Help support TMP

"round bases for command" Topic

40 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Basing Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Back to the Field of Glory Message Board

Back to the 18th Century Discussion Message Board

Back to the TMP Poll Suggestions Message Board

1,739 hits since 23 May 2012
©1994-2016 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ochoin deach Inactive Member23 May 2012 3:30 a.m. PST

The type of game I've always played stipulated bases with corners.

However, Field of Glory, a rule set we've become heavily involved with, has the option of mounting commanders on circular bases.

I didn't: true to my Old School roots. However, when I saw a friend's "round efforts" I was hooked.

I've now started rebasing commanders in my SYW & Napoleonic armies.

Do you or have you ever used circular bases for commanders (only)?

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 3:59 a.m. PST

Yes---also like the look of them. All my Fire and Fury commanders are on round bases of different sizes depending on whether they are brigade, Division or Corps.

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 4:00 a.m. PST

I'm using round bases for commanders in my Wars of the Roses armies and my 6mm Ancient armies.

plutarch 64 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 4:22 a.m. PST

I think it makes sense from a number of aspects, not least of which is that most are on horseback and a circular base is more difficult to tip over, especially given that they are more likely to be out on their own in between formations.

They are unlikely to be pushed up against opposing units in combat (unless in Ancients), and there is also something vaguely reassuring about the implied all-round vision.

NigelM Inactive Member23 May 2012 4:29 a.m. PST

I use circular bases for command too.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 4:44 a.m. PST

As you were, I was "old school" with rectangular/square bases – until I bought a couple of brigades who came with brigade commanders on round stands

I agree with the above – they don't tip, they stand out nicely from the rank and file – and they also are very easy to add 'superdetail' on the base

In fact, I just finished one last night – a brigade mascot for my Imaginatinon Guards brigade

Larry R Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 5:00 a.m. PST

Sure do, sets them apart from rank and file and due to the fact that in most rule sets commanders have no real combat power just morale factor why not.

yoakley23 May 2012 5:08 a.m. PST

My C-in-cs are all on round bases. (Renaissance and ACW). subordinates on rectangles.

DHautpol23 May 2012 5:19 a.m. PST

I put all my generals on round bases; a general and an ADC on a smaller base for divisional commanders and a general with 2 ADC's on a larger base for corps/army commanders.

I have a few even larger bases with upto 5 figures on for really important commanders like Barclay de Tolly and Kutuzov or for royalty like Napoleon and Alexander.

I used to try and cut my own but now get them from Litko who provide a vast choice.

Steve64 Inactive Member23 May 2012 5:34 a.m. PST

Yes to that.

Another way of looking at it – line units have a front, flanks and rear which are relevant to the game. The commander projects his influence in a radius – so the base is also a metaphor for that.

Dexter Ward23 May 2012 5:42 a.m. PST

I use round bases for WW2 command stands – makes them stand out nicely from the square or rectangular troop stands.
Also works well for commanders in other eras.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 6:20 a.m. PST

I use a system where individual figures are casulties from a multi-figure stand. So I use "wounded" figures mounted on pennies (round) to keep count of how many figures are dead. Better to appearances than caps, pipecleaners or coloured beads. I also have "dead" figures, which are not mounted and get laid down whereever a casulty was taken. It makes for a better looking table and also allows you to later admire the course of the battle.

vojvoda Inactive Member23 May 2012 7:03 a.m. PST

I use Round bases and measure command distance from the head of the commander. I also use triangle and some rectangle and round bases for markers and morale status.
Cuts down on the table clutter.
James Mattes

Altius Inactive Member23 May 2012 7:47 a.m. PST

I typically use round bases for commanders with most of the rule sets that I play. However, for my FoG armies, I went with the rectangular shape so that it could fit into the units in close combat.

Buff Orpington23 May 2012 7:51 a.m. PST

I started doing this with Warmaster, poker chips are a convenient size and usually have a bit of weight to them.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2012 8:10 a.m. PST

Sounds like a pretty good idea – especially in ancients or 20th century+ skirmish where command could easily be confused with the rank and file.

