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TOPIC: 28mm games in the mags
Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
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28mm games in the mags
20th Sep 2017 12:06:46

Unlike Peter I have stopped buying the magazines. I actually game in 28mm, 15mm, 10mm, 6mm, 3mm (exclusively ACW Western Theatre), and 2mm. As Peter says, once in a blue moon an article appears that is not 28mm and/or skirmish. Even the 'what's new' sections rarely have non-28mm info. Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy does usually feature the availability of figures in different scales for its themes, but the other articles in the theme by and large feature 28mm.

There has in my club been a noticeable move of late towards 28mm fantasy/sci-fi leaving me with fewer opponents to play the type of historical battle games I prefer (using newer, less cluttered rules) and this may also be part of the reason for the trend towards small 28mm games. Whatever the reasons the value for money and ease of painting for the smaller scales does need to be pushed, especially considering the availability of terrain items to match. Currently my wargames room is hosting a 6mm FPW battle of Spicheren game using Chris Pringle's Bloody Big Battles.

PM Whirlwind
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28mm games in the mags
20th Sep 2017 03:09:24

I think my other post has been eaten by electro-gremlins...

But I think that the factors which have changed things are:

The availability of 28mm plastics, which has removed the need of anyone to buy 15mm for price reasons.  No doubt there will still be plenty of 15mm figures sold since there are so many existing collectors, and it may enjoy a niche as the scale for small 1:1 skirmishes with individually based figures with a close to 1:1 ground scale, but that price reason has largely gone.


The premium price of 28mm non-historical figures has led to a wave of new skirmish/warband style games for those figures, which have in turn influenced new historical games designs.


28mm attracts the "painter" side of the hobby, which then in turn reinforces the 28mm = good-looking point of view.   It has never been "true" in the sense that 28mm games just look better (there are fantastic looking games in all scales, particularly 6mm!), but the individual gamers who prefer to do exquisite painting are likely to gravitate towards 28mm if they stay within the gaming as opposed to military modelling orbit.

Related to this, modern magazine editors are not going to go down the Iain Dickie "night at the club" style photographs of averagely well painted figures.  Until 6mm can show itself in a better light, this will probably stay - there could probably be some advances in the presentation of 6mm games, especially the terrain possibilities; spreading the "best practice" of the wonderful Joy of 6 games.

There is a reward for collecting one size of figures, in that your terrain will work for all your figures and you never end up doing the same unit twice or more in different sizes.  If you enjoy 1:1 skirmishes with individually based figures, you will probably end up staying with 28mm by default, even if you can intellectually see that 6mm would be better to get closer to what real battles looked like.  Take DBA games - typically the figure ratio for those battles might be 1:5 to 1:10 for 6mm, whereas for a 28mm or 15mm DBA gamer it is likely to be somewhere between 1:40 - 1:100 on the same size board. 

Even though 6mm is obviously better for creating the real look of big battles, there is another point: take the Battle of Pelennor Fields or similar.  A massive army of 6mm Orcs and allies will look more like what it would have looked like than a 28mm game occupying the same table space, sure.  But a lot of the wargame aesthetic isn't in fact to look like a real battle, or even a movie battle, it is to create a beautiful toy soldier set-up, and reality be damned.  I'm not sure I have expressed that well, but hopefully you get the idea.






PM Nick the Lemming
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28mm games in the mags
Nick the Lemming
20th Sep 2017 04:32:10

The other thing is (apart from a couple of specific conventions like Joy of Six), when you go to a con these days, almost all the games are 28mm, and certainly for the traders. Like the puritan above, I've stopped bothering with wargaming magazones because they almost solely cater to 28mm fans, I don't tend to bother with cons any more, since the traders are selling mostly 28mm stuff that I have no interest in, and since it seems 90% of new rules that come out these days are 28mm (usually fantasy / scifi) skirmish rules, I've not been buying rules sets either for a while. I can't actually remember the last time I bought anything, and not sure I have at all this year so far. I've certainly spent less in the last couple of years than I used to in a month or two. My next purchases are likely to be 6mm or 10mm, with an outside chance of 15mm if what I want isn't available in those scales. 


The only skirmish game I'm still likely to play these days is Muskets and Tomahawks, in 15mm. I much prefer big battles, in 3mm, 6mm, 10mm, or 15mm. Most of the gamng at my old club (which I've hardly gone to in the last year, where once I was a weekly regular) seems to be fantasy skirmish flavour of the week, which I have absolutely no interest in. Luckily I have a few friends to game with on a semi-regular basis, otherwise I'd mostly be looking at solo wargaming. 

PM Baron Clenawly
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28mm games in the mags
Baron Clenawly
20th Sep 2017 07:15:42

Just a couple of thoughts to throw into the pot so to speak.

'Talking 'bout my generation'-  I grew up buying and painting Airfix figures for biggish battles. These were all historical, not even an Astronaut in sight! Later generations bought up on Games Workshop. Small number of figures- near all fantasy of Sci Fi.

'WAR!..... What is it good for!' - How much Military history is taught at School these days? My History lessons were comprised of lots of Kings, Battles, Treaties, Dates and more dates. Doubt if it's the same these days. Hence perhaps a tendency to more Sci Fi /fantasy.

