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"Should "unit basing" bear some resemblance " Topic

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24 Aug 2018 4:26 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 10:33 p.m. PST

…to historical Organization.

Based on the discussion linked, should "unit basing" bear some resemblance to historical Organization?

TMP link

what are your thoughts gentlemen and ladies?
If so what are your suggested basing?

Edwulf Inactive Member12 Feb 2018 11:01 p.m. PST

It will depend on the scale of your armies and the number of figures you have. If you modelling battalions in groups of 10-20 figures I'd says very difficult. But if your modeling 40-50 figure battalions it might work.

I prefer not to worry about basing.

All my Napoleonic infantry battalions are on 6 bases. With the French this works as one base equals a company. With the British it's about a company and a bit per base. It looks fine and since I dont really worry about detaching bases or have units move as company sized formations I don't worry about it. My Napoleonics I went with large 48 man battalions.

Sparta12 Feb 2018 11:42 p.m. PST

The problem comes when you want to represent units of different strengths – batallions could go from 900 to 300 in a campaign.

Footslogger13 Feb 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

When I did Napoleonics at a 1:20 ratio, all I wanted was enough stands to represent column, line or square.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 1:29 a.m. PST

As with so many things, it depends.

The basing for a particular game should facilitate the mechanics of that game. If a game is designed to reflect how different battalion organizations affect how they operate, then basing according to the historical organization would be necessary. Otherwise, no.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 1:30 a.m. PST

It depends on whether the rules are going to do something with that organization. So if companies / divisions are going to do stuff in your game (but not platoons) then it makes sense to base by companies / divisions. If a battalion is the game's basic unit of currency, then organize by battalions.

The only thing that I will say though is that if you are going to organize by companies in a Napoleonic context, make sure that the rules writer has not accidentally created unhistorical exploits because the rules favour certain types of company organizations over others i.e. what were the effects of the different company / division organization in real life and do the rules reflect that?

Similarly, if you prioritize footprint over frontage, then you can get into real trouble using historical organizations, because they can end up magnifying the base depth problem for some armies, especially those with 8 or 10 companies, where the rear ranks can be out of effective musket range of the head of the column…

Timmo uk13 Feb 2018 3:31 a.m. PST

As above only if it matters in the rules. In a Napoleonic context the British ten company battalions might be tricky.

Martin Rapier13 Feb 2018 3:42 a.m. PST

It depends on the rules and scale of game.

I tend to use regiments or brigades as the minimum unit of manouvre for nineteenth century games, if not divisions, so the size and shape of individual battalions doesn't matter.

Whatever looks good and takes up an appropriate historical unit footprint.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 4:02 a.m. PST

I always LIKE to base figures with their historical organizations in mind. Sadly, some rules sets don't really allow that.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 4:13 a.m. PST

It's good for Napoleonics since the internal organization has a tactical impact, but it has limitations. If all you're doing is CLS or a clone, it's helpful and a lot of fun. But it pretty well locks you in. Other basing options let you play with other rules and vary the level of representation. I've done both.

But no, I'm not rebasing my CLS armies, either.

grahambeyrout13 Feb 2018 5:26 a.m. PST

As always in wargaming, everything is a compromise, and accordingly individual players/rules seek a compromise their play to reflect their different needs or interests. I tend to play 10mm divisional scale games or below,usually a maximum of 18 battalions a side (plus attached cavalry and artillery) with between 32 and 48 figures to a battalion. In my games I like to make some attempt to reproduce the style of tactical movement, such as columns of single and double company frontage, and accordingly I would like to base troops by company. If I attempted this however, it would mean a Fench division having some 108 separate bases (18 batts of 6 coys) which is just too fiddly – a company frontage base is 20mm . I compromised by basing the centre companies in pairs, and the flank companies separately. Effectively this limits me to columns of divison while allowing the skirmishers to be detached) . Clearly even this compromise is inadequate for games of involving more that one divison
I should also add that I have never used movement trays, but I am now giving the subject some thought

deephorse13 Feb 2018 5:58 a.m. PST

The basing is usually determined by the rules, and, unless one figure/vehicle = one real person/vehicle, then whatever is on the base is simply a token.

Legion 413 Feb 2018 6:25 a.m. PST

I do nothing but 6mm … so generally I can reflect TO&Es in many cases. We always play 1 Stand = 1 Fire Tm, e.g. 3-7 figs. 1 model = 1 Vehicle, Gun, etc.

Glenn Pearce13 Feb 2018 1:11 p.m. PST

@COL Scott ret

"Based on the discussion linked, should "unit basing" bear some resemblance to historical Organization?"

I think they all pretty much do. It's just that some don't understand or refuse to accept others interpretations.


"The problem comes when you want to represent units of different strengths batallions could go from 900 to 300 in a campaign."

That's generally a rule, figure ratio or basing problem often found in multiple unit basing systems. Single unit basing systems generally overcome this problem by having a base ratio system (not a figure ratio basing system).


"The basing is usually determined by the rules, and, unless one figure/vehicle = one real person/vehicle, then whatever is on the base is simply a token."

Music to my eyes/ears/brain!

Best regards,


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