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Musings of the Welsh Wizzard

What happens when dilution of the hobby becomes homeopathic

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May 13, 2021

Rommel – Looking at Base Sizes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that ‘Rommel’ the new WWII rules by Sam Mustafa has been released and is now making it’s way into peoples hands.

as I was involved in the playtesting I’ve had a few questions sent to me about the best sizes for bases (especially when using 6mm minis) so I thought I’d give my thoughts

The Basics

Rommel is a large game, players take on the role of a general in command of a division and unlike a lot of games it’s played using a grid system, with each unit in the game representing a supported company. if you don’t much about the game take a look here 

The normal size for the grid in Rommel is 6″ but for bigger games you can reduce this to 4″ with each square in the grid representing around 1 square kilometer, and into this grid you have to fit a few things

  1. Terrain
  2. Units

Rommel takes simplistic view on terrain (due to the scale) so its easy to show the terrain type with a marker (unless you enjoy modeling) which leaves us the tricky question about units.


in Rommel each square can contain up to 3 units (its stacking limit) and when you attack another square you place the attacking units overlapping the square they moved out from and the square they are attacking, but this counts as leaving the square so you can move other units int the square you have just left

it’s probably best I show this using a picture

here we have 3 units of Russian T-34’s attacking a German held square and being supported with another T-34 and 2 infantry companies (I used 2 bases to represent a company)

here’s another image showing an attack being made from 3 squares into 1 German held square

As you can see by using 15mm figures it all looks good, but the big question is what size bases should I use if I want to play the game in 6mm?

6mm base sizes

When I started the playtesting we didn’t have the rule for overlapping minis so I went for 80×60 bases, this down to a few reasons, firstly in that time Sam was thinking of following the Blucher pattern and producing unit cards that would be poker card sized but also I had a load of 80×60 bases available.

I made a load of bases that looked like this

Now I love the look of these bases but to be honest they are a little impractical for the game now as they just about fit in a square. in fact even 3 of them overlap a square

Here’s an image of one of the playtest games using my big bases and my mates smaller 25mm bases, what you will notice is the unit data that I’ve stuck beneath each unit as this also takes up space

Whats the Solution?

I think it’s clear that my current 80×60 bases are too big for the game, but I do like using big bases for small mini’s. I think going for big bases does allow you to do some nice diorama’s but what size do we go for

Gareth Beamish from ADC painting has been working on some lovely bases which are 60×40 but Gareth thinks that in hindsight he should have gone for a bigger size, here’s some of Gareth’s bases to drool over

I think the common consensus is that a base size of 75×50 might be the sweet spot for standard games using a 6″ grid with a space on the base to include the unit data, which I’ll have a play around with next week and will post some pics

for reference the Flames of War bases I used in the images above are 65×50




5 Responses “Rommel – Looking at Base Sizes”

  1. Avatar August 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Another factor could be the grid size you go for. The Cigar Box Battle mats are available in 4″ and 6″ grids, I suspect these will be what people gravitate towards.

    I’m leaning towards about 50mm wide for 6mm, as I want to be able to use a 4″ grid. More sweeping games, and terrain and armies take up less shelf space.

  2. Avatar
    John Michael
    August 29, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks Mike, that is really helpful. I would like to go with 4″ grids as it increases the total battle size, but I think the bases might be too small for a good diorama effect especially with 1/285 models.

    I have been considering 70×50 but I will wait to see with what you come up with. I am starting from scratch so not a lot of pressure.

  3. Avatar August 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Thanks Mike, I have been pondering about base sizes as well so this is very useful. I am downsizing for this and are awaiting an order of 3mm stuff from Magister Militium – just because I have never tried 3mm before!

  4. Avatar
    Jon Yuengling
    August 31, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Do you have a preference for base manufacturer. It would be helpful. 🙂

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