Many years ago I couldn’t find a dedicated roleplaying club, but there was a nearby wargaming club that did some roleplaying on the side. So I started to get involved in the historical wargaming aspect just to have something to do if an RPG wasn’t running or I couldn’t find the players.
I distinctly remember Ancients battles (De Bellis Antiquitatis, typically) and a cool WW2 game called Crossfire and so on that I played once or twice. There was also some Napoleonic battles going on by very serious players that was massively intimidating, but the era which caught my imagination the most was Moderns, specifically micro-armour – Cold War turned hot! Tiny Tanks! – and I even started a 6mm 1980’s Soviet force for Challenger 2000, but when I found a group that was dedicated to roleplaying, I gave up on all this Wargames stuff.
And had I done. But after a year’s worth of lockdown I stumbled down a YouTube rabbit hole and ended up on a wargames terrain building channel. I don’t know why it caught my imagination so much – given that I don’t have an opponent, acres of space in my flat, and I haven’t tried painting figures in decades – but perhaps, contrarian that I am, those problems are the reasons it did.
But there is a logisical problem; I live in a small flat, and my “dining table” is 80cm square, and I need to be able to setup, play and tidy a game in an evening. Obviously 25/28mm Warhammer or similar 6’ x 4’ tables is way out. But I vaguely remembered playing DBA battles on a small table, so I looked up the old DBA rules I had, and yes – 2’ x 2’. And then, some Googling led me to Dick Bryant’s Six Small 2’x2′ Crossfire Scenarios. These were perfect – a nice tactical challenge in a small area, with a limited number of figures, that could be resolved in an hour or so.
Now, DBA and Crossfire are normally played with 15mm figures. But I settled on 6mm instead, for a few reasons.
- Both games support 6mm.
- I don’t fancy Skirmish games; having one base represent a ‘unit’ is fine for me, so I won’t ever try to move a 6mm figure by itself.
- 6mm terrain is smaller to store (and cheaper to buy/build).
- As the table is small, having smaller figures means that that the scale ground area is greater.
- I’m crap at painting, but you can’t see any detail on 6mm anyway.
- With Ancients, I think that the mass effect of more small troops looks “cooler” than a few larger ones. It’s easier to believe that 16 figures represents an entire Roman legion than 4, for example.
- And, also, I want to find a way to play with tiny tanks again, and even 15mm armour is going to be too much for that table.
There’s also the option of using 25mm rules scaled down where 1” on a full-size table would be 1cm on my table. That means I could use those rules on a ‘virtual’ 5x5’ table, should I ever feel the need.
So, this is my plan — set myself up for wargaming again, but in 6mm on a 2x2’ table. And this blog is my personal ramblings all about it.