Saturday, May 23, 2015

Impetus Refresher - Germans vs Italians

We couldn't muster up enough people for a D&D game last night (a Friday night leading into Memorial Day weekend), but Ryan and Josh were available, and Josh had expressed an interest in playing historical miniatures, so that's what we did. When setting up the game (and trying to remember the rules) it occurred to me just how long it had been since I had played anything. Or painted anything. Going back through blog posts, it was probably the Impetus solo game that I played last November.

With little time to prep anything new, the game we played ended up using the same forces (and little cheat-sheet unit cards) from that game. Feudal Germans vs Communal Italians fighting in Italy circa 1250.
Forces close on each other (Germans at left)

In order to be able to start with the simpler rules (movement etc) and explain as we went, I set up a basic meeting engagement with no terrain other than a few hills and roads, and some decorative fields and hedges. The hills were decent sized, and flanked an open valley in between. In all pictures, the Germans will be on the left/far side and the Italians will be on the right/near side.
Contesting the Center

One of the main things I like about Impetus is that the rules are simple enough to remember fairly well from one playing to the next, but present enough choices to make the game-play interesting. It turned out to be a very good set to teach a new person. By the end of the evening (7 turns I think), Josh had a pretty good grasp of the basics.
Forces meet on the eastern hill

As for the battle itself, it was a straight-forward move ahead and meet in the middle fight, with attention paid to the high ground on either flank.
Fighting for the hilltop

In general, Ryan (the Germans) rolled very well for initiative, but rolled poorly in combat. Exceptionally poorly in many cases. He was especially good at failing Cohesion Tests in cases when all he had to do was roll anything but a 6. And then invariably rolled a 6...
End of game

By the end of the game (7 turns I believe), the situation had been decided. Out of three leaders per side, the Germans had lost one killed and one captured, and the fighting had largely gone against them. Some good things had happened, but not enough to keep the Italians from clearly having the upper hand. The Germans lost 5 units to the Italians 4, but the types of units lost and the relative position (and condition) of the remaining troops on the field made it extremely likely that the balance would continue to tip further in the Italians favor.

It was a fun evening, and Josh seemed to to enjoy himself (there was no doubt Ryan would, as he has played with us many times before). Impetus, as always, provided a fun game.

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