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"Sword and Spear- Basing advice" Topic

Sword & Spear

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GrandKenyon8406 Oct 2016 3:24 p.m. PST

Hi there,

I have picked up a copy of the S&S rules and have a collection of 15mm ancient minis on route.

My next query is basing, my initial thoughts consist of an 80mm frontage with 40mm depth. With a total of 16 infantry figures per unit and 12 figs for cavalry.

What are peoples thoughts is this workable/reasonable etc?

Thank you all for the help in advance.

martinwilliams06 Oct 2016 4:56 p.m. PST

You will have trouble fitting 12 cavalry on an 8x4 base. You should consider what type of infantry/cavalry you are talking about as well. Light infantry and cavalry should have fewer figures on the base and many players do the same for medium infantry.

Also, while I know that big bases look good, I would go for the flexibility of smaller DBX/FOG bases that you can put together to make a Sword and Spear unit as this means your figures can easily be used for a range if different rules systems.


DrWarbo06 Oct 2016 6:41 p.m. PST

What scale figures would you be using?

IanKHemm06 Oct 2016 11:47 p.m. PST

I did mine on 40 x 40mm bases. It works well and is flexible enough for other rules.

steamingdave4707 Oct 2016 12:07 a.m. PST

My 15 mm figures are all based for DBA. I just put 4 bases together to make a unit. I use the same figures for Impetus and FoG.
I also play Seord and Spear with my 10mm figures, which were based on 40x 20 mm bases. Works fine. A friend of mine plays it using single DBA sized bases. The system is quite flexible.

Marcus Brutus07 Oct 2016 5:36 a.m. PST

Big bases are the way to go. The dioramic effect looks great, play is easier moving big bases and set up and take down are so much faster. Most sets seems to be moving to the big bases so unless you're planning to play DBA or such I would take the plunge.

Marshal Mark08 Oct 2016 7:39 a.m. PST

I have all of my 15mm ancients & medieval figures based on 40mm frontages, normally using four bases as a Sword & Spear unit. When I was basing some fantasy figures recently I tried putting them on 80mm frontage bases, but I wouldn't recommend it, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you want a lot of figures on the base (as you are talking about doing) it's hard to get the basing material around troops in two ranks. And the wider bases don't sit very well on terrain on hills and in woods, rough ground, etc.
Now hopefully you'll only ever play Sword & Spear, but the other advantage of 40mm frontages rather than 80mm is that it does give you the flexibility of using them both for games which require a 40mm frontage and games which require larger units.
Also if you want to get twelve cavalry figures on a base you will need it to be deeper than 40mm. If you want cavalry in two ranks you'll need 60mm depth.

GrandKenyon8408 Oct 2016 11:52 a.m. PST

Thanks for peoples comments its appreciated.

So if i went for a 40mm x 20mm base with 4 infantry figures (3 for cavalry) on? that would provide flexibility for other systems in the future.

Would I then say put 4 of these bases together to make some nice sized units for S&S?

Marshal Mark08 Oct 2016 4:29 p.m. PST

Yes, that's right. Put 4 infantry figures on each base for heavy foot, 3 for medium foot and 2 for light foot. 3 for cavalry and 2 for light horse.

GrandKenyon8408 Oct 2016 5:07 p.m. PST

Lovely thank you Marshal, sounds good.

TamsinP10 Oct 2016 5:50 a.m. PST

For the cavalry you'll need to use deeper bases – 40x30 minimum

Spudeus10 Oct 2016 9:34 a.m. PST

Mark's recommendation is exactly what I was thinking of doing for some Late Romans: 40 x 20 for infantry, 40 x 30 for cavalry, 40 x 40 for siege engines, elephants, generals, etc. If I go with magnetized movement trays (say, from Shogun), I would have the best of both worlds – ease of movement and flexibility.

True, you lose some of the 'diorama effect' with this system, but in my mind that's what you have generals and camps for!

CptKremmen01 Dec 2016 4:49 a.m. PST

I have rebased all my 15mm armies on 80mm wide bases, it means for heavy infantry i use about 10-12 figures instead of 16. For heavy cavalry i use about 8-9 cav instead of 12 that are required using DBA type bases.

The big bases look better, use less figures and most rules sets nowadays are starting to use larger 80mm bases for 15mm or making it so that the actual base size does not matter as long as everyone uses roughly the same.


JorgenCAB30 Aug 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

I use 60mm frons for my 15mm models and cram as many models on them for Heavy Foot (about 11-12 usually) and about 9 models for medium troops and five for light foot.

This look really great..

I use smaller base size to make the battlespace smaller or larger armies to fit in a normal table size battlefield.

I'm also no a fan of the typical DBA basing standard… models just look too spaced out and mini dioramas are way more fun.

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