I have just started playing Hail Caesar. Really enjoyed and it is becoming the main Ancients ruleset at our local club, due in part to the excellent Warlord Games plastic Romans and Greeks. Previously there was a bit of a split in our club. The W40K and WFB players were happy to give WAB a go, whereas the historical gamers went for Impetus/DBA/M/X. The good thing about Hail Casear is that it appeals to both groups locally.
It has meant that there are some differences in basing. The former WAB players tended to go for either individual figures on 20mm square bases or multiples thereof. The historical guys have gone for sabot bases either 60mm or 120mm wide.
My question is how to best base Phalangites and Peltasts for Macedonian army:
1) Phalangites: My original intention was to do 32 man Phalanx units, 8 wide and 4 deep, probably based 4 to a 40mm square base (which obviously fits perfectly with Rick's advice) i.e. 160mm * 80mm.
However will probably playing with/against a player who bases his Phalangites 4 wide on a 60*30mm sabot base. So a 32 man unit, 8 wide and 4 deep,would be 120mm * 120mm.
How much difference would it make if 2 Phalanxes were fighting, one 160mm * 80mm and the other 120mm * 120mm.
(The problem i have is that the Phalanxes 4 wide on 60mm * 30mm bases look amazing and perfectly captured the close order formation. It would mean that a 32 strong Phalanx would be as wide as it is depp, which is not ideal. The other option would be to use this basing with 48 or even 64 strong Phalanx units, which would look amazing but beyond my wallet at the moment)
2) Pelttasts I am looking to do units of 6/8/12. I have been suggested to base skirmish troops with 2 figures to a 40mm sqaure base. This means that my units would comprise 3/4/6 bases respectively. How well would this work for Hail Caesar?
If I bought a single blister of Warlord Games Thracian/Illyrian Peltasts, can I count this as a normal sized HC unit? i.e. I want to field 6 strong Peltasts as small unit and 8-12 Peltasts as normal unit.
Thanks for any help you can offer to new HC player.
The basing difference shouldn't be much of an issue for any of your units. When the units meet in combat, the centre of the unit has to line up with part of the opposing unit. Any unit that supports from behind another unit also has to have its centre aligned with the front of the enemy unit. The difference that you have mentioned between your units and those of your opponent shouldn't create too much of a problem
As to the peltasts, it is the base that matters, rather than the number of figures. So there is nothing to stop you placing two figures on a 40x40mm base. Some players use fewer figures on a base and turn each base into a mini diorama. If you are happy with the look, all is well. At the end of the day, the unit will be whatever you have declared it to be, small, standard or large.
Here is a comment from Rick, made on the Yahoo Group. Maybe it will help
"I never imagined cavalry using the wedge rules - the wedge rule is there specifically to represent the kind of breakout formation described by Caesar - and I've used it for Roman legionaries by arrangement for games involving Romans - but not usually for straightforward 'line 'em up' games where I think it can be unbalancing - at least as written up anyway. The same goes for the testudo - we tend to use this for assaults and not in the general run of play.
The powers that be (if that is me) says please do as you will - as there is intentionally plenty of scope in HC to have the rules reflect your own interpretation of how ancient formations worked - I'm not a great fan of cavalry wedges to be honest because I think they look a bit messy (yes I know...) but - just thinking rules wise - were I to want a cavalry wedge I would suggest just stick to:
Free move Enemy giving ground are burst through Can make 3 moves after enemy defeated/burst through
That alone would be hugely powerful - and that last one makes me a but nervous as a triple cavalry move could be very nasty.
The +1 morale, counts front all round, front all round for ranged attacks, can attack all round, and no support - are all there to model a closely ranked heavy infantry formation as described by Caesar - there's some good discussion on this by re-enactors on the RAT (Roman Army Talk) forum - and the rules were largely developed from the formation as discussed."
Counting front to both flanks would seem to be fitting given how quickly the Companions and Thessalians could change directionb. IIRC they had an officer at each and every apex so they could simply change face and fight without officers moving within formation.
The other rules (i.e. +1 morale, front all round for ranged attacks, can attack all round, and no support( I can agree with as not really fitting the cavalry wedge.
The reason I ask is that I am trying to decide whether to base my Companions/Thessalians on sabot bases (as per the infantry above), or whether to base individually so I can set up shock cavalry in wedge formation.