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"Napoleonic Wargaming scales for beginners" Topic

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ferg98113 Dec 2021 1:32 p.m. PST


I'm finding myself short of time to finish my current Napoleonic projects, so i've decided this week to provide a high level overview of the common figure scales used for Napoleonic Wargaming, in an attempt to assist any new starters who may be looking to dip their toes into Napoleonic Wargaming


Of course, any wiley old campaigners are also welcome to leave their comments and opinions as well!

Kind Regards


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 1:49 p.m. PST

I think those are fair comments and a well balanced view. I think scale is also a function of form, i.e. what type of gaming you like – 40mm and to some extent 28mm are much better suited for skirmish gaming while 15, 10 and 6mm (the latter my favourite) are in my view best suited to grand tactical (also my favourite)

TMPWargamerabbit13 Dec 2021 2:04 p.m. PST

Mention the older 25mm scale too…

BrockLanders Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 2:30 p.m. PST

Interesting post, thanks

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian13 Dec 2021 2:31 p.m. PST

You left out the ships… grin

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 2:38 p.m. PST

Particularly with regard to Napoleonics, I think Wellington was right that color is nothing, the silhouette is everything. The mass of infantry of all nations appears as a mix of black, white, and red bits at ordinary viewing distances. I think it's very difficult to distinguish the subtle shape differences between headgear in any scale smaller than 15mm. So I would say that smaller scales put a premium on flags (and gun carriage colors) to be able to distinguish the sides apart.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 3:28 p.m. PST

I agree with much of the overview, though I think something in the pictures to establish scale would have been helpful. The same coin throughout, perhaps?

Frederick, I think you missed "tactical" somewhere in there--or maybe it was assumed? Personally, I tend to use 28mm for brigade/division size battles, and 5/6mm once there's a corps or more on the field. (Leipzig in 2mm is still a work in progress.)

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 6:00 p.m. PST

54s, old boy. I'm working on Russians and Wurttembergers now.

You've got some nice looking collections. Napoleonics is one of those periods that you can easily justify multiple figure scales for.

Grelber13 Dec 2021 8:28 p.m. PST

I have a handful of 30 mm figures from the olden days, and lovely figures they are, too. I think they've been in one battle since I got them in 1974. Perhaps not the most popular of scales nowadays.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

Good point to Robert – I did kind of lump in tactical with grand tactical, but you are quite right – different feel for brigade work versus a corps – I fall on the Corps type battles

Capt John Miller14 Dec 2021 9:03 a.m. PST

The 1/72 scale is another option. Just saying…

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

1/72 is discussed in the blog…

ferg98114 Dec 2021 2:34 p.m. PST

Thanks guys for all the comments

I'm intending to do a size comparison of all the figure sizes at a later date, but I don't have some of the sizes myself or in my collection – so will have a shop about and see what I can pick up for cheap and go from there.

Kind Regards


Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2021 1:57 a.m. PST

the one true scale 1:72.

oldnorthstate19 Dec 2021 7:14 p.m. PST

40mm and certainly 28mn is just fine for non skirmish wargaming…those smaller scales are fine for those without a well honed painting talent. If you like to paint start with 28mm and then dabble in 40mm.

GUNBOAT20 Dec 2021 2:38 a.m. PST

25mm still good size.

14Bore20 Dec 2021 5:51 p.m. PST

Nice write up with pictures of the size. Do 15mm now 18mm myself, at time it was cost and availability and don't regret them. Have suggested to others starting 1/72 might be way to go as becoming a good supply of figures available.

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