I have to admit, when I started wargaming Napoleonics, I thought I had it easy. Lots of minis to play with, but with multi basing (= more than one mini per base) those should have been easy to move around. Real life told me, this was not the case.
But at least this was to be the only basing problem, right! No hassle with skirmishers since those are to based in a uniform manner. Well again life taught me this was not the case. But this year I came up with a couple of solutions that I want to share with you.
Given that there are a lot of battalions on the average Napoleonics table, it can take quiet some time to move them around. Especially if they are big ones. And even with small units, there is always the danger of stands touching in an undesired way and paint rubbing of. Movement trays are a neat solution for this. You will say that movement trays are no big Voodoo and indeed you are right. I have been using them in other cases, so what is the problem here. Well honestly… I did not think about them, until Victrix released their trays. Now since I use their 40mm x 40mm bases for my infantry bases, this was a logical solution for me. The only problem was… I do not base all my minis that way. In some cases I use bases 50mm wide (if there is one mounted offer on the base) or 60mm wide (in case the historical unit size ends me up with a 6 mini base). And there are other problems. The Victrix bases are 120mm wide (= 3 40mm bases), but since I use historical unit sizes, I will at times have a number of stands which cannot be decided by three. Now with most of my abnormal basing requirements I go to Warbases since they have never disappointed me. And they did give me just what I wanted in this case too. I gave them the sizes I needed, told them that these should match the ones available from Victrix and that was all that was needed. So I got me a number of trays that can hold two bases, as well as ones for 2 ½ and 3 ½ bases. The only thing I forgot to order was trays for the 2 ¼ and 3 ¼ trays (to fit the bases containing mounted officers), but that should easily be remedied with my next order! So here are the results:
Now the far more complicated problem for me are those units that can deploy the whole unit as skirmishers under the Republic to Empire rules (like Légère, Rifles or Jäger)… lets call them Lights. Now the rules do not give you a fixed base size or shape for skirmishers, but I chose double hex bases (custom-made by Warbases again) for this. When I started painting Napoleonics I wanted to do both regular and skirmisher bases for these Lights. But once the first few units were painted I realized, that this would mean a lot of extra effort and indeed cost. So I decided to base those lights on half bases, so I could just use them as skirmisher teams, too. Again I had Warbases cut me those half bases to match the bases I usually use. Now the only problem with this brilliant idea was that once deployed as skirmishers, they had a far smaller footprint than their skirmisher brethren from the regular regiments.
Some time this year I suddenly though sabots might be the solution, so I got back to Warbases (you can see the pattern developing ;-)) and asked them to cut me custom sabots to match my existing skirmisher bases and able to hold my half bases. And again they delivered in no time and with virtually no explanation of what exactly I wanted. And here are the results (I did not add any grass tuffs to the sabots, since I want to stack them up when not in use).
I have to say, I am pretty pleased with my solution and hope you will agree.
While this post is in no way sponsored by them, I would suggest anyone who needs some regular or custom / special bases, movement trays or sabots give Warbases a try… I think you will not be disappointed!