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Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

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Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

Post by AncientWarrior on Sun May 24, 2015 11:38 am

Inspired by a line in the wikipedia entry for the Battle of Civitate, I decided to stage a fictional battle involving Normans, Lombards, Byzantines, and troops hired by His Holiness using Lorenzo Sartori’s IMPETVS rules. [1] Unfortunately, the scenario proved too ambitious and was discontinued and then dismantled after 7 turns of play. [2] Coming on the heels of two other “miniature” misadventures (one with Armati 2nd Edition and one with Hail Caesar), I was - to say the least - rather disappointed as well as frustrated. [3] However, the idea of several contingents doing battle still appealed, so I went back to “work” and revised the orders of battle and redesigned the landscape of my fictional field of battle.

The Armies
The Normans were drafted from the ‘Normans in Sicily 1053-1091’ list on page 26 of Extra IMPETVS 2. The composition of the 3 commands was as follows:

Command A [325 points]
General - Expert [cost 30 points]
Command Structure - Poor [cost 0 points - applied to all other commands]
4 units of CP Milites [cost 95 points; includes general’s “regiment”] / 1,600 men
4 units of FP dismounted Milites [cost 88 points] / 1,600 men
6 units of FP Norman infantry [cost 72 points] / 3,600 men
3 units of T Archers [cost 33 points] / 1,200 men
1 roll of destiny [cost 5 points]
* 2 points left unused
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 39 points, so it would quit the field when 20 points worth of units had been destroyed or routed.

Command B [250 points]
General - Fair [cost 20 points]
3 units of CP Milites [cost 73 points; includes sub-general’s “regiment”] / 1,200 men
2 units of FP dismounted Milites [cost 44 points] / 800 men
6 units of FP Norman infantry [cost 72 points] / 3,600 men
2 units of T Crossbowmen [cost 38 points] / 800 men
* 3 unused points
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 29 points, so it would run away when 15 points worth of units had been destroyed or routed.

Command C [175 points]
General - Fair [cost 20 points]
2 units of CP Lombard nobles [cost 44 points] / 800 men
6 units of FP Lombard militia [cost 72 points; includes sub-general’s “company”] / 3,600 men
2 units of S Lombard Crossbowmen [cost 24 points] / 400 men
3 rolls of destiny [cost 15 points]
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 21 points, so it would retreat from the engagement when 11 points of its units had been destroyed or routed.

The Byzantine force was selected from the ‘Konstantinian Byzantines 1042-1071’ list on page 27 of Extra IMPETVS 2.
Command 1 [375 points]
General - Expert [cost 30 points]
Command Structure - Average [cost 12 points; applies to Byzantine formations only]
1 unit of CM Tagmatic Kavallaroi [cost 38 points; general is with this unit] / 400 men
3 units of CM Thematic Kavallaroi [cost 78 points] / 1,200 men
1 unit of CL Flankers [cost 27 points] / 200 men
2 units of FP Skoutatoi with supporting archers [cost 62 points] / 2,000 men
5 units of FP Skoutatoi [cost 85 points] / 3,000 men
1 unit of FP Varangian Guards [cost 28 points] / 600 men
1 unit of T Archers [cost 11 points] / 400 men
* 4 points left unused
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 33 points, so it would quit the field when 17 points worth of units had been destroyed or routed.

The troops hired by the Pope were drafted from the ‘Papal States 1049-1085’ list on page 28 of Extra IMPETVS 2. The composition of the 2 commands was as follows:

Command 2 [315 points]
General - Fair [cost 20 points]
Command Structure - Poor [cost 0 points - applied to all other commands]
7 units of CP Feudal and Italian knights [cost 161 points; includes general’s “regiment”] / 4,200 men
10 units of FP Italian city militia [cost 120 points] / 6,000 men
2 units of T Mercenary archers [cost 22 points] / 800 men
2 rolls of destiny [cost 10 points]
* 2 points left unused
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 43 points, so it would quit the field when 22 points worth of units had been destroyed or routed.

