Home Forums General Game Design Do you label your bases / use thick bases?

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  • #189255
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    One of the problems I have with more ‘complex’ games is remembering the stats for units (esp those GW ‘lists’ of numbers) and oddly I dislike sets of cards at the edge of the tables (even the sweet ones Mike makes [10mm WFB here]). I’ve managed with a quick ref. sheet so far but that game only has a handful of unit types and they have no real stat line.

    I tripped over my SGJ Ogre box (well more stubbed my toe as it’s under the bed at the mo!) and it dawned on me that the counters have the stats on them (as do most hex & counter games)…


    (Hope the Ogre is badly damaged or that CP is toast as that howitzer and laser tower will not stop it)

    This got the brain almost churning (impressive after the day I had) and I wonder if any of you label your rank and file troops with their stats and if so how?

    My stumbling blocks are:

    • How to cut the paper neatly to fit the bases?
    • Laser or Inkjet (esp as inkjet print can run)?
    • PVA or something else?
    • Brush varnish or spray?
    • How to keep the basing flock / grit etc off the paper area (masking tape comes to mind)?

    I not fussed by figure removal as the games I’m thinking of would have whole strip (think Warlord Epic scale on a sabot) casualties or even whole base removal like my block based game.

    #189259
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    I think Mr Average does this?
    I will try and find some of his posts later.

    #189268
    Avatar photoTony Hughes
    Participant

    I print mine onto thin cardstock on my laser, cut with a modelling knife and stick to the base with PVA applied with a brush. Most of those are just ID labels and the unit stats are on cards or tables given to the players.

    I also use magnetised labels and die holders (for marking hits & unit condition) on sabots lined with Ferrosheet. That way the same label can be used for any unit with the appropriate name and stats added. Not everyone likes the idea of labels on units but I don’t find them distracting at all and they do make play much quicker.

     

    #189271
    Avatar photoMcKinstry
    Participant

    My ships are almost always labeled for name. Land forces are about 50% labeled depending on the rules I’m using. I don’t do skirmish games so the labels are unit level with the exception of commanders where I use a dressmakers pin with a label showing the name.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #189276
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    I do – sometimes – print base labels. I usually mask off a strip for the label when I’m applying my basing grit, then pull back the masking tape and trim the label to fit. My advice is this:

    Laser is my preference but you have to have one with a very good riser or the toner will flake off. These days I use an inkjet as a matter of economy and have had no issues – Epson printers are preferred as most other inkjet printers are “photo” printers that load down the paper with ink and that’s what makes them smudge. It sucks.

    The best solution for paper is to print on 250lb card stock. That gives you a firm label base that is less susceptible to warping. Spread some white glue on the base label area you masked off (plywood bases are therefore recommended) and press the label in place.

    For plastic or metal bases, print on self-adhesive sheets and apply that first. Then mask it off with removable tape, add your minis and basing grit, and then you’re done.

    #189278
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    I never bother putting stat labels on units, far too rules specific. I do usually put a strip of magnabase on the rear edge of the base so I can attach labels of various kinds, usually things like strength points, formation IDs etc made from steel paper.

    If I need anything more complex, I make temporary labels out of self adhesive envelope labels part folded to leave a thin strip of glue and write on the ‘label’ bit with a micron liner pen. They just get stuck on the underside of the base and removed later.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #189281
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    I never bother putting stat labels on units, far too rules specific. I do usually put a strip of magnabase on the rear edge of the base so I can attach labels of various kinds, usually things like strength points, formation IDs etc made from steel paper. If I need anything more complex, I make temporary labels out of self adhesive envelope labels part folded to leave a thin strip of glue and write on the ‘label’ bit with a micron liner pen. They just get stuck on the underside of the base and removed later.

    I did wonder about magnets but given my history with figures (my Inuit arrived at the current house in a pile as the magnetism faded) I decided nope.

    Underneath is an idea but I could be looking at this each turn – 1 to think on though as it keeps the ‘look’ of the bases clean.

    Not worried about the cross rules concern in my case – these are dedicated to one set of rules (12 bases only in total) but a great reason for the magnets for other players 🙂

    #189308
    Avatar photoTony Hughes
    Participant

    Andrew –

    Were your bases magnetised or the storage sheet magnetised ?

    Did you use magnetic sheet or tiny magnets ?

