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It’s all about the (multi)base

There’s a term that is thrown around on Forums and Facebook pages with abandon – Multibasing.  But what is multibasing, what benefits does it offer and how do I go about making them?

KoW uses a gaming abstract that replaces individual models (with individual abilities and characteristics) with Units (with a single profile for the entire unit).  The unit remains at full capability until it has been routed and there is no model removal.  These differences allow units to be made with a single base which has the correct dimensions of the unit.  This is multibasing (or unit basing).  On to each unit base, individual models are attached that represent the unit and this whole single block of troops is moved en-masse around the battle field.


In KoWv2, restrictions have been applied to the number of models that can be used to represent a unit.  This is known as the “minimum model count” (MMC) and “recommended model count” (RMC).  These are *only* applicable to Mantic events and events where the TO is using the standard Mantic rules pack.   Just to be 100% clear; MMC doesn’t stop you using a single goblin to represent a horde when you are playing in your games room with mates.  It’s intention was to emphasise the importance of KoW being a “mass combat” game with big armies.  The
MMC and RMC for each unit are given in the FAQ.

Benefits of Multi / Unit Basing

There are a few benefits to using unit bases:

  • Cost reduction – OK, not a primary concern for many but unit basing to MMC allows you to “spread out” your models more and therefore create a bigger army.  It can look a bit naff if you don’t use scenic basing but it is “tournament legal”
  • Scenic basing / dioramas – Most people who unit base like to create mini-dioramas or create “scenic bases” for their units.  Perhaps your unit is running through a wood?  Or clambering over rough stones?  Or walking across a lava field.  Your imagination (and skill) is your limit.
  • Easy deployment and tidying up – There’s nothing as mind-numbing as unpacking 100+ models and placing them onto a movement tray and then doing the opposite to pack up.  It literally adds 30 minutes to your non-gaming time and if you nudge them..  they all fall over and you need to start again.
  • Less chipping– Nothing frustrates a gamer as much as seeing their paint job chipped by a model falling onto the hard gaming surface.  With unit basing your models are safely attached to a huge base and any “chipping” is limited to the base – which is generally easier to repair


Of course, multibasing is not without issues..

  • Transporting units – most gamers have carry bags that have slots for 28mm models in them; and these don’t really work for unit bases.  There are ways around this (pick and pluck foam for example) but that’s an additional expense.
  • It can look naff – OK, one I mentioned above, a plain MDF unit base with MMC models on is not a great sight on the battlefield.  Much like “3 colours minimum and sand/flock basing” is the normal standard for models, I would expect to see similar approaches being employed for bases.
  • Oops, dropped it.. – If you drop a single model you may break or chip it.  It’s annoying but less annoying than dropping a unit base.  If you’re ham-fisted then unit basing may not be your solution.
  • I don’t know how to do scenic basing – please read on!

Scenic basing Tips and Tricks

These all assume that you paint you models separately to your base

  • First, the base should be made from something reasonably substantial such as 2/3mm MDF or thin metal.  There are a number of suppliers – I use for my MDF bases.
  • Bases look good with variable height elements.  That means, don’t leave your base flat.  Use cork sheeting (available in depths from 1mm to 10mm), extruded foam / filler or other materials to create a base with different heights.  Remember if you use foam, coat it in watered down PVA to seal it.
  • Add texture to the base.  Using textured paint, PVA and sand, small stones & slate chips or bark, the inclusion of something to break-up the base will add hugely to the overall look.  I always cover sand, stones and bark with watered down PVA to ensure that they stay glued to the base.
  • Prime your base and then dry brush it – you do not need to be careful, be liberal with your dry brushing.
  • Flock and tufts add an element of colour to your base.  Apply tufts and flock to your bases once the paint has all dried.

Attaching models to the unit base

  • In general I like to remove the model from any base “disc” or tab.  This can be done with clippers but does take some time.  I then pin one of the feet of the model so that it can be attached easier to the base.  Again, this can take some time!
  • If you’ve used extruded foam, do not use superglue to attach your models to the base.  Superglue eats foam and if you’ve pinned the model, the glue will seep down the pin and destroy the foam.  Use two-part epoxy glue,  perhaps green stuff or even “no more nails” or similar adhesive.  For attaching models to other basing materials, I use superglue.  Create a hole in the unit base with the pin, add a drop of glue to the pin and the other “unpinned” foot and then stick them down.  Leave to dry for 24 hours to maximise the bond.

Final thoughts

Unit basing allows players to set-up and pack away armies quickly and allows an opportunity to create unique scenic bases.  It can also be used to save players money, potentially at the cost of having “half-filled” unit bases on the gaming table.

Whatever your personal view of this part of the hobby – and I’m fully aware that it is perhaps the most contentious area in KoW – multibasing is both allowed and to some degree encouraged by Mantic and the wider community.  My view is that people can easily apply the MMC/RMC without compromising their creativity and that where possible, create bases that have multiple layers, multiple colours and multiple points of interest.. in other words, treat the base as you would your model and you’re likely to not offend too many people