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Author Topic: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm  (Read 6259 times)

Offline Jack Hooligan

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Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« on: July 05, 2021, 04:12:03 PM »
After deliberating for months, I guess I'm gonna need to air my inability to make a decision here to a bunch of online strangers. I figure the company here is better than anywhere else so here goes...

I'm generally a 'host' gamer so I would be painting and providing all the sides and the table, but Iíve been struggling with which way to go with Dragon Rampant. I have two ideas that arenít really compatible but both are very intriguing. One at 28mm one at 20mm. I've done projects at both scales so am weighing my thoughts on them and I've bolded the items that weigh the most.

28mm - use victrix and oathmark models for dark ages fantasy retinues. Each oathmark box would almost be a complete retinue but Iíd add a creature or two. Still, armies of undead, humans, dwarves, goblins, etc.

Pros - All of the factions would match in theme, so the table would look great, imo. I can order these models through my LGS which I prefer to do when possible to help them out. 28mm is pretty standard, so I'd lots of solid options to flesh out these retinues with various creatures.

Cons - These models will require assembly...and I find I don't enjoy assembly much anymore and far prefer the painting step. It would take me a while to even get _one_ retinue to the table. The minis would require many more RUBs, almost a RUB per retinue, and space is a bit of an issue. This scale would require a decent size table and would cost quite a bit more then 20mm.

20mm (1/72) - Use a mix of Zvezda and Redbox/Dark Alliance. So, like Zvezda Egyptian infantry with Dark Alliance mummies and anubis warriors.

Pros - Little to no assembly, basing would be the most laborious step and this scale is easier to paint. The 'To the table' time would be very quick. Can be cheap. Redbox only armies (like Barbarians/Cimmarians) would be very cheap. smaller minis require way less storage. I can probably fit 2-3 retinues in a single RUB. Smaller tabletop space needed for a game. With less available at this scale, each find is a like a treasure hunt.

Cons - Availability at this scale isn't solid or robust. The factions would be a little all over the place. This would be more of a 'Secret Wars/BattleWorld' setting with samurai v orcs v french knights v undead v egyptians v barbarians, etc. I tend to enjoy world building and head canon so this lack of theme cohesion is a decent negative for me. I would not be able to source very many minis for this project through my local game store.

So, I know we all have our own parameters of what we prefer or will tolerate in the hobby, and the decision is ultimately mine, but as a thought exercise, what are your...thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 04:52:37 PM by Jack Hooligan »

Offline has.been

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2021, 04:32:12 PM »
Having read what you put down, I have a suggestion or two.
1) Go for an even smaller scale.
    15mm has quite a lot out there.
    10mm or even 6mm where Historical figures can also be used.
2) Trawl e-bay etc for second hand figures. They may well be
     already assembled &/or painted. Whatever scale is available
     is the one you go for.

Personal note, if I went for 10mm (or smaller) I would base up
in units, much quicker to move & not so fiddly. Have a tick sheet
to record casualties.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2021, 05:15:07 PM »
I'd go with 1/72 all the way. For me, it's the best scale for largish battles, for several reasons:

1. It's dirt cheap. Many boxes that cost under a tenner will give you a full Dragon Rampant retinue (or an entire Hordes of the Things army, for that matter).

2. The breadth of complementary historicals is extraordinary. There's muchbetter coverage for medievals and ancients in 1/72 than there is in hard-plastic 28mm, for sure. Plastic Soldier Review bears this out.

3. Cross-manufacturer compatibility is much greater at 1/72 scale than at 28mm or (especially) at 15mm.

4. With manufacturers like Caesar, Italieri and Zvezda, quality is right up there.

5. You're in a sweet spot for cross-scale compatibility. Many of the larger 15mm/18mm orcs and dwarves (e.g. Blood Dawn//Magister Militum, Alternative Armies and Eureka) are actually better at 1/72 than at their supposed scale (i.e. they won't be bigger than men!). At the same time, you can use lots of 28mm orcs, goblins, etc., as ogres, trolls and the like. Bigger monsters from Reaper Bones or Wizzkids work just fine.

