09/01/2015 at 09:21 #15335
Last week, we played our first game of Hail Caesar. I was quite apprehensive how we would cope with mass battle rules – we’ve been stout skirmish gamers ever since I restarted wargaming 2 years ago. However, it was better than I expected and we had a blast! I’m quite impressed by the rules.
One question popped up though: What do I do with shaken units? I mean, can I do anything useful with them or are they effectively out of the battle? They are not allowed to charge or support, but they may get orders. My light cavalry was just hanging around at my left flank after they got shaken, as I wasn’t sure about what to do with them…
Shandy09/01/2015 at 09:25 #15338MikeKeymaster09/01/2015 at 09:34 #15339Paul CoxParticipant
I also played my first game of Hail Caesar over the holidays. We had a great game and I’m looking forward to trying it out again. I have played quite a bit of Black Powder, on which HC is based, and at first couldn’t find what I expected to find, which was the ‘Rally Order’. This is because it is in the chapter about commanders rather than the chapter about orders as in the BP book. Anyway, essentially you can issue an order to a unit which has suffered casualties in order to remove one (you can never remove the last one). If HC works the same as BP (can’t remember as I write), your commander then has to join the unit concerned. This can be used to remove a unit’s shaken status and get it back in the fray, but I often find in BP that by the time you need to start issuing rally orders your commander is busy doing other things anyway!
Paul09/01/2015 at 10:44 #15349
Paul – I found the rule, thanks a lot! We didn’t play with the commander rules so as to have a simpler game for our first outing, so I must have missed it. This certainly adds possibilities. However, have you found any useful role for shaken units that stay shaken?
Mike – Yes, I’d say the game has pretty simple core mechanics. It didn’t even take us long to get the hang of the movement restrictions, which I was apprehensive of because in skirmish games you normally don’t get them and I didn’t know if I could remember all those special situations and exceptions. However, there aren’t that many and once you play it’s actually quite easy and intuitive. There is just one chart for the break tests, which are fun because they make combat decisive. As regards book keeping, you need to mark the unit’s casualties and sometimes ‘disorder’, but that’s it.
After our first game, we really like the rules. I like that they give you a lot of freedom and don’t feel ‘gamey’ at all, so it looks like all kinds of crazy scenarios will work very well, and writing scenarios is one of the things I enjoy most about wargaming (perhaps the thing I enjoy most).09/01/2015 at 12:52 #15366Paul CoxParticipant
Well I have to base this on my experience of BP, but they can still shoot (not so useful in HC) or you can order them back through the lines to a rear position where (I think) they can still support. The latter may not be so practical in HC as I believe interpenetration of troops is less free and easy than in BP. But otherwise, yes, they’re probably just going to get in the way until they’re finished off!
Sorry not to be able to give more concrete advice, but my experience with HC is the same as yours so far, albeit with some familiarity with this rules ‘family’.
Paul09/01/2015 at 13:02 #15368
Hm, shooting would be a possibility as most troops have a ‘short range’ attack. They can’t support in close combat though. I guess you are right, once they are shaken they are of no real use in the battle, which makes sense after all. I will have to try out some tactics.
Thanks for your help!
Shandy09/01/2015 at 17:47 #15410A Lot of GaulParticipant
Very nice AAR and pics, Shandy!
In HC, a shaken unit is one that has suffered a serious degeneration of its stamina (i.e. cohesion and morale), and thus is in danger of destruction or collapse. As Paul suggested above, the best thing to do with a shaken unit is to have the commander order it to move out of harm’s way as soon as possible, and then attempt to rally it.
"Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field10/01/2015 at 08:21 #1545107/04/2015 at 07:56 #21520jannerParticipant
As Scott point out, you can rally shaken unit and improve their status by removing one marker per turn.
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