After trialing a couple of other sets of ancients rules and not being completely satisfied, we reverted to Hail Caesar again this weekend to try out a couple of tweaks.
On the table, a vast Hellenistic Spartan army faced the combined might of the Seleukids and Carthage. I don't know how many points worth of tiny troops we had on the table last night, but it really was too many for the size of table. I think the Spartans had five or six large divisions, we would have had double that, most with four units in each, but a couple larger.
I need a bigger table.
... and also a green table covering would be nice.
... and better lighting.
Never-the-less, the changes we made all worked within the existing HC toolkit.
1) All commanders were buffed to leadership 9;
2) All heavy infantry received the 'Steady' rule making them less susceptible to missile fire;
3) All light infantry and all cavalry received the 'Feigned Flight' special rule allowing them to break away from melee combat.
This battle ran so much smoother and faster than our previous games. There was still command friction, not knowing how units would react, but only a couple of divisions were not able to move at all in their turns. Most trundled forward two moves on all orders. With so many units on the table, we need to have that added momentum in forward movement or the game grinds on too long without any units clashing.
The blanket 'Steady' rule has already been applied to the Spartans in previous battles and seemed to work a treat in this one as well. I was able to shower the end of the Spartan line with so much missle fire that he still needed to roll for missile fire break tests, but it was much easier to rationalise why the that was happening.
At the end of the day, none of my lights got into melee, and so we didn't have a chance to really test how the blanket 'Feigned Flight' affected the game.
It was a great romp as our games usually are, and the Spartans put up a good fight before being overwhelmed. Even with their mounted wing crushed by my superior Seleukid cavalry and his unreformed hoplite wing obliterated by Gallic warbands (in Punic pay), the Spartan centre remained a force to be reckoned with.