Help support TMP

"28mm Punic Wars Advice" Topic

15 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.

Please remember that some of our members are children, and act appropriately.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Ancients Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Recent Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Workbench Article


Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian paints some fast cats.

Featured Profile Article

The Gates of Old Jerusalem

The gates of Old Jerusalem offer a wide variety of scenario possibilities.

Current Poll

523 hits since 18 Nov 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Pyrrhic Victory18 Nov 2021 2:07 p.m. PST


I'm starting a 28mm Punic Wars project and wanted to get some advice before I start buying, probably during the black friday sales. The intent is to have forces that can play, over time, Clash of Spears, Saga:Age of Hannibal, Infamy:Punic Wars and Epic Saga. I'll start with Republican Romans, Carthaginians and a third common enemy force (Either Iberians or Syracusians), but before the project is done, I'd like Romans, Carthaginians, Syracusians, Iberians, Gauls, Numidians, Non-Roman Italians and Pyrrhic Succesors (i.e. I'm embracing the never ending project of it all). So, initial questions:

1 – What 28mm mass battle rules would you recommend for this period? I think my target Roman force is roughly 32 x Hastati, 32 x Principes, 16 x Triarii, 24 x Velites and 12 x Equites, which is 15 Saga points, and I'd like something where that plus some allies/mercenaries is a reasonable force. Hail Caesar, WAB (and its offspring War and Conquest & Clash of Empires), Swordpoint and Osprey's new Wars of the Republic are all possibilities that I know of.

2 – Since I'm not build huge forces, cost is a lower priority for me and either metal or plastic is fine. Given that what figures would your recommend for:

A – Roman Infantry (Agema, Victrix, Gripping Beast, Crusader)
B – Roman Cavalry (Agema, Victrix, Gripping Beast, Crusader)
C – Carthaginian Infantry (Aventine, A&A, Agema, Victrix, Gripping Beast, Crusader)
D – Carthaginian Cavalry (Aventine, A&A, Agema, Gripping Beast, Crusader)
E – Iberian Infantry (A&A, Victrix, Gripping Beast, Crusader)
F – Iberian Cavalry (A&A, Victrix, Gripping Beast, Crusader) – this one is a little tricky as I'd like to differentiate the light cavalry from the medium/heavy.
G – Greek/Syracusian Infantry (Aventine, Victrix, Warlord, Crusader)
H – Greek/Syracusian Cavalry (Aventine, Victrix, Warlord, Crusader)

I'd appreciate any advice folks who have tread this path before have on figures, rules, organization or changing historical understanding. Thanks for any recommendations you might have!


pfmodel18 Nov 2021 2:19 p.m. PST

If you wish to recreate actual battles then Lost battles, or Legion by Sabin, is a good choice. Legion is hex based which I am not too keen on, but I intend to give it a go. Lost battle is a bit simple, so it best for new players. I am also using SPI PRESTAGES with figures on a standard playing area with hexes, but I must admit I am not keen on hexes.

As for grid-less systems, most of these are points based systems and I am currently trying to work out what the best set of rules are. I do play DBM/DBMM, but these are very complex rules. DBA is easier, but something about it does not excite me, I do use these rules however. I notice in the UK ADLG is very popular, I have no idea why but you could consider looking into them. I have not yet made up my mind if I should get a copy, but I probably will.

This video, at 0:48, shows a list of the most commonly used ancients rules in 2019 and 2020.

If you are interested this is my painting guide for my carthaginian forces:
PDF link

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 2:30 p.m. PST

Would the 32 figures be in a single unit, or 32 figures total?

A hundred figures does not scream 'mass battle' to me. What does it mean to you? Do you consider this to be a large amount of figures, hence the mass battle, or do you want to use your 100 figures to represent 10,000 actual soldiers, or something else? Maybe something like Impetus. I think a large battle DBA or ADLG is also an option, but that is based on my perspective.

Legionarius18 Nov 2021 3:26 p.m. PST

For a good sized battle I recommend To the Strongest Rules. They use a square gridded terrain but it can be easily disguised and the rules are simple to learn but subtle to implement. Advance the legions!

Bellerophon199318 Nov 2021 3:46 p.m. PST

To the Strongest is also my recommendation. Also, plan on expanding as you go. I started with small numbers, now have over 400 romans

Personal logo Gonsalvo Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 5:20 p.m. PST

Yet another vote for To the Strongest, which also has the advantage of being basing independent; you could use as few as 6 infantry or as many as 24 or more to represent a unit.

Marcus Brutus18 Nov 2021 5:45 p.m. PST

These two armies are surprisingly difficult to represent. I didn't find TtS very convincing but then my favourite rules, Impetus, struggles a bit representing these two forces.

