Basing for Big Battle or Skirmish?

This is a topic I struggle with every time I paint up a batch of new miniatures (yes, painting does happen, Jasper!). Do I multiple base them for ease of movement or do I single base them so I can use them for skirmish gaming and individual casualty removal?

Single vs multiple.

I used to use individual miniatures, primarily based on my experience with Warhammer Ancient Battles, which requires individual casualty removal. Moving a hundred to two hundred miniatures in an army can be slightly laborious and time-consuming. Even movement trays aren't perfect, therefore multi basing makes a lot of sense.

Note the vignette scenes in the block.

Even back then in the halcyon days of WAB, my friend James Morris used to make up multiple bases or have little vignette scenes in his infantry blocks. His El Cid models are amazing.

The solution to my dilemma is surprisingly simple, "Why don't we have both?"

One force for both skirmish and big battle, one force based for big battle.

You can start by building up a force on skirmish bases which can be fitted into a sabot style movement tray. When you have enough for your skirmish game force, then the rest you can multi-base for those really big battle games.

Why not both?

Here's our original lone Triarius miniature, this time in a Warbases magnetic movement sabot tray. Simples!


One thought on “Basing for Big Battle or Skirmish?”

  • Mike Adams

    Basing, basing, basing... the biggest topic in wargaming I reckon! It's surprising how many ways there are to base and how none is quite perfect. These days I am more active with the GW hobby, but even there basing has become an issue because they have expanded their range of base sizes, so even though they are all individual, what size do you use?

    My historical projects (ROME, 1066, War of 1812, Russo-German War) all use completely different and unique basing regimes, because they all have a different look and feel. There is no one-size-fits-all for basing. Across those projects are a mix of groups, individuals, pairs, square, rectangular, rounded, pill bases, single-rank, double-rank. Sabot basing like you describe is quite fashionable at the moment, but I am not a fan, it seems like the worst of both worlds. But the key for me is 'look and feel', like most aspect of wargames modelling. It's an individual hobby and your basing should reflect your preference for the particular project.

    For me personally, I would say there is a theme emerging and that is a move away from simple rectangular blocks and to a mix of individuals, pairs and larger groups all on round or rounded bases. I would call out Mr. Dallauppror in particular as an innovator of this style. It creates very realistic tableaux and is flexible for skirmish scaling up to mass battles. But... this is a big topic! Whatever you decide, make sure it works for you.

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