Friday, December 28, 2007

Rules, Rules, Rules… and basing… again

I do torment myself about these things

Recently I’ve been doing a lot to thinking about gaming and rules and basing for various different periods. What I’ve decided is that I’m basically going to use two basic systems for all my gaming in the foreseeable future – Savage Worlds for skirmish gaming and Warmaster/Blitzkrieg Commander/Cold War Commander derivatives for everything else (i.e. non-skirmish games).

All the Savage Worlds skirmish games will be played with 28mm figures individually mounted on round metal washer. I hate square bases for skirmish games and I hate plastic bases. Hate them.

I’ve also decided on a standard basing system for all my non-skirmish games.

For 28mm figures – they’re all going on a 60x40mm base for most infantry types. Cavalry will probably be 60x50mm. Anything requiring deeper bases will be done “as required” but keeping the 60mm frontage. This is the same frontage as DBA – so I could use these for DBA – but I’m obviously using different depths and I will also be using different numbers of troops.

Most pre-“horse and musket” foot troops will be based on said 60x40mm bases in two ranks of three. Conveniently this works out to and average of 20x20mm per figure so that if I ever fell on my head and thought playing Warhammer might be a good idea I could use them for that – I’d just need a couple of the individually mounted guys for “change” when I started taking casualties.

To represent some lighter troops (of all eras) I will have three or four figures scattered about on the base. This I’ve done this with most of my Great War/Russian Civil War/Back of Beyond forces. You can see pictures of these on my CLA Fallcon playtest post and my CLA Fallcon AAR.

Some units with particularly dense formation I will be basing them in two rows of four – my Seven Years War regular infantry have been based this way as will most pikemen.

Horse will be either two or three on a 60x50mm base.

For 20mm/1:72 I’m using 2”x1-1/4” (~50x32mm) stands for infantry and light support weapons. There are generally 3 infantry on one of those stands or one weapon and two or three crew. For bigger support weapons and smaller vehicles I use a double sized base – 2”x2.5” (50x64mm). for anything bigger I’m trying to keep the 2”/50mm frontage but I’ve found for some bigger tanks that’s just not enough so on some I’m using a 2.5”/65mm frontage – depth as required…

Because of the difference in sizes for 20mm infantry vs 20mm tanks I was this last week considering using a 2”x2.5” (50x64mm) base for infantry with about 5 figures on it. I’ve tried to rid myself of that dangerous notion as it would mean reorganizing everything ( not to mention rebasing hundreds of figures – many of which have quite recently been re-based from 30x30mm bases…). GAH! I am demented sometimes….

I have been desperately trying to PURGE myself of 15mm figures. I’ve traded away all the modern and dark age historicals and all the fantasy stuff. The WW2 stuff will be a little harder to let go of as I’ve put so much work into it and I know so many people with 15mm forces that I could conceivably play with…. I think the Falshirmjagers are going to be going up on the trading block in the very near future however (as most of them aren’t painted and are never going to be….).

I have been re-basing the 15mm stuff I am planning on holding onto (for now) and they’re more or less following the same system as the 20mm figures, except the infantry generally have four figures per stand and that many tanks will fit on the double sized (2”x2.5” - 50x64mm) base. Only a few will need anything bigger.


  1. How did you base cavalry in the end. It says 60x50 in this post, but in the pictures it seems more like 60x60. Are my eyes deceiving me?

  2. Your eyes are not deceiving you. A lot of the mounted I have based on 60x60 bases.

    Please don't ask why I do some one way and others the other way, it's really on a whim... Or what "looked right"

    I do try to keep it standard throughout an army thought! All my Rohan mounted are 60 deep, as are my Orc Wolfriders and Warg Riders.... Normans and Romans are on 50 deep bases...

    I was going to say there is a clear method to my madness - fantasy riders are 60 deep, historical are 50... but this is not entirely the case, when I just went to check I realized some Pictish Light Horse I'm working on are one 60 deep bases...!?

  3. In a couple of your posts on basing, you mention using a round metal washer. What is the outside diameter of these? And what do you do about the hole in the middle; do you fill it? cover it over before gluing down the mini?


  4. The washers I use most are 7/8" - so just a bit smaller than your average round plastic base (which are about 1"). I had been using 3/4" bases for some but so many figures just wouldn't fit on them I've rebased any that were on that size and everything - except for oddball bigger figures - are on the 7/8" washers.

    They get filled in with the "base goop" I use to finish bases (which is a mix of white glue, model railroad ballast and brown acrylic paint).

  5. Do you ever find that the cast base of the mini won't allow you to place it where you want it on the washer ie because it wants to fall in the hole? I've struck this a bit with 1" washers, trying to replicate your basing style (imitation, flattery and all that...). And if so, what do you do to get around it?

  6. Oh yes, from time to time. More often I have the opposite problem (cast bases being too big) which required some creative clipping or upgrading to a larger base. But when I have a slightish figure (usually a girl or someone standing at attention) I just fill in the hole with some "green stuff" first (or some similar two-part epoxy modelling putty), then glue down the figure.

  7. Thanks for your help. I picked up some smaller washers today (3/8 BSW, or about 22mm).

    I've only painted fantasy stuff in the past, but your blog has inspired me to pick up some Artizan minis and give WW2 a go. Starting with some German Fallschirmjagers...

    I really appreciate the simple economy of your painting style (a compliment). I used to slave over a single mini for a week to get it magazine perfect: the result - total painting burnout. So now that I've got the urge to paint something again, I'm following your lead. Your minis look great, and the turnover time is quick enought that I'll actually look forward to the next batch.

    Incidentally, I found your blog through some other Savage Worlds blogs. I was wanting to paint something to use as skirmishers for Savage minis games when one of our SW regulars can't make it (we've a small group - 3 players and me, GM). So I was excited to see your Savage Timmy blog, and I'm going to plunder it shamelessly for ideas.

    Thanks again for the help and inspiration, and keep up the great work.