Help support TMP

"Which one is more annoying? (basing issue)" Topic

29 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 Game Design Message Board

Areas of Interest


1,003 hits since 6 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Frank Wang Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 5:29 p.m. PST

1, Individual base (warhammer like), you have to pile them one by one before playing, remove each base according to the wounds.
2, Stand (DBx like), maybe you need kinds of markers on the table.

so, which one is more annoying? Piling bases or placing markers?
Now I feel very confused and this is related to my rules. Personally I don't like markers, i want a clean table but individual bases are really waste of time.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 5:39 p.m. PST

I like individual bases for skirmish but for sure stands for Grand Tactical – some rules you take off stands, while for others we try to use discrete dice for markers

Dave Crowell06 Feb 2018 6:36 p.m. PST

Keeping track of casualties on a roster sheet is most annoying.

I can usually find some sort of appropriate looking casualty figures or other unobtrusive markers if needed to show casualties on the table. One trick I have learned is to mark the side edges of a casualty base with numbers of stripes to show a number of casualties, just turn the base so the right number shows.

For games larger than skirmish that use individual figures piled into ordered units I usually make a number of multi-figure bases and then a few ones and two to make change for casualties.

Games like TSATF or WH40K where there can be multiple units of 10-20 individualy based figures running around the tabletop are a real pain. Moving 100+ individual figures each turn is just not worth it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 6:39 p.m. PST

And don't forget the annoyance of roster systems: "subtract 2 points for fatigue, clear three points in the Rally Phase, and remember you can't exceed twice lowest strength--but was that the 12th Foot of the 21st?"

Me? Individual removal (with movement trays) up to about 200 castings and no smaller than 1/72, but no wounds outside of skirmish games: you're counting unit strength, not checking who has a game knee. Might be one marker for unit status, as in "pinned" or "routed."

Smaller than 1/72 I don't like handling individual figures and prefer to remove stands. In a pinch with 15's, I'll put a toothpick through a stand: to the right of the toothpick is alive. But below 15mm, the stand is alive or dead--no marker whatever.

There are rules by the thousand out there. You can have a clean table if you insist on one.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 7:58 p.m. PST

Remove whole stands only.

If you must count individual figures lost, base singly, use sabots if helpful for movement.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 8:29 p.m. PST

My Sword and the Flame/Flames of Liberty armies are set on the table in movement trays. Figures are taken off when needed.
We find that individually based figures are only a problem if you have too many units or figures.
If you are playing TSATF with 800 figures per side, you are certifiably nuts and should be sent away to a quiet place.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 8:30 p.m. PST

Pile? I don't understand the use of that word.

PatrickWR06 Feb 2018 8:45 p.m. PST

I don't like stands for lots of reasons. It makes the figures less useful in other games, like D&D where you need individually based figures. Stands also require bookkeeping or markers next to units (or both) which I don't like.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 10:27 p.m. PST

Not just me then, Winston!

A pile implies a heap of stuff on top of each other. I'm sure the OP means something else….

advocate06 Feb 2018 11:23 p.m. PST

If I use individual figures for bigger than a platoon per side, I use movement trays. If I'm using elements which can take hits, I use markers – ideally casualties – but I'd prefer only one or two per element.

Personal logo Frank Wang Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 11:37 p.m. PST

@Winston Smith and @Cerdic:
sorry, I mean put them into ranks and files.
Not good at English


UshCha07 Feb 2018 1:32 a.m. PST

I personally am horified by some of the markers I see feom White curtain rings to Bright orange background printed text. Markers like that are massively intrusive.


These are markers I use. Shaped plastic to show the mode of the troops and a pale Grey (definitely not white) center to show status (a number). This is written using a dry wipe marker pen and can be changed far faster than finding a different marker.

Logicaly markers make more sence. Casualties untill disaster srikes are not as high as wargamersr often assume and the frontage of a unit is usually maintained even with losses so taking off bases is not ideal. A DISCREET maker is ideal. I have no truck with commecial firms that make such intrusive markers, are their customers really lnspired by the "OOW LOOK PRETTy (Intrusive)MARKERS".