Command 3 [250 points]
General - Fair [cost 20 points]
3 units of CP Feudal and Italian knights [cost 66 points] / 1,200 men
6 units of FP Mercenary infantry [cost 126 points; includes sub-general’s “company”] / 3,600 men
3 units of T Mercenary archers [cost 33 points] / 1,200 men
1 roll of destiny [cost 5 points]
The morale value of this command was calculated to be 25 points, so it would quit the field when 13 points worth of units had been destroyed or routed.

The numbers of “real” cavalry and infantry were calculated by using the indicative scale provided on page 8 of the rules. I used the smaller number of the established scale. With respect to total numbers engaged, the Normans had 19,200 present on the field. This number included 3,600 cavalry. The Byzantines and Papal troops fielded 23,800 soldiers of all types. These combined armies had twice as many mounted troops as their Norman and Lombard opponents.

It should be noted that with the exception of the Lombard Crossbowmen, skirmisher units are completely lacking from these orders of battle. Though I have a limited amount of experience with IMPETVS, and therefore, am not really qualified to offer any comment, I second the experienced opinion offered by Mr. Jim Webster regarding this troop type. [4]

It should also be noted that no miniatures were pulled from storage and arranged on the tabletop, nor were any painted and prepared for this fictional engagement. I used my computer to draw and print colored counters. It was very easy to see which formation was cavalry and which was infantry. It was also easy to see the melee, missile, and other attributes of these units as the stats were printed directly on the counter. These representative pieces were 75 percent of the dimensions suggested for 6mm figures. That is to explain, heavy cavalry stands had a frontage of 4 centimeters and a depth of 3 centimeters. Troops armed with bows or crossbows had a similar frontage but a depth of just 2.25 centimeters. If Mr. Rick Priestley can give tacit approval to those of a particular mind set (or indeed, of a particular economic class), then it seems to me that one could just as easily play IMPETVS with card counters or wooden blocks. [5]

The Terrain
A ridge line, consisting of 3 separate pieces of terrain, ran along the Norman long edge of the tabletop. Two of these features measured 13 centimeters across, approximately, and 45 centimeters in length. The third section of the ridge line measured 13 centimeters front to back but was only about 31 centimeters long. The Norman command had chosen their defensive position well, as there were woods on each flank. The wood on the right measured 15 centimeters by 30 centimeters, while the wood on the left flank was more “stout,” measuring 17.5 centimeters by 26 centimeters. Aside from these 5 terrain features, there was nothing else on the table.

Deployment
Initially, I toyed with the idea of letting the dice determine how I would deploy the 6 commands for battle. Having no readily available opponent, this has often proved an entertaining practice and has produced some very enjoyable games. After some back and forth, however, I decided to arrange the various contingents without any assistance from the dice “gods.”

The Lombard troops were placed on the Norman right flank. Their militia occupied the smaller ridge; their crossbow-armed skirmishers were forward, on the flat ground of the plain. The small contingent of Lombard nobles was placed on the far right. These heavy horse (deployed on opportunity - so as to maintain some measure of control over their impetuous nature, it should be added) were also on level ground, positioned between the small ridge and the woods. The center of the line was held by the strongest Norman command. Here again, the foot soldiers - along with several units of dismounted milites - formed a strong line on the forward slope. The archers of this command were placed on the right and left “end caps” of the position. The 4 units of milites and 1 reserve unit of dismounted milites were arranged behind the main defensive line but still in front of the crest. All of the Norman heavy horse was also marked as being on opportunity. Again, this temporary status indicated that the milites were under strict orders - were under control - so that they would not simply charge the first enemy formation to come within the range that would automatically trigger an impetuous advance and ultimately, a charge. The Norman left was essentially a reproduction of the center. The difference was that a unit of crossbow troops took its place on the forward slope of the ridge next to the foot soldiers armed with long spears and the dismounted milites armed with long swords. The second unit of crossbow troops was “hidden” on the flat ground between the far left edge of this ridge and the start of the woods.

