Welcome to Platoon Forward!

Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In defense of 15mm

Well a week after Salute and I am back in the swing of things.  Rich and I are hard at work at Squadron Forward and I think it should be done before the end of May.  I am also starting to toy with "Warband Forward".   Am playing the first scenario with Olveg and his small band.

Seeing all the great tables at Salute and reading both Wargames Illistrated and Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy it would seem the whole world plays in 28mm.  When reading an article or figure review it is almost always, "and there are plenty of figures in smaller scales which will not be covered in this article."  What about those of us at 20mm/15mm and 6mm?  I have heard of 3mm but have never seen pictures of it. 
Don't get me wrong.  I love looking at the 28mm figures.  I guess that is why the tables and magazines use them.  But how about reviewing stuff for the rest of us?  Certainly there are people who buy smaller scales, particularly FOW. 
In defense of 15mm they are cheaper.  For the solo gamer who has to buy both sides and supply all the terrain this is a huge plus!
They are readily available at least for the wars I want to fight so far.  For WW II there are many companies that I use with good quality and reasonable prices to include Battlefront, Peter Pig and Command Decision  if I need a lot of stuff.  For Vikings I have Peter Pig again and the two companies for Salute, Donnington and Lancashire.  I am less thrilled with Lancashire after opening the package of Saxons and seeing 3 poses for my 40+ figures. 
They take up less space for storage.
They take up less space on the table thus my ground scale to figure scale is close to 1:1 for my skirmish games.

Skirmish gaming at 1:1 ground scale (horizontal at least)

They are more forgiving of less than stellar paint jobs.    I enjoy the painting of figures up to a point but I am definetly a gamer at the end of the day.  I don't need to worry about eye color and facial expression!

  Look deep into the color of my eyes!

Did I mention they are cheaper?

Now I realize that people that play with 6mm or 3mm can make all these claims against 15mm as well.  I say, "More power to you!".   For me 15mm is a good compromise between detail, space and price.   If I played larger games I suspect I would go smaller.  If I had started in the UK I might have gone with 20mm as I would have had a ton of HO soldiers lying around. 

So I am glad people take pictures of 28mm figures to inspire me but every once in a while I wish folks would take about the smaller figures.

Did I mention they are cheaper?



  1. I am with you, 15mm are good for most games. I would like to see more 20mm figurines, but there are not enough ranges, at least for what I am looking for.

  2. There certainly are a lot of great looking 15mm ranges out there for many periods, and they can look wonderful with almost thousands of models arrayed across the table. I know the magazines you mentioned are almost entirely of contributor provided articles, so if you'd like to see more 15/10/6mm articles in there, I'd certainly recommend encouraging other "small-scale" gamers to get writing : )


  3. I think it has a lot in common with motoring magazines tending to do articles on the luxury end of the market, rather than the economy models.

    15mm has come on a lot in recent years, as have 10/12mm and to be honest there are a lot of folks out there who aren't going to turn out quality painted 28mm figures (myself included)... It's the wargame equivalent of 'look what I drive', which isn't always the same as 'look how good a driver I am'.

    I have seen some really excellent looking 15mm stuff and some 28mm stuff that makes me wince. Each to their own though after all.

  4. You're not the only one who's brought up this point, and you're quite right. Guy and I have made an express effort to contact manufacturers of smaller scales and we've made plans to include several articles per issue that deal with 'non 28mm' miniatures. It may take some time to implement that fully, but we'll get there!

    Jasper Oorthuys
    Karwansaray Publishers

  5. I love 15mm for skirmish games. 6mm is a perfect fit for larger games at company or greater in size. For examples of what can be done in 6mm, just look for examples of Mark Luther's games. He has done some fantastic work. I think 15mm gives more of the feel that your troops are actually maneuvering across the table top while larger scales don't really give you that same look. Especially with games like Sharp Practice.

  6. I heartily agree with you about using smaller scales. The biggest selling point for me regarding 10mm and 15mm is terrain. It takes me far less time and material to make good looking terrain at the smaller scales.

  7. Gentlemen,
    Glad I struck a chord!
    Jim, Chris and Pahoota; agree fully! (In my case the terrain just looks "less bad").

    Emillio, What are you playing that you can't find it?

    Dave, You are probably right; I should be part of the solution I suppose.

    Jasper, It was the review of Vikings figures that broke me!! In conjunction with my response above, I actually have an article in mind for your magazine; solitaire friendly rules for SAGA.



    1. Joe:
      I would like to see in 20mm:
      - Plains indians
      - Seven Years War, all nations
      - French and Indian War

  8. Joe: please do contact Guy (editor *AT* wssmagazine.com) if you have ideas for articles, especially if/when they're aimed at 'non 28mm'!

  9. That's an excellent Blog entry Joe. I read it and thought "There's an article in that!". As Jasper said, we are striving to include non 28mms as the latest issue will testify. Please do drop us a line. editor@wssmagazine.com

  10. Emillo,
    Am guessing you do French and Indian War? Have you tried the new Tomahawk studio rules? They look quite different from SAGA.

    Jasper and Guy,
    Thank you for the complements. Your magazine seems more "gamer related" than WI. But... you are reviewing Platoon level games in 28mm (rather than Platoon Forward!) and giving away 28mm stuff!!! :) Never-the-less I will contact you and do appreciate you responding to your public. Now I will have to go out and buy issue 60. Thanks again



  11. Hey there Joe. I happened upon your blog looking for information on Platoon and Squadron Forward and read your post about the smaller scales either being ignored or left out. It was a very good post and I agree. I noticed that you mentioned that you "have heard of 3mm but have never seen pictures of it." Well I happen to be a 3mm-1/600 gamer for my Land Sea and Air gaming. If you like to see some photos of what is out there you can go to these two Yahoo Groups to start,

    My 3mm-1/600 Miniature Wargaming Yahoo Group


    3mm_miniatures · 1/600_miniatures Yahoo Group


  12. Sawyou got a few column inches in WSS. Glad to see that the editor signed off the article with "if you disagree with Joe, let us know".

    How about if you agree with Joe, let us know. I've got a big collection of the bigger chaps, but 15mm is the sacale that lets you do the whole range of stuff from large scale games ot skirmishes.

    More power to your 15mm elbow!