Monday, April 3, 2017

War of Spanish Succession: Basing options

So I am starting my preliminary work for my next project which will be the War of Spanish Succession.  I will build the armies using 10mm figures from Old Glory and mix in Pendraken where I need too.  I have several rule sets that I am currently reading like these below:
Along with Polemos rule set "Chosen Men, well Disposed", Hoplight Research's "Ridiculous Vanity" and Piquet's "Field of Battle 2".  So far after spending the past week reading rules I have narrowed down my options to "Beneath the Lily Banners", "Twilight of the Sun King" and "GaPa".  I know and have played "Field of Battle" quite a lot and know it would work, but some members of the group are not taken with the rule set.  Hence my other options above.  
With my options in rules, they all state that any basing system will work.  Well now I need to pick a basing system.

 My top 2 picks all have some variation on using basing with a 60mm frontage with a different number of bases creating a unit.  BLB uses 60mm for 25mm figures and needs 3 bases to create a unit.  The 15mm figure size requires a 30mm frontage, still 3 bases creates a unit.
Twilight of the Sun King uses 60mm regardless of the size of the figures and 2 bases creates a unit. Also just as a side note the Polemos rules also use a 60mm frontage.
GaPa uses Paces as a unit of measurement and for the 15mm scale, 50 paces would equal 30mm.  The number of bases then depends on the number of men in a unit.  So a 600 man battalion is 150 paces or 90mm of Frontage. 
Piquet uses 15mm figures on a 40mm frontage and 4 bases equals a unit.

Now having said all of this, it comes down to what looks and seems the best.  So I have taken some photos of some of the troops on different sized bases and filled them up as to how I see the units.  Take a look:

These two photos are 60mm x 30mm and can hold 3 ranks of figures.  That to me looks like a nice size unit and gives the compact feel of the period. Too model a unit that fired by Platoon I could reduce the number of ranks to 2, just to give some visual interest. 

These bases are 40mm x 30mm and again 3 ranks deep. Still looks okay.  Again the same thing can be done for a unit that fires by Platoon.

These two photos are 40mm x 20mm. Obviously only 2 ranks can fit onto a base but the mass feel is still there.

So my question to you all is "what seems like a good choice?"  Do you have any suggestions.  Do you have any experience with the rule systems listed and have some advice on how to make it work better?

As always thanks for stopping by and reading about my adventures in gaming.


  1. I've always liked the look of three ranks of figures for this period. the infantry formations were deeper than we may have expected if only used to looking at Naopleonic or even the SYW periods.

  2. Hi Victor
    Great post

    Take care


  3. I like the dense look of your six strips on a 60mm x 30mm base. If going down the two strip/base option, I suggest 30mm x 20mm rather than 40mm x 20mm.

  4. 60 x 30 3 ranks looks best. But will you base the allies differently? They seem to have been shallower and wider than the French. This has been taxing my mind, too....

    1. I was considering doing a larger base for the units that used Platoon fire, as I've read, they had a longer frontage. Just not sure how that would work within the chosen rules.

    2. Yes that is the issue. Also the depth of the French formations seems to have reduced during the course of the war. Not helpful of them! ;-)

      A lot of rules have a common frontage for French and allies.

  5. From a purely aesthetic (and personal) perspective I don't like to see gaps within a unit that's supposed to be a solid line, so if 4 bases make a unit, then I'd fill each of then side-to-side. If you're going for single-base unit then I'd be happy leaving gaps at each end as I'm OK seeing gaps between different units.

    If you went for 2 x 60mm bases for a single unit, then you can have 3 ranks (dressed toward the centre, so having gaps on each flank), or 2 ranks that fill the whole 120mm - with both units having about the same number of figures. (Perhaps for FoB, each larger base would "count as" two.)

    Some might call that blatant plagiarism of Polemos, but I prefer to call it research. Or that's what my lawyer told me to say, anyway.

    I'm not that familiar with the 10mm figures, but it looks like a strip of 5 is about 30mm wide. I'd probably therefore go with 30mm as your basic multiple for base widths - 40mm just gives more cut'n'shut work!

    I've no idea if any of that helped, but hopefully it will challenge/confirm your own thoughts.

    I look forward to seeing your progress. I'm desperately trying to fight off a 6mm GNW project of my own. So far I've only bought books and rules (Ga Pa and the Polemos GNW). I ... must ... resist ... the ... lead ...

