Sunday, 1 September 2013

Size is not everything

18mm Wargame

28mm was my first love, and still is.   Though back in the late 1960s it was called 20mm, and mostly plastic.   Then came 25mm and finally (?) 28mm.   I would not call it large figures, because to me that always means 54mm.   Whatever happened to them?

Anyway over the years my 20mm plastic was replaced by metal Hinton Hunt or Miniature Figurines.   They gave way to 25mm Miniature Figurines.   A visit to Peter Guilders Wargames Centre converted me to 28mm

In the late 1970s I joined my first, and last, wargames club.   They were very much into 15mm Miniature Figurines.   In order to take part I needed to introduce the new (to me) scale.   Never one to do things by half I decided to duplicate my 25mm Napoleonic army in 15mm.   The club was in Devizes, and Paul and Theresa Bailey (later of The Keep) were members.   They used to sell the Miniature Figurines 15mm range at wargame shows, and they offered a discount to members of the club.   I must have been their best customer that year!

Time passed.   28mm replaced 25mm.   18mm replaced 15mm.   My last painting project was to replace my 15mm Miniature Figurines with 18mm AB.   I finished that project in 2006, and have not painted a single figure since.  

Now all my time is taken up with my PBEM campaign and fighting the battles produced as wargames.

I now have all of my armies replicated in three scales.   This includes Heroics and Ros 6mm, but that is another story.   The plan was to fight small battles in 28mm.   Medium sized ones in 18mm.   Large (Waterloo or Leipzig) in 6mm.  

It never happened.

My favourite scale remains 28mm.   Over the past three years I don’t believe I have fought a single wargame in any other scale.   This is mostly because of the solo campaign became PBEM.   Each player had one corps only.   So battles remained small.

In fact Jan and I came to prefer the smaller battles with (our) larger figures.   Also they looked better on the photographs, or at least easier to see what they were.

In our new 1814 PBEM campaign each player commands four corps.   So we are moving on to larger battles.   I can just about fit four corps of 28mm on the table.   But it works much better with 18mm.   In addition the latest battle involves the city of Strasbourg.   It looks better in 18mm than 28mm.  It still looks nothing like Strasbourg, but it does look like a bigger foot print.

And, strange to relate, we really enjoyed using the smaller figures again.   They are much more “fiddly” than the larger scale, but the wider gaps between corps make for a more interesting wargame.

The above photo is from this wargame

If you would like to see more photographs of the whole collection you can find them at



Chasseur said...

I gave up trying to field massive armies so I devised a set of block armies red and blue. I can fight any campaign, any era, and works extremely well for Napoleonic's. Check me out at

thistlebarrow said...

Hi Chasseur

I had a look at the blog, but could not find the post about your campaign.

Could you give me a link?