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This topic contains 30 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Doug Melville 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #107882
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I see Lorenzo at Dadi e Piombo has released a second edition of Impetus rules:

    Impetus 2

    Anyone got them/played them yet?

    I used Impetus a lot when they came out and still use them for some Italian Wars and mediaeval games but got a bit tired of the constant attempts by various interest groups to change the rules to favour their favourite army/troop type. I kept up with the first few amendments but haven’t kept track of any changes slated for the new edition – a quick look on the forum: Rule changes don’t fill me with an urge to invest 30 euros.

    Any reasons why I should?

    #107883
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Did they ever fix the Italian abbreviations thing?

    ‘HC’ is intuitive, ‘CP’ not so much.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #107888
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Haven’t seen the new rules but I don’t think so – all the discussions and advice on how to amend existing army lists seem to keep the same abbreviations.

    You are right of course about the intuitive nature of English v Italian abbreviations but I can’t remember it producing anything but a mild irritation the first few times we played and then it became, if not second nature, accepted.

    I suspect there is so much invested in forum discussion, army lists etc that changing the English translation would have caused more confusion – but it was a bad decision/oversight in the first publication.

    #107892
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    Did they ever fix the Italian abbreviations thing? ‘HC’ is intuitive, ‘CP’ not so much.

     

    they didn’t in Basic Impetvs 2, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. Cannot understand why a rule set translated into English doesn’t go the whole hog!

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #107942
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    I’ve never had problems with the abbreviations.  I just equate the ‘P’ in IP/CP as ‘Pb’ the abbreviation for lead on the Periodic Table (or ‘plumbum’ in Latin or ‘ponderous’ as in slow and heavy). Lead is a heavy metal, therefore IP is ‘infantry, heavy’. Seriously, this is what goes on inside my head. I don’t know why…. That only leaves T and CG to worry about and even I can keep those two straight in my mind. You get used to it.

    Impetus 2 is probably not on my buy list. At least not now. Honestly, I’m more interested in exploring ‘To the Strongest’ and ‘Age of Hannibal’ right now.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #107953
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

     Cannot understand why a rule set translated into English doesn’t go the whole hog!

    I think it’s so the abbreviations are consistent across languages. Players coming to England to play or Anglophone players going to Europe to play do not have to learn a second set of abbreviations and keep those in mind when playing. The game’s Italian so we get Italian abbreviations across all the editions.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #107962
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    So, odd Italian abbreviations aside, no thoughts on the new version?

    I’ve heard they have changed the measurement from ‘U’ based on a differing number of centimetres depending on scale, to a base width based measure. Just as much a pain I think – what’s the point of God inventing centimetres (or inches) if you are going to start messing about with your own weird units?

    How about the Dyuim?

    Age of Hannibal may be worth a look for bigger battles – something I think Impetus struggles with – multiplayer hanging around for commands to finish playing. To the Strongest I probably won’t bother with – not keen on gridded tables.

    I’m generally not keen on second editions or revisions – in my experience they tend to pander to those who didn’t want that game in the first place and so mess it up for those of us who did like the original. Volley and Bayonet is a classic case in point.

     

    #107989

    So in guessing, I used the google machine to come up with “why” CP.  As it turns out, it likely means “armored foot” or “piede corazzato” in Italian.

    I agree with Guy’s points above.  I suppose one could bathtub battles such that each wing represents a major part of the Ancient Battle formation in question.  So you could fight, say, Cannae with around 12-15 bases per side.  I do think Age of Hannibal would handle large battles better and in a much ore straight forward way.  I’ve always been a fan of “Fantasy Rules!” and all of the similar Chipco products…like Days of Knights…which if where AoH is derived from.

     

     

     

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #108000
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    CP = Cavalleria Pesante = Heavy Cavalry

    FP= Fanteria Pesante = Heavy Infantry

    You can make Impetus work with bigger battles but it tends to require some ‘tweaking’ of the activation and initiative system where there are several players per side. But then – so do a lot of rules sets.

    #108001

    CP = Cavalleria Pesante = Heavy Cavalry FP= Fanteria Pesante = Heavy Infantry You can make Impetus work with bigger battles but it tends to require some ‘tweaking’ of the activation and initiative system where there are several players per side. But then – so do a lot of rules sets.

