Basic Impetus 2.0 – Initial impressions

basic-impetus-2-0Basic Impetus 2.0 finally became available as digital edition so I got a copy. It came as two versions, full color and simplified edition – which is much appreciated, because the simplified version is more printer friendly in case a few pages are needed from army lists. Note that at this time I have not yet played the system, and will only have checkup of the bigger chances between the editions.

Overall the rulebook follows same principles to the previous version eg. rulebook is simple, clear and  if familiar with some of the basic concepts already, it feels very natural. Changes are logical and so far and there appears to be no changes for the sake of chance. Rulebook is now illustrated and colorful.

There are a quite few important changes in the version 2.0. Including some dramatic changes in the army lists (Republican Roman army no longer has the expensive and utterly useless cavalry! Yay!) Other lists have seen similar overhaul, and at brief glance they look much better and much more thought than before. Given the considerable time between the editions, and experiences on the system that would be anticipated.

Terrain setup rules have been revised, and they offer much better options than before for those who prefer to use that part of the system. I never bothered to use it in the first edition, but I could use it now for variety.

Turn sequence remains the same, with additions of evasion and defensive fire. There are some changes in the game flow, first and foremost, new unit of movement is H. It equals to the half of the base width, which is welcomed logical step. This means that when units had moves of 5U, 8U, 10U and 12U, now they have movement rates of 2H-4H, meaning that some infantry are slower as well as some cavalry while light cavalry is now quite fast. Additionally, under certain conditions skirmish and light cavalry units are able to move a bit further by forfeiting other activities, such as fire. A nice touch considering how often in the first edition one wished to have that option to move 1/2 move further.

Maneuvering is no longer one or other choice, and same applies to rally. Units can now under restrictions wheel and move – another tiny chance that was sometimes irritating the the first edition. Units can also now face about, which is handy feature. Changes increases the value of units being good order, rallying disordered units counts now as move, so they are not completely defenseless as they used to be when removing disorder.

Charge distances have changed a lot. Now, instead of gaining extra few U (1d6), one gains whole H’s. It means that some units can charge out a bit further than before and infantry a bit less – in fact it increases the gamble with infantry because there is 50% possibility of charging nowhere. However, this is countered by institution of avoidance, and now the CL and skirmishers are not trapped defenseless in the incoming charge. Evasion is not automatic, and it depends on the speed of the charging unit. It is obviously easier for fast unit to outrun slow… Welcomed change that.

Pilum has seen a bit of overhaul, so it is harder than ever to charge Legions (4 defensive dice), but on the other hand, it is also better idea to charge with legions (2 offensive dice). However, not all legions are equipped with pilum now. T units are now able to give final punch on the face of charging enemy – which is very nice feature is one happens to play Classical Indians… 😉

Scythed chariots and Elephants have been upgraded somewhat and they are no longer one hit and cannon fodder type units, but retain impetus bonus even if hit. As exchange, they gained certain compulsions which will affect the overall utility. As usual, they are prone to skirmish and light infantry.

Significant part of the rulebook is dedicated to building armies, army lists, multiplayer/multicommand armies etc. The beef of the rules fit in about 13 pages.

Overall, it looks good, about the level of changes that I wished to see in the system. I can see that many of the chances are very nice when adopting it to my basing choice of 60mm wide. And I am really glad to see the changes in the army lists regarding some of the more frequently used armies. I really started to hate roman VD3 cavalry…

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