Friday, April 26, 2013

Hail Caesar After Action Report

    Eight students and a fellow teacher appeared at my classroom door after school today to play an ancients game with the Hail Caesar rules.  Four players took charge of five Roman battle groups while five others commanded six Gallic ones. The Romans were charged with protecting their camp while at the same time trying to take either a sacred grove of trees or the barbarian village.
   As is usually the case with novice players, the Romans set put immediately to attack the numerically superior Gauls. As can happen with these rules, their formations became rather loose as they drew closer to the enemy line with disastrous results.
   The Gauls, on their part, were a bit wiser. They let the well-drilled legionaries draw closer and then ganged up on isolated cohorts. The disparity in the amount of dice thrown was daunting to say the least.  A small unit of scorpions was overwhelmed over on the Roman left flank when a medium cavalry unit got three moves on its first turn. 
   It didn't all go the barbarians' way, however. On the very first command roll of the game an eleven was tossed, forcing a blunder. The result was that an untouched unit of Gallic cavalry left the table without doing a thing.
   We played for about two hours and got through four complete turns. I was pleased,with this as we were all very new to the rules. It was clear that the Romans had been severely defeated.  I'll post some pictures in the next day or two.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hail Caesar

I finished several new units for Hail Caesar and will be putting on a game for my wargaming club at school on Friday.  So, it was time to dust off the rules and try to get back up to speed with them.  I have more than enough troops for at least six "divisions" per side.  I will need to add a little more cavalry to the Roman side at some point and probably a few more warbands for the Celts, but that will be down the line.  Here are some shots from my practice game today.  It's taking me a little longer than I had anticipated to get the feel of the rules again, but I will press on.
These are the new Celtic warbands I have finished.  32 figures per band.

This is half of the Romans I painted up, four cohorts of legionaries and two of auxiliaries.

One of the middle Celt divisions with two fanatical warbands.  They got off to a very slow start for being fanatics!

On the Celt right, the cavalry moved right out, but then stalled in front of the Roman scorpions.  Not a good thing to do.

Here the second Celtic cavalry division is trying to come to grips with the Roman line.  A unit of light chariots has just been sent packing by the stalwart Romans.

Here are the results of auxiliaries trying to charge.  Both the foot and the horse were driven back.

Another Celtic division.  Typically, I give them three warbands and a group of light infantry.  In this case, it's spearmen.
I am going to go out on my deck on this lovely spring afternoon to read through the rules again, and then I will try to fight out the battle to a conclusion.  I think the kids will enjoy playing Hail Caesar.  It moves pretty quickly and is fairly unpredictable.