Extra Impetus 3 features a lovely little mini-campaign called 'The Pretender'. One of my regular gaming mates, Nigel, and I recently played it to
see what tweaks we could make to include four active players in the strategic/map phase, and perhaps up to six players, our entire gaming
group, in the on-table battles.
As the campaign ended with King Henry being captured after three Yorkist victories we decided to continue from that point with King Edward IV
firmly on the throne, and the Lancastrians on the continent planning an invasion.
I wanted to expand the campaign but to keep it as simple and close to the original as possible but adding house rules which suits our gaming
One of the first things I changed was the map. I added the towns of Carlisle, Berwick, Newcastle and Durham, along with roads and minor
settlements, in the north to allow the Scots to intervene at some stage if so desired. I also added Calais to the continent and possibly will add
Guines at a later stage too, if we deem it worthwhile.
The map is divided into movement areas shown by ‘circles' that represent simple crossroads, villages or places of strategic importance, and
towns (those with a name) or ports (blue squares). Each area can support a MAXIMUM of 500 army points. The limit on the number of army
points an area can support is to ensure that any tabletop encounters are of a size that can be fought to a finish in a typical evening's gaming. I
could foresee a situation arising where both sides rush to recruit then concentrate, resulting in a huge battle of 600 pts or more per side which
we don't finish in an evening, which therefore results in a broken campaign.
The original version of the campaign in EI3 has the Royalists (Yorkists in our case) with 300 army points in London, and the Rebels
(Lancastrians) invading with 200 army points at a landing site, diced for randomly. In addition the King has to detach a force 60-90 army points
under a Lord Smith (rated as Cowardly) , to an area four areas away from London, and two away from a potential landing area.
In our extended version King Edward IV (My good self) is in London with 300 army points, plus the so-called King Henry as his 'guest'. Lord
Grey (me again), infamous for his desertion to the Yorkists at the battle of Northampton is rated as Cowardly, and is to be detached with 60-90
To make the campaign fit for purpose for more player roles we added a powerful Royalist (Yorkist) Magnate, the Earl of Warwick (Max), with 200
army points to be deployed at least five areas from London, and two from a potential landing area.
The Lancastrians under the Duke of Buckingham (Clive), accompanied by Margaret of Anjou, are set to invade with 300 army points. The actual
invasion is determined by a roll of the dice with Buckingham adding or subtracting a modifier of one to allow some degree of choice. The
potential landing areas are shown on the map above as a red circled number.
In addition there is to be a Lancastrian rebellion, under the Duke of Somerset (Paul T.). This will take place in a location determined by a roll of
3D6 with a modifier of +/- 1, allowing for some choice. The map above shows the potential locations for this rebellion in yellow numbers. If the
location is one already occupied by the enemy then the dice are re-rolled.
Scottish Ally Support (Lancastrians only)
Furthermore the Lancastrian C-in-C can solicit Scottish support from the King of the Scots. A Lancastrian army, which reaches Berwick-Upon-
Tweed, and successfully recruits, may include a Scottish Ally General’s participation with that army, for the remainder of the campaign. If a 1 is
scored then the Scots fail to materialise and Berwick declares for the opposition.
The Scottish force if used MUST fit the list requirements in Extra Impetus 3, and include a General and a minimum of two units of FP Pikemen. In
addition, Welsh and Irish may not be used with Scots. No extra army points are added to the army, it is just that there is more choice available.
An army which has the option of Scottish support, and tries to recruit in an area may find that more towns close their gates. If a score of 1 or 2 is
rolled on a dice then do not count the number on the other dice and you must abandon the town next turn. This means that the town has
chosen the other side, and you are no longer welcome there. From that point onwards the army can only cross through the area without
WHO HAS INITIATIVE?
With four active players in the strategic/map phase I decided that the best way to resolve who has the initiative, and so moves first, was to
implement the same system that Impetus rules uses for determining initiative. Players therefore roll for initiative as shown in the rules 4.1.1 (see
Impetus page 21). The two C-in-C’s decide which of their Commanders they want to activate. These each roll 2D6, adding the Commander’s
Leadership Bonus, with the winner deciding if he wants his turn, or to force the enemy player to take theirs. If it is a draw, then roll again until
there is a clear winner.
If one army attempts to retreat off table before the enemy comes into bowshot (30U) then that army Commander is reduced one level for the
remainder of the campaign. In addition, his army loses 10% army points x D6 in desertion.
We decided to amend the Impetus battle rules by allowing for treachery to take place mid-battle. This feels right for the period and would add
'friction' and fun, which our gaming group thrives upon.
Therefore when a player rolls EITHER a double six, OR a double one for a commander’s initiative, other than the C-in-C, in a turn AFTER a turn in
which the commander’s rating has either been raised or reduced (having already throw a double six or one), then the commander immediately
switches allegiance to the opposition. In a two player game the opposing player then gets to control the command with immediate effect.
This can be VERY nasty but feels in keeping with the whole period feel thing.
In the original version of the campaign, all units that leave the battle voluntarily or fleeing are considered to be lost for that battle but are NOT lost
for the whole campaign. The troops that are ‘saved’ this way meet up two areas away, creating the core of a new army if they have at least 30
Army Points used in that battle (counting the original troop costs). I decided to replace the mandatory 30 army points with 20% of the army
points used in that battle instead. Hence a 300 point army would need to 'save' 60 points whereas a 500 point army would need 100 points to
exit the table before a general rout ensued, to be able to continue as an effective force. In addition we've decided that an army defeated in battle
loses half the difference in army points between its remaining points, and that of the victors remaining representing pursuit of, and desertion
from the losers.
Starting the Campaign
The player's attended a campaign meeting at Wally HQ to make the initial strategic moves on the map and prepare for the first battle.
First players had to reveal their personal commander's level of ability. This is for the entire campaign and used to determine the initiative for map
moves and tactical battles using Impetus rules.
King Edward IV (Kev) - Charismatic
Lord Grey (Kev) - Cowardly
Earl of Warwick (Max) - Expert
Duke of Buckingham (Clive) - Fair
Duke of Somerset (Paul T) - Expert
With the true King, Edward IV in LONDON was a force of 300 points. Lord Grey was dispatched from the main Royal army with only 60 pts to
guard the West Midlands. The Earl of Warwick's army of 200 pts deployed north west of Lincoln.
Next, we diced for where the Lancastrian uprising was to happen. Paul T rolled 3D6 and scored 12, furthermore choosing to add his +1 modifier
to his score meaning his army of 200 points was deployed at NORTHAMPTON.
Clive then rolled a D6 for where the invasion was to land, scoring a 2 modified to a 3 with his +1. Margaret and Buckingham set foot in
PORTSMOUTH with an army of 300 pts.
The scene is set for an epic encounter.....
|'The Pretender' (Extended)
Wars of the Roses Campaign
Warwick 200 pts
Grey 60 pts