Impetuous June – Carthage vs. Syracuse AAR

It has been a while since last update, but that has mostly been due to being a bit busy with other aspects of life. Anyways, there has been rather impetuous time again. Games saw pretty good table time. Couple of dozen Basic Impetus games were played and four games of DSLB. Not bad at all – especially when games were moved outside.

I recently found out that Syracuse and Carthage make up very interesting, and asymmetrical pair. It is tough to win with Syracuse due to lack of cavalry, but on a same token, it is also tough to win as Carthage due to lack of good infantry.

Syracuse set up first in quite good defensive position. Long line of hoplites were screened by skirmishing archers, peltasts and thureophoroi.

Syracuse set up first in quite good defensive position. Long line of hoplites were screened by skirmishing archers, peltasts and thureophoroi. Artillery was set on the far left flank as well as the only cavalry that Syracuse could muster. General stood amongst the cavalry – something of a customary habit for my opponent.

Carthage deployed second. Heavy infantry on the middle, Gauls with extra punch and some added spaniards to the left and very strong cavalry wing on the right. Idea was to deal blow against the artillery and the Syracuse cavalry and then disrupt the hoplites from the flank. At the same time, Gauls should charge in and make short work of the opposing lights & hoplites.

Carthage deployed second. Heavy infantry on the middle, Gauls with extra punch and some added spaniards to the left and very strong cavalry wing on the right. Idea was to deal blow against the artillery and the Syracuse cavalry and then disrupt the hoplites from the flank. At the same time, Gauls should charge in and make short work of the opposing lights & hoplites.

Syracuse advances the lights forward, and thureophoroi move to protect the flank from the oncoming cavalry charge.

Syracuse advances the lights forward, and thureophoroi move to protect the flank from the oncoming cavalry charge.

Gauls punch through the lights unharmed and head towards the hoplite line. Thureophroi are in trouble on the  Syracusan left.

Gauls punch through the lights unharmed and head towards the hoplite line. Thureophroi are in trouble on the Syracusan left.

Gauls hit the hoplite line, but hoplites stood firm and struck back. Greek cavalry finished off light cavalry but not before artillery was destroyed.

Gauls hit the hoplite line, but hoplites stood firm and struck back. Greek cavalry finished off light cavalry but not before artillery was destroyed.

Brave and impetuous gallic warband in action.

Brave and impetuous gallic warband in action.

Carthaginian heavies lumber forward. cavalry action unfolds a the background.

Carthaginian heavies lumber forward. cavalry action unfolds a the background.

Hoplites make short work of the Gauls, but cost is high.

Hoplites make short work of the Gauls, but cost is high and Hoplite line is disrupted.

Spanish push through the line. Syracusan right flank is now open.

Spanish push through the line. Syracusan right flank is now open.

Both sides eager to meet at the middle. Time is now on the Carthaginian side, and Syracuse launches massive attack.

Both sides eager to meet at the middle. Time is now on the Carthaginian side, and Syracuse launches massive attack.

Lines meet, and Carthaginians have finally breached both flanks. Hoplites fight bravely.

Lines meet, and Carthaginians have finally breached both flanks. Hoplites fight bravely.

It was remarkable, a text book sample of a long othismos where both sides stayed engaged for quite some time, neither breaking nor giving much ground.

It was remarkable, a text book sample of a long othismos where both sides stayed engaged for quite some time, neither breaking nor giving much ground.

Carthaginian flanking forces are turning in, when hoplites gained upper hand and Carthaginian heavy infantry started to waver and flee.

Carthaginian flanking forces are turning in, when hoplites gained upper hand and Carthaginian heavy infantry started to waver and flee. At his point it was anyones guess who would win the day. Carthage was nearing the break point rapidly – heavy infantry is very expensive.

It was at this moment when Syracuse marched into victory, very narrowly.

It was at this moment when Syracuse marched into victory, very narrowly indeed.

More I play against, or with hoplite armies, more I like the way they work in Impetus. This one was matchup that kept tension up until very last minute, and where it really felt like hoplite warfare that was outlined in the A Storm of Spears.


A side note, we also found out that it gives interesting flavor to Basic Impetus if some official Advanced Impetus amendments are added. In short these are bonus for protected flank, and quality difference. It was not tested in this game, but we had another where it was given a try and results were quite interesting. 

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2 Responses to Impetuous June – Carthage vs. Syracuse AAR

  1. Per usual excellent table setup and very engaging battle report. Looks like an interesting and balanced game that came down to staying power and cavalry movements in the end.

  2. Tichy says:

    I have to admit that I’ve been perhaps unfairly suspicious about Impetus (and many other games) in the way hoplite war is performed, but in some really odd way, this one really felt realistic (realistic for what I can say after some exposure to steel weapon combat).

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