Archive for category Hail Caesar

Crusader Command

King Richard with bodyguard.
Figures by Wargames Illustrated and Black Tree Design
Crusader Command

Mounted Command
Figures by Crusader and Gripping Beast
Mounted Cursader Command

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Little Wars: Battle of Arsuf

For the first time in many years, I was able to attend Little Wars, a local historical gaming convention.  Mike, John and I hosted the Battle of Arsuf using Hail Caesar rules.  The two sessions were well attended with all 8 divisions having players for both games.  In fact, I had several people trying to get in because tickets were unavailable.

The Battle of Arsuf features a classic battle between two icons of the Crusades:  Richard the Lionheart of England and Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb  aka Saladin of Syria & Egypt.  The game opens with the rearguard division some distance from the other three divisions.  The army of Saladin is tasked with breaking this division.  An additional battle object is to charge Richard’s standard.  Richard’s army has the goals of destroying Saladin’s bodyguard unit, and breaking 2 of 3 cavalry/infantry divisions.

Both games heavily favored the Crusader forces, with games ending 2-0 and  2-1.  As happened that day out side of Arsuf, the Crusader knights were unstop-able.  The lances of the knights quickly broke any unit before it.  The Hospitaller knights were devastating, frequently taking on 2-3 units and emerging victorious.

Little Wars Table

Army List

Crusader Army:
Van: Templars
Holy Order Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Mounted Sgts with Spear

1st Division (Norman/French)
Crusader Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Medium Infantry with bow

2nd Division (Outreamer)
Crusader Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow – small
Archers – small

Rearguard: Hospitallers
Hospitaller Knights
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow
Turcopole Horsemen

Saladin’s Army
1st Division
Mamluks with spear & bow
Berber Heavy Cav
Turcoman Light Archers
Turcoman Light Archers

2nd Division
Dismounted Mamluk
Medium Archers
City Milita with Spear
Dismounted Mamluk

3rd Division
Mamluks Bodyguard
Mamluks with spear & bow
Syran Heavy Cav
Turcoman Light Archers

Ghazi warband Fanatics
Medium Archers
City Militia with Spear
Light Archers
Light Archers


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Armenian Knights

Perry Armenian 2 Perry Armenian

Models by Perry, with 3 Gripping Beast filling out the back rank.

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Hail Caesar Battle Review

At the local club, we are big fans of Hail Caesar but not necessarily big fans of getting fully painted armies on the gaming table.  This makes for an exciting night when our two best, biggest and completely painted armies can match up for a game.  Chris brings his Successors army to the table in four divisions:  2 heavy pike units holding the center with cavalry on one flank and light infantry securing the other end of the line.  My Saladin era Arabs matched Chris with a rather similar layout:  2 heavy infantry divisions in the center with heavy cavalry on one flank and a mixed cavalry/infantry division on the other.  Gaming table is provided by John from Plastic Legions.

Hail Caesar Battle 1

420 points of troops deployed to the table.

Hail Caesar Battle 4 Hail Caesar Battle 3

Massed ranks of pike and cavalry.

Hail Caesar Battle 36

Light troops clash on the flank.

Hail Caesar Battle 5 Hail Caesar Battle 39 Hail Caesar Battle 6

Final clash in the center.

The game was oddly symmetrical with the flank divisions clashing, one division in the center refusing to engage and a final show down of heavies to decide the contest.

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Dismounted Knights

A unit of 20 Dismounted Knights from Black Tree Design, 3rd Crusade.  The army deal provides a nice mix of sculpts with few repeats.  Flash was minimal & sculpting detail is adequate.

Knights 1Knights 2

Paint Plan

Prime White with Rifle Butt (Howard Hues) undercoat

  • Cloth: Codex Grey (GW) with Sky Grey (Vallejo) highlights
  • Shields:  Basic Red (73007 Vallejo)
  • Shading:  Dark Sepia (Secret Weapon)

Where have I been?  For those of you reading CTF, it’s been more than a year since my last post.  In the past 12 months, I’ve moved to a new home, sold a house & my youngest daughter has grown up into a toddler.  While there has been time for gaming, there has been very little time for painting.  In fact, I was rather surprised to find my basing sand & flock still packed away in boxes from the move after more than a year.

