Being a treatise on VSF and Mars, and on 19th Century colonial warfare in general

(with a nod towards Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan, lest I take myself too seriously)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Basing and Compromising

Confession time. I have been very lax at painting and basing for almost two years. Plenty of thinking, converting, green-stuffing and so on, but sod-all by way of concrete results.

The problem is that I've long been rethinking how to base my figures, so I've dillied and dallied, dallied and dillied, lost my way and  ... *cough* ... sorry, too many musicals on christmas telly.

Anyway, my figure size of choice is 15mm and the rules set of choice is from the Piquet stable. So far so good, and I've no intention of walking away from that. But one day (probably after I retire and move!) I might find opponents, and then the basing could be a bit restrictive - not to say the extreme reaction mentioning Piquet can have. Basically I want to have a bit of flexibility. Comments about having one's cake and eating it are unhelpful, by the way.

Piquet's DoB2 suggests a 3cm base width, with three foot figures to a base, but it's pretty flexible on this, as long you're being consistent within and between armies. Then there's the rules sets that use individual basing - TSATF, SC and SP for example, where three to a base would be a pain - I hate casualty caps. And ME is pretty fixed on 4cm bases.

I'm therefore rethinking basing, and leaning towards 2 foot figures on a 20mm frontage. This would allow me to use each base as equivalent to a 25/28mm figure for rules that work with individual basing. A 10-"figure" unit certainly LOOKS more impressive like this. As an aside, TSATF works well like this when using the Fastoso variant of 8 "figures" per unit. And 2 x 20mm would fit with the 40mm frontage that seems quite common.

So I'm working towards using 40mm base frontages as standard, with 4 infantry figures per base (or 2 x 2 if using 20mm bases), or 2 mounted or 1 gun on that frontage. The foot will be more fiddly to move, but I can maybe think up some decent movement bases to make this easier.

Of course that means a ⅓ increase in figures per infantry unit, so I might still change my mind as I start painting.


Oh, and a Merry Christmas all!


Paul O'G said...

I have found basing to be a deeply personal choice of aesthetics vs utility vs efficient use of figures. Its easier when you play a mainstream game against varied opponents where everyone just conforms to the ruleset in use, but its sometimes more difficult when you have a choice…because you have to make one!

I think your plan for 2 inf figs on a 20mm base sounds optimal – particularly for TSATF or even IHMN too. You can Make small dioramas for leaders or singular guys and just use bigger bases for guns etc as required. You might find that the 4 figs on a 40mm base will be problematic when it comes to them utilising terrain and the base size. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy and its consistent with any regular opponents you may have.

Merry Christmas and I hope 2015 brings you health, happiness and hobby time!

Clive G said...

Thanks for the good wishes Paul - especially about hobby time.

At the end of the day you make a call and go with it in the certain knowledge that it won't be perfect! As you say the 20mm is probably the most flexible, so ... probably ...

DLI said...

Seasons Greetings Sir and carryon the good work :)

Clive G said...

Thank you, and I certainly hope to!
All the best to you and yours for 2015.