Sunday, July 30, 2023

Hail Caesar: First Game

We're still finishing our armies, but we had enough to try our first test game of Hail Caesar (we're still using 1st Ed.): Two divisions of Punic War Carthaginians vs three divisions of Early Imperial Romans, for a total of around 330 pts per side. Overall we enjoyed the rules, though we made a lot of mistakes around disorder, stamina, and break tests. I'm not sure how much our errors impacted the final results (Roman victory), but it will be interesting to retry this battle in the future. 

Th initial battle lines after the Carthaginians moved first. The hit and run tactics of the Numidian cavalry worked well, especially when attacking in the flank.

On the far end of the board, I made the mistake of letting my cavalry get in front of my infantry.  While they hit hard the first round, their sustained attack was weak and it really impacted the back and forth of the battle. I think the smarter move would have been for them to swing into the flank after the infantry made contact.

Though loosing the round of combat (I forgot about the Wild Fighter rerolls), the large Gallic Warband held up fairly well against the Romans.

Very quickly we learned that supporting units and flank attacks were critical to winning the encounters, particularly when light or medium infantry were going up against heavy infantry. 

I was originally concerned the variation in unit frontages (my army was based for Warhammer Ancients) was going to cause problems, but it ended up not being an issue. However, that may be to us taking the game casually; more competitive players might have had cause to raise a stink about how we lined things up.

I originally used my skirmishers as screens to protect my infantry formations as they moved up, but later found them more useful as flank attackers to weaken the Roman attacks on my heavy infantry.

The elephant wasn't as effective of a terror weapon as I had hoped for, at least how I deployed him.  I'll have to toy around with new strategies moving forward.

A lot of people have recommended moving to the 2nd Ed. rules, as the organization is supposedly clearer, but I think we'll keep muddling through the original rules before shelling out another $56 to upgrade. As we continue to finish our armies, it will also be interesting to see how many units can practically be deployed on a 4'x6' table. We should both be at approximately 3-4 divisions of 4+ units per army when done.