Litko Aerosystems bases Sunday, Aug 22 2010 

I just got my order of 50 80mmx40mmx.08mm plywood bases from Litko Game Accessories (formerly, Litko Aerosystems).

Wargame bases and Warmaster figures.

Goblin wolfriders keen to get onto a new Litko plywood base.

I am really impressed with them — they are laser cut, so they are absolutely straight and square. Well, they are rectangular, but the corners are square.  From purchase to arrival in at my home in Canada was just under a month, though I picked the slow, cheap shipping option.

These will be the sabots upon which I mount more Warmaster figs for use in Impetus and Basic Impetus Fantasticus.

Happy Gaming,


Back to Basics… Basic Impetus, that is Tuesday, May 18 2010 

28mm Punic heavy infantry miniatures

Franaine's veteran Punic infantry, the best looking unit in the game.

We are back to playing Basic Impetus, wargame of choice for me. I’m still surprised at what a taut, interesting game BI produces and usually in well under 2 hours.

Our last two match ups were Carthage vs. Rome. Both ended as decisive Roman victories. With VBUs of 6 and pila, the Legions are just brutal. I’m guessing that a Carthaginian victory requires a bit more finesse and a bunch more luck.  For now, though, we are going to try out Force on Force for a change of pace. So the rematch will have to wait.

I think that what I like about BI is that the restrictions on movement mean that your moves really matter. There is a surprising amount to think about, for such a simple rules set.

The other thing that seems to work well is the uncertainty of how much damage you will take in a combat — flub a cohesion test and your unit is GONE.  In reading the rules, I really doubted it would work. Yet it really does. There are usually great swings of fortune in the game and issue is exciting, without becoming arbitrary. I’m surprised. I really thought I’d prefer a game that allowed for a slow incremental wearing down of opponents.

I remember reading on Geektactica that he was back to playing Basic Impetus instead of Impetus. At the time, I thought “How could he stand to do that?” But BI is a very good game in its own right. Especially when you consider it is free. And you could get a pretty satisfying army out of two boxes of 1/72 figs, or about $20.

Sorry to sound like I’m the Impetus salesman. Really, I’m not on commission!

Basic Baroque ECW pictures and battle report Sunday, Jan 17 2010 

I’ve put our first Basic Baroque game up on flickr. The picture quality ain’t great, but it gives a feel for the game.

To view:

  • Go to the ECW photo set.
  • Then click ‘slideshow’ in the upper right.
  • Then click ‘show info’ in the upper right, to get the battle report.
  • You might need to change your options to slow it enough to read.

It was a fun game, I have to say.

ECW ‘Basic Baroque’ game Sunday, Jan 10 2010 

Faint heart never kissed a pig!

Well, Basic Impetus produced another enjoyable nailbiter of a game last night!

This time we played an English Civil War battle using the Basic Baroque rules. We had Scottish Covenanters facing Late Royalists outside of a small town somewhere in northern England.  The spoils of war were — what else? — a six-pack of Newcastle brown ale.  So it was a hard fought battle.

I took the Royalists, anchoring my right on the village. I put my cannon in the middle of a nice ploughed field that would slow down and disorder any Scots who might charge it. The cannon dictated my strategy entirely.  The Scots had none, so I thought I’d let them come to me and get blasted to smithereens as they did so.  This would come to haunt me.

The Covenanters facing me consisted of five Pike & Musket infantry regiments, with two units of cavalry on each flank. My three pike&musket were better shots, but not as good at ‘push of pike’. My Galloper cavalry were clearly superior to his, though again I had only three to his four.

Battle is joined

I won initiative and didn’t move a thing, letting Franaine come to me. Having surrendered the initiative, I lost it every turn but one thereafter.

The Scots advanced all along the line. At first my cannon did little, but in the second round they took out a unit of his lancers on my right. On my left, my Gallopers with General attached charged his reiters and swept them from the field. I found myself stuck in front of his advancing infantry, too close to my own table edge to do the double retreat movement. Allowing him to advance was a mistake for my cavalry, who did not have room to manoeuver. In game terms, there must have been a river or forest to their backs. In the real world… our table was a bit small for 28mm at 3.5 feet across and a bit over 5 foot wide.

