Wednesday 28 March 2018

Basing for 1812 Retreat from Moscow

Having decided to aim for both Sharp Practice and Black Powder I now need to find a basing convention to suit.
So first one is 50 x  50 mm width looks good for the Polish and for the Cavalry. Its does feel like the horse is not deep enough, not sure it is too wide for the ranks of marching Russians.

40 x 40 mm is a good fit for the marching Russians but far too shallow for the Poles with their muskets sticking out and certainly come no where near for the horse.

Deeper works for the foot at 40 mm wide and 50 mm deep. Its still not quite deep enough for the Polish muskets and bayonets. Too tight for the horse by far. That said it doesn't leave much room on the bases for the garbage etc of the retreat. I want to add broken wheels, drums and bodies etc.

I decided to try the basing I use for Great Northern Ear, 50 mm front by 80 mm deep. That actually looks great for the Cavalry but is too deep for the foot, especially those marching Russians.

Lastly is the one I am thinking we may go with. 50 mm frontage by 60 mm deep. As I had all the new Cossack's available I couldn't help getting them all in the shot.
Its wide enough and deep enough for the cavalry, a bit deeper might give them opportunity to look more irregular and add bits to the base. Food for thought as we can do the cavalry bases deeper as long as frontage is the same.

Its plenty big enough for the Russians and whilst they may end up in a slightly loose formation I still think they will look OK on here. I perhaps need more foot all together to finally decide for the Russians.
From the below you can see its a really good fit for the Poles and French. Room at the front for the bayonets to be inside the base and room to add all the discarded gear. Wide enough that they can be grouped together but left looking slightly ragged in terms of formation too.

In this last picture you get an idea why we need the depth, one of the bayonets still sticks out, I can push him back slightly and they will all be in but we do need this depth to protect the figures from wargamers "Fat Fingers".
So thats where we are at, 50 mm x 60 mm looks favourite and by happy coincidence is the same basing I use for Hail Caesar ( the other way around for them though) room on the bases for broken wheels and drums, cast off packs etc plus the odd log or bush peaking from under the snow.

It also allows me to do both Sharp Practice and Black Powder. To get the most out of the armies this is really useful. As things stand I don't need many more to have a really small Sharp Practice game but I am months away from Black Powder. I will need a casualty marker system for Sharp Practice but that should be easily solved.

Unless I have a brain storm and change my mind then I can actually start basing these almost straight away. I certainly have two 8 figure units of Cossacks we can start with.

So there you go. Lets see where that goes. Tomorrow night I have a Sharp Practice play test over at Steve's place. Using my Carlists as they are based in fours. I will do a quick write up to share how it goes.

See you soon.


  1. Love your basing posts, probably one area of wargaming that most of us can agree causes us angst.

    For napoleonics and ACW infantry, I have been using 50 wide by 40 deep and having 2 ranks of 3. This keeps a nice density of troops, though my chaps are neatly ranked to get 6 figures to a base, where-as I rather like your more informal placing of the figures that make them look more like a group.

    Good luck with the project and thanks for giving me something to think about.

    1. Cheers Norm, holiday next week so maybe get first couple of bases done week after. See what you think.

  2. Very nice job, waiting for the bases!

    1. Cheers Phil, give me a week or two and lets see.

  3. I’m trying to figure out if you had all these bases just lying around or were cutting them out as you went...😀

    I agree that if you’re going for broke on the theme then you want room for the debris.

    1. Bit of both Stew. I didnt buy them all to check. I had 40 x 40 for my Carlists and 50 x 50 for my cavalry. 60 x 50 for my hail Ceasar and 50 by 80 for my GNW just needed to buy a single pack of 40 x 50 to see if that would work. 50 x 60 seems most likely fit.