    It pays to have the rulebook handy. 😉

     

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #108006
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I don’t think the rules actually have the Italian expansion of the abbreviations, but Lorenzo’s explanation for keeping FP instead of HI for example matches what Ruarigh offered.

    #108095

    Wayme Steward
    Participant

    I have a copy of the new rules and hope to get a solo trial game in this weekend. The abbreviations are still the same which doesn’t bovver me, after all some games call action points, pips some call them CP’s just different names for the same thing really (FP/HI).

    Main game mechanics look the same but, lots of things have changed in the rules.

    I liked BI but, never really made the leap to full Impetus. BI2 was a positive step up (for me) from BI and I really like these rules. Although I thought the games lacked the linear look of rules systems like ADGL, FoG or DBMM.

    Sadly Impetus is not a popular rule system in my neck of the woods so any games I get to play will most likely be solo games

    Roundie

     

    #108117
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Looking forward to hearing the result of your trial game, keep us posted!

    One of the main ‘problems’ I have with virtually all ancient gaming is that there is way too much manoeuvre and battles fragment all over the place. Couple that with far too much control allowed for commanders over engaged troops and it really bears little relationship to what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield  – which is okay.

    Some games systems have given a much closer  feel of how things might have looked in an infantry match up for example but may not have retained player interest after a few games, as your tactical input is limited and players like manoeuvre  and control no matter how anachronistic.

    I have played Impetus, l’Art de la Guerre, Sword and Spear and various WRG games over the years and they all break up pretty fast from a linear deployment.

    #108118
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    One of the main ‘problems’ I have with virtually all ancient gaming is that there is way too much manoeuvre and battles fragment all over the place. Couple that with far too much control allowed for commanders over engaged troops and it really bears little relationship to what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield – which is okay.

    DBX attempted to address that of course. Whether it succeeded or not is another question.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #108120
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    One of the main ‘problems’ I have with virtually all ancient gaming is that there is way too much manoeuvre and battles fragment all over the place.

    We’ve found that Impetus gives a better feel than most other rules but that may just be the way we play and the armies we use. From comments on the Impetus forum, I suspect that Impetus 2 may be a step backwards in this regard. The rules system we’ve used that best does this is Poleaxed 2. There was precious little manoeuvre in the standard Wars of the Roses match-ups we did, and the game was all about anticipating which of your contingents were going to need their orders changing several turns in advance so your messengers had time to get there.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #108121
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    NCS – Yes – the simpler iterations probably did succeed although 12 bases v 12 bases seemed a little too formulaic after a while, then weird stuff happened as it became more complicated.

    Ruarigh – I liked/like Impetus for a certain type of game, which is why I was wary of a second edition.

    I really like Andy Callan’s Dark Age Infantry Slog for a different take on late ancient/early mediaeval battle. Virtually no manoeuvre but quite a lot of decision input- managing your cohesion and aggression values and working out when the Top Trumps style key combat factor would change between Cohesion Aggression and Strength. But it did mean it was simply, line up and, as the name suggests, slog it out, which frustrated some people and I think means that as a single game event you can’t return to it too often.

    #108194
    Olivero
    Olivero
    Participant

    to what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield

    Uh, I always wonder how people know how it really was. No offence meant, but don’t you think many of the rules authors know as much there is to know about “…what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield…”? I guess they read all the original sources that are available, and most of the relevant secondary literature. Heck, sometimes they wrote it. And then everyone tries to put that knowledge into his or her rules system.

    But I am happy to agree to your reasoning that rules need to be a game as well and so some sacrifice in regard to (proposed) reality has to be made.

    Ok, after that rant, did you notice that Tactica II has been pulished a couple of weeks ago? The original Tactica had been critizised often for not giving the player general enough control over his troops after setup. Might still be the case with Tactica II.

    Happy gaming!

    P.S.: You mentioned having played several WRG rules. Does that include DBM/M? Of course there is fragmentation after a while, but he who get’s more fragmented (often) looses the game (which is the whole point of DBX rules 🙂

    #108211
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Uh, I always wonder how people know how it really was. No offence meant, but don’t you think many of the rules authors know as much there is to know about “…what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield…”? I guess they read all the original sources that are available, and most of the relevant secondary literature. Heck, sometimes they wrote it. And then everyone tries to put that knowledge into his or her rules system.

