Break tests

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    Kenneth Williams

    Fairly new to game. Unsure of when a break test is taken. Do I make a test when I reach my stamina total or do I-test after first clash and subsequent rounds. It seems that I could lose a unit after a first clash, as if I take 2 hits after deducting from from opponents casualties I could roll a 2 and lose a complete unit. Seems a bit ruthless!

    Many thanks

    Big Al

    Page 72 of the rulebook tells you exactly when to test.

    There are two tests, one for ranged or shooting attacks and one for Combat Resolution.

    At the end of a round of combat is when a unit will take a test. Yes it is ruthless and brutal. Clash is the stat used on the first round of combat immediately after one unit charges into an enemy unit. The combat could be “short and sweet” or long and protracted. As I am sure you know, both sides roll their attacks followed by the appropriate number of morale saves. Both of these rolls may be subject to modifiers. Deduct the lower number of casualties from the higher, to find how much the losing side lost by (Combat Resolution). That losing side takes a break test, the dice roll is modified by the difference in the number of casualties suffered between the two sides. Read off the result. If the losing side has units supporting it and it suffers more casualties than its stamina level, the excess casualties are distributed as evenly as possible amongst the supporting units.

    It can happen that enough casualties are suffered to double the stamina level. If this happens the fighting unit is destroyed (Shattered). All of the excess casualties are distributed amongst any supports and they take a break test suffering the full difference in casualties as a negative modifier to the test roll. That means that a unit could be shattered and lost and as many as three supporting units could be lost from the ensuing break tests.

    The lesson here is don’t use strong units to support weaker ones. Rather the other way around.


    If you lose the “Clash” round but roll well on the break test, or draw the combat, meaning that the combat continues into another turn, the subsequent rounds are fought using the Sustained stat in the same way. A break test is always taken by the losing side after a round of combat. Remember that the break test is a morale test. Regardless of the troops involved, men can suddenly fear for their lives and run off because they feel that things are going badly for them. That is the effect of the break test result and you have little control over it. Just as in real life, as a commander, you can stand and shout and scream at your troops and they may just ignore you, show you two fingers and leave you on your own! That is generally what happened in ancient battles.

    Kenneth Williams

    Many thanks for your time!

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