Today I hosted a game of Hail Caesar at my war-games rooms with Martin & Mike taking the part of the Romans and Graham and I the Carthaginians plus Allies.
Carthaginians on the left, Romans the right
Carthaginian commander courtesy of Graham
The Roman is mine.
Roman cavalry on their left flank
The Carthaginian battle line
A local tavern keeper, Alosius Murrius, has set up a drinks stall adjacent to a ruined temple on the hill hoping he might attract some drinkers.
The Romans win the initiative and advance
Amazingly, the Carthaginian elephants have sprung forwards without any support
Graham has sent some light troops into the broken ground near our left flank as his cavalry makes its way around the flank
The Roman right wing cavalry react and charge
Mike has also advanced his Roman infantry right of centre
The Roman bolt thrower fires - but can't even hit an elephant !
Both sides close for contact
The cavalry clash on the Roman right wing/Carthaginian left.
Graham has sent some Numidian light cavalry to support his infantry in the centre
Here's a Carthaginian divisional commander urging his men to advance
One elephant crew has been disordered and taken casualties from the enemy skirmishers
The Romans continue to advance in the centre
The Roman divisions keep together as they move to attack
The Numidians and their skirmishers seem to have a good hold of the broken ground
Something is perplexing the gamers - the rule books are being consulted !
The Roman cavalry have gained the upper hand on their right flank and a Carthaginian unit has fled
The Numidian cavalry has advanced but the odds do not look good !
Enraged, the elephants attack
they drive off the pesky skirmishers and then plough into the formed ranks of Romans behind - a much tougher nut to crack.
Only two elephants were able to attack and they are facing different units with support elements
The Roman cavalry out on their left flank is advancing to support the left hand infantry division
A big clash occurs
just below the tavern keeper's hill !
Its real toe-to-toe action now !
Both sides are taking casualties but the Carthaginians recoil
so the Romans charge again
There is fighting all along the line now as the Romans assault every enemy unit
With the collapse of the Carthaginian cavalry, Graham has to send a Gaul war band to try and shore up the open left flank
The Numidian light cavalry charge but they are no match for the heavy Roman infantry and they break
The Carthaginian centre reels from the onslaught but holds for now
As does the Carthaginian right flank
Here's an overview at this stage.
Carthaginian skirmishers emerge from behind the lines and fire at the enemy cavalry
a lucky shot has forced the cavalry to do a Break Test and they are forced to retire in disorder
but their elation is short lived as the cavalry reform, charge and destroy the reckless skirmishers that had had the temerity to advance against them !
The cavalry continued towards the Carthaginian infantry but they in turn "bounced" the Roman cavalry which fled the field.
But by now the Carthaginian centre had collapsed, so with our left and centre gone and right wing only just staying in the game, a Roman victory was declared.
Long time since we have played Hail Caesar and the combat mechanism of support troops adding all their dice into the fight makes it quite different to Black Powder - that plus the higher stamina of the units compared to the later period makes for a grittier game.
Good fun though. We will definitely have another go soon.