Using the New Magnetic Movement Trays with Baroque

The more I use the Impetus:Baroque rules the more I find that I’m conforming to them as written (or at least my best interpretation of “as written”) rather than bending (and often breaking) them. An important element is to have a consistent (and equal) frontage across the unit types. This is important since range and movement are derived from this dimension and, perhaps more subtlety, it also affects how the units maneuver and come into contact.

I have used various terms to describe the movement trays that I use to approximate a Baroque base calling them sabots, trays and even bases. I am going to try to use “movement tray” from this point forward for the physical device only. It functional describes its purpose – to aggregate a number of pieces to form a unit and then move them around the table top as a single piece (a Baroque “base”). Once a movement tray is assembled, I’ll call it a “unit” or “unit base”.

The new movement trays have a uniform width (frontage) of five inches (127 mm) and variable depths. While the depth of a Baroque base is not critical to game play, mine are within the ranges suggested. The width is 7mm wider than the “official” base but since I play solo (or provide the armies for both sides) it is of no consequence.

There are three general types: (these were the ones custom cut by Pendraken/Minibits)
5″x 1.5″ standard – used for most foot and horse units.
5″x 2.5″ massed – used with massed pikes, massed clan levies, highland warbands with levies in the second line and massed reiter cavalry. They are also used for certain special purpose units like dragoons.
5″ x 4.5″ tercio – used with Irish pike blocks, pre-to early Thirty Years War (TWY) foot units and some early to mid-TYW foot units. They also have special purpose functions such as representing a camp or a baggage train.
There are also two special types:
2″x 1.5” – used with guns (artillery)
1.5″ x 3” – used for non-combatant units (wagons, civilians, etc)

Baroque is designed principally for pitting armies of equal point values against one another. In this scheme the size of the units (in terms of men) are not particularly relevant since various factors are adjusted in the provided army lists to allow for differences between unit types and nationalities. It is also possible to “purchase” special abilities and a number of special rules can be applied to certain unit types. All this taken together allows for a very good historic feel.

Since I concentrate on historic battles I want to give a visual representation of the size while still using standardized unit bases. I have also added some consistent modifiers depending on historic unit size:


Regular Musket and Pike units represented by historic size.

Foot (regular) – six figures per piece, (from right to left, above):

> 800 man = same as below but (MM+2)
601 – 800 man = five pieces (any SM reduction is one less, MM+1)
301- 600 man = four piece (standard Baroque unit)
101 – 300 man = three piece (MM-1 unless Hardened or D=A)
20-100 man = two piece (any SM reduction is one more, MM-1)


Irregular Foot – Warband units represented by historic size

Foot(irregular) – four figures per piece (from right to left, above):

> 500 man = five pieces (MM+2)
301 – 500 man = four pieces (MM+1)
101 – 300 man = three piece (standard Baroque unit)
20-100 man = two piece (MM-1)


Horse units represented by historic size

Horse – two figures per piece (from right to left, above):

>300 divide into two or more
201- 300 four pieces (MM+1)
101 – 200 three pieces (standard Baroque unit)
20 – 100 two pieces (MM-1)


Skirmish units represented by historic size

Skirmishers – three figures per stand (from right to left, above):

50 – three pieces X-X-X (standard Baroque unit)
20- 50 – two pieces -X-X- (SM-1)

5″x 2.5″ Massed Units 

These are generally treated as “massed” units in Baroque and may vary in historic size:


From right to left: typical Irish pike block, highland Clan levy, Highland warband with attached levies

5″ x 4.5″ Tercio Units

Tercios were military organizations used by the Spanish (with parallels in other nations) during the Sixteenth and early seventeenth Century. They are very large formations ( usually well over 1500 men) and are treated as “massed” units in Baroque.


From right to left: early style tercio, late style tercio, large pike block

The large movement tray can also be used to construct earthworks, redoubts, camps, etc.


A typical base camp

2″ x 1.5″ gun units


From right to left: a gun battery , a single gun

The base width  used for artillery in Baroque is smaller than the others, measuring roughly one third of the standard base. The depth can vary to accommodate different size guns. I made provision for a two gun battery for visual reasons but batteries are not found is not in the Baroque rules.

Other special bases


From right to left, heavy siege gun, a supply wagon, a column of civilians

These are not part of the standard Baroque set but useful for assembly non-combatant pieces. I often use the capture of such units as game objectives. The heavy siege gun is permanently mounted to its base which has the same front as the other, assembled gun bases.

The header image shows the custom cut MDF bases as they arrived from Pendraken and examples after they have had their magnetic sheeting added.