Sunday, January 20, 2013

Battle Report: Another Defeat for Carthage

I got together with Aaron yesterday to play another very enjoyable game of Hail Caesar. This game was much improved from our first game for several reasons - we each had more units, we had a better (but not perfect) understanding of the rules, and we added some of the special troop rules to add some flavor to the various units on the table. The game lasted close to three hours, but we were still flipping through the rules quite often.

I won't go into a write-up of the battle in great detail here today, but I thought I would simply post some observations and thoughts about the game.
  1. The special troop rules are fantastic and add a lot of spice to the game, but they are very powerful and should be used carefully and smartly. The ability to negate an enemy charge bonus (Long Spears) or to reduce enemy Morale saves by one (Pilum) are very strong and played a big part in the game. I really did like the variety of troops on the table and the strategic decisions that had to be made based on these special rules.
  2. I really need to figure out how to play cavalry smartly and successfully in this game. My medium Liby-Phoenician cavalry made a devastating counter-charge against some over zealous Auxiliaries but two turns later my cavalry was routed from the table. Perhaps I need to charge and then fall-back for a later charge rather than getting "stuck-in" with my mounted units.
  3. Skirmishers are a ton of fun and add some real dynamics to the game that I rather enjoy. I was shielding my flank with skirmishers, harassing the enemy and then falling back behind my infantry lines by evading an enemy charge to lend support when the lines met. I need to get more of these troops as they are very versatile.
  4. The battle can turn in a hurry. The first few rounds of battle saw the Carthaginians dominating the Romans across the board, but it was only a turn or two later that saw several of my units destroyed and my army in disarray. Part of the problem was rolling a double-1 on a break test for a unit that had not suffered any casualties and part of the problem may have been my lack of aggressiveness. A few times I chose not to follow a Roman unit falling back that I had defeated so that I could preserve my battle line. At the time it seemed prudent, especially since things were going so well, but looking back perhaps I would have been rewarded by pushing the matter.
  5. There is a great joy in seeing the models that took months and months of careful painting on the table being pushed around and enjoyed by everybody.
Aaron played a great game and rallied from some pretty bad positions to win the day. My middle collapsed and a single unit of Libyan veterans were  left to hold while Hannibal rallied those remaining to flee and fight another day. We have plans to play another game in March.

I do not have many photos from the game - many were taken by my son and perhaps he played with some camera settings which caused them to be unusable, so this single photo will have to capture the essence of the battle.


  1. That's a nice shot Jonathan. This was a fun game, helped by our increasing understanding of the rules. I look forward to our next meeting, and to seeing what new units you are going to be adding.

  2. Nice hearing the crunchy details for Hail Caesar.

  3. Very informative. We've never tried HC but it sounds quite challenging and fun.

    Nothing helps you shake off a loss like a trip to the painting table and tweaking your list! ;-)