When our gaming club started talking about doing Jutland, I picked up the Figurehead Jutland Fleets from Gregg at Strange Cargo Games. We decided to start with a few smaller actions first. Of course I had to get the fleets painted and based!
Update: I liked the models so much I now sell them in my online store. //shameless plug
I thought about a number of ways to base the figures, but settled on a well-marked dual base for two reasons. First, a large base would allow me to mark the ships such that our older members could find and identify their ships much easier. This will, I hope, help play speed along, as well as giving them a more enjoyable evening with the lads. Second, by also having a smaller base, it would alleviate any crowding when ships get in close.
Here is what a fairly close-action encounter looks like:
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of “label” showing. But each ship is marked with a Type (BB, CA, etc.), national flag/symbol, name and ID number. Hey, how about that nifty background, huh?
The system couldn’t be simpler. Each ship has a two part base. First, all ships (except destroyers - see below) are mounted on a 1/2” wide by 1.5” long steel base painted blue. The bow of the ship is at or very close to the edge of the base. At the rear is a small ID number. If you want, you can play with just the smaller bases.
The labels were just drawn up in Powerpoint then printed on sheets of labels (the kind where the whole page is one gigantic label). Then sit down in front of your favorite DVD and spend a few hours doing cut and paste. To make sure the labels fit, I made them 1.45” long by 0.45” wide. (If you want a copy of mine, download them here).
The second part of the base is a 1” wide by 1.5” long magnetic base from Fox Bases. I use these magnetic side up. The base is painted blue and a full label is placed on the bottom. The steel based ship goes on top. The results look like this:
I didn’t paint the entire magnetic base to keep the magnetic strength as high as possible. When the ship is mounted to the label, the result looks like this:
This makes the ship easy to see, easy to ID and easy to move (an important consideration in our gaming group). Furthermore, if the ship does a 180 degree turn, the ship can be turned around on the base. In this way the label will always face the player!
Here are a few more action shots. As you can see, the British have their bows pointed toward the ID number, the Germans toward the flag end of the label.
I have decided to re-base the bigger capital ships onto 1.75” bases to make the bow and stern clearer and give me a little more room for the ID number on the steel base.
One final note: it helps if you play on a smooth surface, as some of the bases can “snag” if you play on a carpet or felt!
Well, that’s it. Nothing to it really!