Impetvs Batrep: The hills are alive with Germans!

 I've been seeing a bit of Impetvs around the place recently and Jason and I have a saying "Impetvs is a fun game, we should play it some time." We actually managed to get that game in last Monday.
His practice these days is to let me set up and hide as much as possible of his Warbands and Skirmishers in ambush somewhere.Well, no dirty German warriors are going to get a jump on mighty Rome! I stuck some of my guys in Ambush too, while weighting my right with a pair of Javelin armed Lanciarii - right in front of his Cav wing - and making jokes about my typical 'forest turret' tactic.

The mighty Roman battleline.

Under the sight of Mars, our General, and the Eagle, we made ready to defend the camp against a rumoured major Germanic attack.  Where were they? All was quite in the drifting snow. There they are, only Cavalry though? - could this be their vanguard. To our right, Lanciarii responded to the General's call and began to make their way through the woods to intercept the Germanic scouts.
The fearsome javelin armed Cavalry wing.
 Where were they though? All was quite in the drifting snow. There they are, only Cavalry though - could this be their vanguard. To our right, Lanciarii responded to the General's call and began to make their way through the woods to intercept the Germanic scouts. 

 My Middle Imperial Romans (aka the Romans from Gladiator) are led by mounted Russel Crowe VS Jason's dirty Germans. I had: a couple of units of Equites, one unit of fearsome Sarmatians, three lots of poor Legionarii, one lot of Praetorians to give them some spine (mislabeled as Sarmatians in the top center of the pic below), four units of Auxilia and a couple of Skirmisher Lanciarii and Funditores. Jason tends to run with something like: Five large warbands of Germans, three are Elite with long-spears, three lots of German Cav, some skirmishing clubmen and a few more lots of skirmishing Javelin. As you can see, above, the Germans only really deployed their Cavalry. However, the only likely candidate for so many ambushers was a big hill in the German Zone. Or was it?

They look thirsty.
 Wait, there they are -   we can see waves of screaming bloodthirsty barbarians rise up on the hillsides and begin to move toward our line.

It's amazing we never realised we were both in here...

What's this? Our ambush has caught something in its net. The Germanic Chieftain hoped to slip some men around our flank but Maximus had been prepared this time. The Germanics found themselves in a stumbling and chaotic melee against loose order infantry, recruited from amongst the local tribes most loyal to Rome. The odds look even to begin but these men have Roman discipline and wield Roman steel. 

Bottom right, a wood and some Lanciarii. Hmm...

Now it is starting to look like a fight. Roman trumpets sounded the advance and our Legionarii stepped forward to meet the barbarians head on.

It was quickly becoming clear, though, that there were a LOT of Germans hiding in those hills. They also seemed thirsty. I hope Maximus has done the right thing in putting our most raw troops between that German horde and our camp....and the Vino!

Wait, are we impetuous?

The Germanic cavalry must have been especially eager to close. They've wandered right into range of our advancing Lanciarii. They tried to wheel away but lost some horses and men to thrown lancia. 

Get...out...ooff, that hurt...I mean 'of'...our...wood!

To the left, matters proceed well too. Perhaps the General was wise to weight our flanks and invite the Germanic boar into Roman jaws. The Auxilia give good account of themselves and have now slain many enemy warriors.

The way now looks clear for us to slip some Equites around that far left flank and turn the line, by Jove!

No doubt the huge gap is a stratagem of some kind.
The cry of jubilation dies still in my throat when, from my vantage point on the pallisade of the camp, I see our peril.

There is almost an open hole right in the middle of the line and those Germanics look like they might charge through, too many to slow or stop, and sack the camp and demoralise our forces.

It could be another Teutoburg Wald!

The traditional Impetvs free for all.

What's your breakpoint again, Jason?

They are brave, I'll give them that. a warband got clean through the line, fought off our guards and attempted to sack the camp.

Only the quick attention of the Praetorians staved off disaster and the managed to push the barbarians back. Things look to be going to the ill though. It seems our Pilium cannot miss, and our enemies fall even before they hit the line. But there seems to be too many and already we have taken losses in the center and the battle begins to turn.

 Maximus has now committed all the cavalry reserves. He has to take care to avoid the warbands with long-spears but needs to move quickly lest all the Legionarii be over-whelmed and this day become a route.

However, our salvation lies in an unexpected quarter. Just as it looked like we were to meet our fate and shame ourselves before Mars, the Germanic line began to crumble and break. Our lowly skirmishers on the right had exacted so heavy a toll on the advancing cavalry that they and some Auxilia have seen them off.

Roma Victor!

That, was, close. In fact, I'd wager that if Jason had just held the cav for a while (afterall THEY are not impetuous, only their commander!), his deadly warbands would have exploited more weak line, had the camp and potentially routed me. 

Fortuna may not be so kind when next we meet. 

Great fun as always, Jason, Impetvs is a fun game, we should play it more. 

Thanks for reading.


  1. Great report Jamie

    Looks like I'll be fighting the Romans soon by the looks of Kent's latest project (replacing his old Romans he sold off)- hopefully some reports with my Sassanids & Numidians soon- they seem to handle the Romans much better than the hairy hordes do

    Have a good Christmas & look forward to more of your reports next year


  2. I think we've got a workable format for the hordes - with ambushing. Jason just forgot (I think) about the dreaded Impetus breakpoint and so let me have his cav too cheaply. The Germans at least are tough nut to crack: Fast, high-rated, good in terrain (so ambush well) and longspears to fight off cav.

    I'm looking forward to seeing some of your games with the Sassanids too. One thing I do not like about the Imperial period is the dearth of civilised (if you discount civil wars) matchups. I think a couple of us have been eying up Sassanids for that reason.

    Kent's stuff is shaping up great.


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