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"Starting in 15mm - some logistical questions" Topic

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Bellerophon199320 Jan 2021 7:44 a.m. PST

Hey all, I'm starting in 15mm, Peninsular War, probably either AB or Blue Moon.

I'm planning on building for a variety of game systems, with the main goal of not having too many fiddly bases – I come from ancients, and I'm not a huge fan of the WRG thing where you've got 3 guys on a base.

So, my questions:

1. How big are your battalions? How many figures?
2. How many guys do you put on each base within those battalions? In two ranks? Three?
3. How big are your bases?

I'm aiming to start with British and French, then add Spanish and Portuguese.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2021 8:56 a.m. PST

It's a very difficult question to answer, without knowing what rules you'll be using. But if I were starting from scratch I believe I'd use this format:

Infantry: Battalions of 16 figures on four bases, each .75 inch wide by 1" deep (18mm x 25mm) with two ranks of two figures.

Cavalry: Regiments of 12 figures on six bases, each 1"x1" with two figures.

Artillery: One gun and 2-3 gunners on 1.5"x1" base.

This will work for Napoleon's Battles, Age of Eagles, LaSalle, and others including Black Powder (the latter by changing inches to centimeters).

Bellerophon199320 Jan 2021 9:17 a.m. PST

I haven't settled on rules, unfortunately. I'm definitely interested in something flexible though.

MajorB20 Jan 2021 9:31 a.m. PST

You really do need to decide what rules you will use first. Different sets of rules have wildly different unit sizes, figure representation and basing requirements.

Bellerophon199320 Jan 2021 9:39 a.m. PST

I own LaSalle, FOG, Shako 2 and Black Powder. I'm open to suggestions on what other sets to buy. But ideally something that could work for both BP and Lasalle, maybe for Shako as well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2021 10:33 a.m. PST

When I did 15mm horse and musket, my basing was quite close to Eumelus'. As he says, it works with many systems and the bases are big enough to handle. Might consider basing infantry which was in two ranks historically on 1" x 1" bases.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jan 2021 12:41 p.m. PST

All of my horse & musket are 2 figures per base on steel bases 20x15mm. Super flexible. Because the bases are steel I can cut sheet magnet movement trays for different rules sets.

All my battalions are 24 figures. I just put as many stands on the movement tray as will fit, depending on teh basing for the game I'm playing.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2021 1:08 p.m. PST

I did a lot of thinking about how to base Napoleonics for a roughly similar array of rules options (with GdB/GdA thrown in), with the same basic requirement: I want the units to look big and packed with bodies, not like a few guys taking a flag for a walk.

You can come up with a basing scheme by seeking a common demoninator from the basing requirements of all the rules you want to play:
Shako: 3-stand units, standardized base frontage
Lasalle: 4-stand or 6-stand units, standardized base frontage
AoE: variable size units, standardized base frontage
GdB and GdA: 24-48 figures per inf unit in 2 ranks, standardized figure frontage
(Sorry, can't help with BP.)

To accommodate all of these I settled on using a 40mm base frontage with varying depths to fit 6-8 inf in 2 ranks, 3 cav in 1 rank, or 1 gun + crew. That sets the miniatures up for fixed-frontage games like Lasalle and Shako, gives infantry units plenty of figures (24-32 for Lasalle, 18-24 for Shako, up to 48 for GdB/GdA if I paint some big 6-stand units), and makes the cavalry and artillery units just barely acceptable (9-12 cav per unit, 2-4 guns per battery).

I was designing for 20mm miniatures which is what determined a standard frontage of 40mm. Small 15mm figures could probably fit my scheme into a 1" frontage (which I would actually prefer for many synergy reasons: terrain sizing, maneuver room, all my ACW/FPW/AWI figures are based on it already, etc.). OTOH, large figures like AB and Blue Moon take about the same footprint as 20mm figures, so might need a 30mm or 40mm standard frontage as well to fit more than 2 figures abreast.

I also suffer a personal prejudice that Napoleonic infantry must be in at least two ranks in line, which for me means on the base as well. If you can stand single-rank infantry, you can probably save yourself a lot of painting and storage headaches by reducing the figures per unit.

- Ix

Bellerophon199320 Jan 2021 1:26 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the help folks.

I'm on the fence between 40x30mm (8 figs) and 30x30mm (6 figs), but that's more just me working out the cost. I very much like LaSalle's organizational rules, which will help me even with something like Black Powder.

Nick Bowler20 Jan 2021 2:48 p.m. PST

I have gone with ancients basing – 4 inf figs on a 40mmx15mm metal base. Using a similar system to Extra Crispy, I can do two ranks by whatever width on a movement tray. With a small number of figs based on 20mmx15mm and a few individually based I can even do odd sizes for rules or scenarios where that is appropriate.

Cavcmdr20 Jan 2021 3:42 p.m. PST


My 15mm Napoleonic French and Austrians are being rebased at the moment. I like big battles with lots of units so a large French Corps plus a division of cavalry (if the dice agree) is my preferred command per player.

40x30mm with 8 infantry figs works well. I use two bases per line battalion. I thought about having four 20x20mm bases but that is too many to move each bound.

40x30mm with 3 regular cavalrymen fit well. Each base is a squadron. Two together form a unit.

Large units may have a third base. Small units are combined to form a normal one.

Regular Light infantry may have one base split in two. 40x15mm each with 3 or 4 figs. these bases can roam ahead of the "command" base to represent Skirmishers and Supports.

Artillery batteries are two gun bases on 40x40s plus two limber and team bases on 40x80s.

This is for the Emperor of the Battlefield rules. Unfortunately, publication has been delayed by circumstances beyond my control.

WARNING! Megalomania may ensue.
See any Napoleonic player for details.

Have fun.

Desert Fox20 Jan 2021 9:04 p.m. PST

When i first started Napoleonics many years age, I used Napoleon's Battles basing; 4 foot figs 2x2 on a 3/4 x 1 inch base for 16 foot on four bases per battalion or brigade. I now base as Extra Crispy does, 2 foot figs on a 3/4 x 3/4 base with 6 bases to a battalion or brigade. This still allows me to show assault column, line, square or march column but now I only need 12 instead of 16 figures per battalion or brigade..

This is especially important now because due to COVID I need to raise additional armies because I am playing more solo and I need to keep costs down. And I can always expand from 12 to 16 figure battalions/brigades in the future.

Steamingdave221 Jan 2021 9:24 a.m. PST

I have gone for basing similar to that suggested by Eumelus, with the slight mod suggested by Robert Piepenbrink for British and Portuguese in the Peninsula. I play Napoleon's Battles, Over the Hills and General d'Armee. Most of my figures are AB or Battle Honours. Basic units are 6 or 8 bases, but for Naps battles they will be reorganised to have between 4 to 7 bases (representing a brigade).

ancientsgamer23 Jan 2021 5:58 p.m. PST

I settled on 20 mm by 30 mm deep for infantry 2x2 figures per. Cavalry is 2 figures on 40x30mm. Artillery is 40x40mmfor now.

1:30 ratio is 24 figures for near paper strength battalions for my Prussians. Would I like more figures? Yes but I also want to field more units so this is a compromise. Corps level and up.

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