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Author Topic: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm  (Read 5249 times)

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Offline Kealios

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Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« on: July 05, 2015, 11:14:05 PM »
Once I get interested in a set of rules (especially older rulesets like Epic or Warmaster), I usually make it my quest to get the most up-to-date rules collection that I can.

From what I understand, Hail Caesar is a direct descendant of Warmaster, being written by Rick Priestly, which USUALLY means it's ironed out certain kinks,etc.

There is now, apparently, a Fantasy bolt-on for HC:
http://adyswargamesden.com/2015/07/shadow-storm-aka-hail-caesar-fantasy-pdf/

His main page has a drop down with lists available.

Have you heard about this?

Have you played HC and have a comment on how it compares to Warmaster?

I guess a follow up is, what set of rules do you use when you play Warmaster (the book you open for rules discussion)?

Offline Dave

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 12:36:44 AM »
Hail Caesar definitely draws a lot from Warmaster, but plays very differently. In a nut shell I'd call it "Warmaster with less dice".

Each unit is given one order, how well you succeed determines how many moves the unit can make.
A unit doesn't loose stands, only reduces in effectiveness.
You roll far less dice in a HC combat.

The fantasy bolt on is interesting.

Offline Kealios

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 03:15:13 AM »
Hmm. Thats an interesting comment (less dice). I bought Battle of Five Armies because I was told it had a conglomeration of the rules (and Ancients is soooo damn expensive), but it had some glaring rule omissions in it. I might still check out HC, but I might just suck it up and find an Ancients copy...

Offline Aquahog

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 12:08:53 PM »
I just use the printed book and the last official errata. At the local tournaments there are often a few additional house rules e.g. count support before removing casualties.

Offline Kealios

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 12:36:30 AM »
I found a thread on Boardgamegeek.com that explains some differences:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/659828/difference-between-hail-caesar-and-warmaster-ancie

Although built on the same basic gaming engine, there are some pretty significant differences:

1. In WMA, most units consist of three stands. Units in HC come in varying sizes: standard, large, small, and tiny. Unit frontage is a key factor, and most units are at least two ranks deep.

2. There is a wider range of troop types available in HC. There is also a much greater variety of possible unit formations.

3. In WMA, each unit may be given up to three commands per turn, with each command and die roll being made in succession. In HC, the unit's orders must be stated out loud, then a die roll determines whether the unit can make zero, one, two, or three moves to complete its orders. Move distances are also a bit smaller in HC.

4. In WMA, each unit has a single Attack value. In HC, each unit has two separate values for ranged combat (Short and Long), and two separate values for hand-to-hand combat (initial Clash and Sustained fighting).

5. There is no Armour Save in HC, although the Morale Save serves a similar function. In HC, each unit also has a Stamina value - if a unit takes more hits than this value, it becomes Shaken and suffers various penalties. Under certain circumstances, units being attacked in ranged or hand-to-hand combat also must take a Break test to see if they hold, give ground, or break and run away.

6. HC also includes a number of useful optional rules to add historical characteristics and flavor to various units.

7. In WMA, armies tend to be built to standard point values. HC is much more oriented toward scenario play, with little emphasis on points-based armies. The HC rulebook includes seven complete sample scenarios.

There is more, but hopefully this should give you an idea of some of the differences between the two. Hail Caesar is quite flexible in regard to unit size and basing, so if you choose to pick it up, you shouldn't have any trouble adapting your WMA armies.

Offline forbes

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 07:57:57 PM »
I'm not sure I agree with all of those points



1) While there are different unit sizes - only small and regular make much sense in game. Tiny are really only for scenario specific stuff, and large seem to get very little benefit for their increase in footprint. Frontage is what matters, depth is not really very important.

2) Not sure there are really that much difference in number of troop types. Also while HC has several prescribed formations - in WM you can arrange your formation as you wish.

3) Move distances are smaller in HC? Light Cavalry can move huge distances in HC

4) Clash / Sustained is only different for Cavalry - and this is good - it makes cavalry good on the charge, less good after round 1.

5) Armour Save / Morale save - same thing, different name. The Break test in HC is key - this is a 2d6 result that determines the result of a combat. This can make or break the game for you. Its possible for a very good unit to rout off the table after getting 1 wound from missile fire. We house ruled that you rolled 3d6 for break tests, and kept the best 2 dice. This helped stop some of the crazy fluctuations in results.

6) Yes HC lists all the optional rules together - but WM just lists them with each army list - no real difference here.

7) Points - while the core HC book had very little in the way of points, there have been several army books since that are much more points focused.

Things that seemed a bigger difference to me would include:
More streamlined combat - no more endless rounds of WM combat.
Simpler combat - no fiddling around with single stand removal, fall backs and follow-ups.
HC has longer combats between heavy infantry - these turn into long slugging matches not a knock out punch
HC Knights are much less strong than in WM (which is good)
Skirmishers work well in HC
HC proximity rule works fairly well to limit movement when close to enemy, but can be a bit fiddly, and can be exploited.

Movement in HC is still pretty free an easy (like WM)
Light Infantry is very good


Offline Kealios

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Re: Hail Caesar's fantasy add-on, Shadow Storm
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 04:14:46 AM »
I wrote a little comparison between WM and HC on my blog:

http://kealios.blogspot.com/2015/08/how-warmaster-compares-to-hail-caesar.html?m=1