    Some may have read them, some may have written their interpretation of those accounts. Whether any of them actually put that into rules systems beyond the length of a sarissa or the impact of stirrups is open to debate.

    Rules writers generally want a game that engages the interest of players of a game, and that generally means allowing players to micro manage individual combats, redirect the direction and intentions of units and engage in clairvoyant flanking moves etc.

    My feeling is that most of the interesting decisions for a General were made before the fighting started in an ancient battle and once it started his influence was largely limited to control of an unengaged reserve – something rarely encouraged and less seldom seen in an ancient wargame.

    I don’t actually mind most of this – as I said earlier – a game is fine. I suspect a game that accurately reflected the army commanders role in ancient battle would be quite boring most of the time.

    I haven’t seen or played Tactica, I may look out Tactica II – thanks.

    I have played DBM – not DBMM. I played DBA a fair bit. There is a lot of …geometry(?) involved. I liked DBA as a refreshing change to WRG Xth edition series, it’s a great game.

     

    #108212
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    No offence meant, but don’t you think many of the rules authors know as much there is to know about “…what happened in tactical terms on the real battlefield…”? I guess they read all the original sources that are available, and most of the relevant secondary literature. Heck, sometimes they wrote it. And then everyone tries to put that knowledge into his or her rules system.

    Some may have read them, some may have written their interpretation of those accounts.

    I doubt very much that any author of a generic ancients rules set will have read all the original sources for their rules, much less have a command of the secondary literature. It may be the case that authors of more temporally and geographically limited rules have done this and all credit to them if they have. It’s hard work getting to a point where you can read the original sources because it relies on you learning the languages they are written in, and just because you can read it does not mean that you understand it well enough to get a proper sense of the nuances and meaning. You also need to develop the critical toolkit necessary to understand what you are reading. Translations won’t cut it, because translators make editorial decisions that can mislead the person looking for specifics of battlefield behaviour. I would even be wary if all the sources are in your native tongue, because changing usage can lead to misinterpretation. And that’s even before you consider what sources have not survived and what the authors’ political agendas were. (rant mode off) Sorry. It’s a bit of a sore point in my professional life at the moment.

    Generally, I’m just happy if I get a game that gives a nod in the right direction, and feels plausible. Impetus does that for me. I’m unsure about Impetus 2 at the moment, based on what I have seen on the forum, and DBx in all its variants leaves me cold. Interestingly, Armati felt more like an ancient battle with the important decisions made at deployment, but that did not retain sufficient interest as a game. One rules set not mentioned yet in this thread is Rally Round The King. It encourages you to keep your troops together so that you can control them, but the reaction system injects a lot of chaos as troops and local commanders spontaneously respond to their own local situation, and you, as general, then have to put things right again. It’s a fun system but I can understand that not everyone will enjoy that lack of control in their games.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #108213
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I doubt very much that any author of a generic ancients rules set will have read all the original sources for their rules, much less have a command of the secondary literature.

    Me too (I was trying to be nice!)

    DBA – played the pre-production trial under Phil Barker’s direction at a COW and loved it – it was such a fast refreshing change to WRG 4th, 5th and  6th (never really played 7th). But it was presented there in the ‘After Dinner’ slot, so I thought it was a quick adjunct to the main ancient games of  WRG ‘s development line – not an alternative. When it replaced (along with its ‘big brother’ DBM) 1-7th editions line of thrust I confess I was very surprised, and disappointed. As I said -= DBA was/is a great game – just not sure it has a lot to do with Ancient warfare.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Guy Farrish Guy Farrish.
    #108216
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I doubt very much that any author of a generic ancients rules set will have read all the original sources for their rules, much less have a command of the secondary literature.

    Me too (I was trying to be nice!)

    DBA – played the pre-production trial under Phil Barker’s direction at a COW and loved it

    And now I feel guilty. Sigh.

    I loved DBA when it first came out. The fixed lists were a joy to behold and the quick play meant that I could lose four games in an evening, instead of one. Then they started tinkering with it …

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #108218
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I still have and play DBA from March 1990 – never felt the need to ‘upgrade’.