Just over 36 centimeters away, the Papal troops and their Byzantine friends were deployed for battle. A strong force of mercenary infantry faced the Lombards. Six units of hired soldiers were “screened” by 3 units of archers. The 3 units of heavy cavalry accompanying this command were placed on the left flank. They were also placed on opportunity. The strongest Papal command took the center of the line. Here again, I debated. Should I put the knights in front or hold them in reserve? Honor demanded that they be arranged in the first line but prudence and a little knowledge of military history argued strongly for the other side. “Put the militia in front,” it said. “Let them bleed and tire the Normans and then let the knights loose!” Perhaps against my better judgment, I arranged the knights as the first line but put every unit in the powerful group on opportunity. The 10 units of city militia were formed in 2 rows. The first row was supported by archers on the flanks. The Byzantine contingent was deployed on the right flank. The infantry was arranged in 4 groups. The formation on the left was 3 units strong. The center of this local line contained the 2 large units (infantry with supporting archers) and then came a group of 2 units of infantry without any archers. The final unit on the right of this infantry heavy line was the Varangian Guards. The general of the Byzantine force rode with his troopers behind these “elite” troops. The other units of cavalry were deployed to the right of the general’s position. The single unit of foot archers was also on this flank.

Battle Summary
The Byzantines started the affair by moving forward against the Norman left. The light cavalry engaged a unit of crossbowmen and succeed in breaking them through a combination of well-aimed shots followed up by a charge. While the Norman foot stood rooted to their position on the ridge, a unit of heavy cavalry couldn’t resist getting involved and came hurtling out of the line only to have the Byzantine light horse scamper away. As other Byzantine formations were still advancing on the ridge, the Norman heavy horse had no shortage of targets. The Varangian Guard unit was selected and promptly charged. The Varangians held fast; the Normans recoiled. While in this state of disorder, the Norman horse were attacked by a nearby unit of Thematic Kavallaroi. The Normans were caught flat-footed and were routed. The Byzantines paid dearly, however, for this local victory.

With the far left of the Norman line now open, albeit very slightly, the supporting Byzantine cavalry galloped forward to get on the ridge and turn the exposed flank of the enemy. While these moves were taking place, the Byzantine infantry continued their slow and measured march toward the waiting line of Norman infantry. Seeing or sensing that his left was under pressure, the Norman sub-general on this flank pulled his regiment of milites out of position and turned it to face the expected threat of Byzantine cavalry. Due to poor tactical management and problematic terrain, a major mounted attack from the light and Thematic cavalry never truly developed. There were volleys of arrows and one charge into melee, however. The Normans withstood both with a large measure of confidence and were able to disperse the attacking Byzantine cavalry unit. As this was transpiring, the Byzantine foot struck the Norman defensive line along the ridge. Sufficed to say, advancing up a slope (however gentle) and into the face of leveled long spears was no easy or indeed, enviable, task. The supporting archers in the 2 large units of the Byzantine attack were of no help, shooting their arrows long, short, and everywhere but successfully at the enemy formations. In contrast, the unit of crossbowmen on the ridge calmly shot their bolts into the ordered ranks of Byzantine infantry as they approached to point-blank range. Over the course of a number of melee rounds, the Byzantines were beaten back. A unit of dismounted milites, their blood lust up by winning an initial round, pursued some retreating Byzantines and wiped them out at the base of the ridge. The general melee continued for a few more rounds on this flank, but it became abundantly clear that the Byzantines would not be able to dislodge the Normans from the ridge. Noting that his contingent was 1 point away from breaking, the Byzantine commander ordered his remaining troops to withdraw.

