Basing Test for 6mm Napoleonics

I’ve recently picked up both Lasalle and Black Powder (the two major rule sets that seem to be all the rage these days with Napoleonic wargamers), and have been thinking of how best to base my 6mm naps so that they can be used for both rules.

Lasalle recommends building a unit as a group of 4 to 6 bases sized 40mm x 20mm, while Black Powder recommends their units made up of 6 to 8 bases sized 20mm x 20mm.

So if I simply go by their recommendations, it would seem best to use a 20×20 basing. This way, I can join up two of them to create 40×20 bases when playing Lasalle.

But my problem is… would this look good?

I personally love the massed look of 60×30 or 60×60 bases that seem to be the norm when it comes to 6mm. These bases are so roomy that you can place a minimum of 24 figures on them, and some people go all out to make each base into a “mini-diorama” or “vignette”.

But on the other hand, I like the idea of using groups of smaller (20×20 or 40×20) bases, since this will allow me to change the formation (March Column, Attack Column, Line, Square) of my units, which is a rather important part of “Petit Tactical” rules like Lasalle and Black Powder.

So I cut out some hardboard (thick cardboard) bases, grabbed a bit of Blu-Tack, and made some mock-ups to give me a better idea of what the end result will look like. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough miniatures lying around to effectively demonstrate the full effect. But still, I think this mock-up gives a rather good idea of what I can expect.

20×20 Basing

First up, mock-ups of a unit consisting of six 20×20 bases:

 

Well… while they certainly look practical for changing formations and such, they look a bit too “gamey”. Another consideration is that I’ll probably be fielding a good number of units, which would probably mean that I’ll have to spend a lot of time moving these guys around the table.

40×20 Basing

Next are two bases of 40×20. I didn’t have enough spare minis to make the required 4~6 bases, but you get the idea :)

Visually, they certainly are a big improvement over 20×20.

 

60×30 Basing

Lastly, here’s a mock-up of a “scenic” 60×30 base.

Even though I’ve placed 36 figures on the base instead of the usual 24, it still feels more like a “vignette” than a gaming base. I think this can be a problem if I want to use multiple bases to make up a unit, as each base would tend to stand out.

 

So what’s my decision?

I’m definitely ruling out 20×20, but I’m torn between 40×20 and 60×30. I have a bigger order of British infantry on its way over from the U.K, so I’m thinking of making a better mock-up with actual unit sizes before committing myself to a base size.

I’ll give an update when it’s done! :)

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