What’s next?  My Arab Crusader force needs an opponent.  The painting table is full, as I’ve been busy purchasing Normans/Crusaders for a sizable 1st and/or 3rd Crusades force.    While I have hundreds of figures at the ready, I think I’ll paint small groups which could also double as a Saga army (in the off chance I get to play with that rule set).

Reaper Bones.  Like 17,000 other gamers, I bought in to Reaper’s Bones KickStarter.  The local club has taken to Song of Blades and Heroes as a light weight skirmish game for all the new figures and monsters.  Expect to see a handful pop up on the blog  between units of Normans.

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Arab Horsemen

A handful of figures by Musketeer Miniatures.

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FireForge Teutonic Knights

FireForge is a new manufacture of plastic historical model kits.  Their first release is a 12 figure Teutonic cavalry set.  The miniatures are well sculpted & fit together without much modification.  The kit contains a variety of weapon & shield combinations.  In scale, the figures are rather small, but the flowing capes and barding present a much larger image.

Paint Plan

Prime White with Rifle Butt (Howard Hues) undercoat

  • Cloth: Kommando Khaki (GW), layer 50/50 mix with Chalk White (Vallejo), highlight with Chalk White
  • Cross:  Burnt Cad Red (V), Flat Red (V)
  • Armour:  black base, Boltgun Metal (GW) with Shining Gold highlight



Thinking of 15mm ….

Time to dip my toe into the 15mm waters.  I’ve always played in 28mm scale, but lately 15mm scale has started to grow on me.  Hail Caesar lends itself to large games & by many accounts,  15mm is a great way to accomplish that.  I worry about the lack of detail on 15mm scale figures, as I have no interest in little blobs of lead.  Fortunately, several companies have figure lines which seem to put this fear to rest.

For those of you experienced in building armies in 15mm – how should I go about basing the figures?  Hail Caesar will accommodate just about any basing, but I’d like to pick a style which would be common to other rule sets and look good on the table.  My first thought would be to use 40mm x 30mm bases with 2 ranks of 4 figures or 80mm x 30mm bases with 2 ranks of 8 figures.

Legio Heroica prices at $4.70 for 8 infantry.  Bunker Hill and Little Legions have some very nicely painted armies using these figures.

Lurkio prices at $3.2 for 4 infantry.  The figures look so well sculpted, they would make you think of 28mm.

Khurasan prices at $2.99 for 4 infantry and has the added perk of being based in the US.

Warmodeling provides a range of Ancients models priced at $4.66 for 8 infantry.

Old Glory/Blue Moon has introduced a 18mm range starting with Gauls priced at 50 cents per infantry figure.

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Warlord Phalangites

Warlord released their plastic Macedonian Phalangites kit this week.  The box contains figures to make 40 Phalangites, all from a single sprue with 4 bodies, 6 heads, 4 shields and 6 pikes.   The sculpting is first class with sharp detail all around & no noticeable flat areas from the steel molds.  There is no flash on the figures & mold lines are very minor.  Figure size is small – matching well with Gripping Beast metal Phalangites and Immortal plastic Hoplites.   For comparison, a model from the large end of 28mm, the Gorgon Etruscan Hoplite is included in the photos.




Hail Caesar: Ghulam Division

Third and final division is the professional Cavalry Division belonging to the army general.

Unit Clash Sust’ Short Long Save+ Stamina Special
Royal Ghulams 9 6 3 0 4 6 Lance
Ghulams 9 6 3 2 4 6
Turkoman 7 5 3 3 6 6
Turkoman- small 5 3 2 2 6 4

Roughly following the WAB book: Beyond the Golden Gate, the units form the mobile hammer of the army.  The Royal Ghulams are Malmuks – full time soldiers belonging to/employed by the army commander.  Taking a hint from Ian Heath’s Armies and Enemies of the Crusades, I’ve written the unit for melee combat rather than archery. The Ghulams are heavy cavalry, but are equally willing to dismiss units at range.  The  two Turkoman units perform the traditional roll of harassing the enemy from a distance.

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