Friday, 11 January 2013

No peace without Scale

Observant readers will note a new POLL in the top right of this blog page. Found it good. Please read below BEFORE you just wildly click on it and all will be explained. The poll will run for a week and I want general feedback even if just by entering the poll but comments are always welcome.

OK here we. Yesterday I received my copy of "Beneath the lily Banner (2)" I hasten to add that is is not a review of any kind as I have not got very far in reading the rules at all. Oh I have looked through the book a lot but read very little. I must say it is without doubt one of the best looking rulebooks I have ever seen. And that is what has created the problem!

Over the last couple of years at the club we have moved more towards skirmish wargaming and very much away from big battle games. This year I wanted to do something with bigger armies as there is a megalomaniac like side to me that wants to order hundreds if not thousands of little metal soldiers to their deaths (well being put back in the box anyway, let's not get over dramatic!) So I have settled on the War of Spanish Succession (WSS) as the era or period I wish to develop. Originally I had planned to do the project in 1/300th (6mm) as I was going to make some scenery for micro tanks and this would be an alternative use for the boards. However not being too hasty I am now looking at other scales and this is where I want feedback. The Basic question is what scale should I do WSS in? Below are the options and some of my thoughts.

  • 6mm. (1/300th): As mentioned above this was my original idea. It has a number of advantages over all other scales mostly in storage and transportation. Storage for most of us is an issue we can't get round it and until we win the lottery I don't think a sensible solution will come forward. Also as my eyesight is mole like (very short sighted) I am borderline for driving which is why I don't. My eyesight does not stop me painting small things though which as a wargamer is not a bad thing. All this pre amble means that transporting large scale figures is fraught with problems, mishaps and inevitably broken figures. If I do go ahead with the 6mm scale storage and transportation problems will be minimised. As mentioned above terrain will get a secondary use so that to me is not a huge issue.
  • 10mm (1/200th) Along with 6mm, 10mm  figures are easy to store and transport. Cost is not an issue with any of these scales simply because I would put keep the base sizes the same but have more figures to each base at the smaller scales. In many ways 10mm is the ideal solution except in two regards. One I do not have any suitable terrain nor do I wish to start sourcing any. Buildings at 1/200th scale are few and far between and expensive when you can find them simply because they are so scarce. Basic supply and demand. So I would have to make terrain boards knowing that they would be of very limited use. The second issue is that lack of figure manufacturers. Yes there are a couple and they do nice figures but somehow I feel there is something lacking.
  • 15mm: This scale has a number of advantages over the smaller scales. Ray Rousell (great blog) plays these rules and in this scale and his units do look very nice indeed. The eye candy factor at this scale is worth considering. Terrain wise I probably already have enough in 15mm, although I will always want more (which of us does not?) However storage and transportation at this scale starts to become an issue. There are ways round it of course, but most of those rely on other people giving me lifts to and fro, which is great that they do so but I always feel a chump asking. But as a scale it does have much to commend it.
  • 28mm: This is the scale they use in Beneath the lily banners rule book. The pictures in the rules are like extreme hardcore porn for wargamers! And with 6 figures to a stand and 3 stands to a unit (18 in total) you are able to get two units from a box of wargames factory plastics. Again with the 15mm scale I think I already have enough scenery to stage a game so that is not as issue. So the only real issues are transport and storage which can be solved in the same manner as listed under 15mm figures. This is without doubt the prettiest solution and has the biggest impact on the table. I also wonder if there could be a Witch Finder General cross over in this scale!!! (Just a wild thought).,
So those are the options. Please take the time to click which scale you think would be best for me. If you wish to leave a comment explaining your choice that's appreciated too. I must admit to being drawn to ore than one scale choice for this project so you may tip the balance for good or ill with your selection. I have masses of overtime in the next 2 weeks which should be enough to fund this project entirely even after tax and stoppages, no matter what scale is selected.

Thanks for reading and I shall post again soon.  All the best Clint

21 comments:

  1. Decisions, Decisions???
    I'd go with the 15's for obvious reasons, they still relatively cheapish and are the best scale of all! When we were deciding what scale to use we dismissed 25's straight away, just because of the cost, but now there are other figures around nowadays, like you already said. We did consider 6mm and it very nearly won the vote, cheaper still, very easy to paint and storage should be no problem. I must admit I like the newish 10mm Pendraken figures, but am still glad we chose 15mm, so that's my vote. What great about the period whatever scale you use are the ease of painting the figures, if your the English but a few cans of red spray, that's nearly all of the figure done just with the undercoat, and likewise with the French grey or white primer and fill in the blanks. Its like painting by numbers!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see benefits to all the scales, as well as drawbacks. And thaks for the input., As for the painting tips, yes the frock coats do cover the majority of the figure, but I think it will need more than spray cans..... although I suspect some in my club might choose to disagree.

