Friday, March 4, 2011

Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition! (Impetus batrep)

In Lieu of the TTG, Jason and I got a game of Impetus in on Monday, amidst much parenting on both our parts. We never got the game finished, due child meltdown. However, both of us were CERTAIN we were in position to win it lol. You can see the swirling battle below. It was 400pts and my Caledonians (using the Charles V Imeprial list) were giving good account vs Jason's waves of stealth legionaries. He had however managed to see off some heavy cav and a pesky legionary unit had raced up my centre... 

We reconvened on Thursday for a 300pt rematch.

Jason had been engaging in a truly epic bout of his 'list frothing' and came up with this:
2x 10Pt general, 1  CM equites, 4 FP Legion, 2 S javelin, 1 FL legion (I feared these boys), 1 FL aux, 2 Raw legion,1 Carrobalista. 

I had almost no choices in my list construction, since we were playing with the suggested modifications for 300pts (though we had to have two commands) and the Charles V list has heaps of units that had a minimum of 1. So my trusty Scots had 2x 10pt General (the army leader was the Preacher himself), 2x CP Cuirassiers (mandatory), 1x CL Scots Lancers (mandatory), 2x Pike (three deep) (2x2deep mandatory), 4 x S Harquebusiers (1 mandatory), 1x T Harquebusiers (mandatory). So with so little room to move on selection, I focused on formation planning. Jason really rates my Pike units, since they stay fresh. However, I decided they were simply not potent enough to win a battle with and that I was grossly under utilising my Cuirassiers as flank support to them. 

So the new 'theory' was that I would run the Cav as a group, with the their skirmishers as a line separate from the group. In Impetus, units that are part of a group are easier to hit, so I wanted to keep the screen some protection while giving the horse the option to benifit from their general's leadership. The pike formed the other group and their role was simply to refuse a flank.

The mandatory T shooter screened one the General's pike (hoping to make use of the Pike and Shotte cooperation rules), while the other was screened by more S Harquebusiers. The plan was for their shooting screen to advance, while pike wheeled to guard the flank. It is a good thing I didn't leave the T shooters with the pike, since if they hit melee they risked being stuck in front on a failed discipline test...and recoil is very bad in this game.
Above, you see those lines facing off. In front of my Cav wing (the left) Jason has his best legionaries, while most of the chaff face the Pike, though the super FL unit is with them. It took all my will power to not take specific measures against that unit and instead stick to the plan. Jason pushed all his guys forward, while unsucessfully shooting at my skirmish screen using the ballista-on-cart. I in turn moved the Gereral's Pike laterally, so I could wheel if left next turn. They threw their shooters forward. My horse stayed stationary on the left, behind their screen.
Turn two saw his quality troops on the right sweep toward my shooters, but what is that? They only have a single skirmisher to screen? Three would have carried them through to my lines, but one was not enough to withstand my shooting. His lesser troops on my right remained out of reach.
And still they came, without their skirmish screen to protect them, the legionaries were vulnerable to loss from a double-disorder through two units inflicting at least one casualty. Unfortunately, it was not to be, this turn.
The third turn saw his legionaires pull in close to the Cav wing, ready to charge next turn. He had initiative, and at this stage his units remained fresh. Charging those Pila armed troops could prove to be a bad career-move for the Cuirassiers! His super legion streaked toward my right, shrugging off harassing fire. He looked set to see off my shooters screening the Pike. However, I did manage to get more disorder on the Legionaries facing my horse and crucially...
Turn four gave their general initiative. My shooters turned disorder into casualties, and it was all on! Crash went the thunderous charge of the Cuirassiers and I smashed into his front line. The diminished Pila from the supporting legion didn't disorder me and charging heavy cav throw a truly astronomical amount of dice (a feature of late-period cav). I actually got about seven hits out of it as well. But I was foiled, Jason rolled the '1' for the cohesion test, evening out my tinny dice. My shooters to the right managed to do well too, getting some good hits on that FL Legion unit. Jason tried something complicated with them, but go tied up and the FL unit got severely worn by musket shot. Once you are on the cohesion slide... you go downhill fast. So I had blunted his fast push to my right, for a couple of turns.
So the action was to be played out on the left. If I could carry things against that command, I would probably pick up the VDT (through killing units) needed to break his army. Combined shooting began the softening up process, then the Cav went to work. Vs the weakened legions, they prevailed. Then the magic happened. While the General's Cavcav advance. My brave Cuirassiers ended up with hardly any legionaries left to their front, that flank's general gone, and a broken command - So the last think those Legionaries saw was the thunderous charge of the Cuirassier!

Good game Jason, great fun and I am so glad to actually win a game of Impetus, though of course we both feel we were respectively the winners on Monday as well. I have been pushing this game locally, but Chris has rolled over me at least once and your Legionaries have trampled me beneath their sandals too.

While you hated the BUA in the middle, I think you mishandled the legionary advance and that turned some lost melees into the loss of the game, which need not have happened if you had set the line differently. My shooters may seem good, but about one more S base for each wing would have gone a large way toward negating them. Having spilled the beans, I will have to figure out a new plan! looking forward to another game soon. Though I guess this is allegedly still a War of the Ring blog, so maybe I should be pushing for games of that?

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