Friday, January 19, 2018

Why You Should Rebase

Hey Everyone!  Today I wanted to talk about that still, somewhat, controversial topic of rebasing your models to round and oval bases in Age of Sigmar. If you have been following my blog for the past year or so you would have seen me accepting the move to round bases, but refusing to rebase any old armies.  You would have also seen my reversal of opinion as I began my Aelf rebasing project that is still ongoing currently.  Today I wanted to dive into this topic about why I feel the community needs to begin working toward having round bases as a requirement for Age of Sigmar.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar has been out for a few years now and the community has never been better for hobbyists and gamers alike.  The community is growing with new and returning players and we are seeing a wide variety of armies out on the scene from these groups.  While it is still not officially mandated that Age of Sigmar is a game played with round bases it has become the general standard as more and more kits are being repackaged with round bases.  It is also standard to see events at the Local, Regional, and National levels stating that players measure from base to base during the game.  These are pointing toward a move to fully round based armies in the near future.

While newer players are coming into the game and putting their model son round bases a lot of the returning players still have old armies on squares.  I am not suggesting we turn players away at our local clubs because they wish to try out Age of Sigmar, but only have an old Army on Square bases.  I would encourage those players, as they find themselves enjoying the game, to look into rebasing their old army or begin a new army using the appropriate round bases.

National level events are, or most likely will be, requiring the appropriate round bases at their events and it is likely that the Regional level events will be soon to follow.  This puts the burden on the Local level to help prepare players and their armies for the higher levels of play.  This isn't anything new for the Local level as it has always been a place to learn your army, improve your skills, and prepare for the larger events as far as gameplay and list building.  This level must now also help encourage players to base their armies on rounds.

In my Local scene, I have been working to support the players in rebasing older armies to round bases.  It was not a quick process and it wasn't until I decided to rebase all of my old models that it truly became a priority to my hobby and allowed me to honestly help other players to join me in rebasing.  A lot of my local scene saw how much fun Adepticon was last year and are planning to go for the first time or return there after a gaming break and this has been a great final push to embolden everyone to go to round bases.

As our community grows we are always looking to invite new players into our game systems and supporting the use of round bases as the standard will only help us grow even more.  Seeing a game played between two armies with one of Square bases and the other on rounds appears disjointed as opposed to two armies on the same type of base.  It also takes away the odd feeling of measuring between two different shapes of bases and allows a better uniformity to knowing how far you need to charge, shoot, pile in, etc...  While it is possible to play with the two shapes of bases it is much simpler if you know your opponents will be bringing the model footprints you are expecting based on what we see from the more prevalent Regional and National levels of play.

To be fair there are a few hurdles and arguments about rebasing, but they are often not what you might be expecting, but they do have workarounds.  The first argument I hear is that it is a pain to rebase and it isn't as hard as one expects.  Rebasing goes quite quickly as models which were glued to bases with the use of plastic glue easily come off with a pair of snips and a bit of patience.  If someone used plastic glue then you just need to snip around the feet leaving a bit of the old base and gluing that directly onto the new round base.

Another concern is the cost of buying new round bases.  If you are looking to buy resin bases or official Citadel Bases then I would agree with the high cost of buying new bases.  If you have a small elite army then it isn't much to swallow.  However, if you are like me and looking to rebase hundreds of models then you need the cheapest option possible.  If you look online at hobby supply sellers or on eBay you can find bases made very cheaply in either a thinner plastic or MDF that often come in very large quantities.  The downside is they often have a lengthy shipping time as they cross international lines and customs checks, but if you need to pinch pennies it is the best way to do it.

The biggest hurdle that doesn't have an easy answer to point toward is what base sizes should be used?  While some of the older kits have been repackaged with round bases we still have kits on shelves that are supplied with square bases.  There is a great community tool over on TGA that lists out the old models and their appropriate base size, but it is far from complete.  What is the solution?  While it would be great to see an official document that lists the base sizes for models from Games Workshop it is unlikely we will see it, at least in the near future.  Perhaps we could see it in a future Generals Handbook, but for now, it falls to us as a community help the new and returning players find the appropriate base size.  Thankfully a lot of this can be done with common sense as a lot of square bases have associated round or oval bases close to their size.  You can also look at other units which are similar that may have an updated base.  For example, the repackaged Slaves to Darkness Start Collecting Box has a 120x92mm base for the chariot.  I would say it is safe to assume that all chariots would be based on the same size.

There are tools out there to help with moving from square to round bases as well.  Very soon The U.S. AoS Community group will be releasing their Modular Pack and within it is items such as a base conversion guide to help as part of one of the many modules.  Keep an eye out here as we are nearly done with the final stages of the pack and more info will be coming shortly.  For now here is a preview of this specific part of the module.

With positive support and encouragement, we can begin to see the use of round bases as the community standard at all levels of play int he near future.  While we do this we should also encourage Games Workshop to repackage as many of the old kits as they are able to help the newer players come in on the proper footing as well.  While I know not everyone will agree with a push such as this it is a big part of the health and growth of our game and community and it is already in process of happening, it just requires a bit more pushing from the community to make it a reality.  If you do disagree I hope that perhaps one day you will change your mind on rebasing as I have over this past year.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments and until next week.

Happy Hobbying!

~Chuck Moore