Hidden Treasure: Peter Berry’s 6mm Rant

(6mm Nappies painted by Benno from Benno’s Figure Forum)

Fed Up With Another Snide Comment!

6mm wargaming is not for sissies. Wargamers who buy, paint and play with 6mm miniatures must have sharper eyes than sissy-28mm gamers and are generally more courageous and smarter, because they’re not afraid to play the grand strategy battles. 28mm-wargamers in general think, move and talk as slow as they paint. That’s my unbiased view as smaller-scale-wargamer.

Surfing the web I found an archived rant of Peter Berry about 6mm. It’s hidden these days, the article was part of Baccus old site but not directly incorporated in his new site, I don’t know why. I can absolutely recommend you to read his full rant, but let me shamelessly copypaste/quote the two highlights:

First, he quoted the internet comments which irritated him. I couldn’t help laughing:

  • – ‘6mm stuff, it’s like a degenerative disease disfiguring the tabletop.’
  • – ‘Most people can find more entertaining ways of going blind.’
  • – ‘I have no doubt that 6mm, as untraditional as they are, would attract people to their qualities. …
  • – They will be emigres from boardgaming.’
  • – ‘The desire to accurately portray historical uniforms ends at 15mm.’ 
  • – ‘To say that a 6mm. is more than a marker, a minimalist representation is pushing it.’

Second, he made the paradoxic case about the bigger visual impact of smaller miniatures

‘One measure is to present a well painted 25mm unit of twelve figures to a person new to the hobby, or especially an outsider, and place it alongside a clump of 6s-No contest! One impresses the other merely leads to squinty-eyed quizzical looks.’
Putting that the test with some Macedonian Pikemen, we get this result…

Yup. Round one to Powers of Smugness! My little men are definitely outgunned. No argument from me on this one.
But of course that is the playing the game to his rules. Single figure vs. single figure comparison is not and never was my argument. Wargamers use UNITS consisting of a number of models. Let’s take the same pikemen and put them into some sort of context.
In a standard DBA army there are 6 elements of pikemen. In 28mm this translates to 24 figures.
Now, using the same Ground Scale and therefore base sizes with 6mm, each element contains 48 figures and the six elements muster 288 miniatures!

Now we are viewing the two versions of the Might of Macedon in a the way you would see them on the wargames table. One looks like a couple of rows of men waving sticks, and the other actually looks like it may do some damage. One tries to represent an historically deep formation by doubling to a whole two ranks, while the other is actually an historically accurate eight ranks deep!

Okay, I’ve played the mass-effect card for the 6mms. You could rightly argue that the ‘true majesty’ of 28mm would come not from a weedy 6 elements, but a trebling of that number – 72 pikemen stretched across the board!

Looks good eh!
But what is sauce for the goose….

…is sauce for the gander!
And let’s just look at the numbers:
– 28mm = 72 figures = £57.60 and 24 hours painting time
– 6mm =864 figures = £43.20 and 15 hours painting time.

So in a head to head, 6mm are cheaper, quicker to paint and have ‘Visual Impact’ in spades looking like an army and not a skirmish line.

Reminds me how nice and eyecatching 6mm-battle can be:

(Onyx Hobby Blog)

(Sigur Skwarl, Battle Brush Studios)

I hope to finish a 6mm 1815 Prussian, 2nd French, 2nd British and Dutch army soon. Waterloo, here I come!


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