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"Saying goodbye to Base-To-Base contact" Topic


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Nathaniel22 Aug 2012 3:21 p.m. PST

So I've been playing a lot of Warmachine/Hordes over the last few years in addition to my historical interests. One thing that game has is a melee reach of one half or two inches depending on the unit in question.

Now when I play a traditional miniatures game, I find any time you need to make base to base contact to be annoying. Atleast compared to lining them up and being a bit away and calling it good.

So I'm thinking of applying this approach at the one base = one brigade level for Napoleonics. Just get within half an inch or so and that's that. So if there happens to be a musket bayonet sticking forward off the base, the're no puzzle fitting to getting them together.

So I think I might be saying goodbye to base-to-base contact and taking a more relaxed approach where things just need to get close enough and there's no need to jam our miniatures right up against eachother if we don't want to.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 3:29 p.m. PST

Fine. As long as you have the movement to get to base to base contact.

MacDuff Inactive Member22 Aug 2012 3:31 p.m. PST

The old Morschauser rules from 1962 had a 3" melee range and I adopted it for a while until I found too many awkward moments but something less than contact can be good as long as people can tell you is in and who is out.

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member22 Aug 2012 3:31 p.m. PST

B2B contact was always fiddly because it encourages various gimmicky contacts like "clipping" or trying to get just that perfect angle to get the flank bonus, etc.

But having "contact" at a distance is no better. It just has different problems, which are in many ways more abstract. First, whatever distance you set, will get fiddled with: are you within one inch… or exactly one inch away, or a micro-fraction over, and so on. More importantly, how shall we measure the distances? If I'm attacking you and I need to be within one inch, then can I just get one tiny proportion of my unit within one inch? Can I measure from any side, or just from the front edge? Can I measure from any point of the front edge, or just from a specific base? Does that specific base change location within the unit if the unit changes formation or if bases are removed for combat loss, and does that then change how the unit judges what is "close enough"? Do I get to count my full combat strength, even if only a tiny proportion of my unit is close enough, and so on.

Gamers are fiddly. They look for advantages and loopholes. You're not going to change that by switching from one method of contact to another.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 3:53 p.m. PST

I don't really see the difference between one or the other as far as fiddliness, noch ein Pils is right as far as that goes.

The advantage to B2B is that there is no question about whether it is happening or not.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 4:01 p.m. PST

I agree with Flashman14.
As to noch ein Pils' issue I think the old 'all measurements are to be taken from the center face of the unit' rule should do. Even where the flank, or the rear are concerned. The unit's flank has a center, after all…
A proper gentlemen's agreement should be entered into before the beginning of the game. If such should prove impossible one should consider it time to find other people to game with.

Mobius22 Aug 2012 4:23 p.m. PST

What kind of fish do you want to make contact?
.
.
.
Oh, BASE. I thought you meant…. never mind.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 4:53 p.m. PST

Mobius you just about made me spit soda all over my computer!
Thanks, I needed that.

Shagnasty22 Aug 2012 5:05 p.m. PST

I'm with Pictors Studio on this.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 5:33 p.m. PST

While I can agree about fiddliness. I find that figures such as my new Dervish have sword blades that jut out beyond their unit's front. While breaking the bayonet off a figure is a problem, breaking off a sword blade disarms said figure.
I have long had an extreme distaste for those who play games where, 'If you aint cheating you aint trying hard enough.' seems to be their philosophy.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Aug 2012 6:21 p.m. PST

If my fellow gamers are going to argue about whether I am inside an inch, at exactly an inch, or just over I find new guys to play with. I prefer a "hey, I'm stopping just outside melee range here" to which the reply should be "got it."

No measuring needed.

Nathaniel22 Aug 2012 10:14 p.m. PST

Incoming multi-reply

noch ein Pils: More importantly, how shall we measure the distances? If I'm attacking you and I need to be within one inch, then can I just get one tiny proportion of my unit within one inch?

