, mainly old Heroics and Ros, but some Baccus. The Baccus are nicely sculpted, significantly bigger than the H+R but I rarely use any of them in games these days. My personal oreference is 10mm. It hits the sweet spot between small enough to play games in a limited space and big enough to get some detail, so you can tell those are French, those are Prussian etc.
Excellent choice of ranges from Pendraken, Baggage Train, Lancer, Old Glory and Magister Militum.
I base 6 infantry figures to a 20mm square base for most nations and a 36 figure battalion, such as French 6 company battalion takes up 12cm frontage and looks good.
If you sure 6mm is the way to go, then Baccus are a goid choice. Mine were based for FoGN, 4 bases of 30mm x 20mm per unit, but Inhave used them with Over the Hills, Age of Eagles and Bloody Big Battles. That last set idpscideal fir major battkes of the Napoleonic Wars.

witteridderludo31 Jul 2021 2:28 a.m. PST

And if you are into 3D printing, there is some free stuff on thingiverse but also comprehensive ranges on myminifactory:

colgar631 Jul 2021 3:13 a.m. PST

If it helps, here are some pictures and basing descriptions for my 6mm Heroics & Ros figures:

There are various battle reports on the same blog as well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 3:25 a.m. PST

I've been putting 24 5mm H&R infantry on a stand 2" wide and 1" deep, and modifying Wesencraft's "Corps Level Game." This give you a ground scale of 1"=150 yds, a figure ratio of about 1 casting for 40 men, and a base big enough to handle and to justify the usual officer, drummer and standard-bearer.

If I were starting now from scratch, I'd do Baccus and a 60mm wide base instead. Baccus does nice-looking figures a little too large to use with H&R, and anyway H&R hasn't resumed Napoleonic production.

I'd say order two armies, one of them French, and make sure you're happy with basing and rules before you go deeper in.

As Bill says, something to be said for 2mm, and Irregular's service is very good. I have some based on 30mm square cardstock for 2x2 Napoleonics which gets me a ground scale of 1mm=10 meters. (Leipzig would require a 6' x 7' table.) A nice travel set and useful when you're seriously hurting for space, but you do lose a lot of the appearance.

AussieAndy31 Jul 2021 4:46 a.m. PST

I would definitely go with Baccus. They are sculpted to make them easy to paint.

Don't worry about basing until you decide on rules.

You need to provide some more info on what you want out of the rules before anyone can give appropriate advice. Are you looking for a battalion-level game, a brigade-level game or something else?

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 6:33 a.m. PST

Baccus figs are great – Alder are a little more animated but also a touch more fragile – Heroics and Ros are very nice but smaller than either

The decision about type of game is important – I like grand tactical so I use the Age of Eagles bases, but instead of 4 infantry have 9 and for cavalry 6 per stand – one of the guys in the group likes the Blucher rules which are also very good – but those rules call for fewer, large bases with more figs on them

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 7:00 a.m. PST

I highly recommend painting some samples before buying a massive army

I discovered that 6mm was not for me. I enjoyed painting 18mm, 10mm and 3mmm, but not 6mm or 28mm. Actually I like 28mm, but would never paint a whole army

There is no answer to rules or basing. If there are other wargamers near you, see what they use

Be aware that we are on the cusp of 3d printing. A home resin printer can print nearly as well as a metal casting, but I haven't seen models as good as Baccus, AB or Perry


cavcrazy31 Jul 2021 7:04 a.m. PST

Column, Line, and Square in 10mm🙂

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 9:52 a.m. PST

I agree with the sample approach.

Baccus actually do a two army starter set (scroll to the bottom):


But I would not use their 60x30mm bases. Instead I would make each unit 3 bases each 20x20. That way you have flexibility to play other games if Polemos is not for you.

I base my troops on steel bases so I can cut sheet magnet movement trays for whatever rules we're playing this week.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 6:24 p.m. PST

With all respect to jwebster, I'd put the minimum buy in a small scale at two small but viable armies--starter armies, perhaps, but enough to game with. (1) Anything less may tell you whether you can paint them, or will enjoy painting them, but it won't tell you what a game looks and plays like. (2) At 10mm and under, anything smaller than two matched armies is difficult to sell, so everything you've spent is lost. If you paint two armies and don't like them, you can at least get your money back.

