Thursday, November 14, 2019

To Unify or Not to Unify Your Basing

When AoS launched we were given a new opportunity to have gigantic collections with the Grand Alliances. Even with everything becoming more specialized with the Battletomes, we still have allies and mercenaries. So, what do you do about basing? Do you use one scheme for an entire Grand Alliance, or do you make each force unique?

Basing is an important part of an army's overall visual message. Where do they come from or fight at? How does it reinforce their aesthetic or theme? Do the colors properly show off the model? These are all important things to consider when you're deciding on how to base your models. With AoS we have the opportunity to ally together a bunch of armies from a Grand Alliance or even just field them as a Grand Alliance army if we want. If you base each of your armies seperately this can look a little disjointed. Instead of making them a unified force they'll look like a group of models from several different collections. Even if the models and color scheme are completely different, having the same basing can really bring the whole force together visually.

When I started painting my new Death stuff for AoS I picked a basing scheme that I thought was cool and looked good for that army, my Nighthaunt. I wanted something that looked distinctly AoS and also from Shyish, hence why I went with the purple crystals, the color of Shyish, and the scattering of bones. The dark grey earth also really made the ghosts themselves pop. Originally I didn't really think about what I would do with other Death armies. Once I started painting some Skeleton Warriors for a Legions of Nagash army though I decided to stick with the same basing scheme. Ever since then anything I've painted for Death has had the same basing, whether it's my Nighthaunt, Legions of Nagash, Flesh-eater Courts, or Ossiarch Bonereapers. Now I can field the whole force together or mix and match different parts as allies. Having my Skeletons based the same way really came in handy when the rules for the Legion of Grief came out as I was now able to field them alongside my Nighthaunt. You may be thinking, but the Bonereapers can't ally at all. That's true, but they can take Nagash, Arkhan, and Morghasts, which I can also field in my Legions armies, so it benefits me to have the same basing.

I also just think this looks really cool when I lay my whole collection out. They definitely all look like they're fighting in the same place. I've also tried to tie colors across the whole force, mainly the ghostly color, purple, and black, but the basing does a lot of the work. The one thing that deciding on a unified basing scheme has done to my Death collection is influence the color choices on new armies. Since the bases are so dark I generally want to stay away from something that might blend into it, meaning my armies have tended to be on the lighter side of things. This isn't hard to do though when most of the armies are made of ectoplasm and bone.

On the other hand, with my other Grand Alliance armies I haven't really gone down this route. My Order armies, Daughters of Khaine, and a very small Kharadron force, are both based with desert themes, but the style and colors are different. I can field them together without it looking too odd, but it's not as unified as my Death collection.

With my Chaos forces, which at the moment just consists of a Nurgle army, I'll probably do something more unique to each army. This is due to the fact that I went with a Nurgle swamp look for my Nurgle force. It works great for that army, but I feel like I would want to do something different for a Tzeentch army for instance. If there's ever a non-Nurgle unit I feel like I would want to ally into my Nurgle army I would probably just give them the same swampy basing. It does force my hand a bit more as I need to choose which collection a new unit will go into, but it will let me really theme each army's basing to that one particular army.

With those thoughts in mind here are a few of my suggestions when thinking about whether you want to do a unified Grand Alliance basing scheme.

1. It will definitely make your forces look more cohesive and allow you to move units around as allies as you see fit.

2. It may affect your color scheme choice going forward though.

3. If you decide to do a unified basing scheme, make sure it's something you enjoy building/painting, as you'll be doing it a lot.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a unified basing scheme for your Grand Alliances or do you make each army it's own separate theme, or do you do something in the middle of those two? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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