Home Forums General General Do you have armies for "the big 3" ?

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    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    A while ago at a convention, I talked to a miniatures producer and the guy said something to the effect of “If you want to do well, make Imperial Romans, Napoleonic French and WW2 Germans, then use those sales to fund the weird little miniatures range you want to make”.

    So with that in mind, which of those three do you have as miniatures armies?

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    (Late) Imperial Romans 6mm

    Napoleonic French 6mm

    WW2 Germans, 1/300, 1/200, 15mm

    (And a lot of other things as well )

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    I forgot to answer the question myself. How rude.

    I have 15mm and 1/72 WW2 Germans and I have a bunch of 2mm blocks that will become French eventually.
    I do like playing the French in Napoleonic board games though and since my wife hates Napoleon, I usually get to play them either way.

    I don’t do ancients gaming, but if I did, I’d probably do Carthage or some barbarian hooligans 🙂

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    Speaking in terms of periods rather than specific armies, ought it not be “the big 4” including ACW? Or is ACW considerably less ubiquitous than the EIR wars, Nappies and WW2?

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    I’d wager ACW is probably as popular as Napoleonics (or very close at least),though I guess the difference is for ACW, you only really have two choices.
    For the other periods, you have more but since everyone fights the “big one” (Romans/French/Germans) it makes sense they’d sell well.

    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage

    I have a DBA EIR army. multitudes of Napoleonic French in different 6/15/25/28mm. I sold my WWII Germans years ago.

    Speaking in terms of periods rather than specific armies, ought it not be “the big 4” including ACW? Or is ACW considerably less ubiquitous than the EIR wars, Nappies and WW2?

    I imagine ACW is much less ubiquitous outside America.


    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    Avatar photoCameronian

    1/72 Rupublican Romans

    15mm and 28mm Napoleonic French

    WW2 Germans; 10mm for 1940 and 1/72 DAK

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    Imperial Romans and WW2 Germans in 15 mm   I don’t do Nappys.

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    I imagine ACW is much less ubiquitous outside America.

    I dunno. I have the impression that quite a few people play it in the UK. Also, the first metal miniatures I owned as a child growing up in Sweden (when I bought some second-hand because I gravitated to them for some reason I can’t explain) were a job lot of old 25mm fantasy and 10mm or 15mm ACW (proper lead figures that had been painted in enamels and seen a lot of use). There was nothing out-of-place about the ACW figures to me at the time, they seemed to me like precisely the kind of thing that old wargamers would play with, regardless of the fact that I was in northern Europe and not the USA.

    I suppose they might have receded in popularity outside of the US now that the market caters for many more periods and conflicts than it used to.

    Anyway, I’m derailing the thread. I’ll stop.

    Avatar photoThuseld

    German WW2 in 6mm and 20mm. I have none of the others. But I am only 31, so who knows what the future will hold.

    Avatar photoPaul

    Ancients: I don’t play, but if I did I would go for an Indian army.

    Napoleonics: I don’t play, but if I did I would go for skirmish gaming with a British Naval landing party.

    WW2: I currently play Bolt Action with 28mm Japanese and am working on Chindits, after which I plan to do a platoon of Kings African Rifles. I actually do have a company of 1/72 wehrmacht, but they havent seen a battlefield in a decade at least.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoirishserb

    One for three, I have WWII Germans in 6mm and 15mm.

    Avatar photoJozisTinMan

    Well, let’s see…  WW2 Germans I have owned in 15mm and 28mm, sold off both collections years ago.  My first wargame army was a 15mm DBA Marian Roman pack from Essex.  And I own 6mm French.

    It makes sense, any army that spent a lot of time invading its neighbors should be popular.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I usually paint up both sides for any period I am interested in.



    Avatar photoDeleted User

    It makes sense, any army that spent a lot of time invading its neighbors should be popular. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I usually paint up both sides for any period I am interested in.

    It does make sense. The other reason to latch on to one or more of the three is that they *are* popular. Complete ranges of figures in every scale. A number of bespoke rules. Any specific terrain items easily obtained.

