Hex based Impetus

Inspired by Jon's experiment with using a hex-based movement system for Impetus solo play, I decided to try out a game using my Baccus War of the Roses Figs (and a few Fantasy figs standing in as additional proxies) standing in for my planned Landsknecht forces.

The selected forces were  a balanced force from the Impetus Francois I and Charles V Imperials list (p. 50)  roughly 340 pts each.

Imperial Army
Army of Charles V including 1 Landsknecht Square and 1 Spanish Square
1 CP (Burgundian)
1 CP (Italian)
1 CL (Jinetes)
1 CL (Harquebusiers)
1Landsknecht Square
  3 FP Landsknecht Pike
  1 S Doppelsoldner
  1 S Harquebusiers
1 Spanish Colunela (Veteran)
  3 FP Spanish Pike
  2 T Harquebusiers
  1 S Harquebusiers
  1  S Sword and Buckler

For the French Force
Opposing force of Frenchmen with Landsknecht and Swiss Pike
2 CP (Gendarmes)
1 CL (Harquebusiers)
2 T Harquebusiers
1 Landsknecht Square
  3 FP Landsknecht Pike
  1 S Doppelsoldner
  1 S Harquebusiers
1 Swiss Square (Veteran)
  3 FP Swiss Pike
  1 S Harquebusiers
  1  S Halberds

I arrayed the two armys on a hex board with the F/B grain (90 difference from Command and Colors)  I placed the Infantry in the center with Artillery on one flank and cavalry on the other.
Opposing armies advance.  French Mounted Arquebus annihilate the Spanish Jinetes
 I opted to use the standard Impetus rules as I am still trying to get a handle on them versus the basic rules.  For movement and firing I made the following adjustments:


  • Each hex represents 4U 
  • A turn counts as a move, so a change in facing and then advancing results in disorder
  • No bonus movement for Infantry, cavalry get 1 additional hex on a 3+ (CL) and 4+ (CP)
  • Following combat each unit rolls d6, if defender rolls higher they move back 1 hex/attacker does not follow up.  (double roll result for cavalry units)


  • Each hex represents 5U (1 hex PB, 2-3 Short, 4-6 Long)

A clash of Gendarmes including the Imperial Commander

French Cavalry is pushed back and overtaken by the victorious Imperials

Halberdiers and Doppelsoldners clash as the Squares close.

Mauled French cavalry manage to break contact. 

Only to be overtaken by the Fresh Imperial Reserve

Spanish Turcio vs Swiss Pike

French Gendarmes nearly destroy the weakned Imperial Cavalry, but all units are essentially spent.

French Landsknecht driven off by the Imperial Square.  

The endgame.  With the French cavalry spent and Infantry scattered, they yield the ground to the Imperials.  


I found the rules quick and workable.

  • The class A units were really able to dominate using the standard rules.  
  • The Artillery units played very little part without raised positions. I had the French guns focus on the advancing Infantry, while the Imperial guns focused on counter-battery.  The results were inconclusive  as the Imperial Guns silenced the French guns just in time to be blocked by Advancing Imperial Handgunners.
  • One issue was the use of Point Blank range.  The Mounted Harquebusiers (CL)  have a VBU of 3 so when moving into an adjacent hex were throwing up to 7 dice.  I am thinking of eliminating Point Blank range for these modified hex rules.  
  • The Doppelsoldners served their role well.  In one case the two units clashed in the center, with one successfully protecting his pike block before the main units closed for battle.   The Swiss Halberdiers, however were swept aside which allowed the Sword and Bucklermen to sweep in and damage/disorder the Swiss Square before it closed with the Spanish square.  The result was enough to tip the balance and allow the Spaniard to win.    
I am in agreement with Jon that these rules work well for an enjoyable solo game, the lack of fiddling with U's for movement and range also sped up the game significantly.  I really like the simplicity of the Impetus combat mechanic overall, though I am sure I made errors with the standard system.  


  1. Looks great! Where did you get that fantastic hex mat?

    I like your rules' adjustments. I need to recheck my notes to see what modifications I made. Yours look reasonable and familiar.

  2. Nice gaming - that mat does look cool. I like the concept of not needing to use rulers/measuring sticks. Best, Dean

  3. The board came from the Battles of Westeros board game. It is reversible, so you can use either a length or width grain configuration.

  4. There is a lot to be said for gridded games for simplifying movement, tranges, facing, filed of fire etc. Your adaptation of Impetus sounds very promising!


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