I'd recommend getting a measuring template. An extra base might be the right size if, for example, you play with 40mm x 20mm stands and make 20mm the engagement range. Warmachine has a template that is basically 2" x .5" and it works great.

As for the follow up question, How does it work in the same rules with base to base contact? Can you make base to base contact with just a tiny portion of your unit?

Either way, pick an answer and apply it fairly across the board.

Can I measure from any side, or just from the front edge?

How does it work in the same rules with base to base contact? Can you engage from the side by going in base to base? If not there, why add it here? Either way, Pick an answer and apply it fairly across the board.

Can I measure from any point of the front edge, or just from a specific base?

How does it work in the same rules with base to base contact? Pick an answer and apply it fairly across the board. Though I'd probably not use specific bases. That sounds like more trouble than its worth. For example:

Does that specific base change location within the unit if the unit changes formation or if bases are removed for combat loss, and does that then change how the unit judges what is "close enough"? Do I get to count my full combat strength, even if only a tiny proportion of my unit is close enough, and so on.

That's reason enough not to go with specific bases. Do specific bases matter when it's base to base? No, so don't add that complication here. (Actually now I need to ask, are there really rules out there where only certain bases in a given unit can contact the enemy and others can't?, even if they're right beside it in formation?)

Gamers are fiddly. They look for advantages and loopholes. You're not going to change that by switching from one method of contact to another.

That's solved by not gaming with advantage seekers.

And I think all of the fidly issues you raised with engaging slightly outside of base to base are non-issues. Simply looking at how the rules apply where you contact other bases and how and then using those same approaches when measuring solves all of them.

Extra Crispy: If my fellow gamers are going to argue about whether I am inside an inch, at exactly an inch, or just over I find new guys to play with. I prefer a "hey, I'm stopping just outside melee range here" to which the reply should be "got it."

No measuring needed.

Excellent post. Verbal communication of intent should be all that's needed.

Though sometimes an advance that doesn't quite carry far enough, fast enough is exciting, so I'd still probably stick down a measuring template and quickly check-- if everyone is cool with that at the table. Sometimes it's fun to advance at an enemy line and not arrive before the muskets managed to reload and let loose another volley.

Pictors Studio: The advantage to B2B is that there is no question about whether it is happening or not.

I don't think I've ever been confused as to whether or not two models are engaged in melee in Warmachine (and that game has tons of complicated rules interactions regarding engaged, engaging, in melee combat, etc.,). Why would it suddenly be an issue in Napoleonics?

Glengarry 4 Inactive Member22 Aug 2012 11:14 p.m. PST

All these problems would be solved if you had a referee who is prepared to lay down the law and end the bickering with a simple "Because I say so, get on with the game."

12345678 Inactive Member22 Aug 2012 11:56 p.m. PST

Having read the OP, I fail to see the problem that this approach is supposed to solve, unless one plays with overly competitive types who need to win at all cost.

rabbit23 Aug 2012 1:50 a.m. PST

Make your bases bigger, the depth of a base is way out of proportion to the width, especially for cavalry, and for those of you who base in two ranks, completely disproportionate (not intended as a criticism).

Since most of us have moved away from Bruce Quarrie's rules and we no longer have to cope with the concept of "bounce" from artillery fire, the depth of a unit on the table does not matter too much. I have recently re based a number of cavalry units so that no part of the figure hangs over the base edge, I realise this is not so easy for infantry, but it would answer the issue. Even if only a little larger the bayonet would not overhang quite so much

rabbit

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2012 3:02 a.m. PST

Perfect angles and micro-distances somehow strike me as red herrings: Mle should be about cohesion and morale surely, not about distances? If unit A has the motivation (belief in its own advantage, or fear of its officers and NCOs) to move in on unit B, it will do so and not stop a few yards shy of it – unless its lan is shattered by Bs defensive fire… And unless it started out from unit B's flank or rear, unit A is not going to achieve the at least partial surprise that is inherent in a flank attack bonus.