The mercenary troops on the left of the Byzantine/Papal battle line waited several turns before beginning their own advance. Unable to contain themselves, 2 units of Lombard Nobles trotted out to engage the feudal knights advancing on the left flank of the mercenary infantry line. Though outnumbered 3 to 2, the Nobles gave a good first impression and actually routed 1 of the enemy formations. The dice quickly turned in favor of the knights, however, and in a succession of melee rounds, the Lombard Nobles were broken. Just as on the Norman left flank, the surviving feudal knights tried to envelop the flank of the Lombard Militia. Due to their impetuous nature, 1 unit of the knights could not resist launching a full-on frontal charge against the waiting foot soldiers. This proved costly as it was up a slight slope and against “heavy foot” armed with long spears. All the while, the mercenary infantry were approaching behind a screen of archers. The volleys from these units were surprisingly ineffective. The crossbows of the skirmishers screening the Lombard Militia also proved staggeringly ineffective. (This was not such a surprise.) The sub-general in command of the militia, seeing or sensing that his right flank would be vulnerable if the enemy knights managed to get themselves arranged on that part of the ridge bellowed a command and the assembled militia units charged off the ridge into the surprised ranks of the mercenary infantry. By using 2 of his 3 purchased rolls of destiny, the Lombard sub-general was able to turn the tide of the melee in his favor. The mercenaries were pushed back with some loss and in disorder. However, the dice once again turned against the Normans and in this case, their allies. The mercenaries rallied their ranks and renewed the melee. The knights were able to get in on the right rear of the engaged line and this, of course, spelled the end of the Lombard contingent. To be certain, it had not been an easy victory. The feudal knights were quite bloodied and both surviving units were disordered. The mercenary foot had taken losses as well and would need a number of turns before they could sort themselves out and begin to wheel and advance against the essentially untouched Norman center.

With respect to the opposing centers, the main contingent of the Papal troops had not moved an inch (or even centimeter). Their commanding general did suffer a reduction in ability however, going from “expert” to “fair.” It did not seem prudent to unleash the collection of feudal and Italian knights against the Norman center where heavy infantry stood on a ridge in a silent line and were armed with long spears. As for the Norman leader, his strongest formation had seen very little action. In fact, the only units involved in the contests for the flanks were the forward units or archers. Two of the three units were lost in prolonged exchanges of arrows. For a while there, it appears as if neither side could hit anything with a volley from their archer units. In contrast to his counterpart, the Norman leader had his ability confirmed when he rolled a 12 late in the battle.

It could be suggested that, after 16 turns of play, the opposing sides had fought a battle lasting 8 hours or perhaps a little more than 5 hours, if the scale of 1 turn equals approximately 20 minutes of actual time is accepted. While no decision had been reached on the field, it appeared that the Papal troops had a slight advantage. The Norman left was more damaged and so, closer to breaking and running away, than the mercenaries were on the Papal left. True, the Normans had the advantage of position, of terrain, but 1 or 2 units of knights sent over from the Papal center could have tilted the battle completely in favor of the Pope’s men. It seemed reasonable to declare this exercise a winning-draw in favor of the Byzantine and Papal troops.

Critique
This “Hastings in reverse” would certainly not win any awards (even an honorable mention) for its terrain or the troops arranged upon the table. But then, I was not after awards. My goal was to stage a decent wargame while educating myself a little more on the “ins and outs” of IMPETVS. My terrain and troops were functional. The outcome, though not decisive, certainly seems to be in line with the nature of the terrain and the forces involved.

Perhaps the battle would have been decisive had I thrown all the Papal troops into the fight along with the Byzantines? To be sure, there is a degree of enjoyment to be found in yelling charge and pushing your forces into battle all at once. There is also a level of enjoyment to be found in being more careful (less careless?) with your tiny men. For example, I would have been within the rules if I would have pushed the Byzantines to their breaking point. Such “daring” could also be categorized as within the spirit of the game, but would a real leader of men do that if he was aware that his command was on the verge of disintegrating?

