Romans vs Barbarians! A classic Impetvs matchup. Adam had his 400pts of Bulgarians and I had my tried and true EIR Romans. I am particularly proud of the fact that exactly 60% of my points are in the larger of the two commands, that being the tournament style restriction. Or at least, if was in the past. It may even still be. There was a little rustiness going around with the rules on both sides. I've also been brushing up on the current state of the rules-updates and I think there are a few things that might have got missed. However, the key thing is that Legionaries got to smash Steppe Cav, and visa versa.
Enough with the complicated Latin though. down to the action. Adam had cavalry. Some deadly shock CM types. Some nimble shooting CL types. He also had Pechenegs. The feared infantry units (so decentish VBU) with a shooting attack! I put my camp to my left. Adam put his camp to his left. then we both pushed our tougher commands at the enemy camps while trying to defend our own with the weaker ones. My initial advance was text-book Roman precision. Red dice mean disorder markers... A table-width at 10-20cm a turn is going to take a while.
The Bulgarians were not amused by the Roman incursion. Afterall, they had occupied their Motherland in the Balkans for literally Weeks. They expressed their displeasure by shooting Maximus' dog. Immediately downgrading the General to worn.
On my left, Quintus was pondering the life-choices that brought him to this point. Legionaries were once feared across the known world but know they were on the way out and Cavalry was in the ascendant. However, the Praetorians had their martial pride and the knowledge that the rules were written by one of their descendants.
The Bulgarian Cavalry attack was incredibly swift, covering almost all the ground to the Roman flank in two turns and smashing into the Roman line. Sure, Romans may look impressive but most of my guys are half-price Raw legions. Since I lacked in quality, I played Soviet and threw the kitchen sink at the problem.
On my right, the glorious Roman advance was losing a little cohesion.
No issues with the Bulgarian advance though. Wave one to wear the defenders and cause disorder. Check. Wave two to then clean up. Check.
At this point in the battle, I may have tried to fool my opponent with airy talk of laying a trap for his oncoming attack. Do you think he bought it?
In Impetvs , the best laid attacks can go swiftly awry. Quintus appears to be some kind of super-Praetorian. Those enemy Cavalry never knew what hit them.
On the right, the ponderous advance continued. So lets see, deployed 20cm in, the enemy camp is about 20cm from the other edge, give or take, it's 240cm across the table and the main-battle units move 10cm.
And the enemy are well geared to pepper us with missiles as we advance. Perfect.
At least, somehow, things were holding up on the left for now. This is the same Quintus who has in (many) other battles turned out to be incompetent and generally under-performed. Here he was some kind of avatar of the god of war. Adam grew tired of fighting my Legionaries and sent some Cavalry to sack my camp. Yes, broken ground doesn't exactly slow troops but what is that other rule impact?
With Quintus finally gone, and the night dragging on, we decided to let the battle on the left decide the game. If I broke, Adam won, if he broke, I won. So I had lost a Raw Legionary and a unit of Legionaries and the General had escaped. He was down a unit of Cavalry. However, each loss of a mainline cavalry unit was 3 points closer to his breakpoint. In Impetvs, you lose 50% of a command in breakpoints, the whole lot run. What we ended up with was a free for all. Throwing units at each other trying to get he first kills to break the other side.
In the interests of saving time, Maximus stayed put at half-way. Legionaries (even the Raw ones) are pretty resistant to missile fire but it would be hellish tough going against faster opponents who would bounce-back, keep shooting, and cycling through the units to wear the heavy foot down. I've done it to warbands plenty of times and wouldn't like to be on the receiving end.
On the Left, what decided it in the end was that Adam's Cavalry unit got killed by an irate camp-follower as he tried to sack my camp. That took him to 50% casualties and away his command ran. Yep, that's what my strategy amounted to in the end, some blind luck at the end of the game. I'm sure the official historians will be along presently to white-wash that into another inevitable triumph f the glorious legions though.
Cheers for the game Adam, I'm dead keen to play again. I've been enjoying my lighter games recently but I remember now how much I like Impetvs' depth!