Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Impetus - Late Roman v Sassanid Persian

Two units of Comitatenses with supporting Sagitarii archers - Gripping Beast figures.
Well I really am enjoying ancient wargaming again!

It has been a funny period for me since the demise of WAB.  At our local club we had played Warhammer Ancient Battles for many years and thoroughly enjoyed the games, even though there have often been many vagaries with the results, heroic leaders and their devastating effects on combat etc.  We enjoyed the games however more often that not we came down to 10.20 pm on the clock and the great rush for a charge and a result took over.

"Winning draw i think mate".  Countered by "You have to be bloody joking!!".  All in good spirits ...and that's just the way it was.



Sassanid Saravan cavalry - in layman terms for the aged...Clibanarii with lance and bow!
 With the demise of Warhammer Historical and the very poor way they relaunched a flawed system with new expensive books and re-published "old lists" for profit the ancients period for whatever reason left me a little cold.

We have played Clash of Empires at the club.  WAB V2.0 as some put it.  Very good system but I have been looking for something a little different.


Sassanid Militia on opportunity...though I am sure that they hope the "opportunity" never presents itself!

Last year at Cancon, our national wargaming show put on by the CGS every Australia Day long weekend, I caught up with good mate Matt Williamson (Bluewillow) who was playing in an Impetus Tournament along with several other 28mm Ancient luminaries such as Chris K, Richard T etc.  What struck me initially was the size of the bases and the ability to craft together more than a group of soldiers on 20mm square bases.

Looking at the games being played convinced me that this was the way to go.  With cash in hand I hurried off and grabbed the rules plus the supplements from good mate Ian at War and Peace and we were off.

At least that what I thought...


Roman cavalry to the flank - Equites and Illyricanii. 
 
The biggest task for me this year has been the publishing of the Colonial Sudan rules inspired by the games of Peter Gilder many years ago at the WHC.  It has been a large task as I have felt that to do a half-hearted job getting them out and fully playable would be a disservice to the early memories and inspiration drawn from those series of Wargames World that I first read as a young teenager many moons ago.

These are however, nearing publication as the final proof reading is taking place as I type.



CP Saravan - the cataphract style "Super Heavy Cavalry" as Phil Barker would have put it.  Quite potent and resilient
mounted troops though no bow option available in Impetus for them so some troops may need to be re-horsed!
 With teh help of the very friendly people on the Impetus forum via the website http://impetusnews.blogspot.com  it was obvious that these rules had a massive following and that they were well supported and passionately played.


Those T supporting archers can be very, very effective against mounted who refuse to engage to the front.
The final straw was visiting some sites of Australian Impetus player - quite inspirational.  Richards "Tartys Tin" http://tartys.blogspot.com.au/  was sensational.

At the same time some players at the club who had normally played DBM, DBMMM, DBMMMM (maybe one M too far!), FOG etc. were looking for something different and started to dabble in Impetus as well.  The dabble has become a full blown playing of the game at the NWS, albeit in 15mm.



One of the Roman Commanders NOT to be disgraced and needing to flee the battle with his broken unit. 
The rest of the chaps did rather better though!

So taking to the shelves, grabbing figures that hadn't seen the light of day for many years, the conversion took place.  Many cuts, scrapes, superglued and pva'ed fingers later I had produced 450 points of Late Rom,ans and Sassanids to play a battle in 28mm at the club last night with Geoff Marshall.

Pivotal moment as the Cataphracts of both sides clash...Romans prevailed after a bloody stoush! 

Though we got a few things wrong (inches instead of 2cm for 28mm...made a difference for fire and movement - first game in 28mm though so can be forgiven) the game was great fun.


Persian horse archers skirmish with their Roman enemies from the heights.
 This battle result?

The Romans pressed well initially on the right and had early success however the heavier Sassanid cavalry took its toll against their lighter armed opponents.  On the left the Roman attacked aggressively with the cavalry wing and were shot to pieces,  In the centre the cataphract battle decided the battle with the Persians breaking after they were swept from the field.  Excellent game played to a tactical conclusion in just over 2 hours including breaks.  Very enjoyable indeed and well played Geoff. 