Nathaniel23 Aug 2012 3:40 a.m. PST

colinjallen: Having read the OP, I fail to see the problem that this approach is supposed to solve, unless one plays with overly competitive types who need to win at all cost.

5 years ago before I started playing Warmachine, I probably would have said the exact same thing. Since it's been the game I've played the most over the last few years, when I go back to a game that demands base to base contact, I find it quite jarring.

There's the issue of parts of the models poking off of bases and getting in the way. Less of an issue if you have big bases, but it still happens.

There's the issue of model to model contact. Less chance of damage if you don't actually touch the models together. Not an issue for some, but I've seen figures knocked over because models were all too close to one another.

It can speed up moving models as if you have half an inch of range, you can measure your distance to the target and just put the models an short distance away. When you move multiple stands, measuring once and undermoving them without remeasuring can really speed things up. When you move the next stand to be in formation with the one you just moved, you don't also have to make it align up against the enemy stand as well. Maybe other people are faster at that than me, but I find being able to just plunk them down a quarter of an inch or so from the enemy to be faster than lining them up against the enemy bases.

It just feels like having some breathing room.

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member23 Aug 2012 4:39 a.m. PST

"Do specific bases matter when it's base to base? No, so don't add that complication here."

Of course they do. In many games, units have variable numbers of bases, or the numbers of bases determines their strength (Warhammer, Tactica, Fire and Fury, Black Powder, Napoleon's Battles, etc.) Since contacts often result in multiple units on each side being partially in contact, each with one or more enemies, you're always having to figure out what proportion of your unit is in contact with enemy A and what portion with enemy B. To do that, you have to count bases. (Or come up with some other method, such as setting a "center point" on one base, and then an imaginary line showing what proportion of the enemy is here, and what proportion is there, etc.)

"(Actually now I need to ask, are there really rules out there where only certain bases in a given unit can contact the enemy and others can't?, even if they're right beside it in formation?)"

Answered above. But that wasn't the point. The point was: if you have a large, powerful unit with, say, 8 bases, and one of them is within 1" of an enemy with only, say, three bases, then what are the odds in this combat? Is it 8-vs-3? Or is it 1-vs-3? In other words: you still face all the same questions of calculation that you would face if you used B2B contacts. Just moving the contact point out one inch hasn't changed, or solved, anything.

I don't know much about Warmachine, but if I understand correctly, it uses lots of single, individually-based figures, yes? And the figures of a unit don't have to be in base-contact with each other, right?

The physics of a game like that are very different from a game in which a unit is several tightly-packed and arranged bases in a limited number of formations, such as in Ancient or Horse-n-Musket games.

"Verbal communication of intent should be all that's needed."

Everybody loves to say that. And yet if you go to the chat Forums of any war-game publisher, 90% of the questions you'll see have to do with people trying to stretch and milk the rules to get the maximum possible advantage by finding some loophole or something not specifically prohibited. I could give you a hundred examples. A guy asked about the combat results, which spell out what happens to the Winning side and the Losing side, and he wanted to know: "If one side Wins, does that mean the other side loses?" Another guy tried to argue that because I used a capital "T" in the word "Turn" on page 66, it must mean something different from all the other uses of the word "turn" throughout the book… And Hey, that's really confusing, and you need to do something about this confusion!

I hired that guy as a playtester. Anybody who can scour a rulebook that thoroughly, is surely destined to be a proofreader.

Every gamer likes to think that he's the one easy-going and laid-back gamer, and it's everybody else who is fiddly.

Phil Dutre23 Aug 2012 5:03 a.m. PST

You have to distinguish between two issues here:

1. Measurement. Replacing base-to-base contact with a distance doesn't solve issues related to accurate measuring (depending on the tolerances allowed within a player group), as has been pointed out. It might make things somewhat easier w.r.t. handling and positioning the figures.

