Thursday, 1 December 2011

Imperial Ambitions

I have three weeks over Christmas and plan to spend a lot of the time painted a 28mm Early Imperial Roman Army for the Impetus Tournament circuit next year - that is when I can escape family commitments. For inspiration I have just finished reading Anthony Everitt's biography of Augustus and I'm moving onto Frank McLynn's bio of Marcus Aurelius.

I decided on the army following a few games of Hail Caesar (HC). I didn't want to replicate the Marian Roman army I have in 15mm in another scale, and the rules for line relief in Republican Roman armies in Impetus put me off that option. Thankfully these rules have been improved in Extra Impetus 4 but I have already invested in Imperial Recruits.

You will have noticed that I plan to use the army in two different rule sets. While Impetus will remain my primary ancient ruleset I have enjoyed the alternative of HC and hope to find time for both. The problem this brings is basing. HC, and other rulesets, require some individual basing of figures where Impetus relies on unit bases. I have therefore went with basing units for HC and creating unit stands to place them on for Impetus.

The army composition is still to be finalised. I am split between taking more infantry or more cavalry. There is a requirement to have at least four units of Legionaries/Auxiliaries and I also want at least two units of medium cavalry and one light. The decision is between an additional two units of Legionaries/Auxiliaries or an additional two cavalry units.

In the long run I plan to paint up enough figures to deploy either army but I need to make a decision for preparing the army for the York tournament on 5th February. At present I think I will stick with the tradition of the Roman army at the time being an infantry army and go with the extra Legionaries/Auxiliaries.

For the Legionaries/Auxiliaries I am splitting the units 50:50 between heavy (FP) Legionaries and light (FL) Auxiliaries. This split gives the option of deploying in two battle lines and allowing as FP and FL can interpenetrate.

All of the figures are Warlord Games. I have found their plastics a lot easier to assemble than Wargames Factory but their metal miniatures tend to need a lot of tidying up. The models to look great with the main frustration being that the Legionnaires are clearly smaller than the Auxiliaries.

So far I have painted one unit of Legionaries and one of Auxiliaries. For the Legionaries I am basing six figures on a 6cm x 4cm base. Two bases together will form on Impetus unit and three a unit for HC. Having three bases for HC will allow the unit to change between column, line and wedge formations easily. The Auxiliaries are based individually with seven  being magnetised to a 12cm x 6cm base for Impetus. The single basing allows them to be deployed either formed or in various degrees of skirmish for HC.

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