9 May 2014

Hail Caesar Battle of Caer Caradoc - It all went really pear shaped !!.

So last night we set about round three of our current Britannia campaign and things are not going to well for the Britons at all.

Currently the scores are:

Kev and Glenn ( Rotten Romans)

Battle of Medway Tactical Victory 3 points.
Battle of Cadbury Castle Strategic Victory 5 points

Loki ( British Tribes)

Killing Geta ( Batavian commander ) at Medway 1 point.

Yes I am trailing by 7 points going into this 3rd battle so I can not win the Caractacus wars but I could close the gap in points before we go into the Boudican rebellion with a bit of luck. It could not get any worse than last week surely!

Now going into this game myself and Kev both had big reservations about the rules and how they would impact the playability of the scenario. We debated about changing things before we even played the game at great length but decided to play anyway to see if we would both be proven correct in our deductions.


Glenn and Kevin play Romans coming in from the left of the picture. Whilst I hold a defensive line across the ridge line and in my one sided hill fort (more on that later)
Turn one sees me move the Cavalry into the only gap in the defence line
The rotten Romans march into the field of battle
Britons lining the ridge
Kev forms the lead legions into testudo and advances to the river, Glen wombles his way up the table with the auxiliaries.
The first Clash as I pile the cavalry into the advancing Legions.
It has to be said without too much dash and more of a wet squib as one unit breaks and everything else falls back
The advancing testudo of the 2nd division, these are like panzer tanks on the battlefield. we will adjust the movement for these a little
More melee in the gap, sees Kev lose a unit of auxilla and a shaken legion being rallied by the commander
Meanwhile Glen has a picnic on the river bank, in truth he did not get any further for quite a while
The Romans Charge into the one sided hill fort
Britons make a struggle of it for a couple of turns though its another one sided affair with 10 dice against 2.
Then the inevitable happened they ran away again!! Giving the Romans easy entry to the rear and flanks of the defences.
The Romans lost a division trying to get through the gap.

We called the game at this point as both myself and Kevin had proven our points and the rules for the game needed some serious adjustment to make the games playable.

Kev had concerns about the uphill bonus and he was absolutely correct I decimated his troops,but we discovered we had actually played this slightly wrong, It was not a game changing wrong but meant we had some melees incorrectly calculated as a result. An easy fix which we have done with a new rule.

What did prove to be a bigger concern was the rules given for hill forts, having both fought several battles involving these we both concluded that there was no point defending a hill fort at all as you can not win a combat inside one and it becomes an easy take for the attacker so we have changed the rules for these after a discussion last night to make them play more realistically.

So the game was stopped and declared void as it was simply not playable as it is written in our opinion.

We have introduced some new rules to deal with hills, Hill Forts and Testudos.

Hills.
Exactly as per the rule book pg77 with the addition of the new rule NO charge bonus for charging uphill. this gives an advantage to the defenders of high ground. Too us this is more realistic than an equal odds fight, where the charge bonus negates the uphill bonus.

Hill Forts / Mile Forts
We have scrapped most of the rules in the Britannia supplement completely. Instead we have the following rules:

No charge bonus for attacking uphill applies.
+1 uphill bonus to the defenders.
+2 Morale save
Defenders may allocate up to 50% of their clash value to any one face, and must divide attack dice equally rounding down should they be attacked from multiple directions.
Attackers may only engage one unit and one rear support per face.
Defenders ignore all break test results except break.
Attackers are subject to the rule on pg77 if they take a test.

These simple rule amendments should make it fairer to anyone with the high ground or defending a fortification to hold out for a while, at the very least will stop it being a walk over for the attackers in these situations. Of course no account can be made for a bad dice roll, that is just misfortune!

Testudo Additional rule: suffers a loss of 1 inch movement per move. this is to represent the versatility of the formation but also the extra effort needed to maintain the formation over a Battle line.

34 comments:

  1. Great looking game Andrew, and a beautiful river...not easy to cross, but beautiful...Splendid antic armies too!

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    1. I agree Phil not easy for crossing but adds to the table nicely as you say

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  2. A lovely tabletop and all your changes make perfect sense. Good luck in the next match!

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    1. We always think hard before making tweaks, but we also like a touch of realism as well and some balance in a game

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  3. A good looking game Andrew and totally agree with the uphill changes.

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    1. It felt right, to do this its not an easy task to charge uphill and make attacks a proven fact on many fields of conflict

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  4. All your rule changes seem to make sense. Good luck in the re-match. About time those rotten Romans took a beating.

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    1. We adjusted them based on our games so far with these factions to try and bring some balance.

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  5. So the guy slogging up the hill had it easier than the guy at the top of the hill? That's where the Anglo-Saxons went wrong at Hastings then, they should have read the rule book better!

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  6. I think the rules tweaks will work a lot better Andy.
    Should be an interesting re-fight.
    We do need to play more HC tho and the decision to play for the next couple of months is a good move
    Briton bashing it is then, bwaaaaahaaaaahaaaaa

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    1. Hopefully our experience from play testing many rule sets has worked out and we have judged them correctly

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  7. Great looking game Andrew!

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    1. It would have been a cracker if it worked, the Romans actually had a hard time of it everywhere but the hill fort

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  8. Hmmmm... Seems like some basic design errors which is disappointing in a set. But then that's the great thing.. The courage to tweak and test , and tweak and test to your own satisfaction. Interesting to see how it goes.

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    1. Yes it is disappointing Dave, but our tweaks should improve the playability of alll these games

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    2. I hope you'll pass your experiences and corrections on to Warlord Games, they might incorporate them into the next edition (if there is one).

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  9. Lovely looking game! Any rule modifications that make the Romans less effective can only be a good thing...

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    1. We have not made the Romans less effective per se, we have made attacking forts and high ground harder for any to take, the way the rules are written its not even a contest, we have done this with saxons vs vikings and had the same issues

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  10. Looked an interesting game. Roman's are so hard to play correctly and get a decent fun fight, they're just too good!

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    1. They play very well with Hail Caesar, we tweaked to give defenders in any game some chance, as our games have really proven that they needed a bit of balance

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  11. Very nicely done, Andy. I like how you're playing HC as a campaign. I have to try that out sometime. Best, Dean

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    1. The campaign is good but we had to adjust it to make it work better it was just too easy for the Romans, and although they conquered Britannia history tells us it was not a walkover every battle and ground was hard won. We shall start again with our modifications

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  12. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. 1" reduction in movement for Testudo is too generous, It's a cumbersome formation to maintain so I have used half speed.

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    1. We play on a small table and already use a 2/3rds movement reduction across the board so feel that another inch in our case is all that is warranted.

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  14. Heh heh ... I can't imagine the Roman soldiers having a picnic by the river bank. Nice report by the way.

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  15. Great looking game Andrew a good solutions to rules.

    Christopher

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  16. Wonderful looking game there Loki and I look forward to seeing the changes in action next time.

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  17. What a great looking game. That's a nice backdrop at the end of the table as well.
    Those rules adjustments are great ideas as well.
    Cheers

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  18. Not sure if you've played the next three games yet? But the modification to the rules for charging uphill are likely to make the final scenario very difficult indeed for the celts (Romans are on hill with woods protecting flanks).

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