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Friday, 31 August 2012

Impetus Tournament in Rosyth

Last Sunday saw the 2nd round of the Scottish Impetus Championship for 2012, held at Civil Service Club in Rosyth hosted by Dunfermline Wargames Club.  The scale was 25/28mm (my army was 25mm everyone else’s was 28mm!)

My participation was very much last minute having been on holiday in Paris the week before.  Not being totally sure of my holiday plans I had put myself down as a reserve, so when the opportunity came to play I had to sort something out pretty quickly.

This was my fourth Impetus Tournament and I had used three different armies in the previous rounds.  I toyed with the idea of using Parthians again as the list was done and the army still sorted but in the end I decided to keep up the record and went for an El Cid Spanish army.  The core of the force was four units of Christian knights supported by skirmishing cavalry.  The foot were pretty weak with some spearmen, crossbows and skirmishers.

My first opponent was Richard from the Dunfermline club using Maximilian Imperial from the early 1500’s which was actually the nearest opposition available in terms of date.  This included two formidable Pike blocks, two large units of German knights, some skirmishing foot and an artillery piece.  The terrain board that we were randomly allocated was totally flat and bare.  My plan was to take out the supporting units and then attempt to flank the pike blocks, whilst keeping out of their way.  I managed to do some damage before we ran out of time and took no losses myself so it ended up a winning draw to me scoring 40 points to 20.

The first round had been based as near as possible historical match ups but in  subsequent two rounds pairings were done under the Swiss system with the two highest scorers from round one facing off and so on down to the two with the lowest score.  I was put up against a regular opponent of mine from the Falkirk club, David Burns, with his New Kingdom Egyptians.  This is a powerful defensive army which I had played in the previous tournament. On that occasion I had tried all out attack with my Parthians, got shot to pieces, had my flanks rolled up and ended up losing by 127 points to 3!  I determined not to make the same mistake twice.

I had some time to consider what I was going to do over a very nice lunch.  Hats off to the boys from the Dunfermline club, they were very gracious hosts.  Suitably refreshed we deployed and David had the first move.  He had put his archers on opportunity in the centre and decided not to move, inviting a repetition of our earlier game.  I replied that I would not move either!  Things could have got rather silly but next turn we both decided to show some attacking intent.  There were woods spaced across the table and I sent my three units of light cavalry to take on two chariot units on my right flank.  I held my knight back on opportunity as Egyptians advanced and there was a long range exchange of fire to no great effect.

I threw out two units of skirmishers in a wood on the left but their fancy manoeuvring was to no avail they ended up exposed and dispersed.  I finally unleashed two units of knights on the left in an attempt to break through and cause some damage and although my rolls were a bit better than David’s, which were awful, there was no decisive result.  I did manage to take out a chariot on the far right whist keeping my light cavalry intact but the game petered out into a tame draw at 29 points each.  Not great but a lot better than 127 to 3.

There was one feature of the game that provided much merriment.  I had set up with two units of knight in the centre facing to the right with the side of their bases against the table edge.  I decided to turn them and take them to the left, which required each unit to pass a discipline test.  The one on the right passed first time so turned and faced its compatriots.  The other unit failed and failed and failed – it never did turn around so the two units were stuck facing each other all game.  Thank goodness the Egyptians never got close enough to attack them.

My final game was against Mike, again from the Dunfermline club, who was using a Viking army.  This consisted of six or seven units of formidable infantry in large nits.  They were mounted which enabled them to move at cavalry speed for their first turn and they would then be able to form up in shieldwall which would make them a tough nut to crack.  My tactics this time were simple and the exact opposite of the previous games.  I knew that my best chance was to hit them as hard and as fast as I could with my knights before shieldwall could be formed.  I also put my camp in an exposed position hoping to draw off a unit or two.

It doesn’t happen very often but for once things went very much to plan.  My light cavalry chased off his skirmishers early on.  I ended up with a unit of knights overlapping which was able to turn and start the process of rolling the line up.  Mike wasn’t prepared to do the same to me as he would have been exposing the flanks of his units to my supporting infantry.  He had some limited success in the centre but I was fairly quickly able to claim a 117 to 13 victory.

The competition was won by Dax Robertson using Lombards, not surprising as he has near perfect record in Impetus competitions.  Frazer Watson came second using a Chinese army and I was third, much to my surprise.

Thanks to Ross for organising the tournament and our hosts for being so hospitable. Impetus is a good system for a one day tournament as it is quite easy to get three games in.  I am looking forward to the next round in October which will be the Scottish open.  We attracted 16 players last year so I am hoping it will prove just as popular this year.

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