2. Combat Resolution. There are quite a few rulesets that do not require base-to-base contact for the melee phase, but e.g. a distance of 4cm. The idea is that 'melee' is the action that is happening when two units are close enough, including shouting, cursing, very close range fire, throwing things, and yes, sometimes, but not always, actual hand-to-hand fighting. Since accounts of actual battles specify distances when this activity started to take place, and when these distances are translated to the table, one finds that base-to-base is sometimes (depending on scale), too strict. All these factors are grouped into the 'melee phase', the idea being one has a more smooth transition between firing (troops at a distance) and melee (troops in close range).

I guess the requirements for being in base-to-base contact goes back to HG Wells, reinforced by the wargmaing rules of the 60s.
However, something more interesting is at hand, namely the different combat resolution mechanisms most rules are using for resolving fire, and resolving melee. The idea usually is, that one does fire in one's own turn, and only the firer is able to inflict casualties. In melee, the active player should be able to take hits as well (the opponent strikes back), hence a different mechanism is needed. I guess the requirement of being in base-to-base contact reinforces that idea.
IMO, a ruleset that has the same mechanism for fire and melee (albeit with modifiers), and allows both sides to fire/melee during a turn, provides a more elegant and smoother combat resolution engine than having two different systems in place.

Dave Crowell23 Aug 2012 6:05 a.m. PST

I see an inherent problem with using the same mechanism to resolve fire and melee.

They are quite different events. The consequences for units, the means of delivering those consequences, and the effects on the course of the battle, all quite different.

Using the same process works in an abstract game, but not in a detailed game.

There is also a problem with "melee occurs at a distance" rather than "melee occurs in contact". This fails to model situations where ground scale is significantly larger than figure scale and melee involves only exchange of blows, not close range missile fire as well.

For skirmish style games engagement at a short distance is fine. But it really feels wrong for games where a base of 3 figures represents 300 men in a unit of a thousand or more.

MajorB23 Aug 2012 6:13 a.m. PST

A guy asked about the combat results, which spell out what happens to the Winning side and the Losing side, and he wanted to know: "If one side Wins, does that mean the other side loses?" Another guy tried to argue that because I used a capital "T" in the word "Turn" on page 66, it must mean something different from all the other uses of the word "turn" throughout the book…

Rules lawyers! Don't you just love 'em (or hate 'em?)!!!

MajorB23 Aug 2012 6:16 a.m. PST

I guess the requirements for being in base-to-base contact goes back to HG Wells

Well, not quite. To quote the man himself:
"Men may be moved up into virtual contact (one-eighth of an inch or closer) with men of the opposite side …
All the men in contact, and any other men within six inches of the men in contact … are supposed to take part in the melee."
Little Wars, p48

Wartopia Inactive Member23 Aug 2012 7:04 a.m. PST

I like the idea and do believe there's a difference between "melee within 2" and base-to-base contact. The difference is human nature.

I see the same thing when using measuring sticks instead of rulers or tape measures. Had a gamer a ruler/tape and, seeing all those tiny marks, he becomes a hyper detailed worry-wort and starts paying attention to fractions of an inch. Had him a measuring stick with no increment greater than, say, 3" or 4" and he totally chill-axes.

For our 28mm home rules no measurement is less than 6" and we use 12" measuring sticks painted half tan and half green. Simply due to human nature players tend to relax more with the measuring sticks.

With b-2-b contact players get fiddly with positioning. They can't do that with as easily with gap-y melee.

I also like the idea that models don't need to bump each other to fight a melee. Whether 15mm pikemen or 28mm chainsaw-wielding space marines having a bit of space between combatants saves the models some wear and tear and in 28mm actually looks better than having the models pressing their bodies against one another.

Nathaniel23 Aug 2012 7:12 a.m. PST

noch ein Pils: Answered above. But that wasn't the point. The point was: if you have a large, powerful unit with, say, 8 bases, and one of them is within 1" of an enemy with only, say, three bases, then what are the odds in this combat? Is it 8-vs-3? Or is it 1-vs-3? In other words: you still face all the same questions of calculation that you would face if you used B2B contacts. Just moving the contact point out one inch hasn't changed, or solved, anything.