    It’s sometimes fun to pick an obscure period such as Pancho Villa & Black Jack Pershing but it can also be frustrating.

    Early (Polybian) & Late Romans. Check!

    WW2 Naz….sorry, Germans. Check!

    1812-1815 French. Check!



    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    I have definitely got two out of three.  The third depends upon whether we are counting Late Republican Romans (“Marian Roman”) as close enough…

    Avatar photoNorm S

    I would gauge Roman / Napoleonic French and German WWII as being the big three, from the perspective of being expansionist armies that dominated a ‘world’.

    No Romans (yet), have had them in 6mm and 2mm many moons ago and was stupid enough to sell off my 6mm Roman / Carthaginian forces

    Nap French part built in 28mm, has previously been part built in both 6mm and 15mm.

    WWII German currently significant forces in 10mm, some in 20mm, previously had both 6mm and 15mm.

    My main partner forces have been Carthage v Rome, Austrian v French and Soviet v WWII German.


    Avatar photoEtranger

    The only ancient figures I have were used as proxies for Runequest and similar such games. there are probably a few Romans amongst them, although mostly Greeks IIRC.

    I have a handful of Napoleonic French, although more properly they are French revolutionary war figures, before the Corsican Dwarf’s rise to prominence.

    Zhee Germans, I have plenty of those…

    Avatar photoMcKinstry

    I have 6mm French (and Bavarians, Poles, Austrians, Russians, Prussians and Brits), 6mm Late Imperial Romans (and Sassanids), and 3mm WW2 German DAK (and Italians and Brits).

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    Avatar photoMartinR

    20mm Romans in many flavours from early Republican totearly Imperial.

    6mm Napoleonic French.

    WW2 Germans in 6mm, 15mm, 20mm and 54mm. Many variations on front, period and arm of service.

    All these have appropriate opponents. I gave up just buying one side long ago, based on bitter experience.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoEtranger

    I know that feeling Martin. I’m lucky in that the host of our group has multiple opposing armies (navies/airforces etc) for just about any period we play. He isn’t into ancients through to the the renaissance much though so the earliest period we fight is 18th century. I try to at least have token forces for both sides for most of our games though, even if that’s only a handful of vehicles to bulk up forces for BKC.

    Avatar photowarwell

    Many years ago I had 2 of 3 (Romans and WW2 Germans) but I sold them off years ago. I was never into Napoleonics, preferring 18th century instead. Now I am into fantasy, sci fi, and 18th century style imagi-nations.

    Avatar photoMike

    None now, but a few years ago I did have 6mm French Napoleonic models.

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    i have WW2 Germans (in 6mm and 20mm) and the 20mm started being acquired soon after I started WW2 with British.  I like to have both sides.  For Romans, my first army was Ptolemaic and then 10 years later I got my next one – really late imperial (or patrician roman in the WRG lists) (425ish AD) that I bought off a friend.  I did expand this to late imperial (300AD+) later on.  But I did not get a “proper’ imperial (with the rectangular shield), or Marian until about 4 years ago (or 30 years from first playing Ancients).

    I do not play Napoleonics so do not have an army I can field for them.  On my list to do in the next 10 years is to maybe get a few 6mm French and British and finally give it a go.

    Avatar photoChris Pringle

    Two out of three ain’t bad? (2mm French Napoleonics; WWII Germans in 6mm and some 20mm; zero interest in ancients.)

    I suppose you could also paraphrase the OP to cover rules rather than figures: “If you want to do well, [publish or buy] a core ruleset that works for Imperial Romans, Napoleonic French and WW2 Germans, then adapt those rules to work for the weird little miniatures range you want to play with”.

    I have sort of done it backwards with BBB, designing it originally for the minority interest late C19 (Franco-Prussian, Russo-Turkish etc), only to find it being adopted/adapted by people for Napoleonics, WWII, even ancients (or bush wars or ECW or SF skirmish … ).


    Bloody Big BATTLES!




    Avatar photoEtranger

    Two out of three ain’t bad? (2mm French Napoleonics; WWII Germans in 6mm and some 20mm; zero interest in ancients.)

