Hi Henry – we played a lot of WMA before moving to Impetus. Really enjoyed the rules for a fun game but the rules for skirmishers were broken IMO. Rick Priestly published two attempts to fix but by then we had decided to move.
Essentially you roll 2d6 against generals quality(with mods for 2nd + subsequent order, proximity to enemy etc) – roll under the required number and move – you can give any unit or group 3 orders on the trot. The rules have no movement restrictions (aside from a couple for pike) so that heavy infantry moves exactly the same distance as light infantry and has the same restrictions/effects in respect of terrain. Also you can move in any direction and alter facing as you wish with any troop type so long as they don’t move further than their allowance. A bit too manoeuvrable for our tastes.
This gave rise to the second issue we didn’t like – a unit facing an enemy at even spitting distance would not be prevented from moving to the side of the enemy unit and charging in the flank whilst the opponent stood and took it (no reaction or opportunity/counter charge either) if they could pass enough orders. This happened often enough to become silly in our view.
Chariots are a little strange also – based on half the frontage but double depth (so front is the short edge of an oblong rather than the long edge) OF standard base. This means that you can get 2 units of chariots into the frontage of a standard infantry unit. They have the same firing stats as archers (shorter range?) which meant that if in range 2 units of light chariots shot twice as many dice as a full unit of archers. They could also evade if charged. This made the Egyptians mobile weapons platforms which could shoot any opponent off the table.
However, if you aren’t to concerned about these aspects then the game give a simple fast play and great fun game and contains some interesting mechanisms. IMO HC was essentially WMA version 2 following the cancellation of WMA by Games Workshop.