As for the rules, well . . . I still have much to learn. In a perfect world, it would be great to have the equivalent of a Khan Academy for wargamers. I think it would be ideal to be able to log in to the free site and watch 10-, 15-, or even 20-minute or longer instructional videos on how to play this or that set of rules, paint this scale of miniature, craft this type of terrain, etc. I have no doubt that some errors were made with regard to the application of the rules. I am even more certain that battlefield blunders were made. To go back to the Byzantines, I probably should have used my cavalry to shoot lots of arrows into the enemy ranks before attempting to take the ridge by force. On the Norman side, I should have had the foresight to place 1 or 2 units in reserve and perpendicular to the main line so that I could deal with enemy formations that were able to get around my flanks.

Did the errors in interpretation and understanding of the rules or mistakes in tactics combine to produce a wargame that was not satisfying? No, I don’t believe so. As stated previously, I think it was a decent wargame. On one level, I was able to put almost 1700 points of IMPETVS forces on my 6 by 4-foot table. This was accomplished at minimal cost. In addition, I was able to reach a decision, although not a decisive one, after a reasonable number of turns. Finally, I was able to learn a little bit more about the IMPETVS rules and in the process, learn a little bit more about myself as a historical wargamer. In final summary then, I think this was a decent wargame as well as a good experience.




Notes:
1. I stumbled across a reference to the Battle of Cividale in the notes section of the ‘Normans in Sicily 1053-1091’ list on page 26 of Extra IMPETVS 2. Having no know-ledge of this particular action, I did quick Internet search. The wikipedia entry was the first result; the Fanaticus article came in second. I read both but “the light bulb went off” when I read the following sentence from the battle summary of the wikipedia entry:
“The Normans went forth to intercept the Papal army near Civitella and prevent its union with the Byzantine army. led by Argyrus” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Civitate, accessed on May 14, 2015). I used the original spiral-bound version of the rules and referenced the Advanced Impetvs rules available on the website. However, I did not utilize work-in-progress rules (such as flank supports, etc.) provided on the dedicated forum. I understand, from following various posts on the Impetvs discussion threads, that Version 2.0 of the rules is in production and will, like most - but certainly not all - sequels, improve the original effort.

2. The field for this cancelled scenario was modeled on ‘The Crossings,’ a square tabletop diagrammed in Mr. Jason Monagahn’s “VAPNARTAK: Dark Ages scenarios with a difference!” article from the May 1991 issue of Miniature Wargames. In brief, the battlefield was essentially symmetrical. There was a river running across the center of the table with 2 fords and 1 bridge as crossing points. It is difficult to move cavalry and infantry formations across “choke points” and still manage a fun and interesting wargame. When it occurred to me that I had neglected to consistently apply the Impetuous rule to the numerous formations of Norman Milites and Italian Knights, I thought it would be best to call a halt to the proceedings.

3. A very large Armati battle involving Arabs and Byzantines (the armies were 10 times the usual size and the table was 18 feet long [really, it was just my 6-foot table being used as 3 separate but connected sectors of a large battlefield]) and using heavily amended rules collapsed under its own weight. The smaller Hail Caesar set up was a Byzantine civil war scenario. I played 4 turns before I lost interest, to be perfectly frank. Try as I might, I just don’t seem to be able to fully “get” or “get into” this particular set of rules. It’s a bit frustrating, to be sure, as all the reports I read about games played with these rules are terrific fun and very pretty in their presentation. It is also a bit disappointing as I’ve invested some money in the rule book and a couple of supplements. I’ve also invested quite a number of hours in preparing armies and playing or trying to play various scenarios.

4. In the May 2015 issue of Battlegames with Miniature Wargames, Mr. Webster offers a well-written and instructive piece not only on the history of the battle of Dara but on how IMPETVS can be used to refight the action on the tabletop. With regard to his estimation of skirmishers, the following quote is taken from page 50 of the magazine:
“The slingers are skirmishers. They’re a nuisance, hard to hit, rarely do any damage, but occasionally they embarrass everybody and kill something.”

