Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Impetus: A rather telescoped Pavia

View from the main French force: Gendarmes,
arquebusiers, Black Band, artillery.
I've previously played a few games of Impetus but not with my own figures and not set in the gunpoweder era. It was thus a great if somewhat delayed pleasure to table my 25/28mm Early Italian Wars armies in a recreation of Pavia 1525. My armies were originally raised in the 1970s and have been supplemented with some eBay purchases, but they have not been used in a game for at least twenty years and probably longer.

I apologise for the look of the bases which are temporary card affairs. Rebasing has been a saga in itself. When I was first planning to try Impetus, I put the figures on temporary 80mm frontages (intended for 15mm figures) to give myself more real estate on the tabletop, but the three-base pike blocks ended up deeper than they were wide and that didn't look right.

The French Gendarmerie move to cut off the Imperialist
I subsequently learnt that some players field half-depth second and third bases in 'Large' units, but by then I had already rebased them again on 120 mm temporary bases, the frontage intended for 25/28 mm figures. By this time I was beginning to feel like the Grand Old Duke of York. Anyway, the big bases with lots of figures are highly impressive and that is one of the appeals of Impetus over WRG etc.

The French Black Band and arquebusiers are hampered
by the woods and marshy ground.
The forces were closely based on the historical battle but the battlefield was highly telescoped to fit a 6' x 4' table. The game began at the point after the Imperialists had seized the Mirabello hunting lodge, with the main Imperial army still coming through the breach in the park wall and the French rousing themselves to respond. Everything was far too close, but the essentials of the battle were replicated. The French gendarmerie tried to cut off the Imperialists from entering through the breach but were frustrated by the intervening woods. The Imperial Landsknechts clashed with and defeated France's Swiss mercenaries.

Two Landsknecht pike blocks bear down on the Swiss.
I was a bit mystified by the way that the rules handle Doppelsoldners. They are
mounted as non-missile skirmishers which makes their use 'interesting'. I'm not entirely convinced, but if you don't like the Impetus approach, it's not compulsory to field them.


(I have some much nicer buildings to represent Mirabello but used this outhouse to save space...)

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