Sunday, 15 March 2015

Terribly bad photos of a terrifying game of Hail Caesar

I had a crushing, woeful, game of Hail Caesar this weekend which saw my entire force of Seleukids pitted against Conor's entire collection of Hellenistic Spartans. From start to finish I rolled very poorly and my damned cavalry refused to move all game - except when they were running away disordered from Spartan javelins and artillery. 

The photos - all pretty bad quality I'm afraid - show the game in progress. It was great seeing so many wee men on the table; even if the table itself lacked a green cloth for this game.

In short, my left wing light division with light artillery failed to inflict any damage on the advancing Spartan pike division, despite 9 dice each turn for shooting. 

The division of Arab allies took the town early one but suffered badly at the hands of unreformed Spartiate hoplites (outside the town) and chronic Cretan archery (inside the town). 

The skirmishing cavalry division on the left flank failed to move early on and then were too weak to contest their flank against formed pikemen after the collapse of the light division.

In the centre my heavy infantry division with elephant support held its own but was gradually ground down in a melee against the reformed Spartiate pikemen with mercenary thureophoroi in support. 

On the right, both divisions of cavalry (three units of elite heavy cavalry, three of medium cavalry and two of light horse) did bugger all as expressed above.

To put it in even fewer words, I was out generaled, out diced, and out played in this one. The game was indeed great craic, and it was a fast one as our games go, but it did reinforce for me the sneaking doubts that I've been having about some of the inherent game logic. In essence, it suffers from a 'heavy infantry are Übermensch' problem. They are tough, their shields deflect artillery shots and they can run down evading skirmishers with ease. This sort of approach does cause a little concern, and I think my next ancients game might see Sword and Spear from Polkovnik Productions get an outing.


  1. Try playing To the Strongest by Simon Miller (BigRedBat blogger). I bought the PDF and our group loves the rules, easy to learn and quite fast even for games with huge armies. No rulers, no dice.

    1. Yes, we've been talking about giving that a go as well - but the army lists are a bit more restrictive than HC or S&S and I certainly couldn't field a legal army (even with my 30-odd units), so TtS will have to wait till I paint lots more phalangites. I hate painting phalangites.....

  2. Very interesting scenes. Looks like someone had some fun...