Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hail Caesar by Lamplight

I just got power back after nine days without it as a result of the freaky, snow-laden Nor'Easter that hit Connecticut over the Halloween weekend.  While waiting through the managerial incompetence of the local utility company (Connecticut Light and Power) before power could be restored, I took the opportunity to give a good reading to the Hail Caesar Ancients rules as published by Warlord Games - even though I had to squint at them in the chill of the evening by the flickering light of a fireplace and kerosene lamp.

I must say that based only on a first reading, these rules do seem impressive.  Firstly, I love their agnostic approach to basing. For instance, without any accommodations, one could easily have armies using WRG basing matched against those singly based for WAB or similar games. Since there are several groups of gamers that I presently play with, variously adherents of these two usually incompatible basing schemes, adopting these rules would now make it more convenient to have more opponents to arrange games with.

In addition, there are some very attractive aspects to the rules themselves.  They are deceptively simple, especially with a movement system that eliminates all geometrically fiddly concerns, but they have a great command system, and a combat system that allows for the large variety of weapon systems and interaction of troop types found in Ancient and Medieval armies.  And there are special rules for things like phalanxes, pikes, warbands, etc., that seem to be cohesive and coordinated with the rest of the rules.

All said, I'm pretty excited about giving these rules a try.  They are designed more for scenario gaming rather than tournament type games, but it also seems that now that the first army list book is released, it wouldn't be too difficult to arrange for quick pickup games at an approximate agreed upon point level with a like minded gaming buddy.

I'm looking forward to giving these rules a try soon, hopefully giving me an excuse to get some of my 28mm armies back onto the battlefield again.  I'll post more on my impressions once I get to give the rules an actual test drive.


  1. Nine days? That can't have been fun - although you must have initially enjoyed it, in a kind of schoolboy/boyscout way?

    That's a decent summary of the HC rules, they put all the emphasis on the players and not on the rules. Looking forward to hearing how a game plays out.

  2. 9 days with no PC, dunno if I'd survive, at least you had a good book to study, I'll look forward to a batrep soon then!!

  3. Glad you have power again, Peter - we were "only" six days without power. Your do realize that reading an ancient rules set by candlight is oddly appropriate, right?

  4. The first day or two without power were okay, but once the night time temperatures dropped below freezing, it got pretty nasty.

    Yes - I do appreciate the appropriateness of reading Ancients by candlelight. I can see how the Ancients in the Mediterranean may have lived without power, but after this experience, it is amazing to me how people got through a New England winter in Colonial times.

  5. 9 days? Ouch! You're lucky you didn't have any pipes burst with temps below zero. That is really nasty.

    As a FoG guy, I'm looking forward to a Hail Ceasar AAR in the future.