Saturday, April 23, 2011

NATCON 2011 Impetvs Demo

 It was a mission, but the army got done. Here they are, based for the loamy forest floors and meadows of Germannia and Britannia. Think, given the colours, that they could be the more fertile (and there were many, it is just that Hollywood and HBO are not aware of their existence) areas around Persia and Palestine as well.

I even got the 'quick and dirty' camp done. I am pretty pleased with it, given the rush to get this mad idea off the ground on such short notice, after WOTR fell through.

The first game of our demo. Jason and I both have our camps hidden amongst the forest clearing. This is practically a necessity, since we do like our terrain. Here the thin red Roman line faces off the Barbarian hordes of Germannia. I have three commands: 3x Sarmatian CP to the left; 1 x Legionarii, 3x Auxilia, 3x Raw Legionarii, 2x Lanciarii, 2x Slingers in the centre; 2 x Praetorian Legionarii, 1x Auxilia, 1x Lanciarii to the right.

My Sarmatian CP command (Armorum and Aquila) attracted a lot of interest. Few can resist the lure of ancient battle tanks. The figures may not look the best unpainted in their store but I think they paint up well, and I am no expert painter! Here they are on the wing. My plan with these guys was to let two of them go but move forward, then wheel later to hit the flank of the onrushing warband - while they are stalled on the Auxilia/Skirmisher front line. I think my opponent is probably laughing out loud as he reads this.
This is the Germanic camp - if you look close, you can see the remains of the last Romans unfortunate enough to have tackled this Germannic horde. I wonder if all this Pagan sacrifice stuff works? I have a trap laid for the Germans - they will approach my Centre, while my Praetorians threaten their flank - unless they divide their attack. Then the Sarmatian lancers can hook around and hit their attack from the flank and hopefully sweep through a few units and break the back of the horde.
However, the Roman centre folded quickly. The Auxilia were overrun without causing any return casualties, then the Legionary line also failed to stem the tide. The Sarmations hit the flank of the Germans, but the warband broke through so fast that they were already past the threat of the lancers and the cavalry found themselves amongst a cloud of javelin men, left behind by the sheer speed of the warband's advance. The Sarmatians managed to drive off some German horse but went down to missile fire. The pagan gods must have done something, because the Roman force was left either dead or fled in that snowy forest and I actually only managed to kill a few skirmishers.

Meanwhile, Craig and Kent were reprising their Crusaders vs Syrians match. Here Kent pushes his left wing toward the Syrian force. Kent's army stretched the width of the 6'x4' board -even with our reduced 8cm frontages.
Craig's army on the other hand, looks thin on the ground - to me. I'm sure he will be fine though, the First Crusade went well for the Syrians, right?

After lunch, it was round two for the Germans vs Romans. Here you see a more 'traditional' deployment. The Romans are refusing a flank, and deploying the Sarmatians last. Since it is two German commands vs the Roman three, the heavy cav can be anywhere. Jason decides that since Roman infantry are clearly rubbish in a fight, he'll not worry about cavalry and sweep over the hill to smash my centre once more. I did consider putting the Sarmatians out on the far flank to tie up the German advance but decided to make use of the road instead. Jason reckons this would have been the better course, and probably would have been as good, if not better , than how I ended up employing them.
And here they come, a veritable waterfall of Germans flows down the hill toward the Praetorians, intermixed Auxilia and skirmishers. My Lanciarii get early success, killing off the enemy skirmishers - so I am already doing as well as last game. Out of shot, my Sarmatians have raced up the road in column. Because of the bounce-back damage if I lose, this is incredibly risky (stupid). However I am itching for them to get stuck in properly. So Artorius Castus leads from the front and begins a heroic delaying action in the centre. So for the next few turns, skirmishers leapfrog melee units and I wear down and break the Germans coming over the hill.