Dexter Ward07 Feb 2018 2:36 a.m. PST

Stands are much better for anything other than skirmish games.
In ancient battles, there were very few casualties until a unit broke, so taking figures off is misleading anyway.
It's unit cohesion you need to track, and that's no harder with stands than single bases.

Dagwood07 Feb 2018 3:16 a.m. PST

I find small dice to be unobtrusive, at least for 25mm figures. The dice I use are 2mm or so cubes, green or black, intended for necklaces so with holes through them from 1 to 6. Can be used for numbers 1 to 5, which is fine !

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2018 3:48 a.m. PST

Your English is fine, Frank. Much better than I speak any foreign language these days.

But generally speaking, you wind up with markers on the board because you want a closer count of losses than your basing would otherwise allow. I prefer the cleaner table myself, but there's no right answer.

whitejamest07 Feb 2018 6:18 a.m. PST

Personally I like having individually based figures, for the flexibility. Easier to field units for a large variety of games.

You can always turn them into a stand by putting them on a movement base, and if you want treat them just like a stand, keeping track of casualties with markers. Nothing forces you to pull figures off if you don't want to.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Feb 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

I don't think either one is annoying.

What mechanisms you use should be driven by how you want the game to flow.

For most of my games, I have individually based figures that use status markers. This is because some of the units I use in a game usually have degraded states. I usually use bits of red (people) or black (vehicles) yarn on a figure to indicate levels of degraded state; figures rarely have more than two markers before they are out.

So what is annoying is that my figures don't pick up or drop weapons or take visible wounds. I have a few sets of figures for which I have multiple state versions of the same figure. F'r'ex, I might swap out an armed and unarmed version of a figure to indicate ready to fire or reloading, or have a wounded and unwounded version.

The idea is similar the mounted/dismounted & mount versions of figures.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2018 2:13 p.m. PST

I cut my wargaming teeth on WRG Ancients 3rd edition. Figures could be based any way you wanted, singly or in elements, keeping frontages, but casualties were tracked.
One figure = 20 men. After you received 20 "men" casualties, records kept on paper, you removed a figure.
If I never quit wargaming after putting up with that for years, literally nothing could annoy me. Anything would be a breath of fresh air!
Yet, I didn't mind it at the time. It's only in retrospect that I realize how annoying it was. I enjoyed it but I would never go back.

advocate07 Feb 2018 11:21 p.m. PST

So Winston, how do you track the fate of each individual in you 5,000 man army now?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Feb 2018 7:00 a.m. PST

how do you track the fate of each individual in you 5,000 man army now?

Check their FaceBook status?

Yellow Admiral08 Feb 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

etotheipi said:

So what is annoying is that my figures don't pick up or drop weapons or take visible wounds. I have a few sets of figures for which I have multiple state versions of the same figure. F'r'ex, I might swap out an armed and unarmed version of a figure to indicate ready to fire or reloading, or have a wounded and unwounded version.
So we'll be losing you to VR gaming any year now… grin

- Ix

Yellow Admiral08 Feb 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

To echo many of the above comments: the OP is really impossible to answer without knowing the style of game. Different basing schemes have different advantages and disadvantages, and are mostly annoying when they don't fit the game's usage model well. Multi-miniature bases tend to work best when representing large units, individually based miniatures work best for skirmish or mass-skirmish gaming (and incidentally for most styles of naval gaming). Literally all of my land gaming is with units of battalion size or larger, so all of my miniatures are on bases, except for a tiny handful of knights I painted for a jousting game (and used exactly once <sigh>). OTOH, if I ever succumb to the temptations of the Lion Rampant family of games (I've come close a couple times), I may yet end up with individually based armies.

It's not really sufficient to lump all multi-miniature basing schemes together, either. Many rules specify multiple bases per unit, sometimes to accommodate existing basing traditions (e.g. the WRG ancients scheme!), sometimes so that the bases can be arranged in differing formations; some of those allow variable size units, others use fixed unit sizes. Some games like Volley & Bayonet, Grande Armee, and Impetus (to name a few) specify large bases so that the "unit" can be represented by a single base for movement efficiency but still contain a vignette of miniatures in some kind of historical formation. That's a lot of potential variations with a lot of potential annoyances. :-) Especially if switching from one style of gaming to another.

