New and Perplexed

Home Forums Historical Hail Caesar New and Perplexed

Tagged: ,

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #161712

    Just finished my first demo game of HC … and I was pleased and impressed.

    From my background with BA, several questions arose:

    1. How do you balance the opponents? In BA, you have points. But in HC it seems you can have a massive force against a small force … both of which conform to the army lists.

    2. Like other WL rule sets, there is no index in the rule book … because, apparently, WL doesn’t learn. Is there a source for an independently created index?

    invisible officer

    It is a more historical game for gentlemen.

    No points needed among friends. If you loose a game against a stronger army you can get fun from doing well.

    It is an illusion that points make different armies into forces of same strength.

    A complete index takes more than a single page. And there is ever something someone miss.

    So Warlord just offers the contents at the beginning of most books. I had never a problem to find what I need.
    Well, good memory……..


    In subsequent web searches, I’ve discovered that Army Builder assigns points to HC armies. And I’ve seen points attributed to the various books other than the basic rules (but I don’t have any of them yet).

    Understand the gentlemen thing, at least abstractly, but points are a method to rein in those other than gentlemen … those that make every game a life or death competition. And, in general, a way to balance the two sides so that the results are not foreordained and so that each player’s decisions have import.

    But, agreed that points balance does not necessarily lead to armies of equal strength. Terrain, for example, can give one balanced army an advantage over the other balanced army.

    Still need an index. At least, I do.


    Yea, points are an awkward thing. In most game systems, “list building” is a critically important skill, and players with an in depth knowledge of what units are cost effective, and what units work well together, can get a stronger army on the table for the same points as an opponent. Depending on the game, list building can be more important than battlefield tactics as a deciding outcome of the game. Although this is one of the reasons I actually have largely moved away from the Warhammer 40K community.

    I still think points are useful, and they do an effective job of setting parameters for game size, and generally facilitating a pick up game. I can go to a Bolt Action event, meet an entirely new community, and everybody understands what a 1K point game looks like. Points are best if they are more balanced of course, but even in Bolt Action list building is important.

    Also, fan made point systems are usually pretty balanced, as fans have a tendency to want the game to be as balanced as possible. Although be warned that fan based systems often lack extensive resources for play testing points values, and different systems carry different weights depending on what the locals are doing. As long as everybody agrees on an overlying system, it can definitely help.

    Anyway, for more historical games, I think part of the draw is in recreating battles, or trying alternate scenarios. Setting up terrain and armies in line with Scipio and Hannibal’s confrontation and playing out the Battle of Zama. Or using those force organizations and trying different tactics to see if you can change the outcome of the battle. Sure, you won’t have the thousands and thousands of models on each side, but under the assumption that each individual model actually represents far more, recreating Hannibal’s formation in miniature form wouldn’t be that difficult. Games that rely on lined infantry formations are much easier to extrapolate that each block/model actually represents hundreds or thousands of individual soldiers.


    My understanding is that the rules are intended for scenarios rather than “balanced” games. However, there is a basic points system. You can find it in the army list books rather than the campaign books.

    The lists do place restrictions on the mix of troops.

    As an example, I have Marian Romans. A standard sized Legionary unit is costed at 32 points, whilst a small unit of javalin armed skirmishers costs 11 points.

    The suggested size for a game is 300-600 points. With the Romans I have found 350 points to be good for a game on a 6×4 table, with enough troops to field the required 3 divisions, and still have some room to move around.


    Thanks for all the responses. Yesterday, another player also informed me that there is points information in the campaign books.

    The group that I play with has time limitations and keeping points toward the “three-hour, playable” end rather than the “I’m gonna put every individual figure I own and that I can borrow on the table” serves our needs better.

    I’ll keep that 300-600 points rule of thumb in mind.

    Charge The Guns

    Hi Highlander, always exciting to start a new period!

    I agree that the either or both the army list books are the way to go. E.g.

    (There is also a second book on dark age and medieval. )

    If you decide to focus on one army more than others than a relevant campaign book will help.

    Which army are you thinking of getting?


    The earlier the Romans the better. And Carthaginians and Britons appeal.

    Charge The Guns

    Republican Romans and Carthaginians would be a great matched pair. Also, your Britons would make great Celts to be enemies / allies for both the Romans and Carthaginians. (All three armies are covered in the Army List 1 book that I linked to above.)

    Carthage v. Rome, also known as the Punic Wars, is a great sub-period. The Carthaginians especially used many other nations troops as mercenaries / allies. So if you collect a descent sized Carthaginian army then you will have the beginnings of armies for Numidian, Spanish, Celts and Italian states. Who wouldn’t want to match Hannibal v. Scipio Africanus ? 😀

    I hope you’ll come back and share your progress with us?


    Anything is possible.

    I actually got to read the first 2-3 chapters of the rule book last night … and I skimmed through the next 1-2. Things are becoming clearer.

    I now understand the concept that it is the unit, as an abstract entity, that matters …. not the number or type of models in the unit. That realization has clarified much of what puzzled me when I was playing the demo game. Thus, with points, a 8×1 unit, with 8 models, has the same number of points, in game terms, as a 8×3 unit, with 24 models. Makes things much simpler and much more playable.

    Thanks for all the help, guys. Good gaming to you all!

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.