Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic New to Napoleonics, worried about basing

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    Collin Nisler

    Hello everyone, I’ve played several different wargames over the last decade and a half, but I’ve recently gotten into 15mm napoleonics. I have seen numerous topics on how to base because I wanted to base my french in the most versatile way possible, as I do not as of yet have any regular opponents and don’t know what rules I may be using in the future. I settled on 30×30 cm in 2×2 ranks (see attached image, also a bonus of my first few 15mm painted models). However, upon some further investigation, it appears I made a mistake and it is far more common to do 3 wide by 2 deep ranks on 30×30 cm bases. My question to more experienced players is, out of these three options, which would you recommend?

    1.) Re-base these guys (and if so, how do I go about doing that since they are very thoroughly superglued on) and do 3×2 ranks on these bases

    2.) Keep this basing scheme for the entire army

    3.) Keep this basing scheme for this unit, but for future units do 3×2 ranks on the same size bases, and for gaming this might just look like an under-strength unit

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


    Depending on the rules, it might not matter at all how you base them. And even with rules it does matter you can always “fix it” with some record keeping.


    However for the visuals of it. 6 on 30×30 looks much better then 4. The figures will be to spaced out with just 4 and you loose some of the massed aspects of the units.

    So unless you it’s a very big job. I’d rebase.


    basing is always down to personal taste, using 4 figures to a base means you get more bases for your regiment and a bigger footfall.  However 6 figures on the same base can look better, depending on point of view.  If you have done only one regiment, then rebase.

    To remove figures of  bases soak in a tray of water overnight or you can try an force the figures off with a screwdriver (danger involved slipped screwdriver and sore fingers).

    As you have said you use super glue to base them, I take all the sand is superglued and the overnight soak may not work.  Try holding the base upside down with something soft to catch the figures, then with a small hammer tap the base sharply this may release the glue and figures.  This method works with metal on metal and super glue all the time, not sure on metal, sand superglue mix.

    I use 40 x 40mm bases with 4, 28mm figures on them, however I have bases I can slot them into to give 50 x 50mm, 60 x 50mm and variation on the same theme.  This means I can use them for different rule if I require.



    I would not worry too much, most Napoleonic rules these days are fairly basing agnostic and concentrate on the size of the unit rather than an exact figure count.
    When playing General de Brigade, which was a 1:20 scale rule set French battalions would normally have 6 figures to a base, but I regularly placed just 4 or 5 on a base, as in the battle pic below.
    All I did for GdeB was to simply say that each base represented six figures, regardless of how many models were actually on it.



    Phil DutréPhil Dutré

    Go for what you consider the best visual style. Rules come and go, but your figures are with you forever, so it’s madness to adapt your basing to your rules. Rather adapt rules to whatever basing you prefer

    Moreover, modern rules focus on the total footprint of a unit, not so much on the individual figure count, so it’s less of an issue compared to let’s say 25 years ago.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    Jemima FawrJemima Fawr

    I base all my Napoleonics on the ‘Napoleon’s Battles’ basing standard (four figures to a base, arranged 2×2 – 20mm wide by 25mm deep), as it’s very flexible for a number of different rule systems.  Shako and Age of Eagles also use that standard and I also use my troops perfectly well with General de Brigade (having used them in the same games as Dave no less!).

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    Tony STony S

    Don’t sweat it.  They will look great, and most rules – as everyone has already mentioned – are often base agnostic.  In fact, your painted base already looks fantastic!

    In Maurice, for example (not a Napoleonic set of rules, but the same principles apply), for the SYW and Marburlian armies, I have armies based to 40×30, eight figures to a base.  My opponents also have 40×20, but only a single rank of four.  Once you are playing, you never see the lack of a second rank.  For the record, I argued that because of my greatly superior basing style, I should get a combat bonus, but my opponents are small minded folk, and refused to admit I was correct.  For the GNW, we went 30×30 for some arcane reason I cannot recall but I, like yourself, based four to a stand.  My Swedish opponent managed to cram nine (!) 15mm figures onto a 30×30.  He was so pleased with himself, that he somehow stuffed four 15mm cavalry onto the same size base!  I think he just hates flocking and basing, because you certainly can’t see any hint of ground under that mass of horseflesh.

    It all works.

    And, just to underline my point, for my Napoleonics, I actually based them my own way, which as far as I know, doesn’t correspond to any set of rules I am aware of.  A battalion has three centre stands of 40×30, eight figures to a base.  The two outside stands are the flank companies, each four figures on a half sized stand 20mm frontage, 30mm deep.  I figured this method would allow the very centre stand to be the command element, so that the colonel and his flag can be exactly in the centre of the unit’s frontage.  For some reason I dislike having four equal sized bases, because that puts the command party off centre, which bothers me.  As well, for rules that allow skirmishers, to the skirmisher line to be reinforced, or that allow grenadiers or light companies to be stripped off for combined battalions (not too common in Napoleonic warfare, but not unknown) I can easily accomplish that by simply removing the corresponding flank half-stand.  The battalion’s entire frontage is exactly the same as my opponents, 160mm.

    So, yeah, if I pick up a set of rules that require a strict basing requirement, I put them back down.




    My 15mm napoleonics I did long ago were 6 and 8 to a 30×30 base.


    My 28mm Napoleonics are 6 to a 45x45mm base, so are my SYW figures. I want to show that shoulder to shoulder formation. My GNW are 6 or 7 to a 60×60 base.

    My 10mm napoleonics are 6 to a 20×25 base. As I wanted more room in front go do some basing.

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