6. As you tend to get lots of duplicates in a box, you can be smart with basing. For example, with a typical Dark Alliance box of four infantry sprues, you could base one or two individually, one on round multi-bases of varying size and one on HotT-style mass-battle bases (i.e. 60mm frontage). You can use all of those in Dragon Rampant, and after a few boxes, you'll have a huge range of options for different games (or just for quicker movement in DR).

7. Painting cavalry is much easier and quicker.

8. Because of the range of historical stuff, it's much easier to assemble distinctive human cultures to scratch your world-building itch. It'd be much easier and cheaper to do Howard's Hyborian age in 1/72 than in any other scale, I think.

This shot below from one of our HotT games this weekend shows lots of my Caesar and Dark Alliance stuff, along with a friend's army that contains a lot of 15mm stuff that works fine (e.g. the beastmen, the wolves and the goblin cannon crew).

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2021, 07:31:41 PM »
Oh, and a further thing. You're in the US, right? Loads of the old Ral Partha stuff from Iron Wind or Ral Partha legacy works brilliantly at 1/72 scale: things like the marvellous Julie Guthrie gnolls (too small for 28mm, but spot on for 1/72) and all the old Tom Meier ogres and trolls.

You could make a great Elite Foot unit using Tom Meier's old giant goblins as, er, giant goblins. And his lesser troglodytes are perfectly scaled (in both senses) too.

Offline Ogrob

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2021, 07:38:07 PM »
I'm a 28mm person, so for me the answer would always be 28mm. Victrix and Oathmark figures look so much better than anything I've seen in smaller scales (to me, your mileage may vary). Sure, there's some assembly required but the Oathmark figures are super straight forward and Victrix are worth the bother.

Offline AKULA

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2021, 08:02:58 PM »
Like Ogrob Iíd say 28mm all day long. I never thought Iíd want to build multipart plastics, but it grows on you.

Go large...accept no compromises... ;)
     

Offline swiftnick

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2021, 12:20:25 AM »
I have done fantasy on literally every scale. If I had my time over I would just go 1/72.

Offline killshot

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2021, 02:41:07 AM »
Can you get some Crusader Miniatures figures?  The Dark Age lines fit perfectly with Oathmark figures and since theyíre metal thereís no assembly aside from shields and spears.

Offline BZ

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2021, 05:43:48 AM »
I have pretty limited experience, but for me the the obvious border is:
- If its fantasy and skirmish, then 28mm
- If its historical and mass battle, then 1/72
- If its really big mass battle, then even smaller (maybe 10mm), independent from the genre
So a mass battle (and as I know, Dragon Rampart is not a really big mass battle game) fantasy is not that obvious, but I still would go with 28mm, because the variety and availability of the miniatures is much better.

Offline SotF

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2021, 07:50:34 AM »
There are options that have much less assembly for 28mm if you look for it.

For example, other than some conversions for some specific things, you could do the majority of your army as humans with the Reaper Anhurians. Where all you really need to do is glue the majority of them to a base with some sand and beyond the usual cleanup work. Some conversion work for variety (You can use parts of the command set with one real conversion (take the drummer, remove the drum and sticks, attach some ammunition and swap the top of the standard bearers pole for a hook and you can use them with the leader in the set for an easy 3 man crew for a warmachine such as the Nolzur's/Deep Cuts catapult), only one that requires assembly is the cavalry. While there's a bit less variety in the bones troops, they're still cheap and easy to get with only the command sets and the elite in metal only. Then find a caster and some monsters.

I'm working on such a force now, though I'm not sure if I'm going to just buy another few cavalry or rebase what I have because I'd based them for another game and have a set of 5 on the 2" rounds with 5 cavalry and a wardog that I proxy as another member of the unit because I wanted one...and the model is to large to work in most dog units, so the captain has his hound with him.

Though, if you're looking at Victrix, you could also do a mix of historical and fantasy minis with swaps between forces. If you're playing a more dark ages type force, swapping in a dragon or the like actually mixes rather well to do both things.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2021, 01:05:01 PM »
One point that might be significant for a 'host' gamer is the size of the table. If you've got a 6' x 4' table, then you've got plenty of room. But if you're operating on a normal dinner table (6' x 3'), then Dragon Rampant can get a little cramped in 28mm.

