Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hail Caesar


I gave this opinion on the WAB forum and thought I would share it on my blog.
I've been reading HC and so far my opinion is.......I'm impressed! I like the mechanics of the game, orders and blunders mechanism, and the ability to design battles and armies as you see them reflected in history. It does require an emphasis on game building which I find very nice.
While I do enjoy points driven gaming(WAB, Impetus etc.), I equally enjoy the freedom to design armies and battles free from points limitations to better reflect a more historical gaming experience(simulation gaming in other words HC ,F&F BG etc.)where battles were seldom fair and therefore requires one to design scenario goals and objectives to level the field rather then abstract points.
An interesting point about HC is it's geared towards multiple players that can be played with just 2 players while most other systems are designed for 2 players that can be played with multiples. This should not be over looked as large battles will run very smoothly with HC as that's it's comfort zone and requires very little adjustment.
This type of gaming is ideal for club/group gaming or demo games. If your a little weary of the tournaments and want to try a change of pace then Hail Caesar is something to try.
Generally it's designed for large games due to the high figure count, but will still work with moderate sized armies.
If your a small sized collector say in 10mm or 15mm this system will actually give you the rule set to take advantage of large collections that you otherwise couldn't fully use them all and for the 28mm gamer a chance to really pool a lot of miniatures together with friends and not worry if you have too much as the rules allow for adjustments in scenario's and unit capabilities to help off set any large disadvantage to one side or the other.
If your looking for absolute fair then this isn't for you, but if your looking to just play your miniatures with some freedom and let history design your armies then I really recommend HC.
Another point is I really like Impetus and HC easily accommodates the basing which is nice. I'm a huge fan of Impetus basing, but was always concerned it made playing other systems difficult, but not so with HC thus any army I base for Impetus I can use with HC as well which avoids any army becoming to narrow in possibilities.
Also, I heard Rick has published some lists in the yahoo group. I personally hope that's as far as it goes and no more lists are added or ever published. Lists will eventually replace players freedom and in the case of HC I think that's not a good thing. Many games have lists and that's good, but I also like games without them and so I hope HC avoids this.

15 comments:

  1. Heard nothing but good things about them so far, thanks for clarifying.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your opinion. One of our group has bought the rules but we are yet to try them out.

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  3. The multiple players geared aspect sounds great. We all know that's often how we play these games. Superb that someone is designing a game with that in mind.

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  4. We're going to give the a try soon I hope. Looking forward to seeing the similarities to Black Powder.

    By the way, Rick Priestley has stated that, due to popular demand, there are some army lists uploaded on the Hail Caesar Yahoo Group and these might be published one way or the other some time in the future. So at some point you might even have the freedom to chose between designing freely or sticking to a list.

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  5. Hi Doc,

    Personally I really wish he would have stayed away from lists. I believe this then will in time replace players own initiative and interpretations as others will always point out but the lists say...... So, it's really not a freedom, but a burden IMHO. Plenty of games give you lists which is good in most cases, but I still liked the opportunity that HC allowed for a different approach to gaming from time to time.

    Looking forward to your write up on your experience.:-)

    Cheers
    Christopher

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  6. Very impressive! alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  7. I concur with whats been said, its a very good system. One of the things I like about it over WAB, is that you can get units into supporting positions, whereas in the WAB they only ever got in each others way, then all buggered off together if one routed and the others failed their panic checks for being too close...
    I've played one game with it so far (Greek civil war), and it worked very well.

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  8. @Scott,

    I personally don't compare WAB to HC as I think they are different games altogether.
    I really like WAB and if HC was like WAB I probably wouldn't be that interested as I'm not looking for a different version of the same game like COE.
    WAB is intended for small(ish) games that can be played larger while HC is intended for large games that can be played smaller.
    No question HC makes movement much more simplified as large battles need game flow as a priority over technical moves or the battle becomes one big mess that takes forever to finish thus losing players interest.
    I do get your point about it being nice for units to cross over each other in HC, but this is necessary due in large part to width and at times depth of the units involved and game flow like I mentioned. In smaller games like WAB this would make moves to easy where small unit actions are game deciders IMHO.

    Cheers
    Christopher

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  9. Thanks very much for your comments. I've been a long time (10+ years) player of WAB but really got fed up around a year ago when the 2.0 version was published: I spent close to 60 US$ (including postage) on the bok only to find that a few weeks later they published an errata pdf file 15(!!) pages long. That was it for me, I swore never playing again these rules.

    I've been looking (still I am) for the "holy grail" of the ancients rules, and I really like and share your views about historical encounters vs. balanced (point-based)games: so I will have to think seriously grabbong this rules set and give it a try.

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  10. @Anibal

    WAB is still a great game. If you can look past the errata and FW's bad management you will see that actually the rules themselves have improved and the game runs pretty smooth now. Not to mention the wealth of published material still available for WAB players.
    On Hail Caesar I think the rules are very nice, but don't think it will be my standard game as I think it's designed for big battles and this gaming is for special days.
    Truth be told Impetus is really capturing my imagination and could become my standard go to system for ancient/medieval gaming. To early to say, but very possible.

    Cheers
    Christopher

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  11. A friend of mine picked up a copy for me at a con, but I haven't received my copy yet. I'm really looking forward to playing these..it's been a long time since I was excited about a set of ancient's rules! I'm leaning toward building Romans/Celts/Germans in 28mm.

    Take care,

    Cory

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  12. Thx, interesting review. Did not play WAB for years and bought COA recently but it's still unopened. I like the freedom in design so this is another one to watch once we decide to dust off our ancient armies.
    Michael

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  13. @Cory

    Good armies to choose for HC as there are plenty of manufacturers in both metal and plastic to really make some huge diverse armies.

    @MiniMike
    Well COE is WAB in a different package with perhaps some improved mechanics. However, in trying to reduce the impact of characters I think they went too far and lost some personality that WAB retains. WAB2 addressed the character problems and quite a few other issues. It runs smooth and I see no reason to switch.
    My advice for your ancient/medieval gaming if WAB isn't for you any more would then be Impetus and Hail Caesar for your big games.

    Cheers
    Christopher

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