Variations on a Theme

Alternative DBM Basing Conventions

  • One idea for unconventional DBx basing that I had came about partly thanks to Superior Elements. This site is run by an Australian fellow who sells DBx elements that are just that - elements, with pretty pictures on them of shield patterns and such like, indicating what the elements represent, with their DBM classification written down on their front, so's there's no confusion as to what they are. No miniatures at all. Nice and cheap (even cheaper than plastic!) But still well done, laser cut and all, and harking back to the origin of modern wargaming, namely Kriegspiel (I think it was called) - a wargame originating with the German army at the end of the 19th century. Blocks of wood representing army formations, with rules to simulate how the army operated in the field.

    Anyhow, I thought I might do the same but different. As I'm no artist, I'll do much the same as the Superior Elements, but put one figure on each element instead of a picture. At first glance, this may look pathetic when compared to conventional DBx basing. And I suppose it does! However, it's not as if an element of, say, auxilia, with three figures on it, actually represents only three men. Rather it represents a couple of hundred. So, when all is said and done, what's the difference of having just one figure or three? (Sort of a similar, but the reverse approach to the one I suggested below). With the DBM classification written down at the front of the element for your opponent to see, there should be no confusion as to what it is. And, it'll cut down the time required to paint up the army by a third, which makes the proposition of pulling together a DBM army not quite as daunting as painting a full sized conventionaly based army. It's almost within the realms of possiblity!

    I'm first trying it out with my Orc army. My primary motivation for trying this out with my Orcs is a basic lack of figures.

    I have already designated 40 odd Esci Legionaries for my HOTT Generic Goblin army, and can't spare any more figures to expand it to a Tolkien Goblin or Mordor army (courtesy of Luke Ueda-Sarson's excellent Tolkien DBM army lists), as I need what few Esci figures that I have spare to replace the Revel legionaries in my Roman army (the Esci figures are now proving hard to come by - in New Zealand anyway - and I can't justify the expense of overseas mail order just to pull together a plastic Orc army!).

    And I've already started basing each figure individually so that I can use them either for DBx or skrimish games. So it's just a simple matter to cut up some appropriate sized DBM bases, and attach the indiviually based figures on with double sided tape. Note, this only works if your using balsa for your basing material - funnily enough, the tape sticks rather well to cardboard!

    So I'll have a full DBM army for the same price as a standard Generic Goblin HOTT one. Now that's value for money!

  • Another, somewhat un-original, idea is this - put 2mm figures onto 25mm bases. The reasoning behind it is that an element is supposed to represent not individual soldiers, but the smallest body of troops capable of independant action. That is, up to 2000 infantry or about 500 odd cavalry. So what you want is the impression of a mass of troops, and I imagine (because I havn't tried it, or even seen it done!) that mounting 2mm figures in such a fasion would achieve just that. It's just an extension on the idea put forward by WRG in the DBx rule books of mounting 2mm on 15mm bases.


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