I tend to pick and choose carefully which glossies I buy. Lots of pictures does not do it for me. What I look for are articles exploring some aspect of History or approach to gaming  that I find of interest.

Maybe part of the answer is for more articles to be submitted to the editors around all aspects of 6mm gaming.





PM Charlie1449
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28mm games in the mags
20th Sep 2017 08:45:23




Hmm first post on the forum and really it's a topic I find interesting. Now are the magazines driving the hobby or merely reflecting trends. I had a similar conversation with colleagues after Salute where the smaller, faster playing 28mm games were increasing. Likewise at my club a lot of off the shelf complete gaming systems requiring 40-60 figures that last an average of 2 hours and played on 4x4 or smaller are in the ascendancy.                                     Fewer gamers are willing to the research and display the patience we had to when the majority of us took up the hobby, a lot of modern gamers like to buy a complete product some guys were playing a game of black powder Napoleonics all,they knew about the period was what came in the published supplements.  The 28mm issue I think is because the majority of off the shelf systems ( Bolt Action, Black Powder, Saga, Musket and Tomahawks etc )all promote 28mm and as has already been mentioned the plastic revolution encourages that.                             Shows such as Partizan and you're own Joy of Six have shown large historical games in all scales are not dead and when displayed get a lot of interest but fewer groups are willing to travel to demo (it's expensive) so maybe I haven't really answered the question but I tend to think the magazines are merely reflecting where the hobby and the money is at.






PM NorthWestNerd
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28mm games in the mags
20th Sep 2017 09:51:08

As a relatively young gamer (28) I see it as being three main things. Most gamers my age were brought into the hobby because of Warhammer and 40k. So thats where they've stuck, where they know people will have armies to play etc. I was lucky that my history/geography teacher was a keen historical gamer and so there was a geniune opportunity to get involved then.

The other thing is cost. We play 2mm/3mm/6mm/10mm to play big battles. I can field a british parachute division in 10mm to face off against the same amount of Fallschirmjager and it looks and plays great. Lobositz has been a year project (mainly because of other commitments), However its not a small amount of money (Lobositz I think has cost me £150?). To play Frostgrave I can make a 10 man warband for £20 and that is all I need.

A 3rd point is the increasing quality of the sculpts. My first minis were HaT 1/72 plastic napoleonics and they were limited in their details, On the other hand the Bolt Action minis are very good detail, relatively cheap and quickly customisable.

Having said all that:- Operation Market Garden in 6mm anyone?

Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
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28mm games in the mags
21st Sep 2017 07:52:55

Re. Baron Clenawley - I retired from teaching history six years ago. At that time the Roman army, Hastings, the Scots, Irish and Welsh wars, the Wars of the Roses, the ECW, the '45, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the two World Wars as well as Vietnam all featured strongly. Admittedly they were almost all centred on British history, but that's the Tory National Curriculum for you. Even if things have changed in the last six years I doubt that has had much of an effect on wargaming overall. I just think kids like fantasy and monsters and some gamers never get through that phase.

PM Jmedmans
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28mm games in the mags
21st Sep 2017 10:40:43

There is indeed a pro 28mm view with in magazines. Many years Miniature Wargaming reviewed if I remember rightly, some baccus figures. The reviewer throughout the column complained about the size, insisting that a magnifying glass and eye strain were very necessary to pain in 6mm. I  complained, and pointed out that complaining about the size like the revier did was not a proper product review. 

Consequently I firmly belive there is a anti 6mm faction.

Also regarding the above  magazine I no longer have it.Since  Henry Hyde moved on the new editor (a SF and fantasy gamer) has increased the content of this area  of the hobby in the magazine. The magazine claims "it is for all wargamers" but is it?

I like 6mm wargaming because of the restricted space and time I have and also painting 6mm is easier when I think of the painting ability and the fine motor control problem I have.




Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
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28mm games in the mags
21st Sep 2017 12:26:46

Well, as I have always said, just because tennis and badminton have nets and rackets, they are not the same game. I'm fed up with wargaming being lumped with miniature fairy tales.

PM bushs
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28mm games in the mags
21st Sep 2017 02:59:50

My observations.

I don't bother reading wargame mags any more. Nice pictures but the content doesn't hold my interest. If I pick one up I'm generally searching for innovative rule mechanisms, I enjoy writing my own rules.

At my club which meets every week, the majority of games played are historical. Probably 50/50 28mm and 15mm. Occasionally 6mm makes a showing.

28mm games are swinging towards skirmish style games (Saga, WWII) with the regular larger scale TtS.

Once every two/three months the club runs a Saturday games day. Which sees large scale 28mm games including WWI, naps, ancients and occasional odd stuff like Boxer-Rebellion. Very large multi player 15mm ancients & naps.

I own a largish collection of WH and WH40K which I don't really have anyone to play against at my club. The WH stuff gets used occasionally for the odd game of Saga but is really hasn't been used for many years.

My club has an older membership, most of the guys reach for their glasses when they want to check out the latest 28mm paint job somebody has turned up with. They mostly humour me when I mention 6mm.



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