Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Great Basing Debate

One night, not too long ago, I lay awake, staring at the dark ceiling, worrying about how to base my miniatures. It is undoubtedly the stupidest question I’ve ever lost sleep over, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. It got so bad, that I established two important rules for my miniatures collection:

I will never put more than one 28mm miniature on one base.

Miniatures are toy soldiers and to fully enjoy them, I must be able to pick them up and play with them individually. This even applies to artillery and artillery crewmen.

I will base all of my 28mm miniatures on 20mm round bases.

This does limit the number of companies from which I can buy figures, as some are just too big. While in some ways this is shame, it helps limit the size variation in my collection, and helps me sleep at night. The only exception to this rule is for creatures that are larger than human-size. These can be based on whatever size round base seems appropriate.

These rules have served me well, and made my hobby more enjoyable and my nights more restful. However, recently I’ve decided that it would be nice to give my Confederate firing line a more unified look and give myself the capacity to try out rules sets that use a ‘stand’ of figures as the smallest unit (usually four or six figures based together). As it turns out, this is perfectly easy to accomplish within the context of my rules, at least with a little help from

A couple months ago, I contacted warbases to see if they could make some movement trays that would hold 5 figures in two offset ranks. Which I thought would give a nice ragged looking appearance to the line. Not only could he do it, but he did it quickly and inexpensively. I was so pleased, I have now ordered enough trays to base 80 Confederates, the entire infantry contingent of the proposed Army of Oxford.


  1. What was the rationale for using round bases? I agree with the basic premise of the blog entry - you can "re-base" with sabot bases, movement trays, and magnetics if everything is based singly, and still use them for skirmish gaming or for those games that do casualty removal by the figure, rather than by the stand.

    But the round versus square issue is a different one. Round bases make it harder to determine facing, for those rules that care about it.

  2. I still think, given how impressive this project will look when finished, you should get the office to spring for a display cabinet...