Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Basic Impetvs 2.0 - What's New?

As reported in an earlier post, Basic Impetvs 2.0 (BI 2.0) was scheduled for delivery in time for Christmas.  Dadi & Piombo made good on that commitment.  My print copy arrived in the USA the week before Christmas.  Even though I ordered the PDF version from Wargame Vault when the release was announced two weeks prior, it was good to get the physical rules in hand.  The booklet is laid out in full color with many photos of figures interspersed throughout.  With a spiral binding, it will easily lay flat on the gaming table for reference.  The bulk of the booklet is comprised of Army Lists.  Total count of Army Lists is 340.  Yes, three-hundred forty!  After many years of having Army Lists scattered in several places, it is a relief to have them all in one, convenient location.  Oh, and there are so many armies I have never considered.  

What is different in BI 2.0 vs. BI 1.0 (or BI 1.5)?  Are these differences significant?  To help answer these questions, let's compare the mechanisms between the two (or three) BI versions.
  • BASING: Suggested basing requirements remain the same as in BI 1.0.
  • MEASUREMENT: BI 2.0 changes measurements from using a 'U'=2cm to 'H'=6cm = Half Base Width for 25mm figures.  
  • ARMY BUILDING: Recommended Army Size has been increased from 7-10 units to 8-14 units under BI 2.0.  Armies generally will be larger under BI 2.0.
  • TROOP CLASSIFICATIONS: BI 2.0 bifurcates Heavy Cavalry (CP) into two classifications of Heavy Armored (CP1) and Heavy Unarmored (CP2).  CP1 moves at a slower rate than CP2.
  • FRESH vs WORN STATUS: As in BI 1.0, BI 2.0 maintains FRESH Status only for units that have taken no damage to VBU.  Baroque had a unit maintaining FRESH Status until the unit had lost half of its VBU.
  • PREPARING THE TERRAIN:  BI 2.0 adds a section on terrain placement and troop deployments.
  • INITIATIVE ROLL: BI 2.0 adds a re-roll option for an Army that loses an Initiative Roll.  Winner of Initiative can now allow the opponent to activate first.
  • MOVEMENT: Skirmishers and Light Infantry not in Disorder may make a second move with some restrictions.  Movement rates have been consolidated into three rates: 2H, 3H, and 4H.
  • CHARGE: In BI 2.0 some units now have a Charge Speed in addition to a Charge Bonus.  Charge Bonuses are now variable.
  • INTERPENETRATION: A few subtle changes are in place under BI 2.0.
  • EVASION:  BI 2.0 adds Evasion.
  • FIRE: Modifiers to the numbers of dice thrown see some changes.
  • COHESION TEST for FIRE: Heavy Cavalry and Heavy Infantry are less likely to fail Cohesion Tests as are units taking hits from small arms.
  • PILUM and POINT BLANK WEAPON FIRE (PBW): Pila are upgraded in first round of melee from 1D6/3D6 to 2D6/4D6 if Charging/Charged.
  • DEFENSIVE FIRE: BI 2.0 adds a Defensive Fire opportunity for 'T' missile troops when being charged. 
  • MELEE - OTHER TACTICAL MODIFIERS: BI 2.0 adds +2D6 for contacting an enemy on flank or rear.
  • PURSUIT: Retreat and Pursuit distances are now variable as in Baroque.
Comparing the lists of one of my favorite Punic Wars' armies shows not a great deal of change although Carthage loses one Numidian horse and gains two foot skirmishers in the version change.

BI 1.0 - LATER CARTHAGINIANS (VDT=18/9 if without options)
 Nr Type   M   VBU  I  VD Notes
 1xCM(*)  10     5    1   3 
 2xCL       12     3   1   2 Numidians or Spanish - javelin
 2xFP        5     5    1   3 Punic and Lybian infantry - long spear
 2xFL        8     4    4   1 Gauls - impetuous
 1xFL        8     4    1   1 Spanish - javelin
 2xS          8     2    0   1 Numidians or Spanish - javelin

Option 1. Change Spanish FL into Gauls or one or two Units of Gallic FL into Spanish FL. 
Option 2. Change 2 FP Units into:
 Nr Type   M  VBU  I VD Notes
 1xFP       5     6    1 3 Hannibal veterans - long spear
 1xFP       5     4    1 1 Italians 
Option 3.Change one Unit of FP or FL into:
 Nr Type  M   VBU  I VD Notes
 1xEL       8     4     4 1 
Option 4. Remove 1 S Unit and upgrade both Numidian CL Units to VBU=4

