What to do...? What to do…?
Single or Multi-figure?
Round or Square?
How many figures to a base? How big should the base be (Cram ‘em on or spread ‘em out)?
Is anybody else out there so tormented as I? The debate forever rages on in my head. Part of me really likes individually based figures as I can use them for 1:1 skirmish battles and, up to a certain level of action, I can visualize them representing many men. For very large-scale actions however I have an easier time visualizing the figures as large numbers of men if they are on multi figure bases – also with bigger bases there’s the opportunity to do some modeling of extra stuff on the bases potentially making each one a mini diorama of sorts.
Currently I am thinking (rethinking) about how to base figures for the Great War.
I think for the most part I am settled on singly based figures for theatres of operations like “The Back of Beyond” and East/Central Africa. Here the conflict, in my mind’s eye at least, battles were mostly large-scale, chaotic skirmishes (or at least the battles I’m interested in gaming…). The maneuver elements would be companies (or smaller) and I have little trouble visualizing a unit of a dozen or so figures as a company (…or a platoon or a section…).
In the European theatres, or even in Palestine or Mesopotamia, I’m more interested a larger, operational scale of action involving Divisions and Corps. So I started thinking about what rules I’d use, and thought I’d need to try out Over the Top (Command Decision) or Great War Spearhead. Both of these use bases with multiple figures on to represent the units.
So I dug out a pack of Minifigs 15mm Highlanders, stuck ‘em on bases and painted them up.
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
Pretty aren’t they…?
I have no trouble seeing this as a company (stands being approximately platoon sized; 30-50 men) or even as a battalion (stands being approximately company sized; 100-200 men).
Then I got to thinking why couldn’t I still use Contemptible Little Armies? If units were still 8-18 stands instead of figures what size of units would I be fielding? Well if these stands were companies, four companies are a battalion, and four battalions are a brigade (in the British/Canadian system of organization) a unit of 16 stands would be a Brigade! Two or three such units would be a division…
So there, whatever system I use, I’ve just about convinced myself that I should use multi-figure bases for European theatres… but then, what figures to use…? 15mm? 20mm? 20mm are cheap as anything… but the 15mm line from Minifigs is pretty extensive and the figures are very nice…. And what about the Vimy Project
…? Rebase them? Start anew with a different scale?
So I tried painting up a couple stands worth of 28/30mm figures to see what they’d look like…
Canucks (didn’t quite have enough cast on hand to do four stands…)
Going this route wouldn’t actually require any more or less figures. The battalions I’ve been using for CLA Western front battles have 12-13 figures each. A four-stand battalion with three figures per stand such as these would require 12 figures… It would probably be the cheaper route as I can cast them myself.
The more I think about it the more I am realizing a number of the issues I’ve had with CLA would be worked out by using multi-figure bases… It'd be a faster game too, easier to mave the toys around...
I don’t know…
What do you all think? Which looks more like a “battalion” to you? The pics above or this:
Anyone out there have any experience with multi-figure bases in CLA?