30 December 2012

Advice Sought!

Had a bit of a delay there for a while, lost 3 days over Xmas.......Lost Holiday!......I suppose. But back on track now, finished another 160 points for the contest, just need to get the bases done.

So talking about bases, I am seeking some advice. My Napoleonic infantry forces are based in 2 different ways. This has been a real work in progress, but I have settled on two basic patterns: One for closed order troops and one for troops that historically fought in closed or open order. Essentially, I have 4-6 bases per unit, depending on the size of their historical OB. Essentially a British Guard unit or an Austrian unit would have 6 bases where most other units have 4 bases. My cut off is 800 troops for the larger units. These units have 6 figures to a base. For units that could fight in open or closed order, I put 4 figures to the same sized base, this accommodates the more animated poses that these troops are available in. An example is seen in my blog in the title photo for the Prussian IR21 regiment. The battalion in the front, the fusiliers are 4 figures to a base while the other 2 battalions are 6 to a base. I have been a bit arbitrary in selecting these units, but have decided to include some French légere, Prussian fusiliers, 95th Rifles and Portuguese Caçadores to name a few. For gaming purposes, I close up the bases to indicate that they are fighting in formed order and leave them apart to indicate open order. I tried it my last few games and it seems to work and look good.

Now to my problem. How about troops who only seem to have fought in open or skirmish order and never fought as formed into infantry battalions. The 60th Rifles appear to be an example. I am also about to paint up some Kielmansegge's Jaegers for my 1st Hanoverian Brigade and I have some Brunswick AvantGarde primed and ready to go. How should I base them? I had been previously putting 2 figures on a 40x20mm bases, but recently I have been sorely tempted to base them on single round bases. They just look so great placed in front of a formed unit. Rules sets that add a skirmish factor to infantry battalions can utilize figures thus based easily. Lasalle and the much anticipated Food for Powder ruleset from Analogue Hobbies (how is that for pressure Curt) both recommend some such basing, with the number of figures representing a numerical Skirmish Factor. I believe Field of Battle v2 rulebook has done something similar. Black Powder with it variably sized units (tiny, small, standard and large) would also accommodate easily tiny units with single based figures.

So what do you think? I have a lot of seasoned Napoleonic players as regular readers so I put it out there for you and seek your input.



  1. My thought is to go ahead and mount them as individuals on round bases. This gives you the added bonus of being able to use them in skirmish games like Sharps Practise

  2. I'd say single round bases too, you can always buy some larger sabot bases for these to fit into as well. That will give you a nice random look.

  3. Sinbgle bases surely. If you need to regroup them later for another rules set (the wargamers' curse!) you can avoid rebasing by using sabots.

  4. Hi
    Go for roud bases. Skirmish games are the best optio for light troops

  5. My understanding is that the ultra light troops (Prussian jager etc) all had the ability and training to form up in solid formations when the need occurred. They could be very dead very quickly if they did not.

    My personal regime has been to ...

    - line infantry are on stands of (generally) four figures

    - light infantry battalions to date are on stands of (generally) three or four figures but posed as firing lines.

    - ultra light infantry (Prussian jagers etc) are on the same sized stands as the light infantry but with two figures only. I try to model these with the thought that there is always a loaded rifle between the pair as I believe they operated in this manner.

    So I am a dissenter here! 8O) And just to prove it I shall add that I'm not really a fan of sabot bases as they don't look that natural to me. I always seem to be looking at the crop circles surrounding the figures when I've seen them. Probably you don't 'see' these during a game but I've never played with them so can't comment.

    Salute & Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    von Peter himself

  6. A very timely post as I am having the same dilemma!

    Like most of the guys above mentioned, single round bases would be great and very flexible for use in skirmish games, but for games like Lasalle where they are basically only there to demote a skirmish value, I think something else would look better. I think I am going to go for a half of a normal base with two figures (in my case a 50x25). This will look especially cool for British Rifles as you can have a loading/shooting pair etc. with some bit of terrain for cover (bushes and rocks etc.) for added cool factor.

  7. John, you could do as I did with my ACW unit; base figures singly on steel washers and then you could build magnetized sabots as well, to suit if they 'rank up'.

  8. John I am pondering the same issue for the exact same reasons: some beautiful Kielmansegge's Jaegers arrived in the mail on Saturday. :)

    First off, if you have any inclination to play skirmish level games, I would go with the advice of the others that have suggested individual bases, and then using bases as Scott suggested or make ones very similar to your War of Ring bases with 2-3 figs on the base size you use for normal infantry.

    Myself, I am thinking along the lines of von Peter (You're not alone my friend!). My friend Eric and I have been tinkering away at our 1813 project since August. Visuals are very important to us and skirmish level games (for Naps at least) are not, so nice scenic unbroken bases are what we're after.

    Like Dave Taylor and "The Guns of April" boys we've chosen 50x50 squares as our main troop base with circles (and one oval) for command. For my Prussians, I've taken a lot of inspiration from yours and Kawe's armies, as I am (like you) using 6 figs a base for my musketeers, etc. and 4 for my fusiliers.

    We're still mulling the basing for the attached/detached 4-6 Volunteer Jaegers or Voltigeurs figs that will screen in front of our 24+ man battalions, thinking either individual bases or 2 figs per 25x50.

    The rub comes when considering proper light (and independent) units like Kielmansegge's Jaegers or companies from a Prussian Jaeger Battalion. Like von Peter said these units could form up when needed (and even charge cavalry! :) ). Also I want to distinguish these figs/units from
    those I use as mere skirmish screens for my battalions.

    As I begin working on Kawe's beautiful Kielmansegge's Jaeger minis, individual bases are tempting. But even more so is the chance to create scenic 50x50 bases complete with the odd broken fence, etc. and going 2 figs on a normal inf base as von Peter suggested. That's the way I'm leaning right now anyway.

    Hopefully you find something helpful from my thought process/babbling. :)

    Have a happy New Year John!


  9. And of course, I base all my troops exactly the same* for Napoleonics regardless of Nationality, nominal battalion strengths, role, etc. I started out that way originally, then did the Historical Organization thing for 20 some odd years, and went back to standard organizations at the same time that I started conceptualizing my units as Regiments more than battalions. Bottom line, of course, is do whatever best suits your own sense of aesthetics, plus the rules you plan to use.

    * 8 figures on 4 stands for Cavalry, 18 figures on six stands for Infantry, and 6-8 crew and 2 guns for Artillery.

    Well, OK there are a very few exceptions: some Militia and other unusual units only get 4 stands, because that's all I really need for the rules I most commonly play (Field of Battle). My Mamelukes have only six figures and the Chasseurs and Grenadiers a Cheval of the Guard each have tyen. Hold overs form the old days with the Guard Cavalry. Hopwever, if I add a six figure unit of Gendarmes d' Elite, then I can mix them with the Grenadiers and the Mamelukes with the Chassuers and have 2 units each of 8, so back to the standard... sort of! :-)

  10. For my 8 Kielmannsegger I'll use 3 octagonal bases with about 60mm diameter. That makes for a somewhat realistic frontage and still looks =like a coherent unit.

    Line skirmishers I put on 50mm bases with 2 models as this reflects the fact that Skirmishers were almost always operating in groups of 2.