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"Is the WRG/DBx/FoG basing system practical for 28mm?" Topic

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JJMicromegas11 Sep 2010 8:48 a.m. PST

I have a bunch of old school 25mm and newer 28mm and I find the basing system that is recommended for these game systems to be impractical for reasons:

1. The cost of 28mm and the fact that most of the new plastic releases come in sets divisible by 10 and not 3 or 4. Especially cavalry can be annoyingly expensive because a lot of manufacturers sell in groups of 10.

2. Basing 4 28mm figures on a 60mm stand can be tedious and depending on the pose almost impossible.

3. Sometimes I morph certain units between Light Infantry and Medium Infantry (ie peltasts and javelinmen) and this is impossible with the system.

I've found a work around the problem, I am standardizing on 3 fig/base for all formed foot, and 2 fig/base for all skirmishers and all mounted. Furthermore instead of gluing them down I am using magnets with steel bases so I can rebase or morph them in the future.

Just wanted to know what other peoples thoughts are on this basing system for 25/28mm figures. I think it was really designed for 15mm in mind and doesn't translate well to the bigger scale.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2010 9:09 a.m. PST

DBR rules based 25mm plus figs as 1 less than the standard 15mm numbers. So all of mine are with those numbers, works fine,
3 or 2 or 1 mounted, likewise foot.

tobermoray11 Sep 2010 9:11 a.m. PST

Phil Barker, bless him, imported the old WRG 25mm basing conventions to DBx. The original WRG Ancients appeared at the end of the 1960s when wargames figures were skinnier. Unfortunately, scale creep happened, but Phil hasn't moved on.

As it goes I remember that trying to fit my Minifigs Palmyran cataphracts on to a 15mm frontage was a bit of a squeeze in the early 1980s…

RobH11 Sep 2010 9:26 a.m. PST

Sounds like you should be looking at the Impetus "diorama" style basing where the number of figures is not critical. Base as many or few on the unit base size as you want/like.

Helps that they are a super set of rules too!

aecurtis Fezian11 Sep 2010 9:34 a.m. PST

After acquiring the rights to WRG 7th, the authors of "Warrior" suggested a "30mm" basing scheme to accommodate today's larger figures. I suspect it has not really taken off, due to the players who are still using their WRG armies from the 1980s! But it was there as an option.


John the OFM11 Sep 2010 12:00 p.m. PST

I suspect it has not really taken off, due to the players who are still using their WRG armies from the 1980s!

You got that right.
There is a very high percentage of crusty old farts playing Warrior. They cherish their PB Minifigs and RAFM armies.

This basing schem wase a joke back in the early 80s, with SHC in particular. Like most geniuses, PB saw what he wanted to see. HIS Hinchliffe and Lamming SHC fitted fine. So what, if Garrison did not?

As for your 1), that is totally irrelevant. Wargaming organization based on cost? Egad. How gauche. grin Although I *have* seen DBM players trying to sell off a single Ps stand, because they had one too many. Too many figures? How silly.

John the OFM11 Sep 2010 12:14 p.m. PST

Actually, to be fair to PB, his system works just fine for "true 25mm".
It's the figures that are to blame, starting with "heroic 25mm" which were fat 26mm, then grew to 28mm. and then became "heroic 28mm", and so on.

However, this scale screep was rampant in 1984, with Garrison, Essex, and even Hinchliffe Late Byzantines. This was ignored, and again the reason was so old fart gamers back then would not have to rebase their armies. That would be all those 1978 barge pole pike Macedonians…

Heck, be glad he did not stick with 3rd edition, which gave 25mm pike armed troops an optional frontage of 10-15mm. I tried it. I could do it with Hinchliffe Seleucid pikemen, by clipping the bases and really cramming them close together. I did fit 6 25mm pikemen on a 60mm frontage base.
But, with that edition, the frontage of the figures themselves matterred, and we only based on 60mm elements for convenience sake. Quite a few people kept them singly based, for such amazing feats as "reduce frontage to one figure, march 120 paces, turn 90 degrees, contract frontage to 4 deep and charge." Ah, those were the days.

Back to your 1) Plastics are new. Since the 80s, blister packs of metals usually had 3-4 cavalry per pack.

Martin Rapier11 Sep 2010 12:38 p.m. PST

" I think it was really designed for 15mm in mind "

No, bases for 15mm figs are 40mm wide.

For modern chunky 28s you are better off going to 80mm wide bases or reducing the figure count, the number of figures is largely irrelevant anyway except as an aide memoire.

The 60mm bases work very well for 1/72nd scale plastic figures (many of whom are actually 25mm high) with standard figure numbers.

bruntonboy11 Sep 2010 2:01 p.m. PST

DBX or FOG basing will work however many figures are on the base. Just use less figures if they won't fit on. Explain to any likely awkward squad members before the game and away yoo go.

On the other hand Impetvs offers a simpler and more attractive basing alternative.

Scott MacPhee11 Sep 2010 2:04 p.m. PST

I've never had a problem fitting 28mm figures on 15mm frontage apiece. It's the 20mm depth that keeps them from fitting. For my recently completed Field of Glory Carthaginan army, I did all the infantry on 60mm x 30mm bases. link

sector5111 Sep 2010 2:06 p.m. PST

2. Basing 4 28mm figures on a 60mm stand can be tedious and depending on the pose almost impossible.

I thought people had decided to base to 80mm wide instead of the recommended 60mm. After all so long as you are consistent you will not have a problem. So wider bases or less figures would make it work.

