Last week I arranged 2 big games which were tests for us of Hail Caesar. They were both versions of a fictional 28mm War of the Roses action - the Battle of Corbridge 1461. Having been reading Hail Caesar for ideas to use in our BP games I decided that we should try a game of Hail Caesar. It is quite some time since I played an Ancient or Medieval game. A couple of my friends were keen to try out recently acquired WOTR armies. In the end we decided to have games on the Sunday and Tuesday.
The Setup and Gaming Experience The basic scenario was that a battle of Lancastrians following their defeat at Towton retreated north and made a stand at Corbridge . In both battles the Lancastrians were reinforced by the Northumbrian shire levies. They were pursued north by 2 Yorkist battles. In the first game we played both sides were reinforced by a small battle. The Lancastrians by Scottish Interventionists and the Yorkists by Burgundian Mercenaries. In the second game the foreign reinforcements were omitted.
A battle parades before the action The figures were all mainly based for Impetus or else I put them onto Impetus sized templates. We decided that a 12cm wide Impetus base was a standard Hail Caesar unit.
The basic troop types in each army were retinues (nobles and high quality billmen), billmen and bowmen. The troop ratings I adapted from a WOTR troop list found on the Hail Caesar forum. We used few special rules - retinues were Valiant, levies were Militia and Levy 2+, Scots spearmen were Spear Phalanxes and billmen had double handed weapons. Each battle was a Hail Caesar division. The commanders were all rated as 8s.
Retinues charge archer line supported by retinue
Both games proved to be enjoyable and I think everyone came away impressed with the rules. Since only 2 of the 9 players involved in the 2 games had played Hail Caesar once before there were things we got wrong. Mostly because we were thinking that the rules are the same as Black Powder which they are not. The main differences are in melees were support works completely differently and in the break tests. I like the close combat as fighting units and their supports get steadily exhausted as excess hits are not simply discarded as in BP but are passed onto any supporting units. The concept of losers giving ground in melee also works well.