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What's wrong with square bases?


Jack Armstrong

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So my first, and maybe a slightly controversial topic - what is with the tournament hate for square bases?

If I was to go to the GW Official Warlords tournament next weekend, I could bring any of my models on round or square bases and use them.

If I go to an independent tournament, there is either a rule where you have to 'mount them' on rounds (like MDF) or only allows rounds full stop.  The two reasons for this that I can see are:

- the marginal improvement of 1" reach weapons for models on 25mm bases (ie you can get supporting attacks)

- the visual dislike of models attached to MDF bases, thus insisting on only rounds

 

In my mind this has a really large negative attribute to the community, for people like myself who want to play and enjoy both 9th and AoS (or Kings of War, 8th etc), or people who just want to give AoS a try - as this then means you have to have armies dedicated to AoS.  You can get some 'clever' MDF bases where the bases are inset, but this only works if the Round/Oval is considerably larger than the original square and so wouldn't work for the whole army.

In my mind the advantage of the 1" reach is marginal, but if TO's really think it is bad enough (I think the only person to ever get significant advantage from it was me with lots of Saurus and that isn't really that viable now with their cost), then instead just house rule that for supporting attacks 25mm is the same as 1".

Overall I'm really keen to see the AoS scene grow as it's a great game, but I want to encourage people to play multiple systems (9th is great as well!).  Let's not completely separate the scenes by forcing people to have to dedicate an army to a single system.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Jack

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the marginal improvement of 1" reach weapons for models on 25mm bases (ie you can get supporting attacks)

Just an observation - 1 inch reach is wide enough to clear a 25 mm round base if models are touching (which they would be). It does make a marginal difference in another sense as you can pack a few more models into a horizontal line on squares and thus get a few more attacks in some situations.

I'm ambivalent about the wider issue. 

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Yep. I'm ambivalent about it as well, but I'm not a TO. I'm not sure which of the issues is a bigger deal, appearance or game play, to TOs who choose to define base requirements. It could be that they see some conflict between players on this and they decided to simplify matters by dictating base size? Not sure.

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I don't personally care much about gameplay differences but find squares fairly unpleasing to look at in AoS, not as unpleasing as grey plastic of course. So I wouldn't care in a gameplay sense and agree the ethos of AoS since it started was and should continue to be open arms and a positive community. That said, I don't play in tournaments so I don't have much of an idea of how gamey someone could get with bases, or how realistic that fear is.

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We decided to enforce it at FaceHammer GT for 2 main reasons. we wanted awesome looking armies on rounds and a level playing field by having no square bases being used. I personally think squares/rectangles don't fit the look and feel of the game now its not rank and file blocks.

Cavalry bases are the big swinger when it comes to balancing them (aside from extra ranks of infantry fighting over smaller bases), Blood Knights on 25x50mm rectangles are tiny compared to the ovals they are on now.

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Someone will always have to draw the line for aesthetics.  Somewhere.  It seems like the community, at least so far, has settled on a place for events where, in addition to things like "3-colour minimum", "no bare plastic", "bases with some material on them, not just painted", there is a new item "round bases" that has been added to the things on the far side of the line.

You can argue that square bases are just fine, but ultimately it's the same argument you'd have to use to argue that unpainted is just fine - in both cases the argument is correct from a gameplay* point of view (the game plays just a well unpainted or on square bases as it does minimally painted on round bases), but increasingly incorrect from a community standards point of view.

*(In my view, unpainted is actually an easier gameplay argument to make - with unpainted the gameplay is 100% unchanged, but with square bases the gameplay is a bit different.)

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2 minutes ago, amysrevenge said:

In my view, unpainted is actually an easier gameplay argument to make - with unpainted the gameplay is 100% unchanged, but with square bases the gameplay is a bit different.)

For some though the story and visuals are the game, so grey plastic does make for bad gameplay!

P.s not me, I'm all about the competitive play!

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For the point about making the models usable in other games, GW probably aren't really bothered about that and they have every right to feel that way. After all, at the end of the day GW wants you to buy AoS minis to play and support AoS.

