My 15mm American Civil War collection has been growing over the past year. Given my nearly lifetime interest in the period, I imagine it will continue to grow over the years to come.

When I recently added Union forces to my collection, I decided to revisit how best to base my figures. My original Confederate units were based for the introductory scenario from John Hill's Across a Deadly Field. Based on a possible misreading of the rules, I went with two one inch square stands per regiment with two to five figures per base, one being a standard bearer. While this works well for ADF, it's not necessarily the best solution for playing multiple rulesets.

Confederates based using two stand method from Across a Deadly Field
After reading ADF and playing it a few times, I decided to pick up War in the East which expands and clarifies the rules and provides detailed scenarios for Gettysburg day one as well as a few other historical and hypothetical scenarios. One of the rule expansions involves mounting figures on generic stands. Two stands of two or more figures are still used. However, instead of one stand containing a standard bearer, the standard bearer is mounted on an additional stand along with another figure — the book recommends a drummer or an officer. This also leaves room for unit identification on the back of the stand.

Using this method, has a couple of advantages. First, it's easier to prepare for new scenarios as all you need to do is create new stands with a standard bearer and unit identification. If you're thrifty, you could surely find an easy way to switch out identification. Second, it's easier to use your figures with other rulesets.

I'd been thinking of converting my Confederates soon after I picked up War in the East but always ended up working on other projects instead. So, over the holidays, I posed the question over at the Johnny Reb III Yahoo group.

My question:

Is anyone using generic stands as described on page 12 of War in the East? I based my Confederates for the T'ain't No Militia scenario in the main rulebook using two stands with one containing a flag bearer. Now that I'm working on Union forces, I really like the idea of using generic stands and may go back and convert my Confederates.

The prompt reply from Patrick O’Neill (thanks again, Patrick!):

My 15mm ACW figs are based for Johnny Reb III. Mostly 3 and 4 per stand, with a few 2s and 5s. I have not had any trouble using figs based that way for ADF. John Hill's original thought was to use 2 bases to represent a Regiment, but few people liked the look, nor the brittleness of 2 stand units. Patrick LeBeau and Dean West hosted many convention games using 3 stand units and it played well and everyone liked it.

Long story short… If it’s good enough for those guys, it’s definitely good enough for me. You can see the end result below. I used a Brother P-Touch for the unit label — not the most elegant solution, but it's certainly effective. Let me know you think over on Twitter.

A unit stand for generic basing from War in the East

Tags: 15mm, Across a Deadly Field, Tips & Tricks, ACW, Johnny Reb