Yeah, that sounds about right. Anyway...
This past Saturday, the Hamilton Road Games Group played Warlord Games Hail Caesar! rule for "ancient" period wargames. We've played this game's sibling games, Black Powder and Pike & Shotte, and I've played (and still enjoy) GW's Warmaster, a game I feel is the "master matrix" for the others. They're all from the gaming mind of Rick Priestly, and I for one commend him for them. The games vary widely but have similar mechanics of play and so are familiar in style. We'd been wanting to play Hail Caesar! for a while, but had to wait until Ralph got his schedule cleared to play on a Saturday. He and Andy provided all the troops - Romans everywhere! This allowed similar armies to face each other without having to allow for the variations that would come from pike-armed units, horse archers, or wild barbarian armies. We saw legionaries, auxilia armed with spears or with bows, skirmishers with bows or slings, auxilia cavalry, Numidian cavalry, and Germanic horsemen, as well as period artillery, dromidarii, and elephants. The table was huge and it accommodated 10 players. IT WAS GLORIOUS!
|Looking North with Steven, Martin, your humble blogger, and Ralph ("Ralphus Magnus")|
|Looking South as Andreus Germanicus Photographus does his stuff.|
|Some Romans on the one side. Since it was a Roman Civil War scenario (oh, there were so few of those!), I can't say which side was evil... or good.|
|"Just call me 'Stampy'! "An elephant from Andy's collection.|
|My wing commander, Dingelus Gleutius Maximus. He's from my collection.|
|A unit of Andy's auxilia - Old Glory, I think.|
|A Corhortes Auxilia from my collection - Gripping Beast Miniatures|
|My other cohort of auxilia - Black Tree Design|
|Ralph's mobile artillery - the Sturmgeschutz of its day.|
Bear faced the Roman cavalry, the Germans, and an elephant, but could only hold them for a while. His Roman cavalry countercharged Steven's but got the short end of the stick and broke. I faced Steven and Dave's legionaries with my auxilia and the legionaries use of the pilum made a big difference.
|Martin's legionary cohorts with auxilia archers in the lead.|
|Steven's cavalry with Stampy the Elephant.|
|Bear's Romans and Numidians|
|Kevin's cavalry and elephant face down Duane's horsemen at the other end of the table.|
|Slingers and a light bolt-thrower, which Martin faced.|
|These legionaries mousetrapped me and messed up my auxilia cohortes.|
|The legion's infantry hammers my auxilia.|
|Martin details Cohort I of the army to assist me.|
|Steven's skirmishing bowmen snipe at my auxilia.|
|Martin's cohorts take on Dave's legionaries.|
|Meanwhile, Dave and Andy's troops close the door on another of Martin's infantry units.|
Hail Caesar! has some subtle differences when compared to the other Warlord games. Units can take more punishment, but break tests come up more often and often at uncomfortable times. (like whenever a 6 is thrown in missile fire.) The command-and-control system can be as frustrating as it is in the other games. I don't mind that too much. Truth to tell, we got a lot further along in this game using Hail Caesar! then we ever could with Warhammer Ancient Battles. I am sold on this game and I'm busily flocking my rebased Gauls... although I realise that I'm probably outnumbered by all these Romans. Still I look forward to fielding my Celts; they will be sooooo colourful!
|I've got Romans to rebase as well, but they don't have the anti-Dacian Falx arm pieces these guys do.|
|A mixed bag of archers - all auxilia, but some Western and some Eastern.|
|The far-left of our line - which I knew very little about. Mark and Chase were duking it out.|
|Kevin's cavalry and Elephant. Somehow I don't think he did all that well... through no fault of his own.|
Next week, a bout of Muskets & Tomahawks, a French & Indian War game, is scheduled.