    Napoleonics? I’ll do anything for love but I won’t do that….

    Avatar photoTony Hughes

    I have 2mm generic ancients which do include Romans. I have French & Austrians in 2mm as well and 1940 Germans in 3mm (but still in progress).


    Avatar photoMike Headden

    WW2 Germans in 3mm, 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm and 28mm

    Napoleonic French in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm

    EIR Romans in 6mm and Late Romans in 6mm and 10mm

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    Avatar photowillz

    I have loads 20mm WW2 Germans, sold on my 25/28mm Napoleonic’s, never got around to doing Roman’s.  Would like to do 20mm Imperial Roman / Carthaginians armies also would like to do Napoleonic’s in 20mm both projects will have to wait until I finish all the other’s.

    Avatar photoOlaf Meys

    I have assorted EIR, Dark Ages/Early Medieval, 80YW, 1910-1950, a smattering of Sci-Fi and a few Fantasy figures. I refuse to touch Nappies, and am VERY reluctant to get Lace Wars.

    Needless to say, they are all only in 28mm.

    wargames review site...

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    Well, 99% of my interest is in sci fi, so my Big Three are the English-Speaking Union, the Russian Confederation and the Federal Republic of Hellas Planitia.

    I would like to do a 3mm scale Roman Civil Wars setup at some point, and I admit that GHQ’s Wehrmacht 47 Line is very tempting to me. Napoleonics leave me cold though. So two out of three ain’t bad.

    Avatar photoAbwehrschlacht

    No Romans, but 6mm French Napoleonics and 15mm and 3mm Germans. But I also have the opposing sides to fight against them as well.

    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/stormofsteelwargaming

    Blog: http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette

    15mm Romans and 20mm Late Romans

    3mm and 6mm WWII Germans

    3mm, 6mm, and 20mm Napoleonics

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton

    I have:

    Airfix WW2 Germans (first and second issue)

    Airfix Romans

    No Napoleonics


    Avatar photoSane Max

    I don’t have Imperial Romans – closest I have are Marian. I do have a technically Imperial Roman Army – Byzantines, but I am sure that’s not the ones ‘they’ mean – ‘they’ mean Banded Mail. When you look at the battles the EIR Fought, they were mostly against Barbarians and that gets a little tedious.

    I have never owned a Napoleonic Figure! I suspect I am missing out, but don’t think I have enough room in my brain to cope with the info I would need to do the period justice.*

    WW2 Germans I do have, in 15mm. Late and Early War now I think about it.

    I would agree with the suggestion that maybe ACW should be one of a ‘Big Four’. It’s very popular in the UK, I have both sides.



    Homer: Every time I learn something new, a little of the old gets pushed out of my brain. Remember that time I took that wine making course and forgot how to drive?

    Avatar photodeephorse

    Another with no Romans, but I have a large number of 15mm Late Byzantines that I meant to make an army with some 30+ years ago.  They are still sat untouched in their little sorting trays.  WWII Germans I have in abundance in 20mm, both early & late, but no DAK.  I have a much smaller number in 28mm for skirmishing.  Finally I have no Napoleonic French but I’ve collected Russians in 15 & 6mm.  Very smart uniforms and you’ve got to love the size of those artillery batteries.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    Avatar photoSane Max

    I don’t have Imperial Romans

    Hahaha actually I just remembered, I do…… Egad, I am too young for this level of brain-fade. I must stop drinking

    Avatar photoNorthern Monkey

    I have WW2 Germans in 6mm and 15mm. As for Napoleonic French, only a Naval fleet, no land forces, so I suppose that counts, and for Romans I did have a 28mm army but now sold on, though I do have Command & Colors which has Roman blocks if that counts?

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    Avatar photoJames Manto

    No French Napoleonics

    1x unit of  Warlird 28mm Imperial Roman Auxiliaries and some scorpions. But I sold the rest.

    4x platoons of 15mm WW2 Germans with enough armour to support them from 1939 to 45.

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