Cavcrazy, that's just viable. Change distances from inches to centimeters? That makes the usual 5x9 table possibly a 4' square and gives you the depth which was a persistent problem. Great for tactical. But Malarith, be warned that the system tends to break down if you try to put corps on the table. I was many years conceding that it was easier to build Napoleonic armies in two scales, rules and basing systems than to try to make one set work for Lundy's Land and Leipzig.

Malarith31 Jul 2021 11:55 p.m. PST

Hey All,

Thanks for the advice so far.
It's good to hear some nice things about Baccus, always hard to make a choice without seeing the in the flesh.

Bill, oooo 2mm. That's rather tempting. I may look into that for some truly massive campaign style games.

AussieAndy, good point about what I am looking for in a ruleset. I have my 1/72 for Battalion level games, so I'm thinking something that lets me take control of a whole army, or at least a Corps or two.

jwebster, I do have a 3d printer, but have not seen many STLs so far, particularly for cavalry. As for players near me, they are all into Black Powder, so this is a bit of a solo project (fingers crossed I can rope my boys into playing)

As for basing I think I am leaning towards fewer larger bases than smaller. I honestly think its the smaller bases that put me off 28mm. Feels too much like Warhammer for me.
I did see some great large bases with what appeared to be a Battalion or two per base, but I did not write down what system they were for, and exist now only in memory.

Robert, yeah I am going to get at least 2 armies to start, kinda hard to play the game with no opposing force after all. Good call on making sure 1 is French, something I did not think about with my 1/72. While I am most familiar with the British/Allied and Prussian armies, I do like the look of the Austrians. Those white uniforms will look very nice, especially in a massive unit.

Again, thanks for the advise so far

Gazzola01 Aug 2021 3:04 a.m. PST


I would suggest you obtain some sample 6mm miniatures from various manufacturers before deciding on which ones to go with.

I did that and painted up various miniatures, including Baccus figs. However, as good as the other miniatures were, I found the Adler miniatures, in my opinion, to be the best detailed and certainly, again in my opinion, looked the best when painted up and based.

I'm glad I obtained samples because I found all the 6mm miniatures from different firms to be delicate in certain areas, as probably expected with such small miniatures. You do have to be more careful than with the larger scales. But once painted and based, no problem and plenty of big battles to enjoy.

But the only way to be sure is to obtain some samples and paint them up. You will certainly benefit for employing the time to do this, whichever miniatures you finally go with. I also found Adler great for service, help and advice when needed. Other players found the same with other manufacturers. It is all about person choice. But I'm so glad I actually saw and experienced the miniatures in the flesh before I went with Adler.

Happy 6mm wargaming anyway, whoever you go with.

Beeker01 Aug 2021 8:01 a.m. PST

I second Gazzola.


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

For basing, I recommend looking at the various rules at the top of your list and their basing systems; but then do whatever the heck you want.

Especially for big battle games, all rules are really base-agnostic as long as the armies are consistant. If you're providing all the armies then that's easy to achieve.

Glenn Pearce01 Aug 2021 9:52 a.m. PST

Hello Malarith!

Welcome to 6mm Napoleonic gaming. It's a wonderful experience that my club (Napoleonic Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto) and I have enjoyed for over 45 years. Prior to that there was 11 years of 25mm gaming.

Baccus sells world class 6mm figures and makes up the majority of my 60,000 plus 6mm collection. They are probably the largest retailer in 6mm and have an extensive line in many periods. They also sell flags, bases, basing materials, brushes, buildings, rules, etc. They also have painting guides. Basically a one stop shop. Should you ever want to try other periods you can get a similar look, style and size. They are also designed to paint at any skill level and obtain great looking units. Figures are sold in packs all the way up to army level. They are packaged to fit their recommended basing and rule system called Polemos. So your never looking for extra figures or short figures to complete a unit.

As for your armies the normal selections are French vs Austrians, or Russians or Prussians or British and Spanish. It was not unusual for the French to fight a combined allied army so at some point in time you will probably want to add other armies to your collection.

Polemos basing is the most popular basing in 6mm as you can use it to play pretty much any rule set you want as is or with a few simple house rules. The basic base is 60mm x 30mm for infantry, cavalry, limbers, wagons, etc. and the 30mm x 30mm for artillery and commanders. Only two bases for your entire collection, couldn't be simpler. There is also an optional 60mm x 60mm base generally restricted to Brigade level and higher games.

