6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

MINI WARGAMING: 6mm vs 15mm Napoleonics?


--- In GrandeArmee, "Thomas_Hilder" wrote:
Hi guys,
I am a newbie to Napoleonic gaming and am interested in GA.
I have checked a few other systems out and think GA offers the best of fast play, command, feel, etc.
The question I have is related to figure size. It appears that most GA armies are 6mm due to the scale, etc, but that there is a large amount of 15mm gamers due to other rule, personal preference, etc.
I personally prefer the look of 15mm and am wondering about anyone who has played both and how they "feel," look, etc.
What can people tell me?
Thanks for your help.

Hi Tom,

I'd like to start out by saying that I'm a big 6mm enthusiast and am known at TMP and several Yahoo E-groups as being one of the biggest 6mm miniature enthusiasts around.

I helped to rejuvenate this group to over a thousand members. The E-group can be found here:

To answer your question, I, of course, prefer 6mm, but can honestly admit that the both scales offer their pros and cons.


- The cost between the two is negligibly different.
- 6mm Napoleonics can be a little less expensive, but not very much cheaper.
- Of course, the cost of the figures depends on which rule set you are using.
- Napoleonic rule sets have a very large variety of basing standards and numbers of figures required per base. There is no standard for basing Napoleonic figures among the many different rule sets to my knowledge.

- 6mm is easier to paint using the dip method (Laying down a base coat and then using inks or washes), but 15mm is a larger scale and holds more detail.
- More detail is probably preferable for the Napoleonic Era, which is so well known for its wondrous colors.
- Personally speaking, I'll take ease of painting over a few more details and colors any day.
- Unless you have a pretty dedicated painter (Which the Napoleonic genre does seem to breed... ), most gamers seem to skip painting many of these details anyway.
- On counterpoint, the amount of time one would spend "detail" painting 6mm figures is probably only marginally less than the time one would spend painting 15mm Napoleonics miniatures. "Detail" painting is "detail" painting.

- 15mm Napoleonics have been a staple of Napoleonic miniatures gaming for quite some time.
- 6mm miniature are a much newer phenomenon for Napoleonic gaming.
- So, in other words, there are probably many more 15mm rather than 6mm Napoleonic armies running around in gamers' hands, but that's also strictly a local phenomenon based on your gaming community.
- It may sound odd, but in my area, the most commonly found Napoleonic armies are 28mm!
- I still prefer 6mm, but my local gamers play Napoleonics in 28mm. I own a 28mm Russian Napoleonic army for that reason (Although I like my several 6mm Napoleonic armies a whole lot better.).

- The rule set being used makes a huge difference is basing conventions as previously mentioned.
- However, many Napoleonic rule sets seem to use the same basing conventions for 6mm and 15mm figures.

- This is a category in which 6mm is very preferable in my eyes.
- 6mm terrain is much more storable and transportable than 15mm terrain.
- The biggest 6mm terrain pieces (Large churches, farms, etc.) will still probably fit in a shoe box, while large 15mm terrain pieces will probably require a very large box, which makes it that much more of a chore for you to lug your gaming accouterments to someplace other than the home field.
- Specific 6mm terrain pieces specifically intended for 6mm Napoleonic play are few (Timecast has some beautiful pieces though and Irregular makes a great La Hougement - hope I spelled that correctly... ).
- However, there are many MANY "European villages" made for WWII microarmor play and they look superb as Napoleonic terrain.

- Storing your miniatures in probably about the same for 6mm and 15mm miniatures although it is probably much easier to store 6mm miniatures.
- A case full of 6mm miniatures generally takes up less space and weighs less than a case full of a comparable 15mm Napoleonic miniatures.
- I'm no Spring chicken any longer, so a lighter case gives my old grumbling back an easier load. That's an important factor for me!

- Ultimately, the choice comes down to a personal preference when it comes to choosing between a 6mm and 15mm Napoleonic miniatures army.
- Being a 6mm miniatures enthusiast, I already had a large amount of terrain built and that, combined with the personal relationship I have with many 6mm miniature manufacturers made 6mm the choice for me.
- I think both scales (6mm & 15mm) are great although I advise against a 25mm Napoleonic army. It takes much more money and time to properly finish a 25mm Napoleonic army!



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  • At 7:05 AM, December 15, 2005, Blogger Avari said…

    I don't read *that* many blogs – but it's exciting how much you pick up about southern charms! I remember learning a theory about southern charms in one of my psychology classes which said that people prefer things to either be either new and simple, or familiar and complex. MaksimSmelchak, do you think that applies here?

  • At 7:54 AM, August 18, 2007, Blogger MaksimSmelchak said…

    Hi Avari,


    Shabbat Shalom,


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