Sunday, 8 May 2011

Does Size Matter?

Brent over at BOLS... yes BOLS... wrote quite a interesting article the other day about base size and modeling.  I was quite impressed with how passionate some people had become over the issue and how they saw it impact on the game. With this in mind, I decided to look at my own experiences and discuss how it affects perhaps others.

Cadian? No..... Cadian Metal? No.... RT era metal... yes. However as you can see even on a modern base he still has a role and is easily serviceable. (In this case as my Penal Legion Custodian). But I doubt anyone would blink an eye at this guy on the board or his base. 

I have always been under the impression the following was the rules and I had this confirmed by reading my BRB too.

1). Citadel models are all legit no matter their age.
2). Models must be used on the bases they are issued with for competitive play. (read same size as they came with).
3). Models should not be modeled for advantage. All laying down etc.

7th Penal Legion advancing under heavy fire from 1990's Space Wolves. Baldness was the key to Penal success obviously during the 1980's, that and explosive collars of course. Sigh... where are you now Adeptus Mech with your frenzon dispenser.

So I thought to myself well whats out there at the moment that is causing all this fear? ruckas? What is so stigmatic about the size of a base and it's direct impact upon the game. I can think of two prime case examples which would cause me concern;

1). Terminators on 25mm round bases. Like it or not Terminators during the RT era and right up through till 3rd edition came with standard issue 25mm bases. The issue today for 5th is clearly around deep striking and close combat with these guys. 10 figures on 25mm bases are a lot easier to ensure they won't deviate from a teleport, and smaller bases can be argued clearly to have an advantage for close combat affects when dealing with larger units. Low and behold... my RT GK army suckers!

2). Models that have not been released yet but this counts as..... This seems to raise it's head more with Nids than any other army. I have seen some brilliant conversion work out there but I have also seen things as silly as a 40mm round bases being used. For the Nids this is so problematic due to the pooper nid sending out wave after wave of gaunts that I have seen some players say "Not playing you sorry" when an opponent comes up with it.

Is this issue as widespread as it appears? I have my doubts. But what it really relates too is the distinct advantages that can be modeled and how far you are willing to persecute the WYSIWYG factor. Both appear to be quite inter-dependent on each other with how you play and what you think. I used to belong to the don't care if your using coke bottles as Drop Pod group, and for casual play I really still am. But at a competitive level I draw the line and I have been thinking how did I arrive here? When I was 15/16 and RT era was in its prime, we had to make do with what we had... Most times figures came with one set of armaments and it was WYSIWYG in the packet or nothing. I cannot remember anyone attempting to do anything strange with bases either....

So where do we draw the line? I am interested to hear your thoughts on the issue of base size and model size too.... I guess in my mind I as I have played more and more and my budget has allowed me to buy what I want when I want too.... I have become less forgiving of my opponent. Human Nature perhaps? I cannot see myself telling a 15 year old kid.... not playing you as your space marine with a flamer your telling me is a melta or him telling me that this is a dread but its a can of coke... (After all which 15 year old has that type of income, and I understand that and respect that). Would I play against another old school guy using original 40k dreads? Yes.... if the rest of his army was built with RT issue stuff and painted... that's a collection, a hobbyist who is doing it for the feel and theme and who has bothered to work hard for it and do a job that I would be envious of.... but what about that guy and we all have one... who has a tervigon on a 40mm round base? Do you say hey? or do you shut up? Or the guy who has 3 crap painted original Rhino's and brand new Space Marines pouring out of them?

Perhaps here I will post a couple of pics to set some of you off.... These figures are my own. Still fighting the good fight now 20 odd years after release.... I have an army of RT issue guard, that I am building and painting slowly, I have had though in the last three months a spate of SM players say I am cheating using them! I feel like grabbing the punk and saying hey... I had this for 20 odd years... looked after it, painted and then repainted it! looked after it, didn't get rid of it and its on a modern base so you can either STFU whiny bitch or grow some balls!

Sentinel RT era issue. Stamped 1988. Base is not GW but from another group called Back 2 Basix. I rebased them on to 60mm bases this year instead of the 40mm square ones they originally had. This was due to metal stress on the legs and age of the plastic which had become quite brittle.

Scale Purposes next to a Chimera with Hydra mod from FW, so you can see the size comparison.
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