Sunday, 12 June 2016

Wargames Nostalgia – Different Scales

Miniature Figurines Southampton 1972

Throughout the 1970s we built up our 20mm Napoleonic collection.   It was mostly Airfix, Hinton Hunt and Miniature Figurines.   I painted figures most nights and we had a wargame once a week or so, mostly just Jan and me.  We introduced a couple of friends to wargaming, but none did more than dabble.  

In 1980 we returned to the UK and bought our first house in Warminster.   I found that there was a wargames club in nearby Devizes and promptly joined.   It was our first experience of an established club.  It was great to meet new gamers, but the actual games were disappointing.   The club met once a week in a church hall, and an hour or so was spent setting up the tables and deciding which games to play.   The actual game could not last more than a four hours or so, as everything had to be put away before we left.   There was only one Napoleonic wargamer, the rest had a variety of interests.  

I was quite surprised to find that most of the games, including the few Napoleonic ones, used Miniature Figurines 15mm figures.   If I wanted to take part I would be expected to put some on the table.   Fortunately Paul and Theresa Baily were members of the club.   They toured the wargame shows selling 20mm and 15mm Miniature Figurines.  They also offered both to club members at a discount.   I decided that I would duplicate my 20mm armies in 15mm. 

Our 20mm collection in 1978

Over the previous 10 years we had collected a reasonable collection of French, British, Prussian, Russian and even Spanish armies.   Without a permanent club we had to collect sufficient figures to be able to field both the French and their opponents.
It would take a few years to duplicate them in 15mm, but it seemed to be the future at that time.   It would also be a major painting project, and I enjoyed that as much as the wargaming.
The family cat playing 6mm wargames 1980

About the same time we discovered 6mm Heroic and Ros figures.   I remember a large Leipzig game in Wargames Illustrated using 6mm figures.   I immediately decided to copy my collection in that scale.   The composition of the 20mm, 15mm and now 6mm armies would be the same.   I had a vague idea that I could fight larger battles using the smaller scales.   This never really happened, and I would continue to use 20mm for most games at home.   In the club I used 15mm, but hardly ever at home.   I doubt if I had more than three or four games using 6mm.

The figures have been replaced over the past 30 odd years, and the collection has both grown and decreased, but I still have the three scales.   Though now they are 28mm, 18mm and 6mm.   My firm favourite remains the larger figures


Jonathan Freitag said...

Nice bit of nostalgia!

The Periodic Gamer said...

Have done the same thing - started in 15mm when Napoleon's Battles first came out, then a few years later moved to 25/28mm when Old Glory did their range, a few 54mm figured for a skirmish game in Egypt and most recently 40mm. My 15mm were 1812 Russia, 25/28 are 1809 Austria and 40mm for 1813