Bonefields Development Blog 2: A Tale Of Two Bases
I was recently asked whether the type of base used for a model in Ancients Grudges: Bonefields would affect gameplay. This got me thinking - up until then, I hadn’t really considered base shape / size a key factor of the game!
With a lot of games, the size or shape of a model’s base is strictly specified by the rules. Warmachine, Warhammer, Kings of War, Infinity – there’s obviously a lot of motivation for controlling base size and shape, especially because these games tend to have large, competitive gaming scenes, where this kind of thing can cause arguments if it’s not specified.
Also, a large part of a game’s identity can be bound up in its base. You can often tell a lot about a game (and sometimes, even tell which game it is) just by looking at how the models are based. There are practical considerations too – square bases work for games where facing is important or models need to rank up, for example.
To answer that question, then, I suppose we need to ask ourselves what our considerations are. Do we want to establish a recognisable look, or a ‘brand’? Do we have any practical demands for base shape in terms of gameplay? Do we care about controlling the ways in which players use the models they get for Ancient Grudges: Bonefields? As it happens, the answer to all these questions is ‘no’. So… do we need to define the shape and size of a model’s base?
In the context of a light-hearted skirmish game with a lot of heart and a focus on narrative and fun rather than hyper-competitiveness (which is what we’re aiming for with Bonefields), the difference between a round or square base, or between a 25mm and a 40mm base, is negligible. The advantages gained are more or less balanced out by the negatives - if a bigger base puts you in a position to hit more models, that’s great - but more models can hit you back! What we really want is for people to have fun. That’s one of our core principles in the design of this game. Our main concern is that people can get through several scenarios in one sitting, or whip out their Bonefields for a quick skirmish before they get stuck into something more meaty. With that in mind, why do we care what shape the bases are?
Essentially, this game is about playing small-scale, enjoyable games where you can level up your warband, play fun scenarios and tell some cool stories. Hopefully, the rules will reflect that! If you haven't checked out the campaign yet, follow this link and join the fun. :)