Base/Stand Sizes?

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    It’s probably no surprise when I tell you that I’m new to historical gaming based on this question. Each model having its own base is what I’m used to – it gives me comfort. This business of having four men to a stand, for example, amazes and confuses me.

    Even after having read the Hail Caesar rulebook, especially the part on basing several times, I’m still confused on the subject. Looking at the pictures in it and the Shieldwall supplement, it seems that Warbands have four rows made of two 40x40mm stands deep. In the middle, there sit the unit leader and standard bearer in the front row and, I assume, the musician is behind those two. So that leaves those three plus a normal warrior on separate 20x20mm bases, correct? (That’s what it says in the rule book, but I like to make sure.)

    Hopefully the example above made sense. I know it says in the Hail Caesar rulebook that basing is fairly free and breezy, but I want to do what others are used to doing.

    Also, I think my General and his Commanders will be on round bases instead of squares. They get to be special!


    It works good my Romans have 4 bases 40×40 per unit my Briton warbands. I just have one big base 160mm wide with about 30 figures in roughly 4 ranks .they are a lot easier to move and don’t roll around in the box when transported.


    Honestly, it doesn’t matter too much, use whatever looks good for you. If you intend to play with a particular opponent or at a local club, find out what basing convention they use and do the same. Mounting all of your minis on individual bases and using a movement tray will give you the most flexibility. Multiple models on larger bases make it easier to move models around the table but you’ll need to figure out how to store and transport them because most carrying cases are for individual minis.

    Game wise, the only thing you need to worry about is if your units are roughly the same width as your opponent’s. After that, it’s all about aesthetics.

    Big Al

    Deadman Wade has got it right.
    To be honest, the musician, leader and standard bearer are purely aesthetic. They have no bearing on the game whatsoever, so you can base them however you like. The only part that the officer plays is to note the centre of the unit front and to determine line of sight. You don’t need a special figure for any of that.

    DMW also mentioned about storage. I use the Really Useful boxes for that, with some non slip matting in the bottom. Works well and they stack well when storing them at home.


    I vary my bases for units. Skirmishers and light infantry are 20×20 mm single based because they can adopt open order but medium and heavy units are usually 40×40 mm . Just how I prefer them,though. Ultimately as mentioned though as long as the fronts of you and your opponent are equal then all is well and basing won’t matter.

    Charge The Guns

    All great advice. This thread should be made ‘sticky’ as I’m sure this will continue to be an often asked question.

    My only additional suggestion would be to go a site like and look at all the different options there are for bases and movement trays. There are some great options, using coins and magnets, to allow you to rank up figures for one formation or type of game, and then separate them for others.


    Thanks for the replies, everyone! These comments really helped me out. I’ll be playing solo, so I guess they can be based how I want them to be based!

    The thing is, I bought about 90 wooden bases when I purchased the Shieldwall Starter Set, only to find out that they go with Bolt Action. Not a problem as that’ll be one of my next games to purchase, but the Commanders will probably go on those, as has been mentioned in the original post. I’ll take a look at Warbases and see what’s on offer.


    Good point about the pin for the post but I need to work out how to pin it to just this forum, I’m sure our Bolt Action cousins don’t need to worry about Roman base sizes!


    Nothing I’ve posted has ever been pinned. I feel like a rockstar! *turns Judas Priest up to 11*

    Anyway, I’ve decided to go ahead and use the 25mm round MDF bases as there seem to be movement trays out there that you can place round-based miniatures in and move around the table. Shieldwall’s skirmish rules win out on this one – actually, it’s the best of both worlds.

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