Since retreating wasn’t an option and about facing then moving would see the cav get shot to pieces, I decided to charge the infantry on the Scottish right. We rather liked the idea of the infantry being able to shoot at cavalry charging them frontally, so used that rule (even though it technically is part of only Impetus, not Basic Impetus). On top of it, the cavalry don’t get their impetus bonus when charging pike and the pike&musket units end up having a VBU of seven vs their six.  All in all, we conspired against Royalist success!

Still, it made for a taut game. My cavalry charged repeatedly and were repulsed repeatedly.

Elsewhere, my infantry were acquitting themselves well, despite being outgunned. They drove off the Covenanter cavalry on my right, as well as a unit of pike and musket. The way that the shooting table works, it makes as much sense to move in close as it does to stand and shoot. So I pushed my infantry forward aggressively, knowing I needed to do some real damage before losing my cav.  Initially, this didn’t work well. I screened my own guns and rolled miserably for two consecutive turns of musketry.

At this point, the Covenanter general’s unit had neared my line. It was fresh, accompanied by the general, and his musket modifier of -2 meant that he had a further point of VBU advantage on me in melee. I quite sportingly pointed this out to Franaine, but he was already well ahead of me. His infantry charged forward to push of pike.

It was a truly satisfying seesaw battle. First he drove me back, then I pushed him back, then he regained the upper hand, and finally my men prevailed. Or at least the survivors did — my unit was down to a VBU of 1, just barely able to fight.

Throughout this, my cavalry charged, retreated and charged and retreated.

When I lost my second cavalry unit, though, I was done.

Thoughts on the game

Once again, we have the really rather simple Basic Impetus rules producing a fine game in yet another historical era. Once again, I came within one point of breaking Franaine’s force. Once again, there were great swings of fortune (Franaine thought he was toast after losing two units so quickly on turn three… but thereafter had the upper hand). Once again, there were epic combats — the push of pike in the centre and the repeated cavalry charges on my left. Once again, we were able to finish a game by 11:30… instead of the usual 2 a.m. finish when we play Warhammer.

All in all, I am pretty impressed.

We did have some rules questions, which I will post about on the Impetus forums.

Happy gaming,


Basic Impetus, great game Saturday, Jan 2 2010 

I’ve gotten a bit of gaming in this holiday season. The best by far was a matchup of Tudor lists from the late Wars of the Roses period.  Man, what a great game!

We played using the free Basic Impetus ruleset. I’ve bought Impetvs, but Franaine and I are bears of very little brain and haven’t gotten around to tackling them. (Though they do look great.) In addition, they have super pictures of mostly 28 mm Black Tree Design miniatures. This got Franaine champing at the bit for more figs… and he discovered BTD is having a 50% off sale.

Being somewhat more restrained than him, I resisted the urge.

But that last game was SO good, that I immediately rushed home to fill out the ranks of my Bretonnians with some historical minis…. 152 dollars worth! Mostly crossbow, dismounted knights and spearmen.  Still debating a few bases worth of pike, though time is running out for the sale price.

I’ll get some pics and write up a battle report shortly. No, seriously.

– Dan

IMPETVS!! Friday, Nov 27 2009 

It’s here!

Came in the mail last night, with Extra Impetus 1 and 2 and my first copy of Dadi e Piombo.

The rules do look very good, a clear step up from Basic Impetus. The background and army lists in the expansions look great. The lists alone are a huge improvement on Basic Impetus.

Production values are good, especially in the magazine. Beautiful pictures of great looking figures and games.

More later.

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!

Primer on painting Monday, Nov 23 2009 

There’s a good primer on painting (that’s a painting joke… not a good one) that you can find over at Painting101.

While you are at it, check out this fun battle report.

Timely, given that Franaine and I plan to play a Roman action with Basic Impetus next. (Or full IMPETVS if the mailman is quick about it.)

– Dan

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.