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Impetus - One year

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Impetus - One year

Post by jorneto on Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:21 pm

Well, about one year has passed since started playing with this system. And a bit over half that time with Basic Impetus.
It was well received in our small group and allowed us to maintain a more regular and greater activity (and very importantly, leaving time for wargamers chit-chat!).

What follows is a mixed list of suggestions and/or amendments (!!!), discussed and either compiled or agreed from the players, for both rules. I'm hoping they may be of some interest to other players. And by all means, comment and criticize!


(This mail has two parts, posted in Impetus and Basic Impetus sections)

General
-To have a identifiable and proeminent Logo. The current shield is ok but should appear more
-Emphasize compatibility between the impetus basing system and the DBx standard
-Have a recommended number of figures/models per base for each troop type
-Provide a Quick reference Sheet

Rules for Impetus

- provide commonly used tools like an army/list builder - any other?
- periodically issuing scenarios (historical, what-if), even campaigns


a)- Large terrain: between 25 and 50cm counts as 2 pieces
b)- Terrain setup
c)- FP ALWAYS gets +1 in coesion (CP cataphracts might also like getting this?)
d)- Flank support means a maximum of +1 even if the unit has 2 supported flanks
e)- modify "Various Weapons" factors by -1
f)- when shooting the maximum VBU is 4 - so units with VBU 5 and up, use a value of 4 if firing.

Some notes and explanations

b): in our 300pts games the normal setup is laying 3 pieces roughly on the dividing line of the table, with the attacker removing one. That means the tables end up being very similar from game to game. We have divised a system to have more variety, but it has yet to pass the testing.

c): FP costs the same, is slower and more sensitive to terrain than FL. Having more resilience compensates. During the playtest we had clashes of FL against FP where we could see the tendency of the lights to erode faster.

d): +2 dice makes defensive lines too strong.

e): Assuming it represents a variety of projectiles, shot/thrown by non specialist troops (and possibly not everyone in the unit being so armed), its current factors are too high, even comparing favorably with other weapons.

f): This caused a lot of discussion and testing (as expected, in some of the tests the solution was worse than the problem!).
For us the problem is the firepower of VBU 5+ units. Add to that armies having a large number of high VBU units armed even with "lower grade" Various Weapons or Composite Bow C, like aztecs or samurai and the effect is absolutely devastating. The enemy line easily suffers a lot of "disorders", some cumulative (meaning a hit and loss of charge bonus). Even if things go well for the enemy, winning the initiative, and removing some disorder, several will remain, enough to prevent group movement an coordination. Then another volley followed by a charge or more volleys and the enemy simply disappears. Not exactly a challenging game, specially for the one that gets blasted away Smile
The choice to use a maximum of VBU 4 relates to the massed infantry archers (T type) that have a VBU of 3 or 4.
And what sort of game results from that change? Shooting weakens the enemy but is not necessarily the winning tool. People that usually play with or against T troops knows how it goes.
So far we are quite satisfied with these changes.

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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:25 pm

Interesting.

Id agree with a couple of your general points at least, certainly the terrain issues are raising their heads in our games played with tournament terrain because a defender can pretty much dictate terrain - not sure if this is a problem but worth thinking about, and the "badging" could possibly be improved?

FP & Cataphracts getting +1 on cohesion is certainly worth discussing - FP already get a +1 in most circs so we could probably simplify it to all circs without too much issue. I think there needs to be some work on cataphracts but not sure what that could be

Not sure I agree with your d, e & f though I follow the logic. I think most of the problems in (f) stem from "faulty" lists anyway - Aztecs shouldnt have Various weapons and Bow armed Samurai should be downrated too. Maybe a hard cap of VBU 4 is a solution - I would be interested in what the others say

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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:11 pm

as for terrain Baroque will introduce a system that I plan to move to BI (out I hope by Christamas) and Impetus 2 where terrains has a different "cost" in options, so some counts as 1 some as 2 and a river, for example, as 3 terrain options. How many terrain options can be placed/moved/removed is linke to a die roll.
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:14 pm

After giving the hard cap of VBU 4 for shooting some thought I think this is quite a good idea - it would be a good option for the "Heavy Javelin" types for a start
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:23 pm

problem with cataphracts is that they are less "cataphracted" than many medieval knights, so the concept of "armoured" should be introduced. Not easy.
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:15 pm

dadiepiombo wrote:problem with cataphracts is that they are less "cataphracted" than many medieval knights, so the concept of "armoured" should be introduced. Not easy.

