Bigger based special units idea

OK, bear with me. I have a vague idea of making some variety by using boxed units. As you know, all units are comprised of groups, which are units of 4 infantrymen, 3 armor and 2 artillery, and certain special units offer some variation in number. I also have some specialist units from the Equipment Pack, such as the ski troops and the generic-looking grey French infantry.

My idea is to have specialist units based together, and then when one member of a unit is eliminated, the whole four-man base is removed from the board, to be replaced with a base with a depleted unit. The benefit of this would be that it would allow for different miniatures but with a better guarantee of them remaining upright. You could use 1/72 scale minis from a different set and glue them to a small base. If I had some French Resistance minis in sufficient number, for example, I could base them in groups and they would hopefully stand up more easily. They would also stand out from the typical units by being differently shaped. I think the same could be applied to engineers or specialist units. The number of troops would not be too high either, there are never many specialist units in the game anyway.

I foresee the main problem being that a bigger base would cover up the hex below, but you could maybe use a tight board that didn’t take up the whole hex. I don’t have a 3D printer, but those in the know might be able to print something to fit the job. Simple is best, I think. I’d still have four guys basically arranged in a square formation to save space, three guys would be the same but minus one, or standing in a triangle.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen pictures on the boards of artillery being based together as a specialist piece, and some have done the same for snipers. Any thoughts on this half-baked idea?

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I love the idea of using figures from Airfix, Revell, Italeria and others. I do this more often than I use the standard Memoir figures. It seems to add even more character to the game, especially if a person likes to splash a little paint on their figures.

That’s an interesting idea of having them in groups of 4, 3, 2, and 1 and pre-attached to bases. I’ve tended to just move them as a little clump of counters. If one or two fall over, so be it, they still serve as counters (you could also imagine they “went prone”).

You mentioned French partisans. Caesar miniatures has two sets of 1/72 partisans. The first set is more Western European and the second set is more Balkan and Russian. Excellent minis. Also, you mentioned engineers and Revell has a German Engineer set that’s really good. Moreover, some of the sets (such as Airfix Africa Corps) has guys digging with shovels, so you could always separate these out into their own little 4-man engineering unit if you wanted.

Thanks very much for your reply. I’m really interested to hear about the different miniatures available. As you suggested, it adds a little bit of flavor, and I think it satisfies a collector’s itch without breaking the bank too much. I’m not much of a painter, but in the past, I have given them a coat of paint that is approximately the faction color. I see what you mean about if the miniatures fall over. It doesn’t really matter, and it certainly doesn’t affect the game at all, but by basing them together they are simply easier to pick up and move.

Here’s an example of the specialized partisans figures I mentioned earlier. These are from Caesar miniatures, which are really well designed and some of my favorites.

I’ve found with the specialized figures (like partisans and engineers), even a quick splash of one-color paint (like painting their uniforms or painting their face and hands and weapon) makes them stand out even more on the battlefield. If you’re only using one color, it’s less important to prime them.

When it comes to Rangers and Elite troops, any box of figures will work since they all look elite when standing next to the default M44 troops.

I also purchased the Caesar Miniatures for Partisans and French Resistance. I found that some had no bases so I pinned them to plastic bingo chips and painted them as a group. I find that they are great for Memoir '44 and if they take losses, I just use some of my other extras to even up the board.

Wow . . . that is totally awesome. They actually look like real tiny frozen people. Not like the little disco-painted colors of my guys.

We had a beer a couple years ago at the World Board Gaming Championship. Loved it.

There’s a great resource on Resistant fighters in WWII from the Time Life series. It’s worth checking out. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll loan you mine.

Those really are fantastic. I’ve long being resistant to painting, but it really does make a difference.