Help support TMP

"Flexible basing dilemma" Topic

9 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.

Please do not use bad language on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Getting Started with Medievals Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

Battle-Market: Tannenberg 1410

The Editor tries out a boardgame - yes, a boardgame - from battle-market magazine.

Featured Profile Article

The Gates of Old Jerusalem

The gates of Old Jerusalem offer a wide variety of scenario possibilities.

Current Poll

1,549 hits since 3 Jun 2019
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
hftarasque04 Jun 2019 6:57 a.m. PST

So I am a bit of a beginner to historical wargaming in general, and coming from the long drawn out IGOUGO games of Warhammer I was drawn much more to skirmish games as a whole. For a little while I've been collecting 1/72 figures, but I have a bit of a dilemma when it comes to basing. Since I mostly play skirmish games at the moment (when I can actually get someone to play!) including games like SAGA, Lion Rampant, Chain of Command, and Five Men at Kursk, almost all of my figures are individually based.

Recently though as I was working on my Viking army I found a basing scheme which aesthetically I love the look of called 1-2-3 basing, but it's made me worry about practicality. Here are a few links so you can see it (I adjust the sizes a bit since I use washers and my models are 1/72 instead of 28mm):


For skirmish games, I love it. It seems to a great balance between ease of movement, aesthetics, and it's usable in pretty much any skirmish game. But I may be interested in playing some larger battle games (since I've learned that many do not use the tiring 4 hours of IGOUGO play like I thought) like ADLG or Basic Impetus later and I do not want to rebase. As it is, I see a few options, and as someone who has never really played large battle games, I would love some thoughts on what you think might be the best option to go with.

1) Use the 1-2-3 basing and just be willing to fudge frontages and corners in the favor of my opponent aesthetically my favorite option, but it could be annoying in play

2) Use the 1-2-3 basing and make magnetic sabot trays specifically for them easier to play, not sure how tricky they'd be to make though

3) Rebase to a 1-2-4 style square basing (e.g. 4 figures on 40x40, 2 on 40x20, 1 on 20x20) seems more flexible, but doesn't look as good esp. in skirmish games

4) Rebase to individual squares/rounds and use sabot/movement trays again, uglier IMO.

5) Just forget the whole idea and if I want to get into mass battles, make an army based specifically for that.

Cerdic04 Jun 2019 8:08 a.m. PST

Your links don't seem to be working so I can't see the sort of thing you mean. However, I would go with sabot bases. You don't have to make them as they are available from several suppliers.

I recommend these people, they can also make custom bases to your own specs…

CeruLucifus04 Jun 2019 8:45 a.m. PST

Yes, I can't check your links either, so I apologize if your pictures totally invalidate the following.

Back when I was still playing Warhammer Fantasy I started making some 4-bases for my large units. These were linear not square. This was for neat ranking in movement trays + efficient casualty removal (+ efficient deployment and storage). I found it successful but was going to switch to 1-2-3 bases for my next unit (this gives more frontage combinations than only 4+1).

In a skirmish system the advantage of 3 figure bases is you can do T- and L-shaped arrangements that look less disciplined. However I think the linear base works well enough; for an irregular look I would just dot smaller bases around the larger bases.

For ease of movement, with Warhammer armies we used movement trays. These obviously help moving large units. The models don't have to be perfectly ranked, but tray surface is exposed. You can flock the tray edges but not the tray surface. This is where sabots come in – they let you flock the gaps in your movement tray. However you lose the flexibility of having regular ranked units. For the same look, I would suggest stay with flat open trays but make some blank flocked figure bases to fill gaps (+ some half or 1.5 size bases).

Mr Jones04 Jun 2019 8:48 a.m. PST

Stick them on 25mm circular bases, then buy or make some movement trays – you have the best of both worlds then.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2019 9:20 a.m. PST

It looks like the ed merged two screwed up threads and, somehow, the links got disabled. He also wiped out my original response.

We'll try again. OP, I don't care for the look. IMO you cannot make linear units look linear, especially in regards to the ACW figures in the links (when they worked).

hftarasque04 Jun 2019 10:15 a.m. PST

Yeah, seems like the threads are getting kind of messed up. Here are the links again

@Mr Jones the only problem with that is that they're less convenient for skirmish to mid-size formationless games. The 1-2-3 method is better for that IMO, but I'm not sure how well they would work on a movement tray.

I responded before it all got messed up, not sure if you saw it though. But basically what I said is just that I'm actually not a huge fan of the really linear look personally. I like it when units look chaotic and like they're in battle (even if it is less realistic), rather than in super neat and uniform lines. That said, I haven't tried making a tray with the 1-2-3 method and it may end up just looking too messy. My favorite basing style aesthetically is actually the huge Impetus bases, but those are very *not* flexible. Regardless, strict linearity is something I would prefer to avoid regardless of basing style if possible, but I can sacrifice and go for the uglier (IMO) square/rectangular bases if that would be better for gaming.

As an example, I find this sort of linear uniformity


to be less appealing than this sort of basing, even though both are on square multibases.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2019 10:56 a.m. PST

No, I did not see your response. I am a fan of the large bases as well, but you don't get much flexibility out of them. You are the only one you have to please regarding your basing style as long as you provide both sides.

FusilierDan04 Jun 2019 3:58 p.m. PST

hftarasque, you could get some of these for the skirmish games

Some of these for the bigger battle type games

The men at arms in the for ground are on the latter yet to be flocked.


CeruLucifus06 Jun 2019 7:31 a.m. PST

hftarasque, thanks for the followup post. My suggestions above of linear basing won't suit what you want to do. The sabot bases linked by FusilierDan seem to be a good fit, although if your units will mix several sizes of base you may have to do some customization.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.