Thursday, December 30, 2010

First Game of Basic Impetus

The Dux met up with Paul the Galloglaigh last night to try out Basic Impetus. I read the rules a while ago and really liked the look of them, so have been eager to give them a go. So - Nevsky Russians vs Teutonic Knights.

Paul the Galloglaigh, sans customary armour

I used figures based for DBA, but on cardboard bases of the right size for Impetus. This had the advantage that I could write the unit stats on the bases.

The game took 2 hours, but it would have taken less than half that if we were more familiar with the rules. The result was a resounding victory for the Galloglaigh's Teutonics. My Druzhina did OK on the left flank against the Teutonic light cavalry, but the single base of Teutonic knights facing my right flank went thorugh everything they met like an angry rhinocerous, routing a unit of Druzhina and another of Mongols in a single turn. The attempt to cheat by using air support proved unneccessary...

So the verdict: How does Basic Impetus stack up against DBA?

I think I'm going to like it a lot more, and Paul rated the rules as 'a solid 8/10'. The things I really like about the rules are:

1. The larger base sizes, and emphasis on making units that look more like what they are supposed to be than is possible in DBA.

2. Even translated from Italian (with some obscure bits), the rules are still less arcane than DBA.

3. The rules for movement and contacting the enemy are simpler than DBA, and avoid the pedantic matching up of facings etc.

4. I really like the way that a unit can push back an opponent, follow it up and instantly fight a second melee. In the game we played, the Teutonic knights hit a unit of Druzhina, pushed it back after inflicting damage, followed it up and obliterated it on the second melee, then advanced impetuously and destroyed a unit of horse archers! Devastating, and rings true I think with the 'impetus' of mounted knights.

5. Games will be fast, once we know the rules better.

6. I like the progressive loss of unit strength (VBU) as units get 'ground down' in combat. I prefer this to the backwards and forwards nature of DBA.

In short, I think it's a winner. I'll have to play some more games, but I'll be quite tempted to re-base some of my figures for Basic Impetus. (And indeed my Parthians, painted up especially for BI are nearly ready...)

If you don't know them, check out the rules (and different period versions) here:

'Oh bugger.'


  1. Cool!

    I've been curious about these rules. Might just give them a go - doubled up DBA bases, though I like your idea of Sabot bases with the stats written on them.



  2. Sabot! That's the word I was trying to remember - thanks. With 1/72 you can either base units with 12cm frontages (so doubled DBA bases), or base for 15mm, as I did, with 8cm frontages. seems that most people do the latter.

    Be interested to hear what you think of the rules - I like 'em.

  3. Cheating teutonic knights!!! using a Hurricane!! :-D
    Happy new year

  4. Great looking figures and "air support",

    Happy new year,


  5. Great Blog and very inspiring!! I´m trying to make an Impetus Army too!! The Sabot bases are a good idea to try a new ruleset without rebasing, thank you.



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