AAR: Basic Impetus – Roman failures continue

There has been yet another game of Basic Impetus where mighty Roman legions opposed again the phalanx of Seleucid empire. While two last games were really a breeze for the Seleucids, and Romans stood no changes what so ever, this time Roman commander was determined to win the war. Selecting careful table layout (120cm x 60cm), and being defender, Romans opted to deploy in open field and forcing Seleucids to deploy in terrain that was everything but suitable for sarissa armed phalanx.

Impetus feb 15-101Roman force was then deployed in two identical groups, each containing two legions, equites and velites at the wing. An open gap was left roughly where the forest lay.

General advance by both sides.

General advance by both sides.

Seleucid middle was covered by forest, and small hill, their one flank by forest and another by rough ground. However, there were gaps that allowed very well defended positions to be established for the phalanx, and some of the non-phalanx friendly areas were rather good places for peltasts. The middle forest would then act as protection for Cretan archers. Elephants then had the extreme left, and cataphracts the extreme right and finally, the secret weapon – scythed chariots placed such a way they could run wild through a gap.

Scythed chariots moving to front lines, preparing to inflict some fatalities among legionaries.

Scythed chariots moving to front lines, preparing to inflict some fatalities among legionaries.

Impetus feb 15-104

And wild they did run – until they hit, again, pilum of Roman legion. It seems that chariots just don’t get it…

Cataphracts stalled by Velites, legion approaching the peltasts under fire of Cretans.

Cataphracts stalled by Velites, legion approaching the peltasts under fire of Cretans.

This time around, the developments on the battlefield were most entertaining and tense. While somehow dubiously Cataphract charge was stalled by Velites, subsequent, very intensive battle between damaged Cataphracts and Roman Equites became extremely tense and continued all the way to the end. On the Seleucid right, another battle occurred between shallow phalanx, and Roman legion weakened by arrows of the Cretans. Battle raged on for some time until both routed each other.Impetus feb 15-105

Cataphracts entangled with  the fight. Legion makes sure that peltasts cause no further harm.

Cataphracts entangled with Velites. Legion makes sure that peltasts cause no further harm.

Impetus feb 15-106On the left however, elephants attempted to clear the Velites away, only to run short on the charge, and becoming disorganized. Only by luck did the elephants get away with it, only to run over Velites shortly after and turned to cause havoc in the Roman flank. Impetus feb 15-107

Cataphracts charged by Equites, and after very long fight get better of it.

Cataphracts charged by Equites, and after very long fight get better of it.

Impetus feb 15-108Situation did not look very promising for Romans and once one legion hammered itself against the Seleucid silver shields, and elephants took a sharp turn right and charged the Equites. Impetus feb 15-109 Impetus feb 15-110It was interesting game and pointed out why I like Impetus a lot. It was fast paced, but fighting between units was not over instantly and many of the melees continued for several turns, at times stalling or denying critical progress.

Roman right flank collapses.

Roman right flank collapses.

While for isolated events it looked like luck was swinging wildly – such as the Velites and Cataphracts, overall luck had little to do with the outcome – CP prevailed over Velites, and then the charge by fresh Equites. In larger scale, Seleucids managed to hold where necessary with the phalanx and left flank got through to finish the job.


Meanwhile, still painting troopers. Lot’s of French are on the table waiting, as well as assorted selection of ancients. I should be able to field Syracuse sometime in relatively near future. Of course 90 Gun British ship of the line has been on dock for very long time now as well as little more progressed French frigate. Of course there are also several ships that have been painted up but lack all rigging.

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4 Responses to AAR: Basic Impetus – Roman failures continue

  1. Jon Freitag says:

    Outstanding game layout! BI is a great game, for sure.

  2. I really love the gaming table. Looks very naturalistic and with the armies on it, could be just out of a Rome Total War game.

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