Impetus Battle Report – Romans vs. Parthians

Two things. First thing. Stu and I finally had our fourth game of Impetus after a month’s hiatus and I won. Second thing. Stu won the first three games, but I never took photos, as our units weren’t all completely painted and based. Don’t the winners write the history books?

We played 400 pts per side, with each army divided into three commands. I tried something different this time, with a faster, more mobile centre to my army, and the legions, archers and light cavalry filling out the two flanks.

The Parthian force deployed in three lines. The battlefield was flanked by terrain, and to compensate, Stu attempted to attack in waves.

The start of the battle from the Partian lines.

The start of the battle; firmament-view

After the armies get mobilized, the Parthian force starts out with disorder in the ranks. A sign of things to come perhaps…

note: the red circles were used to mark disorder, while the green circles were used to mark units on Opportunity.

Battle joins near the lake. Numidian cavalry trade fire with the horse archers.

You can see here that Stu used one command (composed entirely of light horse) to move ahead of the main Parthian army and start harrassing the Roman infantry.

Action heats up on the centre of the field. The photo shows (wise or foolish) my faster centre leaving the slower flanks behind.

A view from the Partian side of things. Notice the group of three cataphracts ready to charge the Roman line. Stu rolled abysmally for charge distances. Two of the cataphract units were left standing in front of the Roman army disordered. The unit that made it rolled nine dice and scored zero hits; yes that’s right, none. The Auxilia unit won the combat and drove the heavy horse back.

Right before the fateful charge…

…and then distaster struck. The finest of Parthian’s nobility struggled to reform the lines.

The Roman general took advantage of the momentary confusion in the Parthian lines.

After all was said and done, the command lost over half of its VD and routed at the end of the turn.

A shot near the end of the battle from above…

…and from the flank… When the horse archers facing the Roman line were destroyed, the entire army routed, and the Romans were victorious.


The terrain was set up to favour an advancing-line army like mine, and it showed in the outcome. Most of the other battles we’ve fought were far more open, and gave Stu lots of flanking and sniping opportunities. From now on, we’ve decided to use the terrain set-up rules in the book and let generalship and the gods decide the rest.

In any event, we both had a great time, and reminded ourselves once again what a fantastic game Impetus is. It’s sure worth all of the painting.

Thanks for reading,

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