Saturday, April 30, 2011

Impetvs Battle report: Romans vs Germans

 Jason and I got in a another game on Wednesday - we both used the same armies we brought along for the NATCON 2011 Demo. What was different was the Roman tactics (note to selves, we are supposed to not be deploying within 12 U of the board edges...) - no doubt merry due to being plied with too much vino, the Roman general (left of pictures) has elected to deploy forward, along the centre, with a line. Where is the traditional Roman Refused Flank (RRF)?
The Germans did not spend any time pondering this odd turn of events though, and pushed forward out of their corner, while throwing their cav command around the other side of the board - to hopefully threaten the Roman Cav. The Roman General then released some of his Samatians from their leash and sent them to engage the enemy horse - and then actually moved his line forward, toward the onrushing warband. Just what the Pluto is the sot playing at?
 Meanwhile in the German lines, the next turn reveals that the chieftain of the central command has fallen down laughing at the idiocy of the Roman antics, and will not stop - no matter how his Commitatus remonstrate with him. He is now 'Incompetant' - worse, when he rolls later in the turn, he rolls a double so the German centre is stuck for that turn. The Romans seem to be where they want to be now, but are oddly close to the centre of the board - surely this idiosyncratic behaviour is sacrilege, and an affront to Mars?
At least the Sarmatian Auxilia are performing their proper role, and have been again first to engage the enemy out on the far left of the Roman line
 Turn three sees the German flanking move intercepted, and halted by Sarmatian lancers. The Germans had got hung up in the bottleneck between woods, and someone had obviously got it through to the Sarmatian commander that column is not the way to deploy his Knights. The Germans fought bravely, but the Knights squashed them without loss - a milestone for them. The Cavalry command is now broken. On the right flank, the skirmishers have engaged one another, and once again the superior Roman Lanciarii and Funditores are having the best of it.
 Turn four, and away they go! The Auxilia wedges go in. The Germans have been chafing under Roman missile fire, but will now have to wait to get to grips with the Roman Legionaries, waiting safely beyond the broken ground. 
 It is a violent melee. The Germans strive furiously to break through, and are grinding the Auxilia down - but behind the Roman light infantry stand fresh Legionaries, in formation, on good clear ground. Worse still for the Germans, the Praetorian command, to the left of the Roman line, is also fresh and now that the German cavalry are gone, is free to hit the flank of any German breakthroughs. The third unit of Sarmatian Knights (got to love that average command radius at deployment) was also waiting ready near the Roman right flank and now pounces on the first German breakthrough, stops it cold, and begins to push it back.
Turn five, the second Roman line now pushes forward - while the tip of the Roman first line has now actually passed over half-way! The Germans have cut their way through that first line but have in turn suffered heavy losses. The Romans have managed to avoid losing too many units outright and have, crucially, preserved all three commands. So the Germans just break first, in sight once more of the Roman 'Triarii' - but unable to see them off.

Phew - that was a tough one. I think I'll be sticking to the innovative Roman deployment in future, unless the terrain precludes it. I want the Germans to go out of control ASAP and my higher VD (VD is how much a unit contributes to 'army break') units can then be kept well back from the lower VD units at the front. I think the sotted Roman General was made to look good by the German general becoming incompetent and holding back his command though, that reduced the pressure in the centre a fair bit!

Cheers for another close and fun game, Jason.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    This was a super fun game, though quite frustrating from the German commanders point of veiw! I reckon he burst a vein at how hard it was proving to grind through the Auxillia (whom I should have smashed!)which is why he dropped in level.

    Not activating really sucked. I reckon I will be taking at least one "Fair" general and may even, given our post game conversation, take a charismatic general.

    Looking forward to trying out Ambushing :)

    Cheers for the great close game though, Impetus is always super fun :)


  2. You did grind through the Auxilia at about an average level though. It was just that once you had knocked them off, I was nowhere near break, and had reserves + space to utilise them (since I had secure flanks).

    Yes, I think Ambushes will be highly problematic, and a better general! Now that Expert or better gets to pick when to go, you can opt to go second one round then hope to win the next and go first. Back to back activations. Now I have the model, Maximus might well lead my Romans for a while. :)

  3. I did get through the auxiliary troops, but it took too long. Crucially I never managed to win a combat and force the follow up - I do rely on being able to fight multiple times in one turn

    Be cool to see maximus all painted and ready to "unleash hell" :P

  4. Another great looking battle guys!

    I hope Jason has a few tricks up his sleeve and I look forward to seeing ambushes in the next one


  5. Lol, Jason mentioned he had been in a warband tactics conference!

    I think the other thing to do with Ambushes might be to follow the tournament terrain setting rules? We always finish with plenty of time, when playing Impetvs. So the general who defends can determine terrain density, while the general who attacks (another perk of a better general) can then affect where pieces end up - assisting ambushes.