Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Roman Civil War - Impetus AAR

We played a Roman Civil War game last week, the scenario was a Roman General from the Danube front with German allies marching towards Italy to proclaim himself as Consul. This wasn't based on any specific battle but it's a situation that came up only several hundred times in Rome's history.

Game Details: Impetus rules, 25/28mm miniatures, 400pts per side.

I was the Roman rebel general with the German allies and my opponent was the Roman Consul. My strategy was to use my impetuous Germans on the flank to overwhelm the opposing forces and also my cavalry superiority to outwork his flanks. My opponent formed into a very condensed mass of infantry with his flanks protected by natural obstacles which should've played into my strategy.

I made a critical mistake in my set up, for some reason I thought my German infantry was FL, whereas after putting them in difficult ground I looked down at my list and realized they were actually FP, this resulted in the two units to attack piecemeal. I also risked my German cavalry in a straight forward charge at his auxillaries, gambling that they could be softened up before my strong German infantry could charge home. This is because there is a special rule where Roman auxillaries cancel the impetuous bonus of warbands. I'm not sure how I feel about the historical accuracy of that rule, but it does make auxillaries very useful and gives the Romans an important chance against those strong large units of warbands. Anyway, my gamble didn't pay off and my German flank was wiped out.

On the other flank, however, my Roman legions with the help of some light cavalry smashed the opposing legions. This caused the battle to essentially pivot and I sent in my general's unit to restore the situation on my left flank. Each side was pretty much on the verge of breaking, both having lost their smaller command, when my general was captured in battle. Once my troops saw their commander being captured they didn't see the point in fighting on and laid down their arms in hopes of getting amnesty. My general's head was later unceremoniously chopped off and order was restored to the Empire.

Thanks to the following two blogs for lending me their photos:

Starting formations with my rebels on the right side of the pic

My right flank
My left flank

My opponent's condensed formaton

Another view of my opponents formation

My Romans advancing

My German cavalry charging forward

My legions advance on my right flank as the Germans attack is broken up due to terrain.

Second last turn of the game, my legions on the right break through as my general shifts to plug the hole on the left. He was captured by the elite veterans of the enemy which prompted the route of my forces.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Alexander the Not-So Great

Impetus Alexander Campaign Turn 1 & 2: Battle of the Granicus River

This is the first battle of the Alexander campaign in Extra Impetus 4. One of my new years resolutions has been to play more campaigns this year and the Alexander campaign is the second one I started. It's also the first one I completed because the campaign is basically a series of linked battles recreating Alexander's famous battles, and it goes on until Alexander loses. As it turns out I lost the first battle so voila, a successful campaign done and complete in one night.

So this battle has already been blogged about and detailed by my opponent on his blog
http://themonkeythatwalks.blogspot.ca/2012/03/prince-of-persia.html. I wanted to add a few more pics and since my blog is primarily dedicated to AAR's I wanted to document my Alexander campaign.

My colleague already described the battle in detail so I won't rehash everything that happened other than to say I tried to replicate Alexander's actual tactics from the battle, I got unlucky and while Alexander's unit passed their rally test and was able to take a double move forward, the rest of the cavalry supporting him failed their tests and lagged behind. This got Alex isolated and although he fought an epic couple of rounds against three enemy units he eventually broke and it was downhill from there. I initially put Alexander on the opposite side of my enemy's strong horse archer force to avoid getting worn down from missile fire.

Kudos to my opponent for using some good tactics to beat Alexander and demonstrating how a Persian army could've theoritically defeated Alexander. I think of Impetus as a game rather than a simulation but I still think that the Persians could have used their light horse similar to how my opponent did, by harrassing the enemy formation and causing his lines to lose their lose cohesion rather than taking Alexander head on.

It's interesting to note that in the actual battle Alexander found himself isolated and even got injured before his support caught up to him. So this is a very realistic alternative outcome, imagine how the history of the world would've been different.

Persian and Macedonian Army Deployment
Macedonian phalanx in the centre

Persians have a strong left wing

Alexander and his cavalry on the Macedonian left advance through the river

The Macedonian right skirmishes with the Persian horse archers

Alexander is across the river but the rest of the Macedonians are slowed down

Alexander's fateful and heroic charge

The phalanx advances under a hail of arrows

Alexander very uncharacteristically running away

The phalanx is finally across the river and engages the Persian centre

Meanwhile the Persian left has totally wiped away the Macedonian right wing. This is about where the game ended with a Macedonian loss.