Great post in general, and I see what you're getting at.

I'm fine with not having an advantage in this area over demanding base-to-base contact.

The specific application of this idea to different rules sets would depend on factors like whether or not bases fight bases or units fight units.

The physics of a game like that [warmachine] are very different from a game in which a unit is several tightly-packed and arranged bases in a limited number of formations, such as in Ancient or Horse-n-Musket games.

Excellent point. I'm probably not a normal Napoleonics player, but I generally play a base being a brigade and while I don't necessarily have multi-base units, I do end up with brigades in formations with one another as parts of divisions.

So while I do keep things in historical formations on the divison level (I use some house rules that would likely be unpopular here to accomplish that) I tend to have games that have the same sort of base count as a decent sized warmachine game. Instead of roundish blobs of individual bases like in warmachine, I have lines and collumns of rectangular brigades forming up divisions. Sometimes right up against eachother, sometimes spread out to represent covering a wider frontage.

Everybody loves to say that. And yet if you go to the chat Forums of any war-game publisher, 90% of the questions you'll see have to do with people trying to stretch and milk the rules to get the maximum possible advantage by finding some loophole or something not specifically prohibited.

Every gamer likes to think that he's the one easy-going and laid-back gamer, and it's everybody else who is fiddly.

LOL! Great point.

Warmachine is a game designed for competitive play from the ground up. It's full of glossary terms that have specific meanings and it's meant to be played taking everything literally. It should be a rules lawyer's dream, yet it's air tight enough that such abuses don't survive scrutiny. And Privateer does a great job with answering rules questions and making erratas and stuff.

Playing in that setting eventually really mellowed me on my miniature gaming. I played in enough tournaments that I got sick of competitive gaming. So I'd probably be considered really fidly in my "what makes sense to you?" approach. I know my Pathfinder RPG group is getting a bit sick of me asking the player of a character that when his character gets in a sticky situation not quite covered by the rules.

I think one area using a melee gauge to measure close distances has made me more of a stickler is that I'm now used to measuring small distances a lot more often as sticking a gauge down is really, really easy. Like all those people with those ZOC metres who play DBA. They just love using those! :D

Phil Dutre: You have to distinguish between two issues here:

1. Measurement. Replacing base-to-base contact with a distance doesn't solve issues related to accurate measuring (depending on the tolerances allowed within a player group), as has been pointed out. It might make things somewhat easier w.r.t. handling and positioning the figures.

Very thoughtful post-- thanks!

I guess I've grown used to pretty accurate measuring (Warmachine demands it) but since I played in a lot of tournaments with timed turns, it means you have to go fast. Like super fast.

If you measure one guy, you can move the others in his unit less than that and just place them fast. In that competitive environment and with the timed turns, you can't fudge it in a way that gives you more movement or you'll get called on it. So if times an issue, you accept a little inefficiency in distance moved and move obviously less. If you have a half inch (or two inches for the guys with reach weapons) you don't get punished for not moving directly into base to base.

2. Combat Resolution. There are quite a few rulesets that do not require base-to-base contact for the melee phase, but e.g. a distance of 4cm. The idea is that 'melee' is the action that is happening when two units are close enough, including shouting, cursing, very close range fire, throwing things, and yes, sometimes, but not always, actual hand-to-hand fighting. Since accounts of actual battles specify distances when this activity started to take place, and when these distances are translated to the table, one finds that base-to-base is sometimes (depending on scale), too strict. All these factors are grouped into the 'melee phase', the idea being one has a more smooth transition between firing (troops at a distance) and melee (troops in close range).

That's sort of how I think of it. Especially given that I like one base to be a brigade.

I guess the requirements for being in base-to-base contact goes back to HG Wells, reinforced by the wargmaing rules of the 60s.

I figured it was a pretty old tradition, but didn't expect it to go back to HG Wells.

