Friday, November 4, 2011

Hail Caesar Renaissance playtest

First of all, let me apologize for the lack of pictures. It was a playtest, so the terrain was pretty sparse. Also, I'm in the process of repainting/rebasing for this playtest, so I hard to improvise on troops and commanders (thus the War of the Roses command stands).
As a background let me say, this is one of favorite periods. I've been waiting for just the right rules for these guys for literally, years. I've tried every wargames rules set there is for Renaissance (yes, I have. So don't throw out suggestions). Playing Black Powder really got me jazzed when I saw Hail Caesar.
To me, Renaissance is really Ancients with gunpowder. Most generals of the day had been studying ancient texts and were trying to recreate the legions  and phalanxes of years gone by. I wanted a set of rules where I could build the units the way I thought they should look. I don't like counting figures, or a ton of modifiers. I'm getting old, so I like simple, too. HC did it for me.
I've read the rules 3 times but never played, so of course we got things wrong, but there was a lot of right in here too.
The scenario was a fairly even match up between Neopolitan Spanish and the French. The forces were fairly small, 4 commands a side. Each side had two commanders with a unit of Heavy Cavalry (rated as cataphracts) and a mounted crossbow/arquebus unit (rated as missile armed light cav). One general had artillery, a pike unit, and two open order crossbow/arquebus units. The final commander on each side had two pike units and two crossbow.
There were surprisingly few 3 move manuevers, so the sides moved slowly at each other. Our supreme leader (even with a reroll) couldn't get the center forward. The heavy cav on one flank clashed and after a quick see-saw had my Gendarmes running for the hills. On the other flank, our mounted bows kept the enemy tied up all night.
Over all, everybody fought as they should. Regular units that didn't get out the way got smahed by the pike blocks. The pikes scrummed for a bit, til one broke. I gave the pikes a short range attack to simulate the arquebus skirmishers many used, and it worked great. In the future, I might let them detach such units to act as Forlorn Hopes. I'm very pleased with the results. Once everyone got the hang of it, the game went really quick. The French got chased off the field, but just barely.
Huge, huge thumbs up.


Lead Addict said...

Nice to see you finally found a game that works.

Now some quick mods for Fantasy and we are all set.

BaronVonJ said...


Jim Wright said...


Please tell us your chosen base sizes.



BaronVonJ said...

I have a huge War of the Roses collection. Each unit is just 60mm square. So that's where I started. The units that make up my Pike blocks are 60mm wide by 40 deep. The Old Glory minis I used are pretty thick but I crammed 8 figs per base. 4 bases gave me 32 figs and the lovely mass I wanted to model. I'm thinking off giving them Large Unit status (as Swiss formation could be huge 3000 man affairs). I then added 2 bases in front with 3 Arquebuses apiece. I wanted to model the integrated skirmishers.
My rank and file xbows are 60 x 40 also, 3 man a base, representing those forces capable of open formation.
The whole set up worked great. The narrower pike formations were able (as in real life) to pack a 2 on one hit on those regular infantry formations too slow or stupid to get out of the way.

Hendrid said...

We've been hunting about for a set of rules for Renaissance games and have tried most rule sets too. Hadn't thought about HC. Maybe give them a try thanks.

BaronVonJ said...

I'm going to keep playtesting

Archduke Piccolo said...

Maybe my plastic Wars of the Roses armies (actually 100YW figures) might at last get an airing. What scale figures do you use?

BaronVonJ said...

God's own scale, 28mm.
But HC is flexible with scale.