So, although I possess no ancient armies whatsoever, I was very excited when my friend Dan (our current club president) offered me the opportunity to play Hail Caesar! Matt Vigil has simply loads of Romans and Gauls in 15mm and the two of them conspired to host a six-player Hail Caesar game at today's club meeting.
|Dan (middle) before his game|
The game did not disappoint. Dan and Matt acted as referees while I played the role of Roman commander-in-chief and Scott played the role of Gaul commander-in-chief.
Of the six-players, 4 were experienced Black Powder players and 2 were new the rule system. Dan and Matt had each played two games of Hail Caesar and numerous Black Powder games. Hail Caesar does have several important changes from Black Powder in order to better represent the type of combat that the game manages - but is essentially the same game at much of its core. So, I think that in general, the crowd was not a rookie crowd.
|The Gallic Horde|
|The Roman Invaders|
|Matt and his awesome Gauls|
|Dan offering aid to the Gauls|
|My fellow Roman conquerors|
Look, I really know nothing about the period - except that I think it is really cool - but the rules produced a situation that seemed right to my mind for this period. The Gauls came in, whirling themselves at the Roman lines hoping to do a good bit of damage in those initial rounds of combat. They know, of course, that if they don't crack some skulls in the early phases of a given close combat that the Roman stamina will usually win out.
We had several situations where more than one Gallic unit was able to apply its weight against a single Roman unit - and that is what it will take overall to break Roman lines. In the end of this fight, the Roman center held firm, destroying many Gallic units, and holding the day. On the flanks however, it seemed that the fighting was much more give-and-take. The Roman right flank was very compromised but so were the Gauls that were attacking them. The Roman left was weakened a little but held very firmly with tough fighting. In the end, the Romans were very happy to see the remaining Gauls leave the field.
Of the remaining 11 Gallic units, 4 were shaken and 2 were disordered and 4 were skirmishers (which would have been slaughtered if they had to fight). Truly, there was no more offensive capability in this army and offense is the lifeblood of the Gauls.
Of the 12 remaining Roman units, only two were shaken but they were the only two units holding down the right flank (and one was a skirmisher unit). Had the battle continued, the Gallic chariots may have shredded them. The Roman center held firm with the loss of only 2 skirmisher units (due to the unexpected speed of the Gauls!). None of the units were shaken, but several were getting close as the losses and exhaustion of the day took its toll. I think the Romans could have managed the offensive for another couple of turns, but that would have been their limit.
Indeed, it was a good afternoon to be a Roman soldier in the center sector of today's battle! Thanks for the great gaming today fellas!
I leave you with more pics...
|The Gallic charge is uncoordinated, resulting in a Roman meat-grinder|
|The Roman cavalry on the left is slow to get to battle!|
|The Romans are grinding the Gauls in the center.|
|Also in the center, the Gauls are piling on! The Romans would hold.|
|Not just hold, but they would advance boldly! Chasing the fleeing Gauls.|
|Chariots versus Horse. The Gallic chariots would take this fight!|
|Positions at the end. A strong Roman center.|
|Frontal view of the Roman center|