BI 2.0 - 5.2 2nd Punic War Carthaginians 221-202 BC 

 Carthaginian veteran cav.       1xCM* VBU=6, I=2, VD=3
 Numidian cavalry                     1xCL* VBU=4, I=1, VD=2, Javelin
 Lybian veterans                        1xFP* VBU=6, I=2, VD=3, Pilum
 Lybian spearmen                      1xFP* VBU=5, I=2, VD=3, Long spear
 Spanish Scutarii                        1xFL VBU=5, I=1, VD=3, PBW
 Celtiberians or veteran Gauls  1xFL VBU=5, I=4, VD=3, Impetuous
 Celetiberians or Gallic warriors 1xFL VBU=4, I=4, VD=2, Impetuous
 Libians or Numidians                3xS VBU=2, I=0, VD=1, Javelin
 Balearic slingers                       1xS VBU=3, I=0, VD=1, Sling

1st option: change 1 veteran CM,  1 veteran FP and 1 S with
 Carthaginian veteran cav.       1xCM* VBU=5, I=2, VD=2
 Elephants                                 1xEL VBU=5, I=3, VD=2
 Lybian spearmen                      1xFP* VBU=5, I=2, VD=3, Long spear
2nd option: change 2 S with 
 Punic Citizens                          1xFP VBU=4, I=2, VD=1
3rd option: change 1 S for 2 initiative rerolls
Libyan Spearmen, Celtiberians or Gauls FP/FL can form L. U. with same type 

With these changes, light cavalry and skirmishers will become much more mobile with the addition of Evasion and multiple moves.  I imagine a much greater harassing role for these light troops having the ability to delay, strike, and retreat.  While all troop types will be less likely to fail Cohesion Tests against small arms fire, heavy cavalry and heavy infantry will be especially stolid.  Attacking missile troops frontally will be much more dangerous and maneuvering for a flank/rear attack will be much more beneficial.  I look forward to giving the new version a try on the gaming table.  Which armies will see BI 2.0 service first? 


  1. Good post. I take it that Impetvs is now self contained all in one book i.e. not the Codex road?

    1. Hi Norm. Basic Impetvs 2.0 is now a self-contained, all-inclusive entity now. All rules and all Army Lists are in one booklet.

  2. Interesting post, so BI2 is one book containing rules and army lists, I guess impetus 2 will still be a rulebook plus army list supplements, I really liked BI 1 it was easy to collect armies and fun to play.
    Best Iain

    1. Yep. BI2 is one booklet containing both rules and lists. Not sure what the plans for Impetvs 2.0 will be. BI1 is a fun game and I look forward to giving BI2 a run out on the deck.

  3. Interesting - thanks for detailed info. All the best for the New Year, Jon!

  4. Great post Jonathan. I've had a chance to play BI 2 and imho it's a better game them BI 1. Really like the fact everything moves a little quicker and the extra charge moves are very nice. Another thing is the ability to now wheel and move instead of one or the other. Of course it will cause disorder if you do, but the option is nice if you need it. Also only formed missile troops can preform a defensive if they pass a test and not all missile troops, but it is nice.

    Basically BI 2 has more crunch then before, but still does not slow the game down. Also, you could still add more rules on if you wish without breaking it, but I think Lorenzo was careful about how much he added to keep the game length close to the original fast paced resolutions.

    Lots of fun!


    1. Christopher, you have a game under your belt so soon? Well done! I am eager to give the new rules a try.

      As for BI1.0, we played that a unit could wheel and then move if beginning the turn in good order. After the move the unit is disordered. I rechecked my copy of BI1.0 an that is correct. Where did you see only wheel OR move in BI1.0?

  5. Nice review. Very informative. Thank you!

  6. Thank You very much for a review Jonathan!

  7. Thanks for the review, Jon. I think itm is time to bite the (sling) bullet and get a pdf copy of BI2, although I remain very fond of To the Strongest, which has a 2nd edition in the works.

    1. You are quite welcome, Peter! At less than $5, BI2 PDF is a bargain and Wargame Vault has a 25% discount active now. Very low barrier to entry.

      TtS has a second edition in work? Seems like it was released only recently. I have yet to play a game with the version I purchased in JAN2016. I really must plan more gaming activities.

  8. You convinced me to pick up PDF. So far I like what I see, especially the addition of Evasion. We do need to get them on the table.