Major William Martin RM11 Sep 2010 3:37 p.m. PST

The real irony of the WRG basing is that Phil recognized "scale creep" for 15mm figures with the first official amendments after the printing of 6th Edition in 1980. He introduced the "option" of changing the basing for 15-18mm figures to 2/3rds of the frontage for 25mm figures. Almost everyone adopted this new frontage and most of the problems were solved, if you played with 15-18mm figures.

Yes, there was backlash over the change, many had to use sabot bases if they took their armies to tournaments, but gradually the change was accepted by the majority simply because it worked better. Later of course, the "new" 40mm "element" would become the de facto standard in 15-18mm. At the time, many (on both sides of the Big Pond) were asking Phil about changing the standard for larger figures also. But, as John says, any pleas and suggestions fell on deaf ears. I suppose as long as Sue has her old Airfix conversions and Phil has his PB Minifigs, he will never see a reason to change.

Over the years there have been numerous calls to change the 25-28mm basing to simply double that used by DBx and others; i.e., an 80mm frontage for a multiple-figure stand. There have also been calls to use a mathematical calculation and increase individual figure frontage by a set percentage. The sad reality is that, again as John says, so many own such large collections that they will not consider re-basing, and the rules writers themselves keep perpetuating the "standard".

But, here's the conundrum in this issue: Yes, you can blame the rules writers over almost a 30-year period for not "making" us change, and you can blame the "Old Farts" out there for not being willing to re-base, but why do we not blame a few dozen sculptor's and figure manufacturer's who continue to sculpt to their own artistic vision and make our figures larger?

They all know what the more-popular rules sets are. If not, they can easily find out on a Forum like TMP or by picking up one of the glossy mag's. Some, like Warlord apparently, choose to develop rules to fit their figures. Fine, we have the choice of making the buying decision. Others simply churn out the figures and leave everything else up to the buyer. If we disagree that strongly with the fact that the figures won't fit the rules (many of which have long been in existence), then why do we continue to buy the figures? Money does still talk, very loudly.

Sir William the Aged

Whatisitgood4atwork11 Sep 2010 5:55 p.m. PST

If four 25mm foot figures don't fit comfortably on a 60mm base, I use three. It works fine for me. Ditto three horse and using two.


I went to deeper bases and offset them.

dragonfan7912 Sep 2010 1:55 a.m. PST

The DBMM rules give you a range of options for most to allow you to fit bigger models on the bases. As noted above never been an issue for me other than for some chariots and cataphracts


Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 2:49 a.m. PST

As Security Minister Critter 1; deeper bases, and offset.

On the whole (when using deeper cavalry bases) my 28's fit nicely onto their DBx bases.


hwarang12 Sep 2010 5:49 a.m. PST

No, the system does not work as in the book.

I know people who have given up on WRG rules for that reason: Their beloved 28mm minis are not really usable. The many variants that are out there (basing less figures a base, 80mm front etc.) combines with the nosiness DBx has about basing render all that just too impractical and stressy. Unless one is going to supply everything for every game one plans to do…

Martin Rapier12 Sep 2010 6:35 a.m. PST

"Unless one is going to supply everything for every game one plans to do…"

Errr, isn't that what many/most people do?

Outside of tournaments anyway.

RobBrennan12 Sep 2010 7:08 a.m. PST

To echo Dragonfan:

DBMM V2.0 now has a new, more liberal basing scheme for all (same frontage though so its compatible) and 28/30mms get special mention too.

This move accommodates eg 3 HI on a 60mm frontage for 25/28/30mm scale figures. PB has moved on!


JJMicromegas12 Sep 2010 7:11 a.m. PST

Thanks for the responses. Fitting the troops onto the base is just one problem, and as I mentioned I opted to put less troops on each base.

The other problem is the cost associated with having 4 heavy foot and 3 cavalry per base.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 8:26 a.m. PST

It is very much a matter of personal preference.

A lot of ancient troops formed up shoulder to shoulder, and I don't feel that 20mm per figure, or the looser basing of Impetus, gives me that feeling. This especially applies with phalanx. I like the look of densely packed troops; I can get more lead on the table, that way, too!

Having said that, I have seen some wonderfully painted armies on the looser frontages.

Cheers, Simon

aecurtis Fezian12 Sep 2010 8:50 a.m. PST

"…or the looser basing of Impetus…"

Eh? The number of figures on an Impetvs base doesn't matter, so you can pack as many on as you like to give the effect you want. You can have them spilling off the sides, or stacked on top of each other, if you like.

That's not likely to sound right to the folks who stand sucking their teeth, staring at a pack of eight javelinmen, agonizing because they only need two of them for that one Ps base for their DBA army…


Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 9:28 a.m. PST

Hi Allen, but although one can up the recommended level of minis on an Impetus base, people don't seem to do it; often I see a single line of minis. I'd whack twice as many into an area like that.

OTOH I have see some really lovely Impetus basing; rocks, tufts, shrubs, flowers. The rule set really seems to bring the inner gardener out in it's adherents. ;-)

00 JET 0012 Sep 2010 1:26 p.m. PST

The rule set really seems to bring the inner gardener out in its adherents.

Guilty as charged :)

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2010 1:30 p.m. PST

I love a bit of shwubbery myself! :-)

hwarang13 Sep 2010 10:19 a.m. PST

"Unless one is going to supply everything for every game one plans to do…"

Errr, isn't that what many/most people do?

In that case, what do we need standards for?

As you mention; tournaments. I would be as adventurous as to propose that some people like to meet up at a gamestore or such and play against other peoples armies in a friendly game.

Fifty413 Sep 2010 10:28 a.m. PST

My Impetus-based miniatures are all standing in fields of skulls. SKULLS. SKULLS. SKULLS.

Erm…wait…maybe that's a different game…

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