Looking to start a new Hail Caesar army? Here’s a few tips and tricks for modelling your heroes, generals and division commanders from Warlorder Tom!
In ancient times men with aspirations to rule were obliged to lead from the front – and all too frequently they died there too! Politics was a serious business in those days. This wasn’t just true of the chieftains and officers in charge of individual bands of warriors – even the highest in the land were looked upon to do their part. The loyalty of the army was often intensely personal, and the death of the overall commander could result in troops abandoning the battle or suing for peace. Naturally, we shall demand that our leaders live up to the expectations of their troops and peers – be quite sure that our model commanders and generals will be seeing their fair share of action.
As discussed already each commander is represented by a suitably sized base bearing the great man plus supernumeraries and/or scenic elements as deemed appropriate. We do not feel the need to specify dimensions for bases when it comes to commanders: we only require that they be a convenient size
and shape for purposes of play. Measurements are always taken from the commander’s head – or centre of the base if preferred – so the size of the base isn’t critical to the game.
Commanders can be on foot or mounted – as deemed most realistic for the force they lead – and they can ride elephants or chariots if their actual counterparts did so. Elephants and chariots were a mark of status in some armies, and we would obviously ask our commanders to come up to scratch as regards their personal transport. Commanders can issue orders just as well whether on foot, astride a horse, standing in a chariot, atop an elephant, riding a donkey or taking a bath.
Players will need a commander model to lead each separate division in the army. Ideally, players should have a few reserve commanders ready and waiting to take their place should the originals be killed. Where commanders ride chariots or elephants it is a good idea to have a few reserve commander models on foot or riding horses.
Warlorder Tom’s Caesarian Slavers
Tom is always looking for interesting ways to jazz up his commanders. In building his army of Caesarian Romans, he added a division of legionaries and Gallic auxiliaries, representing the crew of a slaving ship. This division commander has been converted up from the Roman Centurion from the SPQR Clash of Heroes starter set, a plastic bow and quiver from Tom’s bits box and a metal Julius Caesar.
Using a round 40mm base, Tom positioned the now bow-armed Centurion in front of the cowering noble, imagining a bodyguard stepping in front of his master in the face of impending danger. This mini-diorama adds bags of quality to Tom’s Hail Caesar army and is simple to replicate.
Because the diorama is mounted on a reasonably small, round base, it can also be used as a hero in games of SPQR, allowing Tom to use his slaver division as a warband in its own right.
Hail Caesar armies are often composed of serried infantry units, painted in a uniform colour scheme. Command models provide an opportunity to paint and convert – let your imagination run riot. Perhaps your ancient Britons are commanded by a cabal of druids or your Spartans by a fearsome warrior queen. Delve into your bits box and see what you can find.
These models also make fantastic centrepieces for SPQR warbands – pick an iconic character model and build a warband around them – your rank and file infantry can do double duty in both games as well!