Now, most games of DR that I've played have been in both 28mm and on a 6' x 3' table. But since acquiring a bigger table (6' x 4') to use in the garden, I've found our games much improved. One reason I got into 1/72 was to facilitate games with a smaller 'footprint' on a 3' wide table, and the smaller scale will come into its own again in winter when we're using a smaller table inside again. Essentially, a 1/72 unit takes up about half the space of a 28mm one, so there's a lot more space on the table, and that greatly improves the game. It's one reason that I'd advocate 1/72 over 28mm for DR but not particularly for Saga (which is designed with dinner tables in mind).

I also think the 'greater availability' point about 28mm is a bit of a red herring. Lots of monsters from older 25/28mm manufacturers (e.g. Ral Partha and Grenadier/Mirliton) are actually a better fit with 1/72 than with modern 28mm, and there are very few 28mm monsters that won't work just as well with 1/72.

The cost advantages are significant too. If you want a reduced-model unit of ogres in 1/72, you can just pick up three or four 28mm orcs or hobgoblins, who'll look suitably imposing in 1/72 scale. If you're using the same figures in 28mm, you'll need a dozen per unit.

And then there's cavalry. Dragon Rampant's definitely a better game when played with plenty of cavalry units. But the time and expense in fielding 28mm units is quite considerable. In 1/72, you can get a couple of full-strength units for less than a couple of pints - through boxes like this or this (two full cavalry units and a reduced-model camel one?) or this (three units!), for example.

Painting 1/72 cavalry is much less tricky and time-consuming than the same in 28mm. And the scale is much more forgiving. At the weekend, we played a couple of games in which my son's friend (who's 12) fielded several untis of Italieri mounted knights that he'd painted himself. They were very simply painted in bright, heraldic colours - and they looked fantastic! An experienced adult painter could go to town.


Offline Jack Hooligan

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2021, 04:18:25 PM »
Thanks all, for your input!

I think I'm going to come down on the 1/72 side for now. The biggest factors being:

Time - My son is 14 and only has a few more years left before he leaves. 28mm armies would take me a long time to produce. 1/72 I can probably have 4 done by the end of the year. Certainly two to at least start playing some games by this fall. Heck, I can do those Dark Alliance 'Warriors of the Dead' models all as ghost and have a complete army done in a weekend probably.

Space - We're currently in a small home, so play on a dinner table. That works for Blood Bowl and such but it's too small for army games. I think 1/72 can be done on the kitchen table.

Some factors that sorta pain me:

Cost - This won't be as cheap as it could be because I'm going to probably want to do like an army with a unit of goblins, cimmerian chaos warrior types, fire demons, and warg riders. Or  one with amazons with centaurs and minotaurs. Another with nomads with mummies and anubi warriors. So, like 3-4 boxes per army instead of just one.

Sourcing - i really want to help the LGS...the only one in my area. they're new and I try to go through them, but all these Dark Alliance boxes will come from elsewhere.

Theme - I enjoy games with a rich setting. Probably too many GW games back in the day. Randomly themed armies squaring off appeal less. Maybe this'll be good for me though somehow.

In the end, I'm convinced the lower time sink and small space is a better fit atm. Plus, Dragon Rampant seems a good fit for a wide variety gonzo fantasy table from Dark Alliance fantasy offerings.

However, I'm not going to be too far away from 28mm projects...I've got a large Baron's War pledge coming that's all 28mm and I'll probably use the 'more serious' (I say lightly) Lion Rampant for that project. Plus, I'm a regular Blood Bowl coach so there's more 28mm (or is it 32mm now?).

Thanks again all!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 07:14:41 PM by Jack Hooligan »

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2021, 08:41:32 AM »
Some factors that sorta pain me:

Cost - This won't be as cheap as it could be because I'm going to probably want to do like an army with a unit of goblins, cimmerian chaos warrior types, fire demons, and warg riders. Or  one with amazons with centaurs and minotaurs. Another with nomads with mummies and anubi warriors. So, like 3-4 boxes per army instead of just one.

One thing I'd recommend is to start by buying a couple of boxes that get you close to field a complete retinue each - and this is the crucial bit - with different unit types. It's quite easy to get swamped with 1/72 as you're potentially buying c.50 figures a box. And then you can add on 'specials' in the form of giant monsters from Reaper Bones or wherever.

