1 1 P a g e The Mutford House Rules were developed in playing Hail Caesar using the following armies in around 200 battles: - Early Imperial Roman - Ancient British, Gallic, German - Early Roman Republic (1 st Punic) - Carthaginian - Later Greek Hoplite - Macedonian - Archaemenid Persian Any references to Hail Caesar rules are generally enclosed in square brackets. For example, [HC p.98/drilled] would mean the section describing Drilled on Page 98 of the rulebook. Mutford Suffolk, England July Why we developed House Rules HC was written to provide a framework of rules for enjoyable wargaming. The rules as written have to cover many periods and so cannot reflect the behaviours of individual armies without introducing many special rules. Such special rules would undermine this driving principle. We only play in the periods listed above and modified certain rules to get results which (to us) mirror the behaviour and outcomes we read in history. Over time, feedback and discussions on the Yahoo forum have led to the introduction, modification and removal of house rules and for that input we are grateful. This version is a complete revision and includes all forum comment and review effort within the group. The MS Word version even includes an index pane!
2 2 P a g e SECTION 1: COMMANDS Giving orders The following modifiers apply to the command dice score and are in addition to those listed in [HC p.26ff /Command and p.29/distance modifiers]. Warbands and Noble Cavalry If neither Shaken nor in a broken division: -1 units ordered to advance towards enemy +1 units given an order which does not result in an advance towards enemy Rationale: The Eager rule on p.99 only applies to failed charge orders. From our reading of history, Celtic/Gallic warriors had a natural eagerness to engage with the enemy. Levy Troops +1 close order units ordered to advance towards enemy, or to a less safe position -1 close order units given an order which results in a move to a position of greater safety What is considered to represent a place of greater safety may require an umpire ruling. Rationale: Unlike Celtic/Gallic tribesmen, we felt that levy troops would be reluctant to engage with the enemy. The levy rule on p.101 only covers recovery from a disordered state. We have not applied this rule to skirmishers. Shaken Units +1 Unit is Shaken. The penalty is not applied if the unit is withdrawing or moving away from the enemy. Rationale: HC permits Shaken units to receive commands but not to charge into combat or join one as support [HC p.66/shaken Units]. We felt that a Shaken unit would also be less able to make tactical moves. Note: a Shaken unit can only use initiative to move to a position of greater safety. Proximity +1 The commander is not in line-of-sight of the unit(s) receiving the command. Where an order is given to a group of units, the penalty is only incurred if all units in the group are out of sight. The penalty does not apply to skirmishers. Where a general is in woodland, he can only see outside the wood if the general figure is within 2 inches of the edge. Rationale: If a general cannot see the troops he is ordering (such as when he or they are in woodland even when close by) the risk of the unit not receiving the order is greater. Note: Intervening close order units (infantry or cavalry) will block line-of-sight unless the general is on a hill. -1 The commander is within 3 inches of any part of a single unit receiving a direct order. Rationale: We believe that the chance of failure is reduced when the commander is very close to the unit being ordered. This modifier can only apply to a single unit and to not a group of units. We had a series of instances where an elite unit refused to take orders from the general standing next to them. To avoid the temptation to exploit this rule, a general can only order two units in this way within a single move.
3 3 P a g e Commander s Ability (For non-barbarian commanders) At the beginning of a game, a player may roll to see if he has a cautious or an aggressive general. 1 = cautious general. If enemy within reach of unit(s) receiving the order, +1 to a charge command 6 = aggressive general. If enemy within reach of units receiving the order, -1 to a charge command Rationale: This option came from a re-reading of the sections of generals abilities in HC and Black Powder, and some observations from Chris Hahn in June We wanted a solution which can be visibly and simply represented on the battlefield in this case by use of a coloured base for the command figure. Deciding which Division moves first For non-barbarian armies, If a general is classed as aggressive, his division will be the first to issue commands. If a general is classed as cautious, his division is the last to issue commands. Otherwise the CinC will always move first, followed by the divisions on the right, and then those on the left. Rationale: A cautious general is more likely to wait for his peers to move; an aggressive general will want to move as soon as possible. For Barbarian armies, a die is rolled for each division. The division with the highest dice score will issue orders first. In the event of a tie, the player can choose the order to follow. Rationale: Barbarian armies are by their nature less predictable. This rule introduces a risk that a careful strategy may become unravelled due to the wrong division having to move first. Giving orders whilst in combat A commander engaged in combat cannot give orders. Rationale: If a commander is fighting, he is unable to assess the wider situation or send orders. Commander with a Disordered Unit If a commander has joined or is part of a unit which is or becomes disordered, he can still give orders. However the unit he is with cannot be given orders until it has recovered. Follow Me The CinC can assume command of any unit in another division if he is within 12 inches of that unit or units. Such a unit may also be included in a group command.
