Warmaster rebased for Basic Impetus Fantasticus Friday, May 28 2010 

Been a week — put my back out then got a miserable cold or flu. I’ve gotten nothing done in a week, but maybe I can manage to post a picture.

10 mm figures for Impetus and Warmaster

Warmaster and Impetus Fantasticus miniatures on my workbench.

This picture shows Warmaster and Battle of Five Armies units. In the front are 3 Warmaster Troll Slayers, based for Impetus. I’ve left them on the Warmaster stands, but glued them to a sabot. The sabot is 80mm x 40 mm, plastic sheet from a modelling store. I think it is 1.8 mm thick — thick enough not to be floppy, but thin enough to cut with a paper guillotine. I’ve just used Crazy glue to attach, since I can easily pop the stands off if/when I go back to Warmaster. Each sabot holds four Warmaster stands.

Note that I’ve based my Trollslayers with a single strip per stand for Warmaster. I used to think it was blasphemous, but played against some guys who based their missile troops with just a single line per stand. It actually looks way better! And your dollar goes twice as far, an important consideration when dealing with the filthy moneygrubbers behind Games Workshop. Missile troops, special troops and light infantry look good this way. Heavy infantry and mobs look better with two strips (12 figs) per stand in Warmaster.

Behind the Troll Slayers are BoFA goblins and Warg Riders, as well as a unit of Wolf Riders from Warmaster. All are still based for BoFa and Warmaster.

Happy Gaming,



Wargaming with kids Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

I feel like I should feel guilty about this:

My son with wargames miniatures.

Knights and dragons. It doesn't get much better!

But I rather like the fact that Max is fascinated by my Warmaster figs. His older sister is even more interested, especially in painting.

Long may it last… once she develops her skills a bit more!

Wargaming with kids Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

I feel like I should feel guilty about this:

My son with wargames miniatures.

Knights and dragons. It doesn't get much better!

But I rather like the fact that Max is fascinated by my Warmaster figs.

His older sister is even more interested, especially in painting. Long may it last… once she develops her skills a bit more!

Basic Impetus game 4 Sunday, Nov 22 2009 

We played game four of the Chaos incursion last night. Franaine took the Empire and I took the Chaos. Again, the Chaos were the Vikings from the BI lists and the Empire were Frederick II Swabians.

We rolled for attacker, which Franaine won with his +3 for cavalry (and way better rolling… which held most of the game for initiative as well… but not for his attacks).

How I wish I had painted those bases now

I set up four hills in a line. He removed one and I set up all my force on them.  I couldn’t quite fit them in, so the skirmishers and berserkers were on the flat ground on the centre left. Franaine then set up with crossbows on his right, followed by his militia (Warmaster halberdiers). The knights were all on his left.

The Empire advanced at the speed of the infantry, while I formed shield wall and my skirmisher and berserker began to sidestep across the front of my lines. I was hoping to get them into action against infantry, but they just couldn’t move fast enough.

Franaine eventually got his archers into range, but couldn’t hit a thing. He gamely charged two knights at the centre of my line, but fell short both times, leaving disordered knights a few centimeters from my line.

This let my skirmishers fire away and my berserkers charge the knights, rather uselessly. I also tried to charge a knight from the left-most hill, but didn’t roll high enough. This left the two damaged knight units looking at four heavy infantry in shield wall, who stood ready to repulse an attack. Franaine’s third knight unit thundered up the hill on the right, but the combat locked with no winner.

Miniatures game, showing cavalry and Vikings.

Only the heavy cav were left on the field.

At this point I decided to advance my left wing, who proceded to butcher the crossbow and halberds in front of them over the next three turns.  This destroyed the Empire left, breaking the army.

Next up, Franaine and I are going to do a 28 mm Roman vs Barbarian match up. So I’ll be madly cutting bases this week.

Basic Impetus Game Three: The Battle of Gapwood Farm Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

In this, the battle of Gapwood Farm, half of the Vikings (Chaos Warmaster figs on Impetus-sized sabots) were drawn up in shieldwall on a hill next to a farm between two woods. The other half were in a relief column deployed on a corner of the board and would have to wait a few turns before marching to the rescue.

The Imperials advanced with their knights in the centre, screened by skirmishers, and flanked by halberds and crossbow.This time the skirmish screens played little role, inflicting no hits at all.

The first knight thundered in from the Imperial left, charging through their own skirmishers (a neat rule), and crashed into a unit of bondi (marauders). A long battle then ensued with the knights pushing back the bondi, then pursuing into the unit of bondi beside. Because the knights came in at an angle, the marauders didn’t have a unit in support during the combat, even though they were side by side. Because of successive retreat rolls, the bondi would fight, then retreat, then the knights would contact the second unit. They fought the second unit, it retreated and they advanced into the first unit again. And so it went until, at the end, the depleted knights had destroyed one unit and left the other with just a single VBU.

At this point, the Odalsbondi at the Chaos left wheeled forward, hoping to take the next unit of Empire knights in the flank as they charged up the hill. The Empire’s knights (with General) duly thundered up the hill, smashing the Viking skirmishers but rolling a two for pursuit, which left them standing right in front of two fresh units — berserkers to the front and the Odalsbondi that had just wheeled up.

The third knight moved up behind the others and the rest of the Imperials advanced along the line. The Chaos relief force finally began moving on turn four, so marched on the Imperial left.

The Chaos Gods smiled up on their minions, giving them the initiative. The Odalsbondi charged the knights, defeating them but unable to pursue enough to stay in contact. They shortly found themselves charged by halberds and pushed slowly back up the hill. The last remaining bondi turned to face the last of the knights, who wheeled ponderously toward them atop the hill, while the other knights rallied.