    In my experience, and if stored correctly, magnetic materials rarely ‘fade’. They can however loose their ‘grip’ if shocked by a sudden drop or jarring of the storage box.

    Tony of TTT

     

    #189309
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    Iron or ceramic magnets will do that, neodymium magnets will not. I’ve often thought of doing labels stuck to thin neodymium wafer magnets but I never went to far with that train of thought – too much fiddling. It could work though.

    #189324
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Bases magnetised – cannot remember the U.K. supplier (they do a dwarf like Gandalf)

    Metal sheet – ‘ferro’ from Magnetic Displays

    The figures where in storage for months so I’ve no idea of the conditions they where kept on but there is no pull now.

    #189326
    Avatar photoMr. Average
    Participant

    An example of my base labeling technique in action:

    https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/189326/qkyhqqadex70gksg63cv7vmx1qtwfm4a.jpeg

    #189328
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Only functional…

    😉

    #189332
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    “Underneath is an idea but I could be looking at this each turn – 1 to think on though as it keeps the ‘look’ of the bases clean.”

     

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. With the sticky labels I only apply the sticky bit under the rear base edge, the visible part of the label sticks out under the back of the base so I can read it. I usually do this for things like ACW or Napoleonics where you need to track unit quality, formation affiliation and combat power, but en masse the units just all look the same….

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #189335
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    @MartinR No sweat – makes more sense that way.

    I had Googled a few pictures and saw some bases labeled directly underneath and assumed you did the same but your way sounds way better.

    If I went for the labels under the base I know my regular opponent would never put the figures back in the same space – he would do anything for an advantage and ‘the win’ (I’m a solo gamer at the mo by the way)…

    @Mr Average – hope you are coping with you woes? Those labels are a great match to the figures and bases. Gives me something to aim for I think!

    #189339
    Avatar photoTony Hughes
    Participant

    That is quite unusual Andrew. Can’t work out the supplier of the mag sheets but Ferrosheet is good with most mag sheet products. I have stuff on ‘signage grade’ magnetic sheet (what most suppliers currently use) that is stored on sheets lined with Ferrosheet that are as good as the day they were done, probably 20+ years ago.

    Some suppliers did use the stuff used for fridge magnets once and this was very poor quality stuff that had little magnetic material in and that did loose its ‘pull’ but decent quality stuff stored on iron sheets or Ferrosheet should be good for a long while.

     

    #189360
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Tony – took some digging but found them Hasslefree Minis.

    Looks like they have stopped selling the bases https://hfminis.co.uk/product-category/accessories/magnetic-basing/

    And the dwarf is out of stock https://hfminis.co.uk/product/grimdalf/

    From memory they where rough, almost gritty in texture and would chip at the edges till I used superglue on them…

    #189363
    Avatar photoTony Hughes
    Participant

    Andrew, I do remember those, saw them at a show once and was not impressed. I think they were some composite with magnetised filings in them – recipe for disaster if you knew what you were doing. One of those good ideas that wasn’t that good – like tartan paint.

     

     

    #189892
    Avatar photoAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Normally I use thin plastic / MDF for troop and 15mm figure bases and the classic slota-base style for individual 28mm but I’ve been reading the Toy Soldiers And Dining Room Battles blog with the deepest bases I’ve ever seen:

    (Pic used without permission from the blog linked above – no contact for ‘Neil’ and unable to place comment on the blog).

    At first they where rather off putting but over the last couple of reads they have grown on me and I now kind of like them…

    Now wondering if it would be practical to put core troop info on the edge and where I could get a base that thick to try!

    #189896
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    If you want really thick bases, try balsa wood or foam core. My old 20mm WW2 collection was based on that. I did put some markings on the vertical base edges, mainly to show formation affiliations.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #189903
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    I’ve got figures that were based and had magnetic strip applied to the bases more than 20 years ago. They live in metal tool boxes and the magnets work fine still 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #189914

    i used to not do thick bases and labels but i started, after playing Bluecher.  I also have grown to like having a place to grip my stands thus avoiding wear on the paint jobs and finally it lowers the center of gravity so that hillside toppling doesn’t occur nearly so often.  Having the label makes having stats or even  knowing which unit is which  so much more accessible.  I used to put it on the bottom of a standout of site but intermingled units no longer require picking up and examining (and keeps the grosser fudging shifts to a minimum!)

    Mick Hayman
    Margate and New Orleans

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