5. In the leading paragraph of Appendix 2 of his colorful and popular Hail Caesar rules,
Mr. Priestley writes: “Indeed, it would be possible to play with card counters or wooden blocks were one so minded” (174). It seems to me, that if one were “so minded,” one could use this “method” to play at war with any other set of commercially produced wargame rules. The pros and cons, the facts and opinions regarding using traditional figures or other material are “discussed” in the “Miniatures or counters?” thread on TMP. (As of May 11, 2015, this topic had 26 posts and 1,220 hits or views since in appeared on January 20, 2014.) The related thread “Paper Minis for the Cash-Strapped?” first appeared on February 7 of 2011. Here again, pros and cons were touted; facts and judgments and opinions and rationalizations were offered. Though this particular topic has a couple more posts than the more recent topic, it has only had 638 views since it debuted.

Mr. Priestley’s suggestion and the discussions on TMP led me to do some “research.”

The very first sentence of Charles Grant’s WARGAME TACTICS (1979) reads:

The motivation of the average wargamer is probably fairly complex, including an interest in history, particularly the art of warfare, an aesthetic appreciation of the miniature figures and accessories employed in wargaming, and a competitive spirit which leads him to wage war with his friends in the innocuous environment
of the wargame room.

In the July/August 1992 issue of MWAN (Midwest Wargamer’s Association Newsletter - no longer in production) Tim Dwight offered the following in “Confessions of a Non-Wargamer”:

Arty Conliffe (TACTICA) says there are two types of people who play wargames. The kind that like to paint good looking soldiers and proudly display them - something akin to model railroaders without the train - and the ones that play just for the game - the chess and tennis set. (61)

In the September/October 1992 issue of the same publication, rules author Bob Jones added his two cents in “Grave Matters: Plastic Shrouds, Gummed Sombreros, and Pipe Cleaner Wreaths”:

There seems to be two sorts of historical wargamers; Those that just love the playing and gladly game with half painted figures, unpainted blocks of wood for hills, rivers sketched with chalk, and who appear to be oblivious to beer cans, rulers, charts, rule sets, and dice covering most of the tabletop, and those that paint each soldier meticulously, create terrain worthy of museum dioramas, and who enforce stern environmental controls on the table top; They want it to be just so!

Needless to say an argument could be made that the Oscar Madisons of the hobby have stronger imaginations and don’t need anything but the merest suggestion of reality to enjoy a game. Maybe. More likely they are just lazy slobs. The same guys that leave dirty dishes in the sink for four months. (99)

In the March/April 2015 issue of Slingshot, John Hastings commented on a number of topics in his Guardroom letter. Among the various remarks was this one (which I hope by transcribing here I do not take out of context):

What is a model soldier except the figure of an armed man? When you’ve taken the trouble to assemble, paint and base a dozen or so models with painstakingly depicted armour and weapons, with carefully applied shield patterns, of course you want those things to be important in the game. Otherwise, you might just as well use cards or wooden blocks to represent your warriors. (34)


With regard to the quote taken from Mr. Grant’s text, I certainly have an interest in history and especially in military history so in that narrow sense, I can identify with the “average wargamer” and would feel comfortable in wearing that label. While I do have a great appreciation for the aesthetics and accessories of the hobby, I find that I don’t need these to participate, to “play at war.” To be certain, I admire and often envy those individuals who possess the resources to regularly stage large and lovely games on 12 by 6-foot tables. I wonder, though, if anyone would call these gentlemen “average wargamers”? Being a solo wargamer, it is not possible to comment on the last characteristic of Mr. Grant’s description. However, as one who enjoys writing about my hobby projects and approach, I guess it would be fair to say that I compete with myself over the quality of each submission.

Now then, I have not attempted to verify if Mr. Conliffe actually said what Tim Dwight reported but if he did offer that black and white division of wargamers, I would most readily identify and most easily place myself in the fortified encampment of the “chess and tennis set.”

The assessment offered by Mr. Jones seems much more divisive, judgmental, as well as intentionally sarcastic. The compliment offered to the “Oscar Madisons” of the wargaming world strikes me as very back-handed. While we may possess more imagination than the typical historical wargamer and are able to suspend our disbelief more easily, we are, unfortunately, more likely to be “lazy slobs.” (For the record, I clean up my dirty dishes almost immediately after finishing a meal and with respect to the appearance of my wargame table, I don’t like a messy battlefield. I hope these admissions don’t upset the worldview of Mr. Jones.)

