Impetus Batrep: Ersatz Byzantines vs Khan Aspurahk

With the army finally complete, Adam was keen for another game of Impetus so we had another 250pt clash at the Cavs. Our armies were similar to last time: The Bulgars with Khan Aspurahk leading a block of three shock CM Cavalry, two wings of CL Horse archers, and some skirmishers on light horses. My Ersatz Byzantines were forced to take the same core of four Legionaries but swapped out the light Cavalry and some skirmishers from last time to add a balista and some of the fearsome Sarmatian Cataphracts. My Lanciarii Skirmishers were gone from the list but I now had two units of the supporting bow for the Legionaries. Most importantly, Constantine IV was long gone up the road to Byzantium and had taken his idiot cousin with him. Who then emerged as King of the Hill?

 Most supreme and Christian Emperor, be assured that your faithful general, all his officers, and the body of the men do no bemoan your absence from the battlefield. In fact, they charge me to press upon you their firm hope that you keep yourself , and you noble cousin, the safest distance possible from these savages. The Bulgarian Khan has drawn up his vanguard ahead of an encampment full of squalling children but faces a solid defense of infantry, horse and machines designed to harm him from afar. 
The General, despite my earnest entreaties and much tugging of his sleeve, has abandoned us here at the encampment and means to face the Khan upon a hill at the center of the battlefield. I shall pray for his success from my vantage up a nearby tree. 

No doubt feeling vainly secure due to our mighty infantry being hidden by the crest of that hill, the Bulgarian Khan moves his main cavalry line to charge over the rise, while wings of horse archers sweep up left and right. Our army begins to fire at the horsemen but our aim is poor this day.
The general clearly heard the approach of the Khan's household troops and ordered some of our light archers over the hill to shoot at them. This has sown much disorder in the ranks of these savages. I note with some trepidation however, that our main infantry units seem far too few to hold a line everywhere these nimble Bulgarians might brave. Why, they could threaten the camp!

I am hoarse from cheering, first one, then another, company of Bulgar horse archers charged our own archers head on but were each repulsed and destroyed. Surely this is a sign that God and his Saints are with us? No! Dear Lord above! The Bulgarian Khan has left his disordered fellows in his wake and charged screaming and yelling over the hill-crest at our legions! If they break the line, like they did last time, we are all lost.

But what is this? Praise the Saviour! A week's drill with Plium has clearly paid off as the initial charge was disrupted and then the General and his legionaries threw back the Bulgars for little loss!

I can see from this vantage up the tree that our left flank is now secure, as the Slingers and Balista have seen off the enemy skirmishers. Likewise, the threat to the right flank has had to shift to plug holes appearing in the center. The Equites seized their opportunity and wheeled about to catch the Bulgar horsemen in the flank. For a moment, it seemed that the enemy would be scattered but the charge was ineffectual and they held.

Emboldened, the Bulgar Khan tried one last charge to kill our General. It was too late though, our forces had closed all about and he ended up trapped between the General's own bodyguard and the Praetorian troops. With his death, the raiding force's morale was broken and they fled.
Praise be to God - Victory for the Empire!

 Another wild game with the tiny Legionary line somehow fending off all the cavalry, this time... Cheers for the game Adam and can't wait for another clash soon. You've got me wanting actual Byzantines.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Great battle report here. Really like the way you put in the comments on the pictures; adds a sense of the comic books to the report.


  2. Great looking game Jamie. You'll be in trouble once Adam gets the hang of those light horse- charging bows? What was he thinking?


  3. Thanks Ross.

    Craig - it is probably a function of the smaller 250pt size? Really, there should have been a unit of that cool CM there lurking behind the CL to burst through and run the poor archers down once they were disordered by shooting. Without that, I guess he was figuring that the archers were 'mere infantry' and the CL had an impetus bonus so... :) It would have been very effective if it had worked and losing them didn't cost him too many VD.

    I know what you mean about trouble. I was anxiously watching that right flank and was fortunate my Legionaries beat off a flank charge there and generally managed to not remain disordered. I need more cav to drive the CL off!

  4. Craig
    Heh heh, yeah well I was trying to be audacious and the odds weren't that bad really. I'm also feeling my way into the game, figuring out what's what. Also part of this forces schtick is charging down dirty infantrymen.;-)

    Cool write up as usual mate! Fun game as well!

  5. Kent and I really enjoy 250 pts- fast and fun. Once Adam starts dancing round with his light horse watch out!

  6. I prefer a good two-three command 400pt battle in 28mm. It's why we moved to the smaller base frontage and the armies look impressive.

    Jason and I had a game last night and while we did move some stuff around, I think the bit we found most satisfying is that we had these large painted armies on decent bases and 400pts allowed lots of units to be involved, with room for a little precision in how we tried to manage some parts of the battle.

    The commander of the Praetorians and Sarmatians turned out to be incompetent on turn two, which did forestall my Heavy Cavalry from taking part :(

    Keep doing what you are doing with the Cav, Adam. I've learned something from how you do it and Jason was almost disgusted by how much mileage you can get from sneakily double-moved S and CM units when they start to work flanks...


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