At this point, things were looking very precarious for the forces of Chaos. The Gods favoured them with another initiative victory, though, allowing the remaining Marauder (bondi) to move out of the knights charge arc (though becoming disordered). The tense standoff continued another turn, as the reinforcements marched ever nearer.

Then the knights and halberds thundered in to finish off all of the Vikings on the hill in a series of close battles, carving themselves a crushingly convincing victory.

The aftermath

This was the first game where I realized that impetus zero units cannot charge — so skirmishers facing each other just throw verbal taunts until something heavier wipes them out. This is not to say that skirmishers are any less useful, but it does change the way you need to use them a bit.

The shieldwalls didn’t hold as well as in the first couple of games, even defending a hill. Just luck of the draw this time, I suppose.

I really enjoy how ponderous movement is. Several times units that would have gotten in easy flank charges in Warmaster were left fighting frontally instead. However, the slow movement means that any relief forces have to show up quickly (or need some other special rule) if they are ever to get into combat.

Basic Impetus: first game of the Chaos Invasion Monday, Nov 16 2009 

I’ve been reading up on Impetus. Downloaded the free Basic Impetus rules and had a go in a solo game tonight.

I thought it would be a good alternative to Warmaster, which has been getting on my nerves lately. In the last two games I’ve played we’ve had these irritating, L-O-N-G flank charges and they seem to happen most every game. And be game winners. And only can be done with cav. If you are stupid enough to bring any infantry to the battle in the first place. Which I am.

Anyway, Impetus was mentioned on Angus Konstam’s site, as was Field of Glory. I looked around the Internet and came to the conclusion that Field of Glory had more fiddly movement to worry about. So Impetus it was. So far, I like the feel.

In my first game, a Chaos Warmaster advanced into Empire territory. I used the Viking list for Chaos, though I converted one of the Bondi to Odalbondi. Harpies dropping rocks and making swooping attacks subsitituted for skirmishers. The empire turned out with halberd-armed city militia, imperial crossbows and knightly heavy cavalry from the Empire Frederick II Swabian list.

The two sides advanced toward each other in simple lines, the empire with a block of infantry in the centre, flanked by crossbows and knights.

The Chaos left was all warriors who advanced, but then refused the flank and formed shield wall. Well, two of the three units did. The other kept taking fire from the skirmishers and crossbow that kept it disordered so that it never got into shield wall. The Chaos centre was a unit (mob?) of Storm of Chaos norse, acting as berserkers. Screened by the harpies, they stormed ahead of the rest of the line. Fortuitously, my daughter had been playing the Empire princess and wheeled the crossbow on the Empire left out of line angled toward the Chaos centre. Their fire was ineffective against the skirmishers right up to the moment the berserkers broke through and crashed into them. Forced to retreat, the crossbow disordered the one unit of knights on the Empire left. The crossbow put up a spirited fighting retreat, which led to the berserkers losing contact with them but slamming into the halberds. At which point they ground to halt for a turn, before pushing back and eventually destroying the militia.

At this point, it was apparent how much slower and more restricted armies are in Impetus compared to Warmaster. In addition, the Chaos general was cursing the rash advance of the berserkers as there were no units behind to build on their success. The skirmishers were doing such a good job of absorbing missile fire that I started to dream of skirmish-heavy armies when I move to playing the full Impetus game. It was especially apparent later, when the Empire skirmishers charged the Chaos ones to clear a line of fire for the remaining crossbow. That unit was able to keep one of the heavy infantry tied up in disorder and rallying for the whole game. Disorder matters! When disordered, no impetus and no shieldwall. And units quickly get disordered, especially in melee.

So at this point, the bulk of the Empire cav was bearing down on the refused Chaos left while a lone unit of Empire knights charged the two Warriors on the Chaos right. Again, impetus matters. The knight was able to chew up one of the warriors but was disordered and damaged in the fray. The next turn, the supporting Warrior unit was still fresh and was able to first see off the charging knights, then catch and finish them off. Truth be told, the Chaos gods were smiling as the dice were thrown, while Sigmar was somewhere else this day.  But it was nice to see good infantry not being simple meat for knights.

At this point, the Empire left was reduced to single understrength crossbow, facing berserkers and warriors. Again it fended them off surprisingly well. But it took time for the surviving militia to wheel to the attack and the cagey Warmaster had brought up a reserve Marauder unit that had been skulking behind the warrior on the Chaos right.  The combat was a slow grind, as the rest of the Chaos right rallied and the skirmishers gamely kept missing each other. At this point, the Empire was but a unit from breaking. But the two heavy cav on the Empire right were just about to hit the shield wall on the Chaos left.

Again, we learned that impetus matters. In shieldwall, the chaos infantry (as Odalbondi) equalled the Empire knights. The two units at end of the line tussled inconclusively and stayed locked in combat. Then the second knight slammed into the Chaos line and pushed the infantry back… but both cavalry failed to catch the reeling infantry. The next turn, the Empire halberdiers faced annihilation. Weighing the odds (wrongly as it turned out), the Empire general threw his rightmost knight into the fresh infantry to its front where the two units locked. Before the second knight could charge the militia were routed and the entire Empire left was gone. In Impetus, you calculate army break at the end of the turn. But clearly Empire morale was shattered as the second knightly charge failed to break the Chaos Warriors. The infantry shield wall was broken, but the knights were disordered so unable to claim the impetus bonus that might have handed them victory over their wavering foes. The only bright spot was the Empire skirmishers who finally dispatched the harpies (which upon a later reading of the rules turned out to be impossible).

All in all, an enjoyable first foray into Basic Impetus.

– Dan

P.S. You can find pictures of the battle here.