I had intended to use Basic Impetus, and even revised the army lists to do this, but we ended up using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames instead. Both armies had six units and we used first Pitched Battle scenario. And we played on a 2’x2′ table as per using my big bases with One Hour Wargames.
The summary is: Grindy rules that are very predictable. Might be accurate but not much fun. Chris won.
We played “Pitched Battle,” the first scenario from the book. Two equal sized armies (6 units) face each other on opposing hills. The Victor is the player that kills more enemy units within the time limit.
We rolled randomly for the army compositions:
- Romans: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Warband, 1 x Skirmisher
- Visigoths: 4 x Infantry, 1 x Warband, 1 x Cavalry
Chris deployed first.
The strong point of Chris’s line was the hill.
I deployed second trying to line up my cavalry against Chris’s skirmishers.
Chris’s strategy was to sit tight and benefit from being up hill in any combat. I followed suit for two turns but changed my mind because it was rapidly turning into a very dull draw. Better to lose gloriously than be bored. So on turn 3 I advanced off my hill into the open.
The crunch came pretty quickly, when I charged up Chris’s hill. That was about as exciting as the game got. After that it was dice rolling grind. You see, in these rules, there is no instant kill, there is no recoil and follow up, there is no break off. You stay in contact until one side or the other is dead.
It took four turns of grind for me to kill the Roman skirmishers with my cavalry. Huzzah!
So I turned my cavalry to line up with Chris’s flank. All I needed was for my infantry line to hold a little bit longer.
Unfortunately, they didn’t. Chris punched a hole in my shield wall.
And with the shields down the Romans started hacking at my internal flanks.
It didn’t take very long before Chris had slaughtered all my infantry. That left my cavalry to face three Roman infantry units.
I decided not to go for death or glory, but instead chose a moment to kill one of the enemy infantry units in the last turn of the game. With the game clock ringing Chris took the victory; he had two units left standing to my one.
Chris picked a sensible strategy by sitting on the hill. I accepted the challenge to avoid a stalemate, but knew the odds were against me.
The One Hour Wargames rules were okay. Two big stodgy armies grinding away at each other. Yup. That feels kind of Dark Age. So, the rules score alright there. Where they fail is on, well, excitement. Dice rolling grind. Might you, what can you expect from a set of rules that only stretches to 3 pages.
It was quick. Probably within the promised 1 hour time limit.