Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hail Caesar!

I dropped in on Bruce last night to try out the new ruleset Hail Caesar from Warlord Games. I sent Bruce a vague orbat and he picked medieval figures. Each side had 12 units--horse on the flanks, infantry in the middle. His side had bow and pike while mine had medium foot, skirmishers and an artillery unit. I thought this would give is a chance to try out most of the basic rules.

The game started slowly with some failed command rolls, but we ended up with a swirling cavalry battle (my light versus his heavy) on the southern flank. I managed to break one of his units and then sent a light unit around to threaten the flank of his foot. This degenerated into a bit of a slog and eventually both southern divisions broke.

In the middle, it was a slow advance by my troops under his bow fire. On the northern, both sets of heavy horse slowly advanced and eventually hit. This was not particularly decisive but Bruce had the advantage here.

By the end of the game, it looked like Bruce would break my northern division but I managed (with some luck--I love games where Bruce has to roll dice!) to break his centre, in part because of the one pike unit I pulled out of position with my light-horse breakthrough early in the game.

We played with 15mm figures using centimeters on a 4x4' table so, scaled up to full size, it was about a 10x10 foot table. Including learning the rules and some fumbling around during the first half, we managed to bring the game to completion in 90 minutes. We didn't use any terrain this time out to keep things simple while we learned.

Based on one game, it felt like it had about the same level of decision-making as DBA but there was a fair bit more detail, four times the figure count and about 12 times the number of dice rolls. But the rules worked quite well: it felt like a medieval battle, there was a decisive (but close) outcome and there were some interesting events that developed.

Up next: Some superheroes are drying, some 15mm Greeks and underway and there is club next week. I also have some 28mm Normans that need attention.


Ray Rousell said...

Thanks for the report, I've been thinking of buying the rules and wondered how they workrd.

Bob Barnetson said...

Ray: Basically warmaster with the Black powder command system and a less fiddly combat and morale system. DBA palatable to the WAB crowd might be a flippant summary.

Chen-song said...

Bob, what kind of basing scheme does the game have?

Unknown said...

hmmmmmm, more and more tempted by these rules

Bob Barnetson said...

Chen: Here is an article on it.

PTR said...

It looks like you didn't use terrain at all. How complex are the terrain rules? This is usually what makes or breaks a ruleset for me.

Bob Barnetson said...

Yes, we did not use terrain as this was our first game. I will use terrain in the second game. I'll let you know then!