Hail Caesar. Greeks vs Persians.

Last night (09/07/2013) at my local wargames club we played Hail Caesar. By Warlord Games . This was my first game of Hail Caesar, but not my first game by warlord games. We frequently play Bolt action (28mm WW2) and also semi frequently play Black Powder. Both excellent games produced by Warlord. I had heard that Hail Caesar was similar to Black Powder, so it wouldn't be too much of a learning curve. Newton supplied the game this week, along with the scenario, the terrain and the figures. I think the figures were in 20mm Scale, but If I'm wrong I'll update the post! (They were bigger than 15's and smaller than 28's so I'm taking a punt 😉 ) The scenario was a simple one. The table is a 6' x 4' board, and we played "long ways" on, with the Greeks starting off the table edge on one of the short edges. The opposite short edge has a hill on it, which the Greeks have to capture. The Persians simply have to stop the Greeks from capturing the hill! Greeks get the first turn.
Nigel and Graham Discuss pre-game tactics

Nigel and Graham Discuss pre-game tactics

Hail Caesar Greek Turn 1:

All The greek formations start in column of march just off the table edge. As the units are in column, they get a free move even if they fail their order test. Which is handy, because only one Hoplite formation passed. They got Two moves and moved up to the river. The other units only get the "free" move onto the table. Hail Caesar - Turn 1 Hail Caesar - Turn 1

Hail Caesar Persians. Turn 1:

Horse archers and medium cavalry charge up the flank. Archers on the opposite flank try to advance swiftly but only get one move. Everyone else fails their orders and stay still Hail Caesar - Turn 1 Hail Caesar - Turn 1 Hail Caesar - Turn 1

Hail Caesar Greek turn 2:

Hoplites get over the river, cavalry move up to the river crossing and the Spartans get over the river. Other hoplite unit gets to the river. Hail Caesar - Turn 2 Hail Caesar - Turn 2

Hail Caesar Persian turn 2:

The cavalry at the rear advance. Everyone else fails their order.  

Hail Caesar Greek turn 3:

Sling hoplites get one move on the other side of the river. Still in column, but everyone is over the river from that formation. Other hoplites fail order, but in column so get one move over the river. Leaving the skirmishers behind. Only one move from the cavalry. Advance cautiously over the river. Three moves from the spartans! Who change formation and advance towards the archers. Hail Caesar - Turn 3 Hail Caesar - Turn 3

Hail Caesar Persians turn 3:

Archers in front of the Spartans want to advance, fail! Medium cavalry charge the hoplites crossing the river. Archer cavalry at the rear get one order and advance up to follow the other archer cavalry. The rest of their formation stays still. Archers facing the Spartans fire, 2 fives and a 4 but its not enough! At this range they require 6's to hit! Centre Persians fire at the spartans , one hit, no effect. Horse archers fire at the hoplites but fail to hit their mark. Combat. Cavalry charged in but get disordered by spears. Cavalry get 4 hits, but the Spartans get +1 to save for shields. Save 2 and take 2 casualties. Hoplites retire 6" onto the river. Hail Caesar - Turn 3 Hail Caesar - Turn 3

Hail Caesar Greek turn 4:

Hoplites with slings, one unit changes formation and moves twice. The rest stay still. The hoplite formation in combat stays still, the other unit changes formation but the skirmishers join the combat. The Spartans charge the archers. The skirmishers in front of the archers evade, and move three times backwards Cavalry moves once up the road. Persian defending archers stand and shoot, but miss. Spartans get 7 attacks and choose to hit on 3+  only get 2 hits! 2 casualties Archers hit back and get 1 hit, Spartans save. Archers hold position. Cavalry against the hoplites, miss. Hoplites also miss but skirmishers land a blow. Causing one casualty. They give ground, and end disordered. Hail Caesar - Turn 4 Hail Caesar - Turn 4

Hail Caesar Persian turn 4:

Persian chariot on the road declares to ride down the slow moving cavalry! But manage one move and shuffle up the road slightly. The archerr skirmishers who ran away from combat want to advance. But fail. The rear cavalry archers advance 12" to surround the advanced hoplites. Their cavalry brothers attempt to advance up, but blunder! Luckily they move up once which is what the plan was anyway! The two horse archer units shoot the hoplites, manage to cause 1 casualty. The other archers get two hits on the Spartans. One kill. The cavalry cause one casualty to the hoplites. The hop kites hit back once and miss. The skirmishers come up trumps and get 2 hits and 2 kills! The cavalry give ground again. Spartans cause 3 casualties and the archers don't cause any. The archers give ground. Hail Caesar - Turn 4 Hail Caesar - Turn 4 Hail Caesar - Turn 4

Greek turn 5:

The cavalry try to charge the limping chariot. But manage an equally rubbish one move. The sling hoplites try and charge! But fail. The formation partly in combat tries to get the rest stuck in, but fails too do anything more than turn to face. The other Spartan unit charges in. Gets shot at and is forced to take moral. Passed. In. The charging Spartans kill 4 archers, but the archers hit back and get two casualties. The archers give ground. The other Spartan unit gets 4 casualties, and take 1. Moral results in them running away.  The Spartans turn to face the Persians in front of them. Cavalry again cause nothing, hoplites do nothing, but skirmishers cause one casualty. The cavalry are now shaken and give ground. Hail Caesar - Turn 5 Hail Caesar - Turn 5