However, something more interesting is at hand, namely the different combat resolution mechanisms most rules are using for resolving fire, and resolving melee. The idea usually is, that one does fire in one's own turn, and only the firer is able to inflict casualties. In melee, the active player should be able to take hits as well (the opponent strikes back), hence a different mechanism is needed. I guess the requirement of being in base-to-base contact reinforces that idea.

I tend to do simultaneous everything. If one side fires, both sides are firing and then the results are applied. I use a cobbled together simple system inspired by DBA, Fast Play Grande Armee and a variety of more obscure rules sets like Neil Thomas's Simplicity In Practice article from Battle Games magazine (and the freewargamerules.co,uk site).

IMO, a ruleset that has the same mechanism for fire and melee (albeit with modifiers), and allows both sides to fire/melee during a turn, provides a more elegant and smoother combat resolution engine than having two different systems in place.

I've been going with either a small handful of dice being rolled with sixes being hits. Modifiers change the number of dice. Other times, I've gone with a DBA/DBN like system where you both roll and apply the results to the loser. I tend to handle things with universal mechanics rather than having a lot of subsystems.

I took a bunch of stats courses back in the day and make sure I get somewhat in the same ballpark so anyone I invite to the game can get used to the performanc levels of their brigades if they're a repeat player.

Dave Crowell: They are quite different events [melee and firing]. The consequences for units, the means of delivering those consequences, and the effects on the course of the battle, all quite different.

Using the same process works in an abstract game, but not in a detailed game.

Fair enough. But what if the final step of the resolution is where the differences are modelled? What if you roll the same general dice mechanic and add the same sort of modifiers, but the results are applied differently to reflect the situation? Perhaps a good middle ground between detailed and abstract could be found with that approach.

There is also a problem with "melee occurs at a distance" rather than "melee occurs in contact". This fails to model situations where ground scale is significantly larger than figure scale and melee involves only exchange of blows, not close range missile fire as well.

So if your mechanics assume exchange of physical blows and you add a "melee occurs at a distance" you've got contradictory mechanics going on. That would be an issue. I don't think that necessarily has anything to do with ground scale though.

For skirmish style games engagement at a short distance is fine. But it really feels wrong for games where a base of 3 figures represents 300 men in a unit of a thousand or more.

But what about where 8 figures represent 1500+ men formed into multiple battallions that could be arranged in many different ways? The exact location of another human body that you stab with your bayonet is never going to be defined. The brigade might extend further than the base and an abstraction is unavoidable. Having a melee range that extends beyond base to base like how Phil Dutre described in his second point definitely fits there. And it meshes with your point about abstract vs detailed.

I think the one base = one company approach where you can arrange a battallion into different formations and are concerned about details like the specific location of a given rank or file on the edge of a formation is directly linked to the ground scale isn't going to really work well with a more abstract approach of a melee distance and not using base to base.

le Grande Quartier General Inactive Member23 Aug 2012 9:36 a.m. PST

All measurements for fire and charges are give or take 1/2 inch (25 paces)on the home table. If you are in, you are in but if you are a half-inch or less out its a die roll if need be. I dont use rules where 25 paces makes an extreme difference very often, but anyone can call for a die roll when it does or they think it does-the die is rolled- even you get it if you want it, odd you don't. Everything is slightly abstracted on a table anyway, so absoloutly no loss of 'realisim' occours- It encourages less fussiness, and for players to develop an eye for making sure they are in position to do what they want to do with a little room to spare- as any commander should. Make things easier all around, not more difficult, experience has shown.

Rallynow23 Aug 2012 10:24 a.m. PST

I don't see a problem with base to base contact. I have never heard of anyone having an issue with this before. All the figures I have that are pointing a sword forward or has their bayonet sloped, I just put that figure at the back of the base. That way the sword or bayonet does not stick out beyond the base. Problem solved.

If your base is not wide enough then switch to a half inch wider base. I did that with TDFG and it worked fine. If the people you game with keeps breaking your figures then I would find a new group.

