Impetus is a set of wargaming rules that allows you to play battles from the Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance periods. It is produced by the same team that. Impetus can be played with 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm (1/72) and 25/28mm scale miniatures, and you won’t even need to re-base your armies. Impetus – Our popular system for ancients and medieval wargames goes digital! tournament rules that are collected in pdf called Advanced Impetus available.

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Impetus Basic Ancient wargames rules: a review | East Balmain Fencibles and Pensioners

The main thing wrong with wargames rules is that there are too many of them. The evolved 6th edition of their rules was a little mathematical, but its universal acceptance meant that club competitions and campaigns were easy to organize.

Then along came 7 th which operated with different play sequences and more importantly required rebasing. A lot of Ancients players put their armies in boxes and left them there. Until that is, Impetus appeared a decade ago. Designed by Lorenzo Sartori, Impetus offered fluid play and unpredictable challenges created by Initiative and Reaction tests and mostly excellent army lists. Like all rule sets, Impetus was subject to a series of amendments and extensions Advanced Impetus which limited its universality.

But it had its faults. The terrain selection became particularly random.

A player could allocate exploration points and win the right to deploy terrain but find he was strictly limited in what he could lay down. Cavalry armies had no particular advantage in scouting or deployment which would have been news to the Mongols.

This year the inventive Mr Sartori, introduced Basic Impetus. The rules use Impetus existing bases but movement can be modified to use any basing system. This is a plus.


Basic repeats the advanced idea of Attackers and Defenders. But under the new rules, cavalry armies are usually attackers. The defender then gets to dice for terrain features. This seems to be an improvement but one might think armies with better scouting cavalry should have the choice of terrain. Deployment does favour the attackers.

Defenders must progressively deploy first. This approach is similar to the original Impetus procedure which has been largely dropped in favour of deployment behind screens.


Players then roll for Initiative. Under Advanced Impetus, this roll could be heavily modified by the Generals purchased from Charismatic to Poor. This choice is not available in Basic. Units retain a Zone of Controla rectangular area directly in front of the unit.

This means Light Cavalry, which in reality face in all directions, cannot fire warvame retreat from units attacking their flank. Evasion meanwhile has been made more complicated, with a series of modifiers related to the relative speed of the attacker.

Only Light Cavalry and skirmishers are allowed to evade. Medium cavalry can no longer run away. Movement is much more restricted than in the Advanced rules, although charge bonuses can extend reach.

This can be expected to slow the game down. However, the impftus bow, the weapon with which horse armies swept through Asia and most of Europe, has been significantly down graded.

They are only mildly effective, even at point blank ranges. In fact under these rules composite bows are less effective than slings.

Once again this would be a shock for the Rulse, whose arrows could penetrate plate armour Troops that pass a test can engage in defensive fire. In melees, large units of pikemen are even more effective against cavalry, receiving a big bonus on the dice roll. Frontal cavalry charges would be suicidal under these rules. Large cavalry units lose their large unit bonus. The Basic Rules provide army lists, which will be invaluable to new players.


However, as one might expect from fast play rules, the lists are restricted if not rather prescriptive. There are two other options which include even more infantry. At most, one can have two admittedly almost useless Light Cavalry. Ompetus never take Varangians and rarely use Tagmatic cavalry. These exceptional units were often present in major battles but represented a very small minority. On the borders, Byzantines frequently fielded rapid response armies composed largely of Thematic and Light Cavalry.

This Impetuw list is just a tad stodgy. These rules may be faster to play. However, they tend to favour defensive, infantry armies. Light cavalry armies in particular have been disadvantaged. The new rules are consolidated and will therefore be more accessible to new players. But they lack rulex subtlety and surprises of the advanced rules. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

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