For a long time, I was quite intimidated by all the different options available in WWII tabletop gaming. There are a ton of different scales, each providing subtly different gaming experiences. Do I want to play at the squad level or at the company level? Am I more interested with painting and modeling, or actually playing?
Ultimately I chose 10mm as my scale of choice, although there's no guarantee that I'll ever actually find a game group in Chicago that uses this scale. I prepared a brief treatise of sorts listing the key reasons why I chose this particular scale for my WWII gaming.
- 10mm is quick and easy to paint. I'm handy with a paintbrush, but I'm also not interested in slaving away for hours to ensure that my German infantry backpacks are painted an appropriately historic color. Playing the game is more important. At the 10mm scale, each figure is about as big as my fingernail—so I can slap 4 or 5 colors onto each group of soldiers, hit 'em with some highlights and a drybrush, and be done in short order.
- I got a great deal on my initial load of 10mm figures. For $50, I have a full company of German and Soviet infantry, along with support weapons like machine guns, mortars and even of couple larger artillery pieces. That means I'll be able to field both sides of an engagement—perfect for helping new players who might be interested in WWII gaming. It should all be painted in just a couple weeks.
- I already have a ton of 1/144-scale plastic tanks that will work perfectly with 10mm infantry. This is going to save me a lot of money in the long run, as pewter tanks from game companies are both costly and take a while to paint. As it is, my 1/144-scale tank collection (comprising pieces from the World Tank Museum line and New Millenium Toys) will likely be all I'll ever need in terms of armor—and it's all pre-painted, some to a very decent degree.
- There are several "scale-neutral" rulesets out there that can easily be adapted to the 10mm scale. I'm thinking specifically of Blitzkrieg Commander, which feels like a "classic" command-and-control wargame, as well as Crossfire, which presents an entirely new way of playing tabletop wargaming. I hope to play both using my 10mm armies.