Thursday, March 19, 2009

Impetus Battle Report - Romans vs. Parthians

Two things. First thing. Stu and I finally had our fourth game of Impetus after a month's hiatus and I won. Second thing. Stu won the first three games, but I never took photos, as our units weren't all completely painted and based. Don't the winners write the history books?

We played 400 pts per side, with each army divided into three commands. I tried something different this time, with a faster, more mobile centre to my army, and the legions, archers and light cavalry filling out the two flanks.

The Parthian force deployed in three lines. The battlefield was flanked by terrain, and to compensate, Stu attempted to attack in waves.

The start of the battle from the Partian lines.

The start of the battle; firmament-view

After the armies get mobilized, the Parthian force starts out with disorder in the ranks. A sign of things to come perhaps...

note: the red circles were used to mark disorder, while the green circles were used to mark units on Opportunity.

Battle joins near the lake. Numidian cavalry trade fire with the horse archers.

You can see here that Stu used one command (composed entirely of light horse) to move ahead of the main Parthian army and start harrassing the Roman infantry.

Action heats up on the centre of the field. The photo shows (wise or foolish) my faster centre leaving the slower flanks behind.

A view from the Partian side of things. Notice the group of three cataphracts ready to charge the Roman line. Stu rolled abysmally for charge distances. Two of the cataphract units were left standing in front of the Roman army disordered. The unit that made it rolled nine dice and scored zero hits; yes that's right, none. The Auxilia unit won the combat and drove the heavy horse back.

Right before the fateful charge...

...and then distaster struck. The finest of Parthian's nobility struggled to reform the lines.

The Roman general took advantage of the momentary confusion in the Parthian lines.

After all was said and done, the command lost over half of its VD and routed at the end of the turn.

A shot near the end of the battle from above...

...and from the flank... When the horse archers facing the Roman line were destroyed, the entire army routed, and the Romans were victorious.


The terrain was set up to favour an advancing-line army like mine, and it showed in the outcome. Most of the other battles we've fought were far more open, and gave Stu lots of flanking and sniping opportunities. From now on, we've decided to use the terrain set-up rules in the book and let generalship and the gods decide the rest.

In any event, we both had a great time, and reminded ourselves once again what a fantastic game Impetus is. It's sure worth all of the painting.

Thanks for reading,


Ruarigh said...

Excellent report. Thanks for sharing. Are those full sized armies or Basic Impetus armies?

JET (aka Jason) said...

These armies are for the full game, not Basic Impetus. We played at 400 points, whereas the average-sized army would be 500 points. Next game we will be playing 500 points. For me, that will mean a couple of more legions, more auxilia, and maybe a unit of scorpians.


Ruarigh said...

Hmm, I may have to try this Impetus thing. The armies look like a manageable size for me. I am still looking for a set of element-based rules that covers the Viking Age well, so this could be worth trying out.

Anonymous said...

That's a well done report - it sure does favour the Romans though. I really think an almost all cavalry army vs. Romans, is not going to go well for you unless terrain is in your favour, as it was in this game.

You've sold me on Impetus though. I've read the free rules, and now I want the bigger book. Love the 6mm too. I'm working on 2 6mm Samurai armies to fight one another, and I can't wait to use Impetus. Good work - keep it up!

El Grego said...

Beautiful minis and a great AAR - thanks. I definitely need to give my Impetus project some priority.

About how long timewise did this take?

JET (aka Jason) said...

I would say this game took about two hours. Meanwhile, that included bathroom and tea breaks. There was some looking up of the rules as well.

JF said...

Excellent report. Does Basic Impetus seem to give a new player a good sense of whether to advance to full Impetus?

I've been looking at purchasing the rules for some time now, but hate to add yet another ruleset to my shelf.

Rob said...

Beautiful figures, wonderfully painted on fantastic terrain.

I think that is wargaming nirvana?

David Smith said...

Excellent report. I have several 1,000 pt Rapier minis (Warmaster), that I should paint for Impetus. As JF said.....does B.I. give you a good feel for the full set of rules?

JET (aka Jason) said...

I only tried BI once, and then my rulebook arrived in the mail. I imagine it gives a good feel, but it lacks two parts of the full game that I really enjoy - the command rules and the section of opportunity action.

I would actually like to paint a second 6mm army, but I'm torn as to whether I should paint a contemporary army for the Romans to fight, or something completely different; perhaps a true ancients army.

SHAPUR II said...

JET I think you should go with another slow maneuver limited army that my soon to be painted (hurry up Peter) Sassanids can run circles around in a open field.

The terrain may have favoured Jet but he played very well. He was particularly effective with his javelinmen and light cavalry. This was the first time in several games that my cat's got into the fight. They did not fare well. Once stopped in front of the Roman line they were easy targets for the javelins and cavalry and were destroyed very quickly.