      As for 25-28mm you know how good the look in the rules so it's always got to be an option if only for the analogue painting challenge next year!

      Delete
  2. I wouldn't do anything in 28mm except skirmish. Besides the cost, you'd just need enormous table to make it "feel right". My very personal opinion, but you'd end up with too little figures to give it a feel of a really massive armada, that I'd imagine you'd want to field.

    I think 15mm is the medium way between 28 and 6/10, so in the end, it could be the best. but it is also a scale that needs less work to get miniatures painted than 28mm, but still way more than 6mm (all just in my head, i haven't seen 6mm miniatures up close).

    You have nothing nice to say about 10mm, compared to others, and you'd need terrain for 6mm for your tanks, so, if you got anyone to play them with in that scale, I'd personally go for huge armadas of 6mm. What else could be a complete contrast to 28mm skirmish games?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mathyoo. I actually do like 10mm figures and although I have not pushed them as a strong viable option, I would also not be disapointed if they came top. It just means more work with terrain.

      Delete
  3. I have never found any 15mm figures I actually liked the look of :( and I have looked at them all. To make any game look impressive you need numbers and so the smaller scales give you the right impact...if based on 28mm scales. but then you need that big table again. at least with the plastic 28mm figures you get a very cost effective army, less that £8 a battalion, and painted figures that actually look good...and can bee seen. you just do not get the look with 15 or 10mm...just lots of small toys. 6mm en masse gives you and awsome vista and 28mm, painted well, gives you figures you can actually see and appreciate...everything else sort of misses the point in a colourful period. Just my view of course :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you point of view is very welcome. Thanks for the input. Once painted I think 15mm could look good but as you say loads of little figures could look impressive and larger figures always look great if painted nicely.

      Delete
  4. hmmmm really don't know what to suggest to be honest. the arguments for and against all sort of cancel each other out.

    It would probably be between 15mm and 28mm for me. Most likely 15mm as the mass troops effect would look a lot better and the terrain is much more accessible.

    I think any of them regardless of scale is going to have transportation issues maybe not the tiny scales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brummie. It is clear from your reply that you appreciate the issues.

      Delete
  5. Hey Clint, I have a bunch of Baccus 6mm WSS mini's and they are very nice indeed, so (obviously, I guess!) I'm recommending them.

    If you go here:
    http://downamongtheleadmen.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/WSS
    you'll see some photos of them I put on my blog; there's a link to some web rules as well.

    Another benefit of 6mm: you can use the terrain for your mech's as well, couldn't you? and it would work if you had another attack of megolamnia and go for napoleonics. ancients, modern micro tanks, ww2 micro tanks ... etc, etc!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your reasons are all sound. Thanks for the comments and the vote....

      I must admit I had not thought of the mechs.... but had thought modern (well 1980's) WW2, ACW and ECW or maybe FPW. I have a very very old 6mm ACW army somewhere.... Irregular and as old as the hills but still it's an army in the attic.

      Delete
    2. I forgot to say, that if you do go for Baccus, be sure to tell them how many command stands you want in your infantry packs ... otherwise you'll end up with more than you need for your rules (like I have!)

      Delete
    3. Excellent, good to know I have an option.

      Delete
    4. and the same for cavalry!

      Delete
  6. in case you didn't know, there's a painting guide for the WSS on the Baccus site, here:
    https://www.baccus6mm.com/index.php?content=howto/gnw_wss&detail=paintguide_gnw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers mate, all info is good at this stage.

      Delete
  7. I've 6mm armies for the Franco Prussian War (Corps size) and they look great. they were fairly easy to paint too, as are a lot of 6mm armies, however when itcomes to any lace wars, tricorns etc with tape around the brimsis what sets the armies off. I can't remember seeing a 6mm army that captures that feel, 15mm armies are great for the effect, but very difficult to paint (imo). My own 30mm 7YW armies are plastuics by Spencer Smiths - based on SAE figures - (which was allI could afford 30+ years ago) and even though they look very primitive by the standards of today (and when I bought them), they look great en masse.
    My vote is to go for the larger figures, providing you have a large enough playing area.
    Good luck with the project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joe. I'll see how the poll goes before deciding. As I am torn between scales at this time.

      Delete
  8. I would go 15mm, its cost effective you have terrain. Transporting these is not as difficult as large amounts of 28mm.
    The figures are large enough at 15mm to be colourful and when painted with skill look as good as 28's. Ray is proof of that point. Thats my 2p worth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed Ray is the proof that 15mm could be the way to go for all the reasons you sugest. But I am not convinced quite yet.

      Delete
  9. I went 10mm, the scale is growing and you can get plastic N scale buildings which are inexpensive. I would love to see a collection in that scale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like 10mm (1/200th scale) small enough to store and transport large enough to see what the figures are. It's a great scale but all those listed have advantages.

      Delete

Please feel free to leave a comment.