Agreed, and no-one seems to be certain if their primary function is to protect against missile fire or in melee. I suspect part of the problem is defining just what a Cataphract actually is.

For instance from the armies I have a little info on, metal armoured horses started to appear in Achaemenid armies, however I would not think of them as cataphracts. Later Macedonian \ Successor heavy cavalry would seem to be the first "real" Cataphracts but my understanding is they developed as a response to enemy cavalry and bowfire NOT infantry but later Roman era Cataphracts seem to have been primarily an anti infantry shock weapon. As I said I'm no expert (in fact I'm at the opposite end of the scale where expert is the other) but if you were to decide to define which role was their particular specialism - ie anti foot melee you could give all CP move 8 +1 against all causes, with Cataphracts just getting the +1 against missiles and foot. Faster CP should probably stay as they are as the lack of horse armour makes them pretty vulnerable. Needs a bit of thought and testing
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:26 pm

not introducing changes in the list, the main difference could be between M=8 CP (heavier) and M=10 CP (light and faster).
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by jorneto on Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:58 pm

The -1 for Various weapons is also a way to compensate for the rather long range they have and avoid creating new range bands into the rules.

The VBU 4 cap was also tested with a cavalry army of VBU 5+ and composite bows (mamluks). Again, it went fine.

I'm also working on some central and south american lists, and expecting to put them in the forum in a week or so. Might be an opportunity to rethink the theme.

Curiously, one of the suggestions I got for the terrain has some similiarities to that: Terrain costs from 1 to 3 points. The defender spends his budget to buy the pieces and lays everything at will. Then the attacker uses his (smaller) budget to add, remove or displace pieces. The weak point seems to be the lack of randomness.

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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:12 pm

Sounds like (a) is going to be dealt with by Lorenzo. Overall, I’d prefer more terrain features that have smaller dimensions. We have also been struggling to find a better terrain generation system. I don’t see this is a problem of the rules but rather a small group of gamers who get to know one another and need a wider variety of battlefields to fight on.

c) I don’t agree with FP getting an extra +1 on the CT. FP generally have higher VBU and they cost a bit less than equivalent FL. I think Cataphracts should be considered infantry with respect to certain firing systems (javelin, sling, short bow, but no firearms and crossbow.)

d) Don’t agree with your flank support limitation since the attacker should also be attacking with supported flanks. It should balance out. I will say that FL/FP warbands have gotten a lot stronger with respect to mounted units with the flank bonuses. Perhaps that is as it should be.

e) Totally disagree with your rationale on this one. Various weapons are weak at point blank range and moderately effective at short.

f) Your comments seem focused on infantry but since there are very few infantry units with VBU5+ with missile weapons I don’t think this is a problem. I think the Janissaries should be bloody tough.

How many games of Impetus have you all played? I often find players of any system move too quickly to modify the rules. I think extensive play is needed to properly judge the system. Even at this point I am still learning new facets of Impetus. It is better, in my opinion, to master the game before attempting any fixes.
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Re: Impetus - One year

Post by jorneto on Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:07 am

d) At first sight it should balance out. Of course there a lot of variables in the game but it seems that the attacker has more dificulty maintaining an attacking line than the defender. The loss of a support unit and supported flanks make an attack pointless (well, if the cause is bad tactics...)

e) The issue is only for the short range factors (my mistake, I didn't specify it in the first place). When comparing with bows they are, on average, marginally better against infantry and 1 dice worse against cavalry. That makes it roughly equivalent to bows in general. Besides they benefit from a rather long range (actually, so do javelins).

f) In fact it was the cavalry that made us look into this and they are far more common. And when we see the T massed infantry archers having a VBU of 3 or 4, it seems a reasonable option to take.

Interesting question. I can't give you an exact number, but I will try an estimate...
The group meets once or twice per week with one or two games being played. I'd say a little over 100 games. No ideia if it means either a lot or just too few games.

I am aware that changing rules, even with the best of intentions, might have unexpected effects and leave things even worse. But that's why we've been discussing and testing these matters.

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