Saturday, 1 March 2008

A Brief Connection To Reality

With my first battle within sight, it has been time to pay (however unwillingly) some attention to the practicalities of the thing, So today I set out the few terrain pieces I have made so far (still unpainted) and set up some figures to see what difficulties might occur.

Cuirassiers watch IR Rheinfels marching past an Inn

My soldiers suffer from the wobbles. It seems that their original bases do not provide enough stability for either horse or foot, given the style of terrain I am using. What is sufficient when playing on flat surfaces as in Charge! is not sufficient when using textured terrain. The bridge is the terrain piece that is worst for this problem. Foot figures on this have a distinct tendency to fall backwards into the arms of their comrades: not a very encouraging observation given that the bridge is the focal point of the first battle.

The obvious solution is to rebase them. Best of all would be to combine multiple figures onto the same base. This latter I reject out of hand - I want to be able to engage in individual figure combats as in Charge!.

Rear view of IR Rheinfels

There is a second, not so obvious, consideration as well. At the moment a 58 man battalion of infantry still fits into quite a small box. If I use large bases that will no longer be the case. So my solution must be to continue experimenting with different base sizes to determine the minimum required to do the job. One important determinant of stability is how high off the ground the figure's centre of gravity is. So I will try and make the bases fairly heavy to lower this.


Hal Thinglum said...

Very nice advance of your foot; nice job! My 28mm Foundry (Prussians) and Crusader Miniatures (Austrians) are based individually on very thin plywood bases measuring 3/4's" x 1" for formed foot; 1" x 1" for artillery crew; 1" x 3" for horse. I am unsure as to how large my limber bases will be. Nice work; my kindest regards - Hal Thinglum

Der Alte Fritz said...

I use 1" square metal bases, but some people find that this doesn't pack the figures in close enough when they form up (fair enough). I've started using 3/4" square bases for my Napoleonics and that looks nice too.

Some of the Suren bases (particularly for the kneeling pose) are too large to put on a 3/4" square, which is why we went to 1" square. Our cavalry are based on individual 1" bu 3" metal stands.

Fitz-Badger said...

Your miniatures and terrain and buildings are looking very good. I think when you get things finished it'll be a real feast for the eyes.
As for basing have you considered magnets? I mount my minis on washers and make movement trays from plastic with rare earth magnets sandwiched in between. That way the minis are stable and easy to move multiples around quickly, but I still have the flexibility to use individuals in smaller actions or skirmishes if I want.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Please allow me to second fitz-badger's suggestion of using small washers and magnetic stands.

Also, for transportation, if you go to a "sign store" (the type that makes signs on magnetic sheets to put on the sides of vehicles) you can get large sheets of "magnetic paper".

Line the bottom of your transportation box with this and the washer-based figures travel quite well most of the time.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Extremely good-looking regiments!

Steve said...

ditto Jean-Louis' comments - I love the buildings, I'll read the rest of your blog for construciton hints, but if not could you share the secrets of their construction??

W.r.t basing - I'm a multi-figure per base type so I have no direct experience, but I would say that if it was me, then some kind of metal base is the way to go - and magnets could allow multi-figure movement bases to be used for speeding up play??

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Andy,

Lovely figures and early terrain accessories. I don't have any good basing suggestions as this is a question with which I am currently wrestling too. I also wish to keep my figures as individuals.

Best Regards,


johnpreece said...

Quite an important consideration when the figures are in long lines.
The domino effect is not wanted.

We have used a 20mm wide base with rounded ends for cavalry. This was designed as a one off for Phil Olleys armies by Litco in the USA, but they are now available to order (Ithink) and the exchange rate makes them reasonable. The HE cavalryman on my blog is stuck to one.

Using Charge rules you need to consider that the infantry and cavalry should occupy the same frontage in order to make the melee rules work. If you want to se one of these bases drop me an email and I'll pop one in the post.