    1. I do like the "solid" line between bases to look like a whole continuous line of troops.

  6. This brings to mind the old observation that different scales may serve many different aesthetic purposes but smaller scales save you little money. 28 mm., which I prefer for this period, costs me 16 times the cost of one figure for my WSS units while 24 or more man units in smaller scales end up at about the same cost per unit! My WSS games often have 30 to 40 units a side! Here's a link to my typical units and their look. Units are 16 figures to a battalion, 8 for horse, 5 for artillery.

    In battle the mass look is.achieved with the multiple units and lines. Basing is really almost immaterial, and most rules can easily be adapted to almost any basing system. Its really all about what you think looks best. If the basing demands are too strict you need another set of rules! ��

    Great period. 80% of my games are in this period. Easy extension into the concurrent GNW period, or back to the 9 Years War. I feel the uniforms and flags are well served by 28 mm but everyone has his own opinion of the best look- have fun with a great period with great personalities.

  7. I like 28mm figures. I don't like painting them. I'm a mediocre painter at best and 28's can make a mediocre painter look shabby. The smaller figures allow me to hide some of that and my poor qualities as a painter.
    I know the price break point of smaller figures to larger are about even and this project will be huge over time with all of the different nations involved.

  8. I understand completely, and to get more force developed, I have made good use of Fernando. I look at it that the price of the casting and the painting of the figure are the true cost-which is one aspect of the appeal of fewer figures in 28mm. I do all special units and ancillary units myself.

    The pay-off in using firms such as Fernando is you get the figures on the table and get lots of use-rather than lingering on as unpainted lead in some basement storage bin. Too many large armies never get beyond the dreaming stage.

    If spread over time the cost of using painters(especially from Asian locales) is supportable. My WSS army has taken over 6 years-with spending averaging $300 a year for painting. You get to a pretty good number of units fast, and youre actually playing rather than planning! An infantry or Cavalry unit costs about the same if you keep cavalry units to 1/2 the figures of infantry.

    Cost calculation of 16 foot ($1.50 a figure + 1.75 for painting+.25 for Litko stand+.25 for for teraining materials= $60 total, but $32 of that you'll be paying anyway! so the net additional cost is $28 and it's on your table.

    Consider this a quick way to get a core army started and in play, and you can add additional units painted by yourself over time. This is especially true if you have family obligations, job demands, and strong procrastination traits. Remember the units can be sold later for at least $5 a figure and you're ultimately out little, and you've actually used them for a few years! Even the worst job by Fernando is pretty good, and if you're willing to up the ante a bit-you can get award winning figures to use that will net you even more when you want to sell. You might even display them out of pride! Well painted 28s are always more salable than smaller scales.

    If you look long term and don't flit about in your interests as too many gamers do, you'll actually spend LESS money over time than those that chase the next shiny object and end up with closets full of lead figures and unachieved dreams.

    In any case, I have no doubt you'll enjoy this period-it's a gem in ANY scale!

  9. I use Fernando and DJD Minis for outsourcing my painting needs. With the 10mm figures at $0.50 a figure for 300 figures only cost me $150, not counting shipping or basing. That's a lot of units. Most of my AWI 10mms are painted by them. Good majority of my Renaissance figures are painted by them. My 25mm Magnificent Seven figures are painted DJD as well. And they look just like the guys from the movie. :)

  10. Yeah I'd be lucky to have more than three units without Fernando! I do enjoy doing special units and gear. I did the siege gun, General's carriage, Powder wagons, Pontoon wagon, and scratch built LouisXIVth's Wine Wagon shown on my site. I also do most artllery guns and limbers. Having Fernando do the repetitive figures in units, allows me time to really work on the detail of such models, including reins, restraining chains, etc.

    I also "spruce up" many units by added highlight and shadows, gloss to horses coats, stand ID plaques, etc.

    I am now trying to replicate Flag Dudes process on standards and flags, and have several new projects including a HQ tent with officers, field forge and artillery hoist, Forage wagon, Sapper wagons, an earthwork scene, and adding to my villages and fortification pieces. None of this would be possible without the added painting help. The equation always revolves around time and money, and, late in life, one often has more money than time!

    All the best, Victor. Keep us informed about your WSS armies (and don't forget SPAIN!)