Musing on Cavalry Base Sizes in Crossfire

I’ve been reading about Soviet cavalry operations on the Eastern Front. And that, of course, has got me interested in expanding my Soviet cavalry collection. But before I invest further, I want to be really, really sure my cavalry basing is correct. The cavalry figures I already have are based on 30x30mm squares, like my infantry. But that is cramped. What to do?


My cavalry collection so far

I have a small sabre squadron. In Crossfire terms this is a company with two platoons and two tachanka (i.e. HMG on wagons).

Stevens Soviet Cavalry 2
Stevens Soviet Cavalry 2

Currently i’m using basing scheme C, see below.

Stevens Soviet Cavalry 3
Stevens Soviet Cavalry 3

My options

I see four options for basing cavalry in Crossfire:

(A) Cavalry Basing – 50x30mm Rectangle
(B) Cavalry Basing – 40x30mm Rectangle
(C) Cavalry Basing – 30x30mm Square
(D) Cavalry Basing – 30x50mm Rectangle

The following illustration shows these base sizes compared to my standard infantry basing.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry

(A) Cavalry Basing – 50x30mm Rectangle

The first scheme is inspired by Flames of War. They use more or less 50x30mm bases, and I could put three mounted figures on one of those. The PC would remain a single mounted figure on a 30x15mm base. The CC would be two mounted figures on a 50x30mm base.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry A – 50x30mm Rectangle
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry A – 50x30mm Rectangle

Note: Flames of War folk actually put four cavalry figures on their more or less 50x30mm base. But since my infantry only come 3 per base I figure 3 per base is optimal for cavalry as well.

Pros

  • 3 figures per squad base like the infantry
  • 2 figures per CC base like the infantry
  • Roomy on the base

Cons

  • Takes up more space on the table, specifically unit frontage
  • So won’t fit into terrain features designed for 30mm squares e.g. building sectors

(B) Cavalry Basing – 40x30mm Rectangle

The 40x30mm option is because I played DBx for decades and somehow 40x30mm with 3 cavalry figures seems somehow sacred. Now, I’m trying to wean myself off Phil Barker and have managed to go to 80mmx40mm big bases for everything I’d previously played DBx with. None-the-less, since “base width” to me is 30mm, I thought I’d considered the DBx classic of the 40x30mm cavalry stand.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry B – 40x30mm Rectangle
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry B – 40x30mm Rectangle

Pros

  • 3 figures per squad base like the infantry
  • 2 figures per CC base like the infantry
  • It will look right to any hard core DBx players

Cons

  • Bit cramped compared to the Flames of War basing

(C) Cavalry Basing – 30x30mm Square

This is the basing scheme I’m using right now. It has the same base sizes as infantry but is forced to use less figures on the squad bases. I’ve also put only one figure on the CC base to distinguish it from the squads.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry C – 40x40mm Square
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry C – 40x40mm Square

Pros

  • Matches the infantry base sizes

Cons

  • Only 2 figures per squad base
  • Only 1 figure per CC base

(D) Cavalry Basing – 30x50mm Rectangle

This option just spins the Flames of War base around so the figures face the short 30mm edge. The

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry D – 30x50mm Rectangle
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry D – 30x50mm Rectangle

Pros

  • 3 figures per base like the infantry
  • 2 figures per CC base like the infantry
  • Roomy on the base

Cons

  • Takes up more space on the table, specifically unit depth
  • So won’t fit into terrain features designed for 30mm squares e.g. building sectors

Tachank Basing

I’ve got a couple of Soviet machine gun carts, which they called Tachanka. I’ve put them on 90x30mm bases. 30mm because that is my “stand width” and 90mm because they are very long models.

Crossfire Base Sizes - Cavalry - Tachanka
Crossfire Base Sizes – Cavalry – Tachanka

So what should I do?

I really don’t know what is best. Appreciate your input.

By the way, I’ve already mused on Cavalry and Mounted Infantry in Crossfire.

4 thoughts on “Musing on Cavalry Base Sizes in Crossfire”

  1. Thanks for this excellent article Steven. I am using the standard medium bases from Battlefront (FoW) for my Cossacks, with 3 to a base for the troopers and 2 for the unit commander.. For info, my primary rules I use are Panzer Korps where each base represents a Squadron/Company/Battery, but I use that arrangement for Crossfire too, with each base just representing a section of a troop. My Tchankas are on 1 and a 1/2 bases glued together as are my artillery limbers with horses and horse and cart combos. I did get into FoW some time back but tired of them, however, I don’t buy much of their stuff anymore, preferring PSC and Zvezda et al, but I did buy a large amount of their stuff when they were in NZ and the prices were much more reasonable, but I continue to use their bases.. Incidentally, I am guessing you are reading “Soviet Cavalry Operations in WW II,” a great book if you haven’t seen it already. Cheers.

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  2. I meant to mention, I use your system D except there are no single mounts. I also use one standing figure holding 3 horses when the troops are dismounted. I am not at home at the moment, back next week, but will try to remember to post some pics then. Dismounted troopers are 4 to the same medium size Battlefront stand as per my regular infantry.

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  3. All my 15mm cavalry go on 30×30 bases, same as the infantry. Two figures per stand, leaders singly based on a 2p coin, higher level HQs on a 30×30 with two figures.

    I hate painting horses, so it is less horses to paint, and they fit more neatly in the storage boxes than random bases sizes. If I need a bigger element, I just put two or more bases together on a magnetic movement tray.

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  4. I enjoy your musings… I don’t use Crossfire, but – a comment from a different ruleset (and scale) user – I base my WW2 French cavalry “Groupes d’Escadrons” or Italian Cavalry battalions on the same size bases as my ‘leg’ infantry – [partially] to distinguish them from mechanised units…

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