The Germans in turn have broken Castus' Sarmatian command and come screaming up the road toward my centre. One marches for free on the road, while the other warband passes its discipline test so the hairy unwashed horde arrives and hits un-disordered.
Meanwhile, the flanking shooters in the forest are picking away at the second wave of the main German force. The presence of the Roman general in the frontline, as opposed to skulking in the second line, must be inspiring the raw legionarii and auxilia - since they stand firm and even inflict casualties this time. In fact, when the legionarii counter-charge hits, they actually knock a warband down to a small unit.
 And now the Praetorian command (and borrowed skirmishers from the centre) are done with their grisly work and turn to envelope the Germans' flank.
Between the Sarmatian 'forlorn hope', the loss of the entire other German command, and casualties inflicted by the legionarii to the centre, that is enough to break the back of the hairy horde. Roma Victor!

Phew, some Roman pride is restored. However, I think we'll take a breather before charging off to recover the lost eagle from those poor unfortunates lying somewhere further into the dark forests of Germannia. It seems a tad 'risky' out there.

Overall the demo day was a big success. NATCON is a three day affair but all of us were eager to get on to holidays with our families. I think we've got the ball properly rolling for more of the SI wargamers leading into Craig's planned TAGCON day in August. Thanks for reading.


  1. Cheers for the great games Jamie!

    It was a heap of fun and it looks like we have generated a heap of interest as well. I'm looking forward to seeing the scene take off :D


  2. Yes! I've got the itch to figure out Sabots for my Vikings so I can expand into Dark Ages... if Stephen ever gets an army painted!

    It does mean getting WF (since they are the only available unarmoured Vikings) but that is a price I am willing to pay. I had been underrating the Viking list, but "the scales have fallen from my eyes." I think the Anglo-Danish could stop Norman Knights cold. I should get the rest of the Romans sorted out - so the force can be split to do the 'ambitious generals' thing.

  3. My Dark Ages forces are painted and ready to go Jamie!

    Great looking table and figures- your table really generated a lot of interest in the rules- maybe we can even converted a few people to our 8cm frontages :)

    Will have to arrange a trip North so Kent and I an give you guys a doubles game- say 300 pts per command? Perhaps one Thursday night at the Cavs to help generate some more interest.


  4. Awesome, once I have some Bondi to be skirmishers (just going to get WGF Bondi), I'll be all set. I am just proxying Celts now. Finally the forward-thinking design with the Carn Dum warriors pays off!

    re: the frontages, Tim D and Martin W were doing my head in a bit there (probably over-tired) with the whole issue. I think now that I can see where they are coming from, and that is totally what would happen with FOG, which is pretty much a line of rock-paper-scissors and then things at either end of the line. I don't think they are really talking about something that occurs in Impetus?

    Doubles looks like a great idea. Btw, Chris W likes the idea of one-day Impetus for TAGCON. I should be able to sort us both a 300pt army - they will not be exactly what I would choose, but fine for the purpose.

  5. Yeah, the WRG/DBX/ Fog basing issues strikes again- ancient battle fields were not 6x 4 and not all skirmishers were on a 2cm depth base in the real world! They are just one interpretation of the interactions between different troops types.

    The impetus basing gets rid of all the issues that other systems create.

    re: TAGCON I'll be providing some forces with whatever I can put together for people so won't be min/maxed- which is the whole point, it should be a fun day and hopefully get a few more people to see the glory of our basing system!


  6. Natcon 2011, how did the LOTR/WOTR go?

  7. Hi Scott,

    The self-fulfilling propehcy about numbers got fulfilled. Since they looked so low, and those already signed up were happy to play in other things, we wound up the WOTR and two of us put on the Impetvs demo instead. The organisers had said that LOTR had enough numbers to run - so some WOTR prospects signed for that instead, but I do not think that ran either.

    In the event, sewerage was working, there was plenty of resturants and motel space, and there were no significant aftershocks. I enjoyed the chance to actually get some rest though!

  8. Fair enough mate, pushing on in the face of adversity, and all that, at least you guys still got to get some gaming in. Here's hoping the new Hobbit movies get more interest in LOTR/WOTR for Natcon 2012, where ever that will be!