El Gran Capitan Inactive Member23 May 2012 8:24 a.m. PST

Round bases really add dignity to what otherwise would be a mere brawl! I use roundbases for all my ancient and medieval armies. I often mix mounted and dismounted figures and make little dioramas that contain anywhere from three to six or seven figs and other interestng object. I even use them for my own variations of DBA and Armati. When a general decides to enter the fray, I bring the round base next to the read of the chosen element. Round bases afford the opportunity to do more than one historical command diorama for each of your armies.
El Gran Capitan

(I Wet Myself) Inactive Member23 May 2012 9:21 a.m. PST

I use square bases, but I generally have casualties on round bases so I don't confuse the dead and dying with the living. It's a must when you have to keep track of casualties but are using 28mm figures with only a few figures per base. All too easy to get mixed up and have zombie Greek Peltasts attacking the Roman legions.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP23 May 2012 9:36 a.m. PST

Round command stands for going on 20 years now.

I started using them for a new design I was testing back in the early '90s, and just got used to them. I like that they make it easier to percieve the command structure on the field (with different numbers and types of figures depending on their place in the chain of command); but since most wargamers prefer to ignore that aspect completely, or pay it lip service only until the dice begin to roll, I suppose that's not a very big selling point.

Rod MacArthur23 May 2012 9:46 a.m. PST

I converted all my commanders to round (or in fact oval) bases a few years ago. I have only made one casualty figure (as a trial) so far, with a dial to show casualties, and made this on a rectangular base with cut off corners, sort of coffin shaped.


Marshal Mark23 May 2012 12:57 p.m. PST

However, Field of Glory, a rule set we've become heavily involved with, has the option of mounting commanders on circular bases.

I don't think it does actually. I know some people do use circular bases, but the rules say that bases are rectangular and all the same width.

Glengarry 4 Inactive Member23 May 2012 1:22 p.m. PST

My Napoleonics, War of 1812, 7 Yrs War and French & Indian War all use round command bases, with number of figure on the stand indicating rank. Two – three figures for army commanders, one for brigadiers and below. My Samuria command figures are on square bases as they act as actual combat units, representing the Daimyo's Hatamoto.

ochoin deach Inactive Member23 May 2012 2:55 p.m. PST

@ Marshal Mark.

I went & checked the rules & you are so right!

My friends have pulled a 'swiftie' over me (not that it matters).

DeanMoto23 May 2012 2:58 p.m. PST

I use them for Black Powder; found a bunch of cheap (.20 cent) plywood bases that are 3mm thick and about 3 1/4" in diameter. A bit larger in diamter than I would've preferred, but it works with a mounted big hat and a couple of sychopants on foot. Dean

Trierarch23 May 2012 9:07 p.m. PST

Actually on page 90 of FoG:N it does mention the option for round bases.

Otherwise, the rules just require that the command beas be easily distinguishable from others in the army.

I've used round command bases for most periods (not hoplite greeks and early medievals where the base represents the man and his personal following or where he normally stands in the ranks).

Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2012 12:02 a.m. PST

I like to have all the 'markers' on round bases. Let's be honest, most command stands are nothing more than markers. So are the messengers, if your rules use messengers.

Makes it really hard to confuse markers (with no combat effect) with fighting bases.

(As a side note, I don't like 'dial' casualty bases, either. There's some psychology studies that show people see the presence or absence of things more quickly than they see a change on a dial. So instead of one disruption marker with numbers on it, I use one casualty figure per base for Lasalle and Maurice.)

I don't put command stands on round bases for Flames of War, however.

Marshal Mark24 May 2012 6:51 a.m. PST

Otherwise, the rules just require that the command beas be easily distinguishable from others in the army.

Well I'm talking FOG-AM here, so I don't know about FOGN which is a different game. In FOG-AM the rules require that a commanders base be positioned in edge and corner contact with a BG that he is with. So he must be on a rectangular base. I've had situations where a general of mine could move to contact a friendly BG, but was not quite able to reach a proper edge contact position, so he was not able to join the BG.

Karpathian Inactive Member24 May 2012 1:52 p.m. PST

@ MM

I have a marker to put into the front of a battle line if the commander stoops to entering the fray.

Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2012 3:31 p.m. PST

@ Marshal Mark.

I went & checked the rules & you are so right!

My friends have pulled a 'swiftie' over me (not that it matters).

The again, I have used my round based commanders against the authors who like them.

I have gone over to using round 40mm diameter (for 15mm figures) bases with staff and a detachable commander (on a 1p coin, mostly). When the general joins hand-to-hand, the figure comes off the command stand and goes to the front.

I switched to this system a year or so into FoG because I wanted a system that (a) distinguished the Generals from the other (actual fighting) bases; and (b) would enable me to indicate whether the general had joined the melee.

Here are some Medieval command stands


(Generals on and off their bases)

Of course, I have rather more generals than command stands (here are a few) and many games other than FoG, they are fine as personalities just as they are …


(15mm personality figures)

The bases have a patch of steel paper on them and the personality figures have a patch of magnabase on the bottom of the coin. Just to keep them in place …

For me this approach is without a down side.


Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2012 5:43 a.m. PST

As a quick PS for Karpathian, I carry some blank 40x40 spare bases with me.

As well as being right for ambush markers, and marking positions for awkward moves, they can be slipped under the round bases should an opponent prefer having the actual base corners there (rather than being able just to see that the general is in the correct position). After 3 years or so of using them in competitons as well as friendlies, it has never been necessary to get out the square sabots.


John Tyson Inactive Member25 May 2012 5:52 a.m. PST

I still use rectangular stands for my generals. Also, only one figure per stand. They seem to look better for me when attached to a battalion. ADCs can be in base to base contact with the general until detached. I lay the general figure on its side when mortally wounded.

God bless,

Nick The Lemming Inactive Member26 May 2012 1:56 p.m. PST

I prefer round bases for commands too. My 3mm commands are on round bases, so they stand out from the square bases for normal stands, my Saga Normans are on larger bases to make them stand out (everyone is on a pill base if cavalry,or round if infantry), my 15mm and 6mm Napoleonics and SYW are on round bases…The only ones I can think of offhand that aren't are my FoW leaders and my Impetus generals, who are on the bases with the troops.

Andrew Beasley Inactive Member27 May 2012 3:00 p.m. PST

Nope just larger square ones.

I use circular for all skirmish figures though.

Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2012 10:26 a.m. PST

Generally (beyond FoG, which is what this thread was about) I prefer round bases for components that have no facing (like generals in FoG), rectangular bases for components that do have a facing (i.e. where facing and turns etc, are mechanisms in the rules system).

A lot of players like the organisational consistency of 'all my bases rectangular' or 'all my bases round'. I prefer the additional clarity of a difference in the base shape denoting a difference in the function of the piece.

If I played skirmish games at all regularly, it would depend on the machanism (although I do think large quantities of figures on washers look very messy).

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2012 11:01 a.m. PST

Personalley I adopted them 5 years or so ago and am conviced that they work extremely well.

Neojacobin Inactive Member29 May 2012 3:11 p.m. PST

I've mounted my Russian and Bavarian command groups on old CD's. These are about the right size for a general or two, plus some staff officers and synchophants. Also some wrecked guns or tipped over caissons. My Bavarian generals from Front Rank look very grumpy as they ride past a GW signpost that has HANAU written on it.
I'm planning on doing the same with the newish Perry Kutusov grouping I just bought. Absolutely fantastic looking sculpts. Sure wish i could find one of those little Russian one horse carriages to complete the scene.

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2012 5:05 p.m. PST

I stay away from "specialist" basing for anything but arty or mortars and the like. Cuts down on targeting commanders.

Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2012 5:10 p.m. PST

You can't target commanders in Field of Glory.

Il Condottiero06 Jun 2012 12:21 p.m. PST

Love the look of round bases for commanders. Really sets them apart.

reds21 Inactive Member07 Jun 2012 6:13 a.m. PST

I've always thought round bases look good for command. I use 2p coins with 1 mounted command figure for divisional commanders and 2 figures for corps commanders but regressed to square with 3 figures for the senior corps commanders – 10p coins seemed way too expensive

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.