I'm not really bothered if an opponent used square bases but aesthetically I do prefer the rounds as has been mentioned, the game is not rank and file anymore.

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15 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

Gameplay is only affected by bases when you first change the game you play.

It was changed by GW though. Warlords event is measure base to base.

The bit I'm not looking forward to at the GW event is all the neckbeards pushing around ****** looking armies in movement trays :(

14 minutes ago, Nico said:

You sure knocked out some sweet Stormfiends with the brush though. 

just another 1400points to finish in time for Warlords now!

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The thing is 8th/9th and KoW have various rules that require specific bases for line of sight, movement etc. AoS is 4 pages of nice, quick and easy rules with none of those worries. Bases are almost an afterthought. Besides, I thought we all played AoS because it was fun and we liked the models. If I was a win at any cost player I'd be playing something else with stricter rules. It just feels like every silly base restriction is there to put people off playing. As long as you play with the models on the bases that they came with I can't see why people are so worked up. It's meant to be fun, the game's not cut out to be an olympic sport.

I've seen people using custom round movement trays. Would you ban those? 

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9 minutes ago, SentinelGuy said:

What's wrong with movement trays and having units in ranks?

In my opinion it just doesn't fit the aesthetic of Age of Sigmar. You have to take them all of when it comes to piling in during combat as well, I quickly dropped my movement trays in the first few games of AoS as they were more of an inconvenience :(

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Base size for me is only an issue if somebody has tossed out the bases a unit comes provided with and opted for a lower size. Fyreslayers on 25mm rounds instead of 32mm. You could argue that Fyreslayers are hamstrung by their larger base size compared to Dwarves. But armies are all moving towards a large base standard. 

In a tournament in a lot of situations more 20mm square based models would be able to pile around a unit than would be possible on 25mm rounds. Same applies to the larger 25mm Square base and its counterpart the 32mm round. Also a unit on a 25mm square base they'd gain an extra rank of attacks that they wouldn't get if they were on 32mm so I can see the need to have a requirement to have models on rounds for tournaments. 

But at a club night it's a completely different situation and nobody I regularly play with would begrudge a person from using squares. I mean isn't this hobby mostly about playing with friends anyway? 

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2 minutes ago, RossMHoward said:

But at a club night it's a completely different situation and nobody I regularly play with would begrudge a person from using squares. I mean isn't this hobby mostly about playing with friends anyway? 

Just like at club night nobody minds if a mate brings out an in-progress hobby project for a test game, even though it's not all painted.  :)

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Early days, I can see why the tac on top was used.  The hobby was settling in, people were deciding on armies etc.  But now we've been going a year, round bases are the standard at the vast majority of non GW events.  Warlords are doing base to base, suspect the GT's next year will do as well.  (hell in 12 months time they might even say round only as well)

The benefits of squares are not massive in most cases, but still there, none the less. However I think the look is a much bigger driving factor in the 'round base only' restriction.

Put a square based AOS army next to a comparible round based one, the rounds just look better imo.

 

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Hey, man.  It's all house rules now.  There are directly conflicting Real Rules(TM) that you have to choose between - the choice between Open Play and Matched Play is a house rule.

The nice part is that unlike in editions past, where different communities had such different standards of house rules that you could only say that they were playing the same game in the very widest most general sense, in this game, there is almost universal adoption of the same small handful of house rules.  Just the one, really.  You can pack up your little army into travel boxes and go anywhere you like in the AoS-playing world, and have an 11-word game setup.  "Matched Play: Pitched Battle.  Random scenario.  2000 points. Measure to bases."  The only thing to argue about is whether "2000" counts as one word or two.  :P

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Personally square bases should be allowed.  GW Still sells figures on squares so it should be allowed.

I'm new to the hobby but as more people come back into AoS after the GHB, I find it to be less enjoyable. So many up tight people who seem to want to turn the game into "who can spend more time and money"

 

 

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For one, it's a great way to tell legacy players they aren't wanted. It's why GW says measure from the model, not the base. Ovals aren't perfect either, and I bet I could make a commotion by glueing the long end of the model on the short end.

If we are playing using bases, it's to my advantage to place them on smaller bases. Exact same principle.

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