Impetus Battle Report – Parthian Ambush

After Shapur’s field army had been crushed and routed, the scorned Parthian general was eager for revenge. He quickly amassed a new force from his southern holdings and marched towards the Roman encampment. While en route, Shapur’s scouts returned with exciting news – the force of Jasius Maximus was on the march, parallel to the Parthian position opposite a forested area. Shapur decided to form up and attempt an ambush while the Roman force was strung out and out of formation.

As the Parthians came nearer, the Romans responded by deploying in a line and preparing to close the gaps in the forest. Battle was ready.

The Battle:

Roman sergeants experienced some confusion as they tried to occupy their positions in the battle line.


The Parthian horse archers preceeded the heavy cavalry and waited for an opportunity to pick-off stragglers.


The advance units of light foot, light cavalry, and skirmishers exchanged fire on the borders of the forest.


A unit of Numidian cavalry dealt a harsh blow on the lead unit of light horse. It turned out to be a dumb and impetuous move, as it left them open to a rain of Parthian arrows. The Numidians were quickly dispatched.


More Numidians attack Shapur’s left flank with similar effect. Obviously, the Roman general’s orders to the mercenary captains were not dispatched clearly.


Shapur and his elite horsemen stand back watching the disorder spreading through the Roman line, waiting for the right moment to strike.


After most of the Roman light units had been dispatched, Shapur ordered the cataphract line ahead at full gallop.


Although the Roman command saw the advancing cataphracts, their units were fully engaged by horse archers and unable to effectively react.


All wasn’t a loss for the Romans. On the right flank, a Equites Alares with skirmisher support started to rout some of the light horse.


The infantry on the Roman’s left flank were having difficulty manouvering through the trees. As they considering pulling back and redeploying, they were attacked by Parthian bowmen who stayed hidden in the trees.


Meanwhile, back on the Roman right flank, the cavalry and javelinmen were having success dealing with the waves of light horse.


And back on the left flank, the Romans overcame the obstacles, came through the rough terrain, and reformed their lines. In addition, the remnants of the Parthian light horse were finally crippled and the entire command was routed from the field.


Sadly, by the time the Roman units had successfully dealt with the Parthian lights, they were disordered, under-strength, and strung out. Shapur took advantage of the disorder and charged the center of the line with his heavy horse.


The Roman legions put up a fight, but with most of their support troops out of position or driven from the field, they eventually gave ground and retired in defeat.

Aftermath:

This time, Stu tried a different approach when adjusting the terrain. As the defender, he has the right to move or remove two pieces. Instead of trying to open a gap, he blocked the center and forced me to redeploy by army. It was quite an enjoyable game, but I made the mistake of committing my light troops too early, leaving them to be easily crushed by the Parthian bows. Impetus is just one of those games – no matter how much you play, there’s always lots to learn.

Ken and I had a game as well. He commanded the Romans and I tried the Parthians. As I was using an army that I didn’t fully understand, I didn’t bother taking photos. I lost against Ken as well, mostly because I over-extended myself, letting Ken swarm my units with his infantry. It was very enlightening, however, to try someone else’s army. When facing the Parthians, all I see are their strengths. When commanding them, all I see are their weaknesses. I should play my enemies armies more often 🙂

Can’t wait for the next game.

Thanks for reading,
JET

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