Friday, 27 January 2012

Hail Arthur Again. Dark Ages Hail Caesar report

Once more Scrivs, James and myself convened at the White Hart for another playtest of James' Top Secret Project Thingy(tm). This time we were playing along the length of a 6x4 table as the final game will be played on a table 6' wide (though considerably broader than 4'). As before the resplendently mustachioed Welshmen would be attempting to smash aside the bearded heathens from across the water and get off the board end. As it was a playtest we dispensed with fripperies like scenery and were also using my electric green boards to create a featureless, eye watering, valley of death! To further add to the aesthetic charms some of the movement trays are still in a slightly rudimentary format, but doubtless Scrivs will find a spare fifteen minutes or so to transform them into works of art in the near future
Scrivs and I commanded the hirsuite Saxons, James and Phil hurled welshmen at us.
Truth to tell there wasn't a great deal of tactical finesses on display, but I did take lots of pictures. Which is nice. Most of the Saxons were Scrivs models, and most of the Welsh were James' with a few loaners on both sides courtesy of the nice chaps at Gripping Beast.

Loadsa Saxons

Onwards the Welsh!

The Saxon reserve.

The battle began with the Welsh advanccing their light cavalry screen up to the Saxon lines from whom they unleashed a barrage of javelins, pushing at least one Saxon unit out of the battle line.

The Saxons had a rule that meant they had to pash a leadership test to resist charging on initiative, reflecting their impetuous and ferocious nature, and giving the Welsh a chance to pull them out of line. Fortunately we didn't fail one of these tests all night.
Over on the Welsh left a force of heavier cavalry pushed forward and caught some skirmishers napping.

In true Saxon style we responded to this threat by hurling our reserve cavalry in with gay abandon. The cavalry saw off their opponents in short order, but at the cost of the army general. (We allow characters to use several attacks, but doing so makes them more vulnerable - seems heroic and Dark Agey to us).

 Note curtain ring holding casualty marker

 In your face Welshman!

 On the other side of the field the welsh were making little headway, but a steady stream of javelins was accruing wounds on the Saxon shieldwall

 Forward men!

Finally the two lines met with one unit of welsh cavalry shattering and breaking their Saxon opponents. However in the centre, Saxon commitatus swung the balance and saw off the charging horsemen.

Back on the welsh left, fresh horsemen backed by spearmen clattered into the blown Saxon cavalry. The inevitable result was the saxon horsemen breaking.

The bloodied Saxons  pulled their lines back and regrouped, but for the welsh on the left the path out of the valley now lay clear....

This was a great fun evening's entertainment. Hail Caesar  gave us a good, exciting, see-sawing battle that took only a couple of hours to play. We probably had at least the equivalent of a 3k WAB army on each side and HC made sure it played much quicker than the WAB game would have managed.
The various special rules and tweaks James has added are really starting to give it an Heroic Dark Age flavour and the fact that we (mostly) know the rules now meant it flowed really well. I'm certainly looking forward to the climax of this project which we're hoping will see at least 30 units of Saxons facing off against hordes of mounted welshmen.


  1. Fantastic. Age of Arthur got me into WAB. Now I want to play Hail Caesar.

  2. Looks splendid!

    Will James be publishing his Dark Age tweaks at some point? (Presumably post-Salute ;o))



  3. I believe there are plans for the tweaks, along with pictures and other words to make it into publication at some point later in the year.
    Though it's nowt to do with Salute.