Since I’ve started building the Primaris Space Marines in the Dark Imperium box, I’ve noticed a little change in base sizes used between the models. While in itself, isn’t a big deal, it has opened up a wider range of questions across the board.
As it stands, most infantry models across an army use the same size base. Imperial Guard for example, have all their infantry on 25mm bases, with the only exception being a heavy weapons team. Space Marines, have all their standard infantry on 32mm bases (though some older boxes still have 25mm included), with the exception of scouts. The only time an infantry model uses a larger base, is when the model itself is bigger. For example, terminators, or characters in terminator armour, are on 40mm bases. The theme generally goes – the bigger the model, the bigger the base.
This has changed slightly with the Primaris Marines, and it seems like it may be more of an 8th edition thing, rather than relating to the size of the model. For the Primaris Marines, it seems as though models that are classed as characters, have a larger base, even though the model itself is the same size as other standard infantry models.
The captain of course, is in bigger, terminator-like armour, and has a 40mm base as you would expect. The lieutenants and ancient however, are the same size as the regular infantry models, such as the Intercessors and Hellblasters, but have 40mm bases like the captain. (I have left out the Inceptor squad as their armour is much larger and they are on 40mm bases.)
In the past, I would have expected models like lieutenants and ancients to be on 32mm bases, like their Mk. X Tacticus armour wearing counterparts. As this has always been the case, especially as ancients were always part of a unit. Now, with the changes in 8th edition, we see these models become more independent on the battlefield as they are no longer part of a unit, or able to join one.
This, along with the character keyword, are the common denominators between the lieutenants and ancient, and having a 40mm base.
So this is where the questions start to arise. Will this only be a thing across Primaris armies, or is this an 8th edition change? It seems like it’s more to do with 8th edition due the the rules change and keyword factor, however, this only appears to be in place for the Primaris Marines, as the Death Guard units do not follow the same pattern.
Now, it may just be me, but I really wouldn’t mind if Games Workshop did a small FAQ on base sizes, just so we all know where we stand. This would be great to go along side the release of the new rules, and it does slightly feel like a missed opportunity.
In my opinion, to coincide with the new changes in 8th, I think it would be good if infantry characters were bumped up a single base size (to a maximum of 40mm), as they are with the Primaris Marines. This would help represent them a lot better on the battlefield, for both you, and your opponent. It’ll make it easier not to miss, or forget about characters, and that they are not part of a nearby unit. Which is how we’re all used to playing them.
Sanguinary Ancients would be separated out from the Sanguinary Guard by a 40mm base. Captains, company ancients, champions, and apothecary’s will also be separated out with 40mm bases. The same would apply to characters such as librarians and chaplains.
The same can also be applied across other armies too. For example, Commissars and Farseers would be on 32mm bases and not 25.
The increase in base sizes would be especially helpful when characters that were part of a unit, look very similar, or have similar wargear to other nearby models. Which will likely be their former units in most cases.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of base sizes, I think an FAQ would also be a great time to update the base size of some units. Genestealers and Ork boyz are among two of the main units I think need to be on 32mm bases. Space Marine scouts are another, and I have even put mine on 32mm bases already.
It might just be me being fussy, and it may seem that slight differences in base sizes might not be a big deal, but it seems like there would be no better time to address them. I’m sure a lot of people would like clarity and some sort of standard when it comes to base sizes across their army.
So, if you’re listening GW, please consider it. Even if you say bases sizes don’t really matter, as long as they represent the model and are an acceptable size. If that ends up being the case, I would probably follow the Primaris as example.
Just to coincide with the latest Primaris releases, it is also worth noting that the new Primaris Captain and Librarian characters are both on 40mm bases and not 32mm.
I’ve been keeping track of these base sizes for a while now, and while it appeared at first that the Death Guard were not following suit by having their characters on 40mm bases, it now turns out they are! Every new release for the Death Guard has seen single character models supplied with a 40mm base. The only models with a 32mm base were Plague Marines, to be added to units.
Finally, while the question of GW switching characters to bigger bases remains open, I have decided not to follow suit of the Primaris models and won’t be putting my regular marine characters on 40mm bases. I had planned to do it for a while (and even done so with a few models), but I have found that in doing so, it come with it’s fair share of burdens.