Saturday, January 14, 2017

Game 2: Hail Ceasar

Yesterday Kent and I finally got a game in. He's had a couple of games of Hail Caesar with Tony, Dave and Stephen from the club and I'd been meaning to try the rules for a couple of years so we arranged a gameof Hail ceasar. As he has a Carthaginian army I cobbled togeher a force of Numidians to face them.

Memo to self, READ the rules before you play! I read, them, about a year ago, so the game was rather slow as we were flicking backwards and forwards through the rulebook and I found the chatty style rather annoying when trying to find the actual rules and get things right- the organisation didn't feel intuitive. Still my own fault for not reading them and need to give them another chance but wasn't overly impressed by the organisation of the rulebook.

Anyway Kent was going to play his beautiful Carthaginian army so I threw together a force of Numidians to face them. What can I say, I am drawn to flaky, light horse armies!

Anyway down to the battle.

I ran 3 divisions:
1x med infantry
4x light infantry warband
3x skirmishers
1x elephant

4x elite light cav

1x Spanish guard cav
3x elite light cav

Kent has the typical united nations of Carthage in two divisions and had something like:
2x Libyan heavy infantry
2x Gallic Medium infantry warband (large)
1x Spanish scutarri
3x skirmishers
2x light horse
2x Med Cav
1x elephant
(I'm sure there was other stuff too)

The Carthaginian battleline

My "Numidians" were a united nations as I put together what figures I could to make an army similar size to Kent's. I can see a few Celts press ganged into the Numidian army.

 The Numidian light horse and general's guard on the left flank.

Kent's fancy pants cavalry cover his right flank.

Turn 1 my light horse are charged on my right flank by his cavalry. I'm sure I should be able to retreat/evade but can't find the rules. How does feigned flight work? Couldn't find the evade rules so ended up having to take the charge- not pretty. Eventually I found the rules I was looking for a couple of turns later and my light horse started acting more like light horse by evading charges and not acting as medium cav- or the survivors did but by then the damage had been done.

In the centre Kent screen his two large warband with his Libyan spearmen and marched forward to crush all before him.

Steady men...steady. Splat. The Carthaginains charge home.
 Nellie vs Nellie

 Ah, so that is how you evade. My light horse (now knowing the rules) evade the Carthaginian medium cavalry while my Spanish Guard cavalry go rolling up his flank.

Where has my centre gone? Lesson learned it is better to charge than be charged!

Still the general is oblivious to the fate of his centre (and right wing for that matter) and busy slaughtering Spanish peasants. He has managed to avoid the messenger telling him his army has collapsed- if in doubt deny!

The few surviving Numidians beat a hasty retreat. If you look closely you may see my General';s Spanish cavalry crashing into the back of the Libyan spearmen at the top of the picture, just too little too late to save the day. Oh well.

A rather crushing victory to the Carthaginian's, in part due to me not being able to find the evade rules to keep my light horse alive (amongst other things) but we did ge the hang of the rules by the end of it. The rules didn't really grab me and was wasn't overly impressed by their organisation and trying to find info but only first attempt. The guys at the club enjoy them so won't totally write them off yet and need a few more games to get the hang of them before giving them a final verdict.

It is always interesting to see what you think a force should be vs how it performs on the table top. As a result of this thrashing I've gone back to the drawing board, adding more infantry and also will make some of the warband "large" to hopefully make them more effective- am now looking into manufacturers- I have found 4x packet sof Foundry Numidian infantry to start the process and may add some of the Victrix plastics to round them out,; I'm not usually a fan of plastics but Victrix plastics do look nice.

These two games have inspired me and I'm now busy rebasing and completing my Numidian forces. The guys are using 2x 8cm width bases to make up a unit (so each standard unit has a 16cm frontage). It does look good but I personally prefer the 12cm wide Impetus style basing so will go with that. It won't matter for light horse (they count as small units) but will make up some Sabots to make my bases 16cm wide if required. It means slightly fewer figures per unit for me but also will make more basing more flexible.

Some of my rebasing will be in my next post.



  1. Cool batrep!

    I've read HC rules many times and still have trouble looking things up. And if you think that's bad, try keeping the differences between HC and Pike and Shotte straight in your head. My final verdict is that Warlord Games really dropped the ball here and in the 6 years since their release have done absolutely nothing to make them better. A "gentleman's game" and a clearly organized, succinct set of rules of engagement are not mutually exclusive.

  2. Cheers Dwarfy. Was a bit of a learning experience! Want to like HC, the guys at the club play it so need to learn it, but my gut instinct is that I prefer Impetus- though not tried 2nd Ed. Am tempted to adapt Dragon Rampart or Dux Bellorum- DB grabs me as a game, so far HC hasn't. Or else try one of the myriad of rulesets out there now such as Swordpoint.

  3. Sword and Spear might be worth a look as well.

  4. Might look into that one, cheers Dwarfy McGee