Over the past couple of years I have played around with various different basing systems and sizes to explore the possibilities in 6mm. This journey has been posted on the Baccus forum and from the feedback I have had is it is a worthwhile read (Link to Baccus thread when forum back up). What I have tried to do with this post is summarise and condense the experience in relation to Impetus in preparation for the ‘Joy of Six’ wargames and trade show in July. We will touch on other aspects and sidetracks as we go along.
What does 6mm offer?
6mm wargaming is definately my prefered scale for wargaming and has huge scope in how it can be used. My initial attraction with 6mm was the ability to scale everything down to a manageable size and playability on a standard dining room table (~ 5′ x 3′) without it looking rediculous like it often does in 28mm. This obviates the need for boards being hoisted in and out of the garrage and allows far greater storage possibilities for both armies and scenery. When we moved house some 5 years ago the double garrage had a complete face lift and now houses my little wargame and hobby empire, along with a 10′ x 5′ table. For a spell everything went big to use the mass of board space I now had available. More recently however I have been revisiting the use of much smaller bases and portable scale boards. This is due to a couple of recent additions to our little band of merry men have limited space back at home, and looking at the ultimetely flexible sabot basing.
This throws up out first pivot – going big, going small, or somewhere in-between. This will obvioulsy depend on the size of playing area individuals have access to, and an individuals preferences.
When going small I would consider base/unit size of 30mm x 15mm which allows for as little as a 2′ x 2′ board to be needed (two games on the dining table!). Much fewer figures required – less cost, easier storage, portability, quickly finished mini-projects,… to name but a few advantages. More on this choice of size later.
Going large allows for much greater dioramic scope on the bases and an ever increasing visually satisfying mass effect. This may be at the expense of limiting the systems figures can be ideally used for. Our little group has not found this such an issue as we are quite happy to fudge things as and when needed.
Somewhere in between lies what most 6mm gamers consider the de-facto 6mm standard base – the 60mm x 30mm. If you read the thread on the Baccus forum you will come to realize that this is the centre of the universe where 6mm basing is concerned, and one would do well to heed its call.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the 40x20mm basing that I know many will have been drawn to through warmaster. I would contend that this base size was ultimately chosen to accomodate 10mm figures, and that its use is not designed around 6mm (although it does work prettty well). If one applies the dimensions to a 6mm mindset then the equivalent base turns out at 30mm x 15mm…… and if you put 4 of these together you get 60 x 30mm….. they way of the universe begins to reveal itself!
How does this relate to Impetus?
Ultimately the basing suggestions in Impetus are the result of things like DBMM in 15mm and 28mm and multiplying the base elements up. Base depth varies as it has to physically accomodate the figures. This is not an issue in 6mm. The suggestions for both 6mm and 10mm are to “base 10mm or 5/6mm miniatures using half the dimensions shown for 25/28mm. During play use the measurements used for 15mm. You may prefer to use 15mm base sizes instead.”
The simple ‘half the base dimensions for 25/28mm’ is effective and relatively simple. The one thing it misses is that in 6mm in particular we are not dependant on base depth to physically accomodate the figures. It does however sit well that the base width is again 60mm. Many people with collections already on 60 x 30’s will simple play with them as is. Using the basing as suggested does however carry advantages in that there is more scope for dioramic effect (especially where cavalry are concerned), and unit types can be more readily identified by their dimensions. Of additional note is that the suggested playing area for a 300 point game of 6mm requires a playing area ~ 4′ x 3′ (the kitchen table!).
Using the ’15mm’ basing dimensions would probably suit those people who have existing collections based for warmaster. If purpose based, the area on a 80mm x 40mm base allows for an increased dioramic layout of the figures, and there are some fine examples on the forum where this has been done.
I am kicking myself for opting for a base width of 100mm x 50mm for the Trebia demonstration game we put on a couple of years back. If starting the project again now I would opt for the 80mm width and variations of bases. This would maintain the mass effect and visual impact needed for a demonstration game whilst also following one of the two main standards I can see people with 6mm armies adopting.
Impetus and the ‘Joy of Six’
So where does that leave us? Well in the main I can see people just using their existing collections of 60mm x 30mm figures. Personally I would follow the half 28mm dimensions as I like the extra depth it allows for cavalry along with compressing pike formations so they no longer end up deeper than they are wide. Ultimately as long as an army is based consistently I can not see it influencing game play that drastically.
One additional option is to consider sabot basing and the flexibility which it offers to varying base dimensions dependant on table space available. In addition it provides greater flexibility to use models for other systems such as Hail Caeser. I will be looking at this in more depth in a future post as I paint some armies up using some slightly different basing.
6mm sizes for half 28mm dimension Impetus
All base widths 60mm with the base depths as follows :-
Wagenburg – 8cm (or more if necessary)
Cavalry – 6cm
Heavy Infantry – 2cm (or 3cm)
Light Infantry and missile troops – 3cm
Skirmishers – 1.5 – 2cm
Chariots, Artillery and Elephants – 3cm (or 4cm)
I’ve put on some examples but intend to edit and add to these over time.