The blog formerly known as “Dan’s Warmaster” Sunday, Jan 24 2010 

I never much liked the name “Dan’s Warmaster”, but at least it was accurate back when I played a lot of Warmaster. Or it would have been, if I actually posted much.

So, I’ve settle on “Social War”, partly because gaming is social for me, partly as a nod to The Social War. (If you know of a better link than the Wikipedia one, do let me know. Wikipedia is great, but it would be nice to give someone else a little exposure.)

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading on Roman military history lately. Oh, I’d love to do the Social War. But time and money and common sense are prevailing.

Of course, if you desperately want to give me an army or two, they’d have a warm, loving home.

Two books I’d recommend as light reading, but heavy learning: Adrian Goldsworthy’s “Roman Warfare” and Philip Matyszak’s “Legionary: The Roman Soldier’s Unofficial Manual”.

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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 AncientBattles.com: 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.

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.

Delighted to be back Monday, Nov 16 2009 

After a long break from blogging, I’ve decided to take up the keyboard again.

What’s got me interested is the wargame Impetus (or “IMPETVS”). I’ve been gluing my Warmaster bases onto larger Impetus ones and have tried out three solo games.  Later this evening, I may get my first game in against a real live human being, if Don’s boys cooperate and go to sleep at bedtime without wearing their Dad out. And next weekend, I’ll get a first crack at the game with Franaine, my usual gaming opponent.

Why no blogging for so long?

All the usual reasons: family, work, beekeeping… feeling I’ve typed enough ellipses (those …s that bloggers love so much)… and typical blogger burn out.

Felt a little bad though for my adoring public. I had a look at the stats for this blog and people have visited it in the last two years!  Yes, one day a year ago, I got seven visits from someone who was either very bored or very disappointed.  In fact, there have been visitors every couple of weeks since I last posted. Incredible.