Archive for category Hail Caesar

Norman Knights

“New” style Norman Knights from Foundry.  The figures display a few sculpting flaws (rough faces, sword hilts missaligned with scabards), but nothing that stops the figures from taking their place on the table top.

Foundry Norman Knights

The ground work on the figures features grass tufts from Gamers Grass.  I rather like the tufts, the clumps are well formed, distinct and sturdy.  Tufts I’ve used in the past were thin and arranged like a spider’s web on the contact paper.

Gamer Grass



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Harold’s Saxon Army

Harold’s Saxon army from my Adepticon game back in March.  Played in 2 ranks each, these figures gave me two divisions with a unit of Huscarls, two units of Coerls (and a small unit of archers not pictured here).  Most figures are Gripping Beast with the exception of the commander in purple with horn, which is from FootSore.

I need to thank my friend John, these were originally his figures which he gifted to me as part of his hobby clean out last year.  Having all these figures based and base coated saved me a huge amount of time when getting ready for Adepticon.


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Rather than the lighter shades of my Crusader/Ancients armies, I chose to go with a darker/wetter looking ground effect.  Bases are rimmed with Bittersweet Chocolate with a Raw Sienna top coat, then flocked with pasture green grass.



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Adepticon: Battle of Hastings

My third and final Adepticon battle of 2016.  The Battle of Hastings was fought in the Saga Hall on Saturday night with copious amounts of wine, women and song (or at least beer and pizza).  Nine players joined the battle with 5 playing the role of Harold and his troops and 4 fighting as William and his Normans.

The challenge with Hastings is that the Saxons have zero mobility and a strong defensive position, while the Normans have plenty of fast knights as well as a strong rank of bows/crossbows.  Given that combination, motivation needs to be provided for the Saxons to do more than sit there and take on arrows the whole game.  The motivation took the form of an objective marker place behind the Norman left flank.  The second element is the historical death of Harold and his brothers. This was solved by giving three of the commanders 5 attacks, with the rule that any wound taken would count as a kill.

As luck would have it, the game played out nicely with the Saxons coming off the hill to engage the Britions and capture the objective.  The lure of 5 additional dice proved too much and successfully lead to the glorious deaths of Harold and his brothers.  With the death of its leaders, the Saxon line was broken and victory was declared for the Normans.

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Event Documents:

Adepticon Hastings HC Hastings Objectives



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Adepticon: Battle of Arsuf

The iconic Battle of Arsuf almost did not happen this year at Adepticon.  I had a bit of an incident moving the armies into the hall.


Imagine this times four!  Took every minute I had before the game started to just get the figures back on their trays.

Despite the setback, we had a wonderful game with 7 players.  Bucking the trend from prior games, the Arab players pulled out a victory this year by taking the action to the Norman players.  King Richard was kept busy while the Saracens sent the Hospitallers packing.

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Event documents:

Arsuf Objectives Adepticon 2016 – Battle of Arsuf


Hail Caesar: Battle at the City Gates

Having played many games of Hail Caesar on a 8×4 table, a game on a 6 by 7.5 foot table added a whole new element to the game.  A rectangular table makes for a one dimensional game playing out in a line down the middle of the table.  A square makes for a two dimensional game as units are able to pass by each other without engaging.  Deployment in depth becomes important as divisions are not able to support each other.

To take advantage of the greater table size, Chris and I came up with a scenario where one army was attacking the city gates & the other was going after the invaders baggage train.  We each placed one division at mid table, with two more divisions 12 inches onto the board. The goal was to occupy the opponent’s home base placed in opposite corners of the table.  The game progressed with everything you’d expect to see from Hail Caesar:  my cavalry division did not start moving until the 4th turn, Chris’s pike held out against multiple draws in combat, the first successful ‘Follow Me’ very nearly decided the game.

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Battle of Arsuf at Adepticon 2015

The Battle of Arsuf done with Hail Caesar rules at Adepticon 2015.  A glorious battle with a full table of 8 players.

The game was a close run affair taking up the full three hours.  After many lost units on both sides, the Hospitallers were lost & Saladin’s bodyguards were driven from the field, ending the battle in a draw.

Arsuf Adepticon 2015
Arsuf Adepticon 2015
Arsuf Adepticon 2015 Arsuf Adepticon 2015


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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.

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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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