Friday, 24 August 2012

Back to Basic Impetus (3) "The Pointy End of Hoplite Warfare"

The Athenians line up to the 8cm "distance of decision". They do have an overlap advantage of six units of hoplites to the Spartan five currently in line of battle (but Sparta has a slight edge in quality), the sixth can be seen in the bottom left moving up as well as the Spartan Helot slingers moving across the back of the battle line. The bearded sea pirate of an Athenian strategos, sipping his pint of Guinness 'finches' and goes for it, electing to move the whole Athenian block as one, as is his right. The sacrifice he latterly made in the Temple of Athena in Athens Acropolis may well come off. The die is cast and a "2", the Athenian Phalanx despite their illustrious paen (battle hymn) fail to contact (see below):   

Oh dear, the professional Spartans has an automatic contact and the edge of their impetus factors. The outcome is utterly horrid for the Athenians and one of glory for the Spartans (see below). Blue or Black for disorder and Red for a combat hit (size of counter does not matter here, the Spartans just have bigger ones, nuff said). A mainly disordered Spartan line faces a disordered and hurt Athenian line.

As the rounds of melee stack up units start disappearing from the Athenian line of battle as routing hoplites discard their armour and run for the safety of the ships. True, some Spartiates have fallen, but no Spartan unit has been broken and the battle has all but been decided (see below):  

What kind of monster would insist to play another round? Well technically I needed to know the total casualty count for campaign purposes, but I also wanted to sadistically see it through to the end. I did even offer to switch sides and have the dice thrown at me, but to his credit the bearded Athenian sea pirate finished his drink to the sound of a cracked army collapsing in a heap (see below):  

Sparta had triumphed in a rather convincing historical outcome but there was concern on the mechanics of how, as in there seemed little or no benefit from playing Basic Impetus over the Full Impetus rules.

Difference between Full Impetus and Basic Impetus (lacked):
  • No Multiple Moves (this makes a huge difference in game play)
  • No Evades (well technically they kind of was but not explicit)
  • No Opportunity Status (giving the ability to react in opponent's bound)
  • No Command and Control Restrictions/Bonuses
  • No Die of Destiny (re-rolls)  
Conclusion: Stick with Full Impetus, the game system is better (certainly historical flavour) and takes just as long to play. Also the rules are not like DBA to DBM, the whole idea of Basic Impetus was to bring gamers into some themes critical in Full Impetus as a transitional step, not an alternative system. Trying to remember both systems would be a nightmare for my tint little mind.An outstanding concern was how to attribute casualties to an army in a campaign, the above woulh have wiped out the Athenians. Despite this should they be allowed to recoup some?


Tim Gow said...

Having read and played a few game turns with both versions I agree with your conclusion. If you have the real version - use it!
I really must try it out in a 'proper' game.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

The system does seem to get better with more playing

It seems to work for Renaissance pike blocks and Hopite battles :)