Friday, February 21, 2014

19th February, Montaperti ...

Being the next trial of the wargame for the Society of Ancients BattleDay

This time I decided to run things through with Basic Impetus (well, BI plus counter-charges and evades*)

Three reasons: it worked fine for the recent Cravant game at York; it is an Italian wargame; no-one is currently taking it to the BattleDay.

In order not to unbalance things wildly, I pretty much gave the players armies from the BI lists with minimal adjustment.

I started the game with the Sienese behind the Arbia, and the Florentines breaking camp and taking to the road


From these starting positions, the armies deploy for battle ...


The Sienese are pro Imperial, or Ghibelline, the Florentines pro Papal, or Guelph.   So the Sienese enjoy the support of a powerful Imperial cavalry contingent under Giordano Lancia ... the Florentines have the disadvantage that they have brought along a significant Ghibelline contingent (rather that than leave them back home in time of war) which they have parked at the back where they will do no harm.

Nevertheless, the Florentine is significantly the larger army ...

(the proud Florentine army takes position along the ridge)

The players pretty much followed what we know of the historical deployment, and the Sienese/Ghibelline Van galloped forward to take on their generally slightly less frisky Florentine equivalents.   This had mixed results, some being repulsed, some driving the Guelphs back ...


But the damage was done - the victorious unit had driven the enemy back towards their precious Carroccio, and, as a consequence, the Florentine player decided he had to order up the potentially unreliable Ghibellines.   They defected.

No such problems for the Sienese: they were relying on a surprise attack from beyond the edge of the battlefield - and it turned up mid battle.

(much of the Florentine line has turned around and is falling back to save the Carroccio)

But the defection of the Ghibellines would be decisive - they were called upon to plug the gap and they did the opposite.   Predictable, you might think - but I guess you don't make that call unless you are out of other options.


The battle turned into a scrappy affair around the Florentine Carroccio which the Florentines were never going to win ... In the end, the Carroccio went down ending our game and, coincidentally, also taking the morale tally for the army to defeat (so had it been a 'pick up' game, it would also have ended at that point).

Following the original deployments and approaches, coupled with the Florentines failing reliability on cue with their Ghibellines, pretty much made the game run to script.   

Good things about Basic Impetus for this scenario ...
*The VBU + Impetus bonus mechanism allows quite a lot of variation within a simple system.
*Retreating from unsuccessful combat makes melees unpredictably mobile (unlike some similarly simple rules).

Less good ...
*as the game was put on for beginners, I used numeric markers to help them keep tally of the units' declining VBUs.   A more decorative way would be to add casualty markers, but I am not sure yet.


*although in fact there were no evades in the game ...

4 comments:

Will McNally said...

Interesting

SoA Shows North said...

'Interesting'... in a good way, I hope, Will :)

The L&L Cravant game made me want to try Basic Impetus for this project but also confirmed that I would need to add counter-charges and evades to defray some of the gaminess.

I have been accepted to do Basic Impetus on the day: it's a fascinating and colourful battle - I hope people get behind the project.

Shaun Travers said...

Looks like BI is shaping up as a good rulset for the Battle Day.

Evades are not in BI are they? nor counter chargers (I am to lazy to look it up but is the latter from Basic Baroque)? I do know that when I play Basic Impetus, I add in only a few rules - evades, counter charging and light/medium cavalry retreating from infantry if the former lost the melee.

SoA Shows North said...

Correct, Shaun ... So melee is a real lottery as only the charger gets their impetus and that's usually down to who wins initiative - 'fun' in a game sense, maybe but not very convincing. But simple to fix :)