Sunday, 20 March 2016

Basing 6mm Napoleonics

A few people have asked about my base sizes in comments on various posts so I thought I would just do a summary of my basing.

You can check out a tutorial on basing here, but this post is all about the sizes and the unit make up.

I have always used a scaled down version of base sizes for In The Grand Manner rules as well as the basic unit sizes for these rules. I have kept those when moving to more modern rules as I like to be able to form line and column and square plus I like reasonably sized units. Newer rules don't much care about base sizes so I have had not problem.

I use 1.5mm ply wood. It takes the glue for sand much better than plastic and once I found a place that did laser cut bases in 1.5mm ply ( it all became much easier.

The main sizes of base I use are:

20mm x 20mm
20mm x 25mm
20mm x 30mm

15mm x 24mm (although 25mm is fine)
15mm x 18mm

10mm x 15mm
10mm x 22.5mm


Horse guns are on a 20mm by 20mm base with 4 crew figures. Most nations have 3 gun batteries although British can be 2 guns. Russians and Prussians have 4 gun batteries.


French horse guns
Prussian horse guns
British horse guns

Foot guns are on a 20mm by 25mm base with the frontage being 20mm and again 4 crew figures. Most nations have 4 gun batteries although the British are usually 3. Russians have big batteries and have 6 guns.


Prussian foot battery
Bavarian foot battery
British foot artillery
Portuguese foot artillery

I made up my own size for Austrian Grenz guns which is a smaller 15mm by 20mm as they are small calibre


French pattern battalions are 36 man units with 6 bases each 18mm wide and 15mm deep with 6 figures on each base. I have not posted French line yet but a number of nations use the same organisation.


Bavarian Infantry
Polish infantry

Most other infantry battalions are 32 man units with 4 bases each 24mm wide by 15mm deep (although 25mm wide works just as well) and 8 figures on each base.


Prussian infantry
Wurttemburg infantry
Saxon infantry

Early Austrians can be 48 figures which just means an extra two 24mm by 15mm bases. Later in the wars I use 36 man units based like French.

British are a bit of a law unto themselves but mostly use 24mm by 15mm bases with either 32 or 40 or sometimes 48 figures (Guard): so 4 or 5 or 6 bases with 8 figures each

British infantry

I have based the British Light Division on 30mm by 20mm though and use special rules for them.

Some nations have smaller units such as Portuguese and I have them as 24 figure units on 18mm by 15mm bases (4 bases with 6 figures on each). I have a couple of British units of this size as you can see in the above British infantry example.


I base all skirmishers on the same size bases, either on bases with 2 figures (15mm by 10mm) or 3 figures (22.5mm by 10mm). Strength of unit depends on the size of the skirmish screen

British skirmishers
Prussian skirmishers


Cavalry squadrons are usually 6 or 8 or 10 figures and regiments usually have 4 squadrons although less can be fielded for understrength units. Some nations had massive cavalry units early on but often best to split into two normal size units, although I usually keep Austrian 6 squadron units as a single unit.


Generally light cavalry are 4 six man squadrons and I base the unit on twelve 20mm by 20mm bases, so 2 figures a base. Heavy cavalry have 4 eight man squadrons and I base those as follows: each squadron has 2 figures on a 20mm by 20mm base and two bases with 3 figures on 30mm by 20mm bases. Guard have big squadrons of 10 figures and I use two 20mm by 20mm bases and two 30mm by 20mm bases for each squadron. The same organisation (i.e. line organisation) is used by most French Allies for their cavalry.

French line cavalry
French Guard cavalry
Saxon and Polish cavalry

Prussian and British

All Prussian and British cavalry are 4 six man squadrons based as per French light cavalry. I sometimes base six man squadrons on two 30mm by 20mm bases although that was mainly before I managed to get laser cut bases and I wanted to reduce the number of bases I had to cut out by hand!

Prussian cavalry
British cavalry


All Austrian cavalry have 6 squadrons of six men (36 figures). I bases these as per French light but obviously more bases for the two extra squadrons - although I sometimes have half of the squadrons with 3 bases 20mm by 20mm and then the other half with 2 bases 30mm by 20mm simply to reduce the awkwardness of moving the unit.

[link pending]


All Russian cavalry except Cossacks are based like French heavy cavalry - so both Russian light and heavy cavalry have 4 eight man squadrons using one 20mm by 20mm and two 30mm by 20mm bases per squadron.

Russian cavalry


I initially used square bases, sometimes with rounded corners, but I now use round bases - again thanks to laser cutting. Generally I use 30mm diameter for corps commanders, 25mm for divisional commanders and 20mm for Brigade commanders. However, I tend to be a bit more flexible with commander bases.

Russian commanders
Austrian commanders 
Prussian commanders
British commanders

1 comment:

  1. I went with 20x20 for 3 rank infantry. 30x15 for 2 rank infantry and skirmishers. 25x25 for artillery. And 30x35 for cavalry. All using H&R figures.