I agree with an earlier post, nobody thinks they are a rules lawyer until the middle of the game when everything henge's on how many bases must make contact, etc. You will constantly see other players rifling through the rules to find a legitimate rule for a particular situation. I don't have a problem with that. Are we going to play by the rules or not? These are the same folks who hate using instant replay in sports. Let's get it right.

It seems every time someone finds a rule that prevents the other player from doing something then that player points and cries "rules lawyer, get your torches and pitchforks out! He is making me play by the rules. Unfair this guy actually read the rules."

I don't like to think myself as a rules lawyer but speaking for myself and the guys I game with, if the rules say the bases must make contact, then the bases need to make contact. How do I know you actually made contact? If there is any space showing then you did not make contact. Some authors have very good reasons for the way they word a particular rule.

Comparing Warmaster to historical wargame rules is like comparing apples and oranges, well actually it is like comparing apples and staplers or spoons and pumpkins.

Rallynow23 Aug 2012 10:29 a.m. PST

Nathaniel:

I have to ask, when you make base to base contact are you literally slamming the bases into one another? If you are then stop slamming them and just gently bring them into conatct.

Nathaniel23 Aug 2012 1:53 p.m. PST

LOL. Of course I'm not slamming them together. Why would anyone ever do that?

I'm beginning to see that this is one of those traditional wargaming things that people who never happen across a rules set that handles it differently, will never ever even question it. To the point that if someone doesn't like base to base contact, they must be smashing their models together or something.

Rallynow: I don't see a problem with base to base contact. I have never heard of anyone having an issue with this before.

Well, I've been pretty comprehensive about the issues. It's sad that you think I must be smashing my models together or something. I thought I had been pretty clear about why I don't like it anymore.

I think this might simply be a case of playing a certain way and getting used to it and then liking it. Prior to playing a game that has melee engagement outside of base to base contact, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. I just would have assumed that base-to-base contact was an inevitable part of miniature gaming and not ever questioned why its done or if I should bother with it.

All the figures I have that are pointing a sword forward or has their bayonet sloped, I just put that figure at the back of the base. That way the sword or bayonet does not stick out beyond the base. Problem solved.

This can work in most cases. We've had a lot of scale creep over the years and sometimes someone's available table size can't really be increased, so the base widths stay the same and the bases get a bit more crowded.

The issue of weapons and whatnot sticking off of bases is a very, very minor one.

One thing I really like about 6mm is that I don't think I've ever seen a model with any part of it poking off the base. I definitley see quite regularly it in 15/18mm, 20mm and 25/28mm though.

Comparing Warmaster to historical wargame rules is like comparing apples and oranges, well actually it is like comparing apples and staplers or spoons and pumpkins.

Well, it was Warmachine. And it's got these things called miniatures. And they're on bases. And there are these rules about moving them, when you move them, How far you move them. Oh, and if you, y'know, want to attack your opponent's forces, it's got these procedures you can go through to resolve melee and ranged combat. And there are these scenario objectives. And at the end of the game, you know which force won. Crazy how it's so different from historicals. It's like comparing apples and staplers or spoons and pumpins :D

Gonsalvo23 Aug 2012 7:02 p.m. PST

Of course, one could just use a gridded board; all ambiguity removed… St least theoretically!

Peter

Nathaniel24 Aug 2012 3:53 a.m. PST

I was actually thinking of taking a closer look at Command & Colours: Napoleonics.

OSchmidt24 Aug 2012 5:10 a.m. PST

Not a problem for me. In my rules combat is simultaneous and melee and fire takes palce at the same time. Base fire (and melee range) is 8" (the frontage of an infantry unit) and troops within that can either use their melee or charge values. Doesn't matter how far the stands are away from each other as the turns are more or less hourly turns and there can be all sorts of small and sharp actions and tempos of action in such a case. There is no charging in my game, you simply move within range and have at it. Thus if a cavalry unit is within 8" of an enemy it can use its charge value, and it's assumed there could be many small charges and actions in the time of the hour.

