Got in a 300-point Impetus game against Nick the Lemming the other day, something of an ahistorical match-up between his 100 years war English and my Antigonids. I went in to this game expecting to be spanked, and things worked out more or less as expected ;) Worth it, though, to get a game in. Nick's highly coloured and rather cheeky version of events can be found here.
Nick was kind enough to come a little early, as I was trying to get in a second game (the Warmahordes one from my last post). I set up terrain, he picked sides, and we rolled for attacker. Nick ended up defending, and deployed in a long line across his side of the table. Although it's apparently winter in England, the English made for a lovely sight.
He concentrated his rather scary (VBU 7!!) cavalry on his right, his archers across the centre, and a gonne and some light foot on his left.
In response, I set up my own cavalry (along with my elephant unit) mirroring his:
My pike and Lykian phalanx in the centre right:
And my Persian medium cavalry and a unit of peltasts on the right.
My plan for the engagement was pretty straightforward. I was hoping to make some progress on the flanks, with my elephants and numbers evening the field with his cavalry on one side, and my lighter elements working around the his flank on the other. With a skirmish screen blunting the worst of his shooting, I hoped to get the heavy infantry stuck in more or less intact, and hopefully carry the day.
Nick, however, is a crafty guy. He responded to my advancing flanks by pushing his cavalry forward slightly, and then putting them on opportunity. Now he'd be able to interrupt my movement with a charge declaration. If I was going to tie him up, I'd have to tempt him out with some bait.
On the right, my infantry slowly chugged its way forward, while my sneaky flank attack began sneaking its way up the table.
Nick responded by shifting his lighter infantry around to "cork" his flank.
In a bid to tempt out Nick's cavalry, I pushed my light greek horse forward. I figured this would be a sacrifice play, but if I could get him off opportunity, and a little strung out, I had a decent shot to take out his flank, and then roll up the line of archers. On the right, I kept the phalanx train chugging forward, screening with the skirmishers as I went.
Sadly, the sacrifice play worked out a little more sacrificially than I intended. His VBU 7 knights rolled right over my poor lights without a scratch, and lined up against my VBU 6 agema, the only horse I had that remotely matched them.
I I figured I'd do better to charge than let him pick his own target. A decent hit, and I might even open up a lane for my elephants. I sent in the agema, Nick counter-charged . . .
. . . and then, with nine dice, I rolled zero hits. Zeeeeee-ro.
Nick smashed through my agema, and then pursued into my greek medium cavalry.
They didn't last long against his knight, who ended up wiping out the greeks too, at the cost of, if I remember, 2 VBU. All that was holding my left flank together were the elephants. Nick then proceeded to clear the skirmishers screening them with some close-range bow fire, put some VBU damage on the now-exposed elephants with some more archers, and send in another unit of knights to finish my poor Nellies off.
On a happier note, my persian horse and peltasts had managed to loop around, and were busily causing trouble on Nick's flank. Not quite on the same scale mind, but it was at least a morale boost ;)
On top of that, I finally managed to chug the large pike phalanx into Nick's line, unscathed at that. They made predictably short work of the archers in front of them, and had their eyes set on his camp.
It was now a bit of a race. If I could take out the last blocking archer unit, sack his camp, and maybe chew up his flank a little more, we might have a game.
Or, alternatively, Nick could make 2-3 command checks, charge a third of the way across the table, and slam into the rear of my Lykian phalanx ;)
The Lykians lost the fight, were forced to recoil, couldn't because of the knights behind, routed, and lost me the game.
Ah, well. As I think I said in the game, any time my phalanx actually makes it to combat, I have fun ;) In retrospect, I probably would have done better to reverse my deployment, and put the phalanx opposite Nick's cavalry. I would have had to be cautious about my flanks, but they would have been a better match for his cavalry. Lesson learned.
Nick is apparently working on some kind of successor-era list, and I will eventually get back to my Ayyubid project, so I wouldn't be shocked at some kind of more era-appropriate match-up down the road. In the mean time, I'll happily play Impetus at any excuse, so I expect there will be a rematch.