Hail Caesar Persian turn 5:

Predictably, the chariot moves once. (Uh oh! Gooned it! These guys have furious charge!! If they pass their order, even by one point they advance 3 moves! They actually advance into combat. - we realised this before shooting, so went back and moved the unit into combat.) The skirmishers from the archers advance once up behind the archers. Persian levy charge the spartans. The other chariots advance once. The rear cavalry change to battle formation and advance up behind the horse archers. The cavalry archers attempt a daring move to turn around and join the combat where the other Persian cavalry are being pushed back. But fail as their command is too faraway. Cavalry archers both fire at the hoplites. Cause one casualty. Cavalry miss in combat, Spartans and a skirmishers cause 2 hits and 1 casualty. The cavalry give ground again. The chariots charge in and manage to smash 9 casualties! They hit back and get 4 hits and 1 casualty. They break the infantry and run away. Luckily the chariots are one shot weapons so they leave the table too! The remaining cavalry give ground and end disordered The charging levy get 6 hits! But only get 3 casualties, the Spartans hit back and also get 3 casualties. The archers against the other Spartans caused casualty. But the Spartans get5. The archers break. The Spartans charge into the skirmishers. Who evade and move back one move. Hail Caesar - Turn 6 Hail Caesar - Turn 6 Hail Caesar - Turn 6

Hail Caesar Greek turn 6:

The hoplite formation with slings attempts to charge. Fails order. The other hopliteunit moves up once. The cavalry are disordered so stay still. The freed upon Spartans determined to get the skirmishers charge again. The skirmishers evade and run 12 this time! Cavalry cause one casualty on the hoplites,who give 2 casualties. The cavalry give ground are disordered. Levy cause 1 casualty on the Spartans, who cause 2 casualties back. Rolls a 3 for moral! Oh dear, runaway! Spartans charge in the unit that was facing them. One hit and one casualty from Persians. Spartans cause 4 casualties. The Persians give ground. Hail Caesar - Turn 7 Hail Caesar - Turn 6 Hail Caesar - Turn 6

Hail Caesar Persian turn 6:

The rear cavalry get one unit to charge the hoplites. Persian unit near the spartans wheel round to support the combat. Another Persian unit supports the cavalry unit that's been pushed halfway across the table. Horse archers fire at the far hoplites, 2 hits. One casualty, forces moral test, they become disordered. Charging cavalry cause 5 hits and get three casualties at the hoplites. They hit back and get 1. Moral makes them give ground and become disordered. The newly supported cavalry against the hoplites in column get a total of 3 casualties from about 10 attacks! Hoplites hit back and get 2 hits, no casualties! Moral forces the hoplites to break! The supporting skirmishers also break. Persians against the Spartans cause 1 casualties. They take 2. They give ground. Hail Caesar - Turn 6 Hail Caesar - Turn 6 Hail Caesar - Turn 6

Hail Caesar Greek turn 7:

Hoplites try to charge and support the rest of their formation. They blunder and end up moving once to the left. Ending directly behind the combat. The Spartans who've broke through the lines attempt to make a run for the hill. They blunder. But are immune to effects. The hoplites who were disordered last turn get 1 casualty in combat, but take 2. They break from moral. The cavalry charge the skirmishers behind, who evade and leave the cavalry standing in front of the hoplites. Spartans win the combat in the centre. And force the Persians to give ground. Hail Caesar - Turn 7 Hail Caesar - Turn 7 Hail Caesar - Turn 7

Hail Caesar Persians turn 7:

Skirmishers who have evaded back right to the edge of the board move once toward the Spartans. Cavalry in the middle of the table attempt to move into the cavalry. They fail. Persians at the side of the Spartans move into combat. Persian unit in the centre turns round. Horse archers fire at the sling bearing skirmishers, they cause one casualty Skirmishers fire at the spartans. One casualty. Heavy cavalry fires at the hoplites at short range. Miss. Large combat in the middle rolls obscene amounts of dice against the Spartans. Only cause 1 casualty! Spartans get 2 hits, no casualties! Lose by one.  Roll a 4 on moral, broken because they were already shaken! Hail Caesar - Turn 7 Hail Caesar - Turn 7 Hail Caesar - Turn 7 End of game!

Result:

The objective for the Greeks was to take the hill at the far side of the table, and at the end of the game, there were no greeks on the hill! so, quite simply, the Persians won! The game was my first game of Hail Caesar, and on the whole, the group hasn't played too many games of HC either (and the last game was a long time ago), so not everything was perfect, but we still had a great game and fun which is the whole point. Thanks again to Newton who put on the game.

About The Author

Chris has been a Wargamer since he was 12 years old, progressing through 40k, WFB now playing a diverse range of games from 15mm WW2, to space combat games, and even the odd game of judge dredd.

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