Anyway I duly pored over the book and drooled on the Toy Soldier Porn and made excited plans to play some games. Then I added up the actual numbers of painted figures I had and realised that it would be some time before I could field enough troops to play.
Fortunately that nice chap Scrivs, not content with driving me to Hot Lead and back offered to put on a game and show me how it worked. He'd provide the models, stats and scenario; all I had to do was re-read the rules and turn up. Predictably of course, my copy of HC has been "tidied up" so I could only fulfil half of my agreed tasks, and made it to Maelstrom at the allotted hour. I did however remember my camera, so what follows are some pretty pictures of the game.
Paul explained that it was a rough and ready version of Cannae. Hannibal and his ellies versus the might of Rome. I chose to be the Romans. Mainly because I was standing on the side of the table where Paul had laid out the Roman army. Apparently the scenario had been played four times and the Romans had yet to lose. That sounded like a challenge to me, and I'm just the man for that kind of job!
Paul's advance continued and the elephants made short work of some Romans, but then caught some javelins up the rear from my skirmishers.
The mechanics all make sense and the command variables make it fun and exciting. Being clear with your orders is obviously important too. Combat was satisfyingly simple and led to sensible resolutions. The need to record casualties and status could leave the battlefield looking a bit messy, but Scrivs had made some excellent little markers that meant it didn't impact too much.
The fact that the Romans have won each time (and even with the handicap of me rolling the dice for them) suggests to me that the balance of the scenario isn't quite right, yet. The superior Roan armour and effects of the Pilum means that Hannibal should probably be allowed another unit or two just to even it out.
Anyway I'm all excited now. Time to put my plans for an El Cid HC game into operation