Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A bit of driving force

Its been a slow time recently for Gathering Hosts. No painting, no rules fiddling, no solo games. Oddly, it has not been a slow time for 25mm ancients in general. I do try to avoid being swept up in popular trends but finally tried out Basic Impetus and much against my will, had to admit that so far, it seems to give a fun game with good feel.  So far my Persians have borrowed a list and appeared as Medes to fight Assyrians and my Greeks have fought for Syracuse. I've also borrowed back some old Romans from Ron and fought for Pompey vs Caesar and have taken command of an unruly band of Gauls, many of which I painted anyway,  to try out the full meal deal Impetus.  This later has a lot more to it than the basic Game making it slower, more work and less fun. We have however borrowed a few rules like rolling against discipline for disorder or to rally.

To keep things "in period" with the fall of the Republic, its time to resurrect my old Pontic army. Pharnaces not Mithradites, the army most books skip over, which is odd. I mean not only did they give rise to one of the best known latin quips, (veni,vedi, vici),  they are one of the few "native" armies to actually beat some Romans in a pitched battle (obviously not the crucial one against Caesar).  Information isn't exactly plentiful or sure, there seems to be a lot of "probably" but if one mixes Hellenistic with Scythian/Sarmatian and add in the influence of what was once on the outskirts of the Lydian Empire, one gets cavalry, peltast like infantry, probably some in pants, archers and some heavy infantry oin the Roman model-ish, not to mention scythed chariots. As long as I can borrow back those Romans as imitation legionaries, I can find everything else I need amongst the ranks of my Persian, Lydian and Greek armies.

Still, I haven't given up on fighting Thymbra, so sometime between now and Christmas I hope to give it a go using modified Basic Impetus, maybe even a play off with Gathering of Hosts?.


  1. What about BI do you particularly like, Ross. I've never played it but I've certainly got enough hoplites that I can have a couple of citystates go at it . . . but I'm not sure how interesting two hoplite armies would be slugging it out.

    -- Jeff

  2. With only 5 games under my belt, 1 16thC pike & shot and 4 ancients, I haven't fully made up my mind but do intend to write more about it. Briefly they are fast and easy to pick up and play, have some uncertainty without making you feel irrelevant as a general and seem to encourage appropriate army level behavior, for example a group of hoplite units get the best results if they try to maintain a battle line with no gaps. Light troops are best in rough ground or using their mobility to work around the flanks. That sort of thing.

  3. Ross I have played basic Impetus at the local club and found it much to my taste- fun,quickish ,acessible and not to big armies...
    I have painted and based my Late Scandanavian Bronze age chaps for it. Last night saw me basing a medieval /dark age highlands and islands army as well as an opponent based on Scottish folklore/mythological creatures.

  4. I look forward to your further thoughts on Impetus. I've given it one rather half-hearted try out so far.