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I know how to turn square based models (very easily) but what about cavalry bases?
If I had 5 cavalry models all in a line all facing upwords as shown below (2 C'S = 1 cavalry model):
And I turned them would they look like this all facing right:
Or would it be like this all facing right:
I'm guessing the right way would be the last way but this would cause soem confusion as when they turn they cover a far greater horizontal area which may cause them to come into contact with other models.
The second way is correct. You physically just turn the models 90 (or 180) degrees. For example, a unit of 5 wide 3 deep infantray would then be 3 wide and 5 deep. In this situation, you'd be 1 wide 5 deep cavalry. You'd need to then do the "Adjust the Ranks" move to become 5 wide again.
It can get a little odd, as you say, for non-square bases. For your example, if you turned to the left, the original left side location would be the new front of your unit and then you'd be strung out much further behind (previously your "right") side. You don't just keep the center point the same as you do on a reform.
What I mean is this...
Start, turning left:
End, facing left:
Turning is often only used to perform 1/2 x M sideways or backwards shuffles.