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A Modest Proposal for Better terrain selection in Basic Impetus

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A Modest Proposal for Better terrain selection in Basic Impetus

Post by 1ngram on Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:31 pm

Again this is a Post from the old Forum I don't want to disappear there:

I’ve always been dissatisfied with the terrain rules in Basic Impetus (and the same would go for the full game as well). In this neck of the woods armies predominantly composed of infantry invariably try to secure both their flanks by picking impassable lakes or similar. More relevantly no Impetus battlefield ever looks like the real thing with
up to four relatively small pieces of terrain scattered around the place. If we can take the drawings in Sabin’s Lost Battles as a guide to what ancient battlefields looked like we can immediately see that they look nothing like what we are fighting on. The principal reason for this is the total lack of major pieces of terrain, usually flanking a battlefield or along one or other edge.

I would therefore suggest we change the rules as follows.

You can continue as before, with up to 4 small pieces chosen and changed as before except that the defender may have no more than 2 pieces of impassable ground in his original choices and no rivers may be chosen (see below for revised river choices).

Alternately up to two of the four pieces chosen may be major pieces of terrain. These may be any of the standard terrain types except impassable ground. (In real battles such large pieces of impassable ground such as uncrossable rivers or the sea are, in effect, represented by the edge of the table, the battlefield having, as it were, moved along a bit). These pieces may be up to 40U (400mm/16”) long and up to 15U wide (150mm/6”).

Such pieces must be placed so that one long side lies along any one of the four edges of the battlefield. If the attacker chooses to move one of these pieces as per the rules then it must be replaced in a similar position, one long side along a table edge.

One crossable river may be chosen instead of a large piece of terrain. It may be placed stretching from one table edge to another with no more than one curve of up to 90 degrees allowed along its course.

This will allow the large flanking hill or forest to appear in our battles just as they did in real life as at Issus, or the fordable river stretching between the armies, as at the Granicus and, of course it still allows a defender to retain the current small pieces if he so wishes, or indeed no terrain at all.

I would urge you all to play around with this proposal and scribble down what battlefields you can come up with – and then compare them to what we know battlefields actually looked like (use Lost Battles if you like). I’m sure you will agree you will come better looking, more realistic set-ups that those we currently play on.

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