4 4 P a g e Failed Commands 1. Skirmisher and Light units supporting Drilled Troops If an order fails, and a Drilled unit makes a single move as allowed by [HC p.98/drilled], any skirmishers or light open order troops who are directly associated with the drilled unit and subject to the same order can also make the free move in conjunction with the Drilled unit. Other closed order troops subject of the order will, however, stand still. Rationale: We felt that drilled units would not let their light support troops stand still, but would encourage them along. For example, Velites were associated with a particular Roman maniple. 2. Impetuous warbands and noble cavalry after a failed command After a failed command, all unengaged, unshaken, and undisordered warband or noble cavalry units in the division who have not been subject of an order must roll to see if they advance impetuously towards the nearest known substantial enemy force as follows: 1 advance one move to contact if possible 2 advance two moves to contact if possible 3+ remain stationary Any rear-supporting unit will also advance. If a neighbouring warband or noble cavalry unit on the flank has impetuously advanced and the unit has not been subject of an order: 1-2 unit holds back 3+ unit charges alongside or behind the charging unit Rationale: this rule introduces some risk to a barbarian host losing cohesion instead of acting like a welldisciplined and trained force. Additionally, units adjacent to a unit which has surged forward are unlikely to just watch them go. These enhancements have certainly livened up our games. Units supporting a Disordered or Shaken unit to the rear do not take the test. Rationale: A warband behind another similar-sized unit cannot see the enemy and so would be unlikely to impetuously shove the unit in front out of the way. If there is no visible enemy, then the unit(s) will advance towards the last known enemy position as understood by the unit. An umpire decision may be required to determine what this is. Note that the enemy does not have to be in the front quarter of the warband or noble cavalry unit. For example, if the nearest enemy unit is on their flank, the unit will wheel to face and then advance. If a unit is unable to move the full distance due to friendly close order units or impassable terrain, it will go as far as it can. It will break into open order to enter rough terrain. It will also push any open order light troops who are blocking their path (i.e. between the unit and the nearest enemy) even if the latter are in combat with enemy light troops when both combatants will take a disorder test. A warband (even if large) will not push a noble cavalry unit.
5 5 P a g e 3. Fanatic warbands If a fanatic unit has not been forced to charge under initiative [HC p.100/frenzied Charge], it will dice differently from a non-fanatic warband after a failed command as follows: 1 advance one move towards nearest visible enemy 2 advance two moves towards visible enemy 3 advance two moves towards visible enemy if the unit was stationary in the previous round 4+ remain stationary Rationale: Fanatics are more likely to be impetuous, hence this variant which introduces impatience! Warbands or noble cavalry supporting Fanatic units When a fanatic unit charges up to 3 moves under initiative [Frenzied Charge] any warband or noble cavalry units supporting it to the flank and/or rear must separately dice to see if they follow impetuously. A dice roll of 3+ will cause that unit to accompany the fanatics in their charge. If they do not follow, they can still receive an order that round. Note: The fanatics charge is the first move in a round as it is a forced move under initiative. The neighbouring units dice immediately afterwards. Blunders 1. Units with an elite status have the option to re-roll a blunder. If an elite unit is part of a group, the re-roll is only allowed for the elite unit. Rationale: We had a series of games where elite units such as a 1 st cohort, or Macedonian companion unit ran away whereas lesser units in the vicinity carried out their orders. We felt that elite units needed a second chance. 2. Artillery will treat blunders as a failed command and not move. Rationale: In fairness, [HC p.30/blunders] is written in a way to provide a lot of flexibility to the umpire. However, we decided to formalise this rule after a (drilled Roman) artillery unit rolled a blunder, then rolled a 6 and so was required to charge the enemy, which seemed improbable. 3. The C-in-C cannot re-roll a blunder. Rationale: [HC p.80/the General/paragraph 2] allows this but we feel a blunder is exactly that and makes the game more interesting. 4. A commander s figure cannot be moved after a blunder. Rationale: This is probably implied in the HC rules anyway, but is included here for clarity.
6 6 P a g e Broken Divisions When a division is broken (at the end of a player s command phase), the commander incurs a leadership rating penalty of -2 thereafter unless the units are ordered to retire or leave the table. Units can also be rallied, though a successful rally does not alter the status of the division which remains broken. Group commands are not permitted. If a unit of a broken division subsequently needs to take a break test, the result is also modified by -2. Troops can use initiative to retire, but not to engage with the enemy. To engage the enemy (combat or firing) requires an explicit order; initiative cannot be used. In the event of a failed order, all units in the command which have not received a successful order will make a free move to retire off