Posts Tagged army list

Hail Caesar: Rome vs Alex

For this week’s Hail Caesar game we are changing up the time period & going with Ancients:  Republic Rome vs. Alexander’s Macedonians.

The Alexander list was easy to build – lots of pike phalanx, cavalry and a handful of light troops to support the main line.  The Elite useful rule was used for the Companion cavalry and the White Shield phalanx to represent the well lead and opportunistic  nature of Alexander’s army.

The Republic Roman list was a bit harder.  Traditionally, the Republican army deployed many small units in a checkerboard fashion.  One way to simulate this style of deployment would be to use many small units.  However, this sort of a-symmetrical army list would be difficult to use and be a bit of an exception when trying to teach the game.  The final list instead used large blocks for the Roman heavy infantry, representing the line in a more abstract way.  The phalanx useful rule was given to the Tirarius to represent the defensive nature of the unit.

Hail Caesar Republic Roman army list
Hail Caesar Alexander army list


Once again Hail Caesar provides a well matched game which came down to the last few rounds.  The Roman line threatened to fall apart after a series of unfortunate dice events lead to a unit of Hastati being broken, allowing the Macedonian Pike to begin a roll up the battle line.   While the Pike battered themselves on the Roman line, and All Start barbarian unit crashed the line.  Using a combination of follow up moves and Sweeping Advances, the Gauls destroyed 5 units in a rampage which covered half of the board.

I suspect that my opponent and I made a few rules errors in the course of the game, but that did not prevent us from enjoying a well fought battle.

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WAB: Arabs and Saracens army building

I’ve taken a recent interest in Warhammer Ancient Battles. Building a list is a bit more complicated than the 40K/WFB rosters I’m used to, not only do I need to figure out a new set of rules with hundreds of army lists available – but I also need to hunt down appropriate figures for the army.

Army Selection

When creating a new army I look to balance four elements:

  1. Will the army look nice? I have to enjoy the models.
  2. Does it have any fun units? The army has to have several ways of playing.
  3. Will the army play well? I have no time to paint up a force only to find the list is a dodo.
  4. Is it affordable? I know the hobby is expensive – but there is no need to spend $600 if $300 will do.

I think a Muslim force may meet all of these goals. The units are well priced for both calvary and infantry. In the absence of any true heavy cavalry in the game, skilled horse archers will need to take care of my need to play with horses. The list has access to Elephants and flame throwing archers – how cool is that! The Arab style units with robes and turbans will allow for natural color choices and keep metallics to a minimum. I’ve also been advised that the list covers about 800 years, making it an easy army to keep in period. Finally, the list can also be allied to a Crusader force – a good way to recycle units if the list does not work out.

Arabs and Saracens 1000 points

General – composite bow, light armor, shield, Warhorse 152 pts
Arab Light Cav #6 with Thrusting Spear, Light Armor and Shield. Leader, Standard, Musician 135 pts
Turkish Light Cav #6 with Composite Bow, Leader and Musician 118 pts
Turkish Light Cav #6 with Composite Bow, Leader and Musician 118 pts
Arab Spearmen #24 with Leader, standard, musician, Thrusting Spear and Shield 183 pts
Religious Volunteers #23 with Leader, Standard, Musician, Hand weapon and Shield 153 pts
Auxilliary Infanty #7 with Javelins, Shield and Naffatun 62 pts
Arab Archers #10 with short bow, Musician and Naffatun 79 pts

Miniatures Choices

Arab/Moor forces are produced by a variety of companies, most of whom are based in the UK but have retained US distributors for those of us who like to shop in dollars and want nothing to do with customs roulette.

Perry Bros on sale at War Store : Well done figures in the Crusades – Islam army, but I’ve been advised that the figures are a true 25mm and may not fit well with other figure lines.

Musketeer Minis on sale at Little Wars: More pleasant looking figures in the Armies of the Caliphates line, price is similar to the Perry Brothers with $6 horsemen and $2.50 infantry.

Gripping Beast on sale at Old Glory 15s: This group may well be the winner. Not only are the figures recommended, but the line prices well with $4 horsemen and $1.50 infantry. One slight problem, Old Glory has the Moors product line on their web site, but not the Armies of Islam line. I may need to do a bit of mix and match if I can’t get cavalry in the US.    edit:  Appears that Old Glory 15 is no longer carrying Gripping Beast – the product is no longer posted on their web cart.

Artizan Designs on sale at BrigadeGames: Forgot to mention this line of Moors. The infantry are attractive, the calvary not so much. But to their credit, Artizan is one of the few to post large, clear photos of their figures. Price point is $2.50 infantry and $6.50 calvary.

One minor rant – I had trouble finding lines on the US retailers at both War Store and Old Glory 15. For reasons know only to themselves, the product lines are re-titled in the US listings, causing all sorts of confusion for a WAB rookie like me. Fortunately, both stores promptly returned emails detailing were the product was listed.

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