I also don't like base to base contact. Good way to get the muskets and bayonets froken, the pikes and partizan and colors knocked out of hands, and the figures bent. I mount an entire regiment on one stand (4" by 8") with a generous shelf in front to keep the muskets away from the edge where "the claw" (a gamers hand trying to pick up the stand like a crane shovel" won't bend them.

So within the 8" range the infantry can use their fire value (which is larger than their melee value, and the cavalry can use their melee value and in the "fog of war" -- the "swirling and confused alarms of close actoun among the powder smoke and noise"-- it works very well.

Nathaniel24 Aug 2012 7:59 a.m. PST

That sounds really interesting. Especially the big 8" bases! I think when you're talking about an hour for a turn, you definitely need to abstract the position of models a bit. I like the idea of having a combat range equal to the base width.

I also LOLed at "the claw." I guess the best way to move those big bases would be both hands from either side rather than crane-shoveling them with a single hand.

OSchmidt24 Aug 2012 9:41 a.m. PST

Dear Nathaniel

The reson for the big basis is simple. It's for looks. I game in the 18th century and I got heartily tired of people just jumbling small stands around and I got tired of how scraggly the formations looked. So now I have these big stands with the 30mm figures in a proper three ranks with NCo's on the corners, colors in the center, with musicians and officers etc. I LOOKS like a unit in the 18th century. Well- it looks like a unit in the paingings and drawings of battles of the 18th century, which of course must be true. it also spares the bayonets and muskets, standards and colors and the horses legs.

The combat range equal to the base width is also quite realistic. In the 18th century effective musket range was only about 100 yards. If you measure the frontage of an infantry battalion it's about 100 yards Through the ages as you move forward in time the ranges get longer though the formations become more attenuated and the frontage gets wider too! So I decided to simply go with the range-= frontabe. Elite troops (light and grenadiers) can fire 16" etc. Cavalry are about 6" by 5 inches. Ther's 30 to 42 figures on a single stand. It also protects the weaker figures. I put them on the inside of the stand, and especially for cavalry will put reinforced horses on the edges (horses with a hard wire strut through the base or drilled into the legs.

The other advantage of the large stand is that it allows me to dress them up with all sorts of different figures. For example the Regiment Floatsam und Jetzam, (The Princessly Marines) has its regimental mascot following it in back under charge of an NCO. The mascot is a navy seal. Yes, a real seal in a large wooden tub on a wheel barrel. On another regiment, in three rank firing line (kneeling, firing, loading) in bac of the stand there are two NCO's on stools with a camp table and chessboard between them. In another a Turkish dancing girl is exhibiting herself to a feldwebel. I'm presently working on another regiment in three rnak firing line, with each musket having a small flag protruding from the muzzle which says "BANG" on it.

Thanks for the kind words and compliments.

Nathaniel24 Aug 2012 9:47 a.m. PST

Sounds great! Definetly post a link if you ever get around to taking some pictures.

I like your idea of combining multi-base units into a single stand. I've been doing that with magnetic sheets and steel bases for a while, but a single stand would be even sturdier than that.

USAFpilot24 Aug 2012 1:23 p.m. PST

What rabbit said, make your bases bigger. Or your figures smaller. I base my 15mm figures for Might of Arms on bases prescribed by the rules for 25mm. In other words, I play the rules as if I'm playing with 25mm figures. Works great, no over hanging spears getting bent as bases move into contact.

Wartopia Inactive Member24 Aug 2012 1:50 p.m. PST

Otto's large unit stands are truly inspiring!

Like range-based melee, measuring sticks, and even grids, I find big unit bases make gamers more relaxed and less picky.

I mentioned this in another thread but it bears mentioning again: some of my favorite conVention games were Otto's huge fantasy-renaissance battles. Huge unit bases, big hexes, easy rules, and a light hearted, creative approach that was "epically operatic". :-)

spontoon Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2012 3:59 p.m. PST

Use only March Attack pose figures and insist on base to base!

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