On the subject of markers: this clearly comes down to personal taste and tends to be a minor but divisive issue, even within a gaming group unified around a single rules set. I personally dislike cartoonish or anachronistic markers (bright plastic, dice, chips, blocks, dayglo acrylic shapes, chits and paper tabs) but very much like aesthetically appropriate vignettes (figures who are wounded, dead, cheering, loading, shouting, charging, whatever; smoke and fire; stacks of ammo or weapons; barrels and crates; etc.); others I play with feel opposite, and some hate markers altogether. <shrug> Do what best suits the rules mechanics, someone will inevitably complain anyway.

- Ix

Personal logo Frank Wang Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Feb 2018 5:41 p.m. PST

OK I understand. Surely I was talking about the mass battle. Playing Warhammer Fantasy for 4 years and every time I have to take figures one by one from my case and put them back after the game. That's waste of energy. If I use stands, it would save half of the time.

I have used single bases in my rules but I'm thinking of changing them to stands.

Prince Lupus Inactive Member09 Feb 2018 1:06 p.m. PST

I like volley and bayonet, for Napoleonics, and have a paper grid stuck under each base to mark off casualties.

My imagination C18 are in units of 24, the back row can be removed individually (magnetic bases) and when the back row is completely removed ie 50% of the unit, the rest of the unit is removed.

Elenderil14 Feb 2018 6:00 a.m. PST

I tend to go with element basing but that is driven by the rules I use (DBA/ADLG/Blucher). When I was using skirmish rules I used single figures. It depends on the the size of the maneuver group you are modelling.

I have a set of rules I wrote myself to cover the ECW period intended for 2mm figures where casualty removal isn't an option where i use a degradation of the units willingness to fight and place a marker which is colour coded behind the unit to show its current state ranging from "Steady" down through "Nervous" "Shaken" to "Broken". Each status has several steps within it so it isn't clear how close to dropping to the next state the unit currently is. because i don't want to loose track of what is happening I also use some temporary markers to show units that have to retire next phase or who have reserved fire to use defensively. Most of these could be made into mini vignettes but at the moment I have exactly the sort of marker Yellow Admiral dislikes. I will change them at some point….honest!

Thomas Thomas26 Feb 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

DBX stand based games do not require marker counters. Only the French version of DBX requires the table to be covered in markers.

If you want so sort of "fatigue/attrition" system added to DBX keep it simple – a casualty figure for instance can be added after a Recoil to show a negative effect (perhaps removed by a PIP expenditure). But don't accumulate. This is the optional rule I added to Knights and Knaves as part of a general attempt to modernize DBX mechanics.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame and Glory Games

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Feb 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

So we'll be losing you to VR gaming any year now…

Nah, I've been building and programming computers for over 40 years. I like the tactile, artistic, and operational feel of minis on the table.

I have started adding some AR to specific games. It started with hidden objectives (removing the need for markers on the board) and is progressing to things like hidden terrain effects. I like the objectives, but still prefer to draw cards for terrain effects.

Wolfhag28 Feb 2018 4:40 a.m. PST

I messed around with AR for recon and hidden units on a miniatures table but it just seemed too much of a hassle and there were easier manual ways to do it.

I am using it as a play aid. On my data cards, I've made certain areas a trigger image to bring up a short video and example for different aspects of the game like gunnery, movement, initiative/timing, etc.

I'm using HP Reveal (old Aurasma). What have you been using?


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2018 6:07 a.m. PST

I just wrote my own AR engine.

For hidden units, I agree – too much hassle. Units move about a lot.

For more static things like, "Which building is the prisoner in?", "Mines?", or "Gopher holes give my troops a -2" movement? Really?", AR is two steps above writing things down and one half step above a static map with "flip tiles".

In terms of a player placing an objective right before the game, the flip-tile map is easier and more covert to use. For pre-planned ones AR gives you a better, more natural modality to "discover" things without the other overhead.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.