Template Wrapper Question

I’ve just started working with roots, and am attempting to understand the wrapper. If I understand it correctly, I should be able to create a base-front-page.php to have a (completely) different layout for the front page. However this does not work until I create a front-page.php file (even if it’s empty??).

Could someone explain as to what I’ve done wrong?

You did not do anything wrong, that’s how it’s meant to work.

Did you read the article on the wrapper functions? http://roots.io/an-introduction-to-the-roots-theme-wrapper/