Greetings dear Nerd Nationals,
I send to you this fine monday evening a short review, one after a thurough readthrough, but no actual game time, of Hail Caesar by Warlord games. Queue Book picture with strategically placed praetorian guardsmen
Those who have found an intense love for Games Workshops Warmaster gaming system (enter the WAY BACK MACHINE:P ) will find many things in common with said game. As they should, Hail Caesar is written by Rick priestly, the chap who wrote Warmaster.
He also wrote Warlords Black powder game, to which Hail Caesar has a strong resemblance. Both share an interestingly easy-to-grasp command system, and “division” army orginization structure (it should be noted Black Powder calls these “Brigades”.) Furthermore both are designed to play on a larger-than-standard board, and are not truly intended for competitive play.
Hail Caesar adds a close combat flavor however, with several different types of combat stats. This makes sense, as the majority of combat in the ancient world was done up close, man to man. There is a “clash” value for the first round, and then a “sustained value” if the combat continues.
Abstraction is evident, with casualties being represented with markers and causing morale effects. I particularly like this level of abstraction as it allows for unit basing and lessens the amount of wear and tear on my lovingly crafted miniatures. Whether the abstraction is a good or bad factor will depend on a few test games.
There are no army lists, as the rules are supposed to be used with scenarios and historical forces required by said scenarios. However, there is nothing stopping likeminded gamers from playing a game with several divisions of troops with little in the way of a scenario. In fact, this is what myself and others in the NerdWorldNation plan to do.
Currently the thought is to create imagi-nations. To this end I have ordered greeks, to begin setting up my own city state. At this time Skenticus has not decided what sort of city or culture he wants his imagined forces to be, and so will be using his post-Marian romans as a testbed army.
Unfortunatley, this is all I feel I can comment on without delving into the game and playing a few battles. The book itself is excellent, a hard-bound 190 or so page book with gorgeous color images of beautiful models, dioramas, and troops clashing in combat. Well worth the cost.
If you are interested in learning how to play Hail Caesar, the Wizards wall will be hosting a demo of the game on the 9th of November as part of thier 20th Anniversary celebration.
Till next time,