Already there has been some interest from other chaps at the club and the boys will get another outing in a few weeks.  In the meantime some more basing and painting beckons.

24 comments:

  1. Lovely, lovely figures Carlo!
    Cracking chap in the pink (rose)

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    1. Thanks Paul - that is a lovely figure from Gripping Beast of a later Byzantine Emperor which I thought could easily be pressed into service. The game was tremendous fun and it was so good to get out some figures that I literally hadn't played with for years - ridiculous really. Great fun.

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  2. Great looking game using a great system! Impetus is without doubt my choice of ancient/medieval wargaming.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher. Really having some fun with the rules at present. Great system.

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  3. The big bases look really good. Impetus is on the list of things for me to try (along with SAGA), but I need to start focusing on the big event that happens next year.

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    1. Thanks Mark - having another game in three weeks if you are up for a game. Most welcome.

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  4. Stunning looking armies! Very well worth the effort

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    1. Thanks Simon- also playing with a Sassanid list for your very innovative "To the strongest". Having a rumble upstairs on the weekend. Your latest draft reads beautifully.

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  5. Awesome! painting on the figures and the basing look great as well! hopefully your photos and games report will be published in wargame magazines!

    cheers,

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    1. Cheers Phil. I really like the style of impetus basing and the scope it allows for a bit of vignette design etc.

      Also like the idea of my troops not going tits up whenever I break or go around a corner whilst driving to the club!!!

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  6. Great looking armies; it ios good that they are in action again. Have to try Impetus some day, as most people seem to like the rules!

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    1. Cheers Peter. I also had mates raving about them for quite a while as well.

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  7. Great looking figures Carlo and good to see those old paint jobs have held out now for over ten years for a few of them. Yes I think the Lonely Gamers Club also needs to come over to the rules, it has been quite some time since we played in this period and it would be a shame not to dust our collections off....champion stuff

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    1. Hi Nathan - exactly my thoughts as you would have read. I am sure that Scotty used to rave about Impetus in the early days mate. Yes, certainly great to have some lovely figures out again and they look like new :-)

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  8. I don't play Impetus, but these figures and basing look fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Dean - greatly appreciated. Went through quite a few tufts on the basing so a reorder may be in order.

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    1. Thanks C - some favourites of mine for sure!

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  10. This Sasanid army is really amazing!

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    1. Thanks Phil - the painting is a combination of myself, Nathan and Leroy for my collection many, many years ago. Still adding small things to it such as additional officers etc. as we convert to Impetus however the advantage of having large WAB armies from the past means most options in the lists are achievable.

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  11. We are an example of what Peter is talking about. Mark saw the Impetus rules in Tactics, thought that they looked good and bought them to try, knowing little about them. We liked them immediately and now, after several historical re-fights and a mini semi-historical campaign we reckon that they are great. We are also happy with the 'accuracy' of the outcome, which is important, I reckon. I really like the simple elegance of the mechanics around the VBU, but there is sufficient detail and nuances to make for most interesting games. Importantly, they allow you to focus on the battle-plan and tactics. Like you Carlo, I especially love the big bases with the inherent flexibility in scale and ability to make interesting 'units'. Yours look great mate. Looking forward to the next post of your next game!

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    1. Thanks Fish - great to hear you and the lads are enjoying the games at the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship. The VBU as you state is an excellent way of determining the fighting ability of the unit and the simple mechanisms really mask a very subtle and tactical game. Maybe you and the lads might want a game in 28mm next time you are in the city?

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  12. Carlo they are two very nice armies. I love the late Roman period and after all these years have only just started playing Impetus...what a great game. We are only play Basic Impetvs at present but will hopefully soon move onto the normal set.

    Cheers

    Nathan

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    1. Thanks Nathan. I have been following your exploits in Basic Impetus quite intently over the past few weeks as well. The games are great spectacles and the "feel" of the rules is very good. I will continue to follow your blog as always with a very keen view to the wonderful looking games you continue to put on.

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