Bases. Doesn’t Seem like a very interesting theme, but there are a lot of different options, which can be pretty confusing for a beginner (like me). And although I’m reading/watching (way too) many blogs and channels about wargaming, I didn’t find a cover-all source of it. I will try my best, to fill this gap. Because its important! Because if you want uniform armies, one very important point to decide at the very beginning is, what base do you want to use. Because an army on different base types looks very-very disappointing (in my opinion)… Let’s start with the main parameters!
Multi or single?
- Multi base: that means, that a base is filled with more figures, a complete unit for example. There are many games, which use this type. Advantage is here, the option to make nicer scenic on the bases (more space), and its easier to handle them as single miniatures. In smaller than 28mm scale its mainly the only option.
- Single base: 1 man = 1 base. You can use a single based miniatures as a unit, but you can’t use a multi based unit as single figures. So the choice for me it’s pretty obvious… (in 28mm scale at least)
From now on, everything applies for 28mm (32-35-40, as GW is pumping up the miniature size…).
- Square: easier to stack in closed units, so its used for big battle games.
- Round: former mainly used in skirmish games, but nowdays everywhere. If you want to use your minis in different game types, I would strongly recommend to use this type, because single figures on square bases can be frustrating to use in a skirmish game (limited space, no orientation, harder to circle). Movement trays (see later) can eliminate every disadvantage in bigger battles, and there is also an advantage by closed units: you can turn them as you need, so there is less problem with intersecting axes… So again, for me pretty obvious what to use.
- That’s mainly a question of the miniature size, and the game system. For example Oathmark rules use 25mm base for man sized miniatures, GW mainly 32mm. But a monster, a machine or mounted troops have different sizes.
Slotted or not?
- Slot is only needed, if you use heavy, metal figures, because slotted fit is a very secure fixing. With plastic figures, the slot is only a disturbing detail (you have to fill it). But if you have mixed figures, and you want an uniform look…
- Flat: flat. What else to say? They are flat on both sizes, and approx. 1,5mm thick (at least by Renedra). This is the cheapest option (many manufacturers include them in their boxes), but there are some disadvantages. Because of the thickness, is a bit more work to mount a strong magnet in it (see later), on bumpy terrain the can be waggly (because the contact point can be in the middle, not only on the edge), and because of the thickness there is no slot.
- With rounded lip: Thick base with rounded edges. Honestly, I don’t like the look of them, and I cant find any advantage against the next type…
- With chamfered edge (aka GW-style): a thicker base, where the bottom is hollow. There is place for strong magnets there, they have a more stable stand on uneven surface (contact only on the edge), and they can be slotted. As I know, GW includes this type in their boxes, but for other miniatures they need to be purchased separately.
- MDF: medium-density fiberboard, a really cheap option, but they are flat, and plastic glue doesn’t work on them.
- Acrylic: they are transparent, so no need for basing, and they do not hide the terrain below. But they are not really cheap, only flat, and I personally don’t like the glimmering look.
- Resin: pretty expensive, but You can find beautiful, textured ones.
- Steel: simple and cheap solution to use a flat washer. It’s like MDF, but if You can use magnetized bases with them (watch out, stainless steel washer are often non-magnetic), and it’s a bit more stable because of the lower center of gravity.
- Hard plastic: cheap, plastic glue works, there are also textured ones, and by far the widest variety in every aspect.
Getting too long, let’s have a break.