They sell a Napoleonic rule set that is actually two rule sets in one book. One for Divisional size games and the other for Corp/Army size games. I also wrote the last rule set in the series called "Ruse de Guerre". It updates some of the mechanics, includes the first skirmish/light infantry bases in the series. It also has a unique sliding scale that allows you to increase the size of your battles as the size of your collection grows. So no need to change rules for different sizes of battles. It covers the wars in North America from 1754 to 1815. The French & Indian War, American War of Independence and the War of 1812 (a Napoleonic war). There are no European scenarios in the book. You can obtain a PDF for most of the Baccus rules from the Wargames Vault for roughly $11 USD US. If you have any questions I will gladly help you here or on the Baccus forum.

Best regards,


Gazzola02 Aug 2021 4:23 a.m. PST


As you can see there are plenty of 6mm scale players willing to help and offer advice. That's great to see, but I would certainly still recommend you obtain some samples and maybe even 10mm samples before making that final decision. It will be well worth it in the end.

David Grech05 Aug 2021 7:24 a.m. PST

getting 6mm samples is highly recommended as it also depends on your style of painting and basing.I would also explore rule systems which depends on your level of interest.You can play test with blanks as your choice of game is your greatest commitment.

Malarith05 Aug 2021 3:25 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice guys.

Sorry for the late reply, its been a doozy of a week.

Because I am in Australia postage is always a concern for me, hence trying to stick to a single manufacturer. That being said you all have a good point about getting some samples in so I can make a more informed choice.

Glenn – Thanks for the advice on basing. I think I will go with the 60mm x 30mm, as it sees that those sized bases will work with most/all of the rules I am looking at.

Speaking of rules I will be grabbing a copy of the Baccus rules and I have also been checking out Blucher, seems to be an interesting option as well. They both have the right level of command that I am after.

As a final (I hope) question, once I have a manufacturer chosen, what would you recommend as a good starting point for an army? Is it worth picking a historical battle to base the army after, or just go with a bunch of Infantry, with some Cavalry and Cannons?

Thanks all

Glenn Pearce06 Aug 2021 7:42 a.m. PST

Hello Malarith!

Nice to hear things are shaping up for you.

Your welcome, should you hook up with other players at some point in time there's a good chance of finding them using 60x30 or at least a system that's compatible.

Great choice in rules as they both do indeed function at higher command levels and both have a different approach. Will be interesting to hear how they work out for you.

At some point in time you will probably want to game historical battles so there is really no other way then to find one that appeals to you that also matches the armies your building and go from there. The problem is the composition of most armies change from battle to battle so you will have to over build at some point as well to be able to game different battles. If your going solo it will take some time to acquire and paint the figures. Blucher has cards so you can use them until you acquire the figures. You can do the same with Polemos except you will have to cut out some cards or just use the empty bases until your able to mount the figures. Put a sticky label on them and away you go.

You can also just make up some battles so you get the feel of how the bases interact with each other and how the game flows.

If you obtain Ruse de Guerre I also might be able to send you a scenario that matches you goals. We also have a member in the UK that games solo and his blog has some wonderful Polemos scenarios on it.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,


Glenn Pearce06 Aug 2021 7:51 a.m. PST

Actually you can see some of his games on this site/6mm Napoleonics. He goes under the name "Whirlwind". You can connect to his blog from there.

AussieAndy06 Aug 2021 10:06 a.m. PST


I suggest that you take a look at Grand Armee, it is by the same author as Blucher, but is much less gamey. It is, however, quite abstracted. If you want something that is less abstracted, I suggest that you consider Age of Eagles (Napoleonic Fire and Fury), which also has excellent support from the author and an active forum. Personally, I would steer well clear of the Polemos rules systems. If there are other people that you will game with, what are they using?

You could use two of the 60 x 30 bases for GA, but they wouldn't really work for AofEs. I strongly recommend that you work out the rules that you wish to use before you commit to a basing system. You can buy bases at a very reasonable cost from Battlefield Accessories here in Australia.

With both GA and AofEs, there is no need to build your forces for a particular battle.

Good luck.

David Grech07 Aug 2021 3:34 a.m. PST

I hate these type of threads where a newbie is bombarded with advice of personal preference. while for all intents and purposes it may be genuinely with good intention some may be trolling to promote preferred merchandise or may even be the rules author. I too have been gaming for a long time and have my preferences which have also developed since then. My only advice is don't rush start small leave options open and choose wisely.the final obective is to enjoy.