I agree that 100 figures does not seem mass battle to me. I think you'd need to roughly double that if you want something approaching mass battle size (I'd say 300+ is need for a truly mass battle system.) With that said, you could look at Big DBA or Triumph for 100 or so figures per side.

I am curious about the Age of Hannibal, a set designed for this period.


Lucius18 Nov 2021 6:16 p.m. PST

I'm a fan of Relic Miniatures for this period. They are much closer to true anatomical proportions than most chunky 28mm lines, and the range is extensive. M

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 7:39 p.m. PST

There are many sets of rules out there – and likely to be more … So I recommend

  • Find out what other people are playing locally
  • worry more about basing options than rules
  • Don't forget the Numidian light horse – my favorite unit of that time
  • Lion Rampant is a great set of skirmish rules – people are generally playing within 10 minutes and no longer referring to the rules after 30. It's very generic so could be used for Punic wars without issues

Individual basing for skirmish works fine, but check out how the figures will rank up on bases for mass battles. I don't have a definitive answer – maybe do some trials with 20mm and 25mm square bases. Most cavalry won't fit on anything smaller than 25x50mm. Trays and bases from Shogun Miniatures work very well. As an aside, nobody around here plays DBA in 28mm and that would be the hardest basing scheme to match.

Sounds like a fun project, but you gotta get some Numidian Light Horse in there somehow


gavandjosh0219 Nov 2021 2:56 a.m. PST

The Roman force could represent 2 legions (each of: 16 Has; 16 Prin; 8 tri; 8 -12 Velites; 6 cav). The commonest addition to the Roman army would be 2 more legions. So, all up 2 Roman and 2 allied Italian (more cav for the Italian legions but otherwise can be pretty much identical to the Roman). Numidians (for Africa) and Spanish (for Spain).

Gauls and Iberians/Spanish plus Numidian cavalry are probably the most common allies for the 2nd Punic War Carthaginians. Balearic slingers are a useful addition. Some Italian infantry for post Cannae and an Elephant for the early army. The earlier army for Sicily (vs. Syracuse) is fairly different.

Pyrrhic Victory19 Nov 2021 4:54 a.m. PST

Ok, lots of folks have responded…

@pfmodel – thanks for the link to the painting guide! I've done both DBA and ADLG 3 in 15mm, which were fun, but 60mm bases and modern 28mm figures seems hard to do.

@79thPA – I was basing my requirements at least partially on Clash of Empires which says that the authors Carthaginians have 155 figs and EIR has 120 figs. So I guess by mass battle, I mean not skirmish?

Lots of votes for to the strongest- will have to check them out!

@Lucius – thanks for the link to Relic miniatures. I had forgotten about them!

@Jwebster – My regular opponent is interested in Infamy & Saga, but I can convince him on other rules if I provide the lead. So at this point it's an exercise in figuring out what larger figure count rules set would be a good fit.

@Gavandjosh02 – thanks for that! I'm trying to keep the proportions right, but you are absolutely correct about needing to get some allied Italian troops

Decebalus19 Nov 2021 6:19 a.m. PST

Basing. I recommend deeper basing for 6cm multibases. It looks amazing and your small DBA Army starts to look like a real army. And you can play all mass battle systems without any problems.


But obviously you want to play skirmishes and use the SAGA-rules, so single basing is your way.

Miniatures. I would recommend Victrix for you. They make all the miniatures you want (carthaginian,romans, gauls, numidians, greeks). And they are very nice models.

BTW I am not a fan of TtS. Check some pictures online and you will always see playing cards laying on the table.

sidley19 Nov 2021 3:17 p.m. PST

TTS is not card dependent, you can use chits. For melee/shooting you can use dice rather than cards. It's a slick intuitive system. I initially was very put off by the boxes but when I actually played, I was very impressed. For smallish games with beard pulling I use Sword and Spear. However for large, fun, multi player games I love TTS, no arguments and big games can be completed in an evening. My infantry are based on the old WAB system but using sabots they are perfect for TTS.

Legionarius19 Nov 2021 3:24 p.m. PST

Another note on TTS. There is an updated edition intended to simulate the Roman quincunxes formation to relieve lines in contact. A PDF can be obtained instantly at the Red Bat Shop fro designer Simon Miller.

Personal logo Gonsalvo Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2021 7:29 p.m. PST

Here's a blog p[oat with a Punic Wars game from this summer, using To the Strongest!:


and a semi walk through of a Punic Wars game as well:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Note that the cards were deliberately left on the table for clarity.


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.