    As I said I instinctively suspect ‘improvements’ in sets of rules – one of the reasons I asked the initial question – I’ve seen too many ruined by voluble players insisting on changes that benefit their perspective – which ain’t necessarily the best – it may be, but I usually need convincing!

    #108219
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    I totally agree with you about the ‘improvements’, Guy. In my case, I had to keep upgrading if I wanted to play because that’s what the people I played against were doing.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #108220
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Then they started tinkering with it …

    They started tinkering with it because the competition players (I do hope there’s an especially hot place in Hell reserved for them) couldn’t find enough loopholes to exploit.  Then the ‘historians’ climbed on board and started picking nits. Followed swiftly by the collectors who wanted Moar ArmieZ!!!

    It’s still better than WRG 7 though. Feck knows what that was all about.

     

    …and what that Farrish feller said.

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #108251
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Yeah, I’m not too sure we’ve got so many academic historians writing rules. I know of a handful, but my gut feeling is that most rules authors are fairly well read in popular, secondary-at-best sources. On the other hand, that may not matter since wargame rules are a very narrow, specific interpretation. As long as the author’s interpretation parallels the reader/player’s interpretation, then all’s good.

    For example, I played quite a bit of DBA when it first came out but the level of abstraction was at a higher level than I was seeking. So it never really scratched my itch. Once it went down tournament road I quickly lost interest. As far as I can tell, tournaments are more about the players rather than the interpretation of history. The tournament dynamic is not one I enjoy.

    Impetus is more satisfying but it’s still missing something. In my interpretation of ancient battles (based on a lot of reading of popular history works–not primary sources), leaders were important during the battle. For me heroic leadership (ala Keegan’s Mask of Command) or lack thereof, is something I want to see represented on my gaming table–that and I like painting command figures so it seems a waste not to have them on the table! So I’m rather glad to see that change made in Impetus 2.0–though I still don’t know how it will affect the overall game.  Is it worth the asking price of a whole new printed copy? Probably not. But I’ll be reading the forthcoming reviews.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #108264

    Wayme Steward
    Participant

    I gave the new rules a spin yesterday and I like them.

    I’ve got Impetus 1 but didn’t really play that much.

    Liked BI2 better (I’m not much of a reader when comes to rules you see)

    Here’s a link to how my game played out, but it’s not a review of the rules.

    Impetus 2 Solo Run

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Wayme Steward.
    #108268
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Thanks for the battle report and your brief thoughts on the game, Wayme.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #108274
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks for a well done (and probably labor intensive) AAR. I have to admit… I spend hours looking at your photos. Some of the best painted ancients on the interweb.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #108276
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Yes, thanks for that – lovely blog and aar.

    Shame there aren’t many (any?) other Impetus players in the area.

    Maybe they’ll see that and want to try (tell ’em their figures will look as good if they swap!).

    #108277

    Roger Calderbank
    Participant

    Thank you for the report, Wayne. I hope you find others who want to join your games.

    As one of those dreadful people who took part in Impetus tournaments, and now take part in To The Strongest! tournaments, my experience was that rule changes were often driven by those with historical axes to grind, rather than the tournament players I knew. It seems to be a wargamer’s disease (and I’m sure I’m not immune) that if they find a report of something happening, they want it reflected in the rules they play, no matter how rare or unusual the event was. Also, I think ‘Ancients’ rule-writers have the problem that, even if they are well-read in one period, the breadth of time covered by the rules means they have to take the word of others when out of their period of expertise. But then ‘it happened so your rules must allow it’ seems to affect even the most time-restricted rulesets.

    By the way, I know some of you would rather have your finger-nails pulled out one by one, rather than attend a tournament, but some of us find they can be a good way to play games you like with a greater range of people than are available locally. Most people Ive met at tournaments are there to play the games in a good spirit, not to win at all costs.

    However, I’m getting a bit far from the question of whether the new version of Impetus is worth buying. Like Guy, I have found that ‘improvements’ are often the opposite, but I liked the first version and I’ll approach the new edition with optimism.

    RogerC

    #108287

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    I have to agree with the above. I participated in the development of DBA 3 and DBMM. It wasn’t tournament players calling for tweaks, it was players citing original sources.

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