Again, I don’t want to be perceived as taking the cited remark by Mr. Hastings out of context. As the Editor noted in his description of the issue contents, “John Hastings covers quite a lot of ground from recent Slingshots . . .” It does appear however, that Mr. Hastings does not approve of the use of cards and or wooden blocks on the tabletop. It is perhaps unnecessary to note that he is, of course, entitled to his opinion on the subject. I very much appreciate that he did not phrase his remarks in the vituperative manner employed by Mr. Jones.

At the acknowledged risk of extending this lengthy footnote (perhaps the topic is worthy of a separate discussion thread on the forum or even an op/ed piece in one of the monthly magazines?), I wonder, given the evident advances of the hobby with regard to miniature production (lead to lead-tin to plastic to the arrival of figures made with 3-D printers) if there is an associated advance of wargamers’ mind set? Is there a divisive division between members of the hobby with respect to the game and its playing pieces? Are there no shades of grey between the contrasting “norms” of black and white as established by Messieurs Conliffe, Jones, and Hastings? Are historical wargamers, as a general rule, not a generally tolerant group? Do those individuals who do not use miniatures detract from or contribute nothing to the overall hobby?

A review of the posts made to the aforementioned TMP topics would suggest that there is a division between members of the hobby with respect to the game and its playing pieces. It seems, too, that while there are some shades of grey and a large number of wargamers are fairly tolerant to tolerant, there also exists a vocal bunch with very definite ideas or opinions of how things should be. As to the final question in the previous paragraph, I should like to think, to believe, that those few - that band of idiosyncratic brothers - who do not use miniatures are able to contribute and do, in fact, contribute to the overall health of the hobby.

Addendum:
Issue 331 of WARGAMES ILLUSTRATED arrived on the 16th of May while I was cutting and pasting my two-dimensional armies for this project. I read with interest the “Paper Soldiers” piece by Peter Dennis (assisted by Andy Callan). Playing with paper soldiers is nothing new, of course. I recall seeing and participating in the fun and historical games using paper soldiers run by George Knapp at a number of Little Wars conventions. I could see myself experimenting with the forces provided by Mr. Dennis. I do not know, however, if I would bother with taking the time to cut around each individual group of drawn and colored figures. In addition to the three paper soldier websites provided in the article, I would add juniorgeneral.com.

Later in the same issue, Mr. Wayne Bollands and his ‘Chosen Chums’ sit down and play an enjoyable game of Blucher. Blucher is a Napoleonic set of rules authored by the prolific Dr. Sam Mustafa. The difference with Blucher is that it is a card-based wargame. That is to explain, one can play without using any miniatures at all. A tabletop, along with a battle mat from Cigar Box Battles, some dice, a couple of wargaming buddies, and the Blucher boxed set are all that is needed, or all that was needed for Mr. Bollands and his associates. It’s been quite some time since I’ve commanded French columns or steadied the thin lines of red-coated infantry, but I must confess that I am tempted to purchase yet another rule set and get back into Napoleonics. I am even more interested in seeing how or if some of the mechanics of these new rules transfer to the ancient era(s). And I am left to wonder when or even if someone might consider marketing a similar set of rules for Early Imperial Romans, Gauls, Parthians, Huns, Sassanid Persians, and the like.


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Re: Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

Post by Jim Webster on Mon May 25, 2015 9:07 am

Sounds an interesting battle, and sounds as if you're getting the hang of Impetus Very Happy
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Re: Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon May 25, 2015 3:07 pm

great report!
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Re: Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

Post by AncientWarrior on Mon May 25, 2015 6:47 pm

Gentlemen,

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

Afraid that I have quite some time to go before I will be able to say that I have got the hang of it.

Regards,

Chris

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Re: Somewhere in Southern Italy - 1070 AD

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