Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Impetvs on Grid

Bracing for the charge
The more I play the Command & Colors derivatives, the more I enjoy gaming on the hex mat with miniatures.  With hexes, or any grid that governs game play, both precision and speed of play increases.  No more fiddling around with exact movement distances, hair-splitting angles of attack, or other such minutiae.

While Samurai Battles is an excellent two player contest, my thought is that solo play might suffer due to the interaction of both the Honor and Fortune and Dragon decks.  Really nothing beats the wild swings in Samurai Battles' games but for solo play the system poses a few hurdles.  Impetvs games have, likewise, been enjoyable.  A solution for solo play might include translating Impetvs to the hex mat.  Sound reasonable? 

In the 15mm Impetvs game, 1U equals 1cm.  Since my small, Commands & Colors hex mat has two inch hexes then the conversion becomes,
                       1 hex = 2 inches = 5 cm = 5U 
In keeping to the spirit of Impetvs movement and ranges, I set movement allowances to one hex for foot and two hexes for horse.  Similarly, firing ranges become one hex, three hexes, and six hexes.  In 15mm, movement allowances seem a bit stingy but I will keep the movement rates as is for now.

To test this conversion, I deployed two seven stand armies with nearly equivalent capabilities.  I drew both armies (one "Red" and one "White") up on the field of battle into a compact battle line with a large neutral area between and no terrain to interfere.  On to the replay...
Armies arrayed for battle
Red readies for battle
White braces for battle
Turn 1: Initiative RED
Both lines advance to close the gap.
White Teppo fires into Red Spearmen, disordering
them.
Turn 2: Initiative RED
Advancing to close the distance.
Turn 3: Initiative RED
 Red maintains the initiative and advances on both flanks.
Red Teppo fire into White Ashigaru swordsmen and cause one hit.
The Ashigaru fail their cohesion test and take
one hit, becoming disordered.
White archers inflict two hits on the Red archers
while White charges into Red's leading spear element.
Clash in the center.
With no permanent losses, both sides are locked in combat.
Turn 4: Initiative WHITE
In the continuing close combat, Red spear suffer
disorder but hold on. 
White cavalry prepare for charge on White right
In the center clash, Red counterattacks.
Red suffers one permanent hit and retreats one hex.
White becomes disordered.
Red Samurai cavalry charge into the warrior monks.
The monks check the charge and the cavalry retreat
two hexes suffering one hit.  Monks are disordered.
Turn 5: Initiative RED
Red consolidates on the right while attacking
on the left and center
Red Spear attack White Teppo on the far left but
are repulsed with heavy casualties.
In the center, Red spearmen attack White swordsmen
driving the swordsmen back onto supports. 
White cavalry respond by charging into Red's foot samurai.
After rolling 7 hits against foot, only two hits are suffered permanently.
Red samurai fall back but are caught by the cavalry.
In pursuit, the foot Samurai suffer one more casualty.
Ouch! Overwhelming casualties but only two stick
White spear counterattack.
White takes one hit but hold their ground.
Turn 6: Initiative RED
Red redresses its battle line
Red charges into the center while the Red left holds.
White spear are hit by both cavalry and foot.
White takes two hits and retires.
Unable to outrun the pursuing cavalry,
White spearmen are caught and destroyed.
In the center, Red spear attack White swordsmen.
Swordsmen suffer two hits while inflicting none.
Swordsmen retreat but are caught and destroyed.
With two foot units destroyed on Turn 6, split command, and the center wide open for exploitation, White chooses to disengage.  Thus, the battle ends with Red controlling the battlefield.  Now, Impetvs games usually end with VBU damage greater than one-half of the starting army value.  With the result clear, I decided to halt this exercise. 

Impetvs played on the grid was not much different from normal play.  The game did play faster and much less time spent maneuvering and measuring.  Although the level of excitement was not as high as in Samurai Battles, the game was enjoyable even in a solitaire setting.  As mentioned earlier, movement rates may need to be increased above normal Impetvs rates to allow for a more dynamic game.  In any case, further tests will determine if I prefer grid to no grid.  For solo play, using the grid enhanced my enjoyment but as they say, "your mileage may vary." 

20 comments:

  1. I look forward to your further testing as it has my attention for solo play

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    Replies
    1. Andrew, if I make progress, you will see it here.

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  2. It is intriguing. I think your double hex basing works well for this as it allows you to square up against your opponent on a "length grain" mat. I thought about trying the same thing with my 6mm stands, but rotating the hex grid 90 degrees so the hexes advance N/S instead of E/W. The hex based movement system also cancels out bonus moves for charges, and makes it hard for two units to "square off" resulting in a lot of 2 on 1 match ups.

    Increasing the movement rates may make up for this as you can give infantry a move of 3, cavalry a move of 5 and then let them dice for a potential +1, +1 or 2 hex movement. Hrmm, I feel a play test coming on...

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    Replies
    1. If you watch the Impetvs videos or examine the rule book, units NEVER square off. There will always be an offset. The hex grain follows this perfectly. In this game, I did give a charge bonus based on a die roll as well as a variable retreat/pursuit.

      Looking forward to your test results.

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  3. An interesting report, I've never played any hex based games? And what a throw on the dice seven 6's!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ray! That was a handful of 6s. Thankfully for the recipient, only two of those hits stuck.

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  4. Well if you have fun and enjoy the results then why not play on a hexagonal table.:-) The game sure looks good!

    Christopher

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  5. Great experiment, I like the idea of making rules work FOR you!

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    Replies
    1. Rules are meant to be a Guide, right? That's my philosophy...

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  6. Jonathan:

    Great figures and fun looking game as always. I can appreciate the speed and clarity of movement using hexes/grids - that is my preferred method for naval games. Having rulers/measuring sticks laying all over the table is not very asthetically pleasing! Best, Dean

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dean! I agree with you completely! I hadn't considered the aesthetics of removing rulers and measuring sticks from the table. Good point!

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  7. We have talked before about the advantages of gridded games, although I am not playing any at the time. The Sweet rules use the following:

    Heavy Infantry 2 squares
    Light Infantry 3 squares
    Heavy cavalry 4 squares
    Light cavalry 5 squares

    My Legio WQuaternarius rules use:

    HI/MI 3
    LI/LMI/LHI, Elephants, SHC 4
    Heavy Chariots 5
    EHC/HC/MC 6
    Light Chariots 7
    Light Cavalry 8

    Either way, I find somewhat longer move distances give a more dynamic game.

    Ranges from 3 for Javelins to 12 for Crossbows in LQ.

    Peter

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we have discussed grid gaming before. Now I have taken the first step in converting a non-grid game to the grid (or hex). It is a very fine line between increasing the Impetvs move distances without upsetting the balance. I may make slight increases only.

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  8. Great implementation of the idea! Very impressive.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  9. Nice report, nice ideas, and beautiful figures...

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  10. Thank you for sharing these ideas. I enjoyed Basic Impetus.
    Could you add something like formation cards or some other kin of cards into the game to make more surprise?

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    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comments! You could include cards to add randomness or surprise but Commands & Colors and especially Samurai Battles already includes those elements into the game.

      The card play and interaction in Samurai Battles with a live opponent is outstanding. For solo play, it might be a bit more difficult. Have you given Commands & Colors a try?

      Because Samurai Battles cards add so much to game play, I will be considering how to incorporate some of those ideas into Basic Impetvs.

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