So, for example, if you were weighing up Dark Alliance Nomads 1 versus Nomads 2, you might consider that Nomads 1 offers you 16 archers (a unit of 12 Light Missiles plus 4 spare) and 32 lightly armed warriors (two units of Bellicose Foot or Light Foot with 8 spare). But then you can use the spare figures together to get a unit of Light Foot with Mixed Weapons (perhaps using the 8 shieldless spearmen for that unit to distinguish it from the other infantry, which works thematically as the Mixed unit won't have the defensive capabilities of the others). So that would give you Light Missiles (4 points), Bellicose Foot x 2 (8 points) and Mixed Light Missiles (5 points), for 17 of your 24-point retinue. You could probably bring it up to 24 points with a few fantasy upgrades (Venomous for the archers, for example, for 3 points, and a sprinkling of Hatred all round).



But if you go with Nomads 2, you get 12 archers (Light Missiles, so 4 points), 16 armoured guys with polearms (Offensive Heavy Foot for 6 points plus 4 spare, or 2 x Elite Foot for 12) and 12 armoured guys with hand weapons and shield (1 x Bellicose Foot with Shiny Armour for 6 points or 2 x Elite Foot for 12 points). You can't have four Elite Foot units, but you could field two for 12 points, the Offensive Heavy Foot for 6 and the Light Missiles for 4, so then you'd just need two points of fantasy upgrades to reach the standard total. Or you could treat all the guys with back racks as Elite Foot (3 units for 18 points) and the guys without as Bellicose Foot with Shiny Armour (6 points), which gets you to 24 points with the archers as an option for a bigger game or, with Sharpshooter, as a 6-point alternative for one of the other units. You could also use combine some of the lighter-armoured (i.e. shieldless) warriors with the archers to create a couple of units of Light Foot with Mixed Weapons (10 points). So there are plenty of ways that you could get to a full retinue from that box alone.



With either, add a suitably thematic 6-point Greater Warbeast (a Reaper Bones giant scorpion, for example), and you're well placed with lots of options and alternatives:



In a similar vein, it's worth looking at other 1/72 boxes to see what your quickest starting point for a game is. The Dark Alliances Half-Orcs 2 (Infantry) is good, because you can pool the eight bowmen and crossbowmen, then add the three command figures and an officer to get Heavy or Light Missiles. And you can use the greataxe-wielders to form Elite Foot and the regulars as Bellicose Foot with Shiny Armour, and so on. The four sets of three command figures in the box give you loads of 'filler'-induced versatility.


Theme - I enjoy games with a rich setting. Probably too many GW games back in the day. Randomly themed armies squaring off appeal less. Maybe this'll be good for me though somehow.

In the end, I'm convinced the lower time sink and small space is a better fit atm. Plus, Dragon Rampant seems a good fit for a wide variety gonzo fantasy table from Dark Alliance fantasy offerings.

I'd have thought that Dark Alliance's 'Tolkien through New Line with a bit extra' gives you huge potential for a coherent setting - especially if you add in historicals to flesh them out (camelry and cavalry for the nomads, etc.).

In any case, good luck!

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2021, 02:00:19 PM »
With the 1:72 the 3/2/1 basing would work perfectly. So a unit of six consists of a base with 3 figures, a base with 2 figures and a base with 1 figure.  A unit of twelve just add a base with six or double them.  There is a bit of back and forth switching if you take a series of single casualties but this gives flexibility in terms of figure removal but minimizes bases to be moved and actual bases to make.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Choosing The Fantasy Project - 28mm v 20mm
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2021, 02:32:15 PM »
With the 1:72 the 3/2/1 basing would work perfectly. So a unit of six consists of a base with 3 figures, a base with 2 figures and a base with 1 figure.  A unit of twelve just add a base with six or double them.  There is a bit of back and forth switching if you take a series of single casualties but this gives flexibility in terms of figure removal but minimizes bases to be moved and actual bases to make.

You could do the 3s as HotT/DBA/ADLG/etc., etc., bases, for two reasons: first, you'd gradually be building armies for a whole wealth of games; and second, you'd have an 'ordered' front rank that you could line up (i.e. two 3-man bases in line) as a very handy way of showing that a 'wall of spears/shields' has been formed in Dragon Rampant.

 

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