Gazzola07 Aug 2021 7:02 a.m. PST

I think, if you are a newby, that the advice offered opens up the world of 6mm miniature wargaming and what is available. After all, no one is saying don't buy these figs, buy them instead. As I keep saying (and others), the best advice, based on experience, is to obtain samples, paint and base them up and see which you are happy with in all areas. Then look at what is available, price and postage etc. Sometimes the figures in online images don't look as good in the flesh. But seeing them in front of you and painting them can make all the difference and help the player make his choice on which to go with.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2021 5:47 p.m. PST

+1 Malarith on the bases. Many rules, like Blucher are not really dependent on precise base sizes these days, but most rules work better with the size of bases they were originally set up for. Age of Eagles has more and smaller bases than Blucher, for example.

Volley and Bayonets is adaptable to 6mm by halving the distances and is easy to use. It has been around a long time and has stood the test of time as a major seller.

But I suggest you order samples, read reviews, look at videos, do a lot of homework. You can always order figures and start painting them while you think about rules, basing, and historical scenarios. I started with French and Austrians – they fought so many battles with each other throughout the era that they provide more big and small scenario opportunities than other nations.

Glenn Pearce11 Aug 2021 12:17 p.m. PST

Hello AussieAndy!

It's my understanding that players who use the 60x30 base to play AoE simply treat the base as two or three smaller bases attached. Thereby eliminating the need for sabots or any other clumsy devise. Same thing for the entire F&F family of rules.

Best regards,


Glenn Pearce11 Aug 2021 12:54 p.m. PST

Hello David Grech!

Hopefully I can brighten your perspective on this thread.

To me this is very similar to posts/threads that I see almost daily. Someone new to the hobby, period or scale has some questions to ask and everybody does their best to answer them and often gets a ton of great answers. Of course they are full of personal preferences. That's what the poster wants to hear, not a thread full of maybe's, could be's or don't knows. There is no other way to support your recommendations other than to use your personal preferences based on your experience. That's what the posters want to hear.

I'm not aware of anyone trolling to promote merchandise. If you were referring to me as a "rules author" then you have no idea what I represent or what I am doing. I represent the Napoleonic Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto. It is one of the oldest wargaming clubs in the world. Presently in its 56 year. We have been helping and advising wargamers throughout most of its history. We are a none profit organization and obtain no revenue from any product we recommend. In fact the entire organization is an out of pocket expense borne almost exclusively by myself.

In this particular thread the poster got the answers he was looking for. Made his decisions and has probably since moved on to fulfill his dreams. Sounds like the perfect thread to me.

Best regards,


Gazzola13 Aug 2021 3:19 a.m. PST


Too much advice can sometimes be too much advice. But I'm sure a lot of the advice offered is in order to advise or suggest you do not rush or jump in too quickly before considering various options.

Anyway, I'm sure we would all be interested in knowing what you finally go with in the end. Happy 6mm wargaming!

Malarith13 Aug 2021 4:05 a.m. PST

Hey all,

Again thanks so much for all the advice.

David – Thanks for looking out for the new guy. To be honest if a rules author took the time to give advice on the best way to get started with their rule set I would be flattered.
Overall peoples personal options is what I was after. I can look at all the pretty pictures online, but hearing from people about why they recommend one thing over another is way more helpful than most people realize, even when the advise is conflicting. It has really given me a great push in what I feel is the right direction.

Gazzola – Yeah, it has been a bit intimidating picking a range to collect. Kind of wish there were more pictures on the websites, in particular close ups of unpainted minis.

Tortorella – I have spend most of the week looking at battles I had not looked into before. Most of my previous research was 100 days focused, so looking at the earlier battles, in particular the Russian and Austrian battles, was quite eye opening. I think that Aspern-Essling through to Wagram is incredibly fascinating.
Will definitely be starting with an Austrian army. After that either Russians or French will be next.

Glenn – I must admit, I almost went back to looking at smaller bases, possibly 30 x 30, with the aim of pushing them together to make up a bigger base. All those years of Warhammer have clearly damaged me.
In the end, the figures are so cheep that I don't need to make the bases modular. I have thrown a few hundred at a single unit in the past (which got trashed in the next release), $10 USD to make a division worth of bases is nothing.

I have placed an order for some figures, will give an update when they have a bit of paint on them.

Again thank you all so much

David Grech13 Aug 2021 5:28 a.m. PST

Now that you mentioned smaller bases its what we prefer for Age of Eagles. Its elegant in depicting March column one stand for bringing reserves or assaulting across a bridge. Two stand frontage for massed brigades. In line or supported line for full frontage of brigade. as for removing casualties it is by stand so no book keeping. 6mm is for full battles from small Quatre bra to large Austerlitz but there is a fine line between too abstract games and getting the right feel of commanding a Napoleonic army

A french brigade deployed in bua wit attached battery


Glenn Pearce13 Aug 2021 6:39 a.m. PST

Hello Malarith!

"All those years of Warhammer have clearly damaged me."

And that is also the main problem with the majority of Napoleonic players including myself and the membership in my club. We were all brainwashed into thinking that the only way to play Napoleonic's is by playing rock/paper/scissors (changing battalion formations with small bases i.e. 30mm, 25mm, etc.). It's about as far away from the truth as you can get. Napoleonic warfare is all about the movement of armies all the way down to the battalion level, and not micro managing the inner workings of the battalion itself. If your game is only going to be between a couple of Brigades or Divisions then okay the small base concept works and a lot of gamers do play at that level. However the wheels fall off the wagon when you move your game up to army level with multiple players. Logistics alone will kill you. We will be playing a big Napoleonic game this Sunday with 6 players and roughly 200 60x30 bases. If we used small bases that bumps that up to 600 or 800 bases. When we did use small bases our games often lasted two days. Now were occasionally finished by lunch or safely on our way home in time for dinner. We have specialized in big battle multi player 6mm Napoleonic gaming for about 45 years. There is not one member in my club of roughly 30 players who wants to go back to micro managing battalions. It's a slow death sentence.

The other major problems with this brainwashing effect is the production of a lot of rules that encourage infantry often packed too close together to run all over the table in columns and cavalry to continuously run all over the table trying to surprise infantry not in square. Not to mention the major misrepresentation of time to change all these formations. That's about as far away as you can get from actual Napoleonic tactics as you can get.

So Malarith, stay strong my friend!

Best regards,


Grumblerminiatures20 Sep 2021 2:39 p.m. PST

Hi Malarith,

Grumbler Miniatures is under a year old and I send sample packs worldwide if you're interested?

You can see the range at

It looks like you've had a load of advice already. I wouldn't worry too much about basing. Whatever you do you will see someone else's and want to change lol.
I really like the Blucher basing idea as I have multi basing at 18mm for gaming. However, I can send you a free set of rules with a simple basing method if you're interested?

All the best.

Gazzola20 Sep 2021 3:12 p.m. PST

They look very great. How do they compare in size to Adler Napoleonic miniatures and do you intend to extend the Napoleonic range at some point in the near future?

Malarith10 Oct 2021 4:17 p.m. PST

Hey all,

Grumblerminiatures – Sorry I did not see your post above. I would not say no to a free set of rules. Still trying to find pick a rule set to play with. May just end up with all the rules at this stage :P

Also, after massive postage delays in Australia, I finally have my first 6mm Napoleonics!

So far painting them has been a dream, managed to bust out 4 Battalions in a single sitting. At this rate I am going to need to order ALOT more.

I will try to get some pictures up this week, but I do have a questions that I did not think about before, and its only kind of basing related this time.
Is it worthwhile having unit information on the base? I have seen this used in Blucher, but that seems very game specific.

What do you all suggest? Add a space for the battalion name, or use markers to designate the units on the battle field?


Glenn Pearce10 Oct 2021 8:23 p.m. PST

Hello Malarith!

Although some games suggest or even require unit markers it's more a matter of personal choice. I have a few thousand bases and none of them have labels of any kind. I only label the group commanders, all generals, etc. I use an order of battle for every game which shows which units are attached to which commanders. The commanders are with their troops so their easy to locate. I also paint some units slightly differently, some have different colour pants others wear great coats or have a slightly different composition of figures, etc. Some are even from different companies. So having different types is never a problem. Also note that most commands contain the same types of troops. Any changes in status is done with the use of markers. Some rules require tedious recordings and that can usually be done on the order of battle sheet.

Some people love labels on their units. I think it looks horrible with a table full of bill boards and dice holders, etc.

Best regards,


Malarith12 Oct 2021 1:06 a.m. PST

Hey Glenn,

Yeah that makes alot of sense. A Brigade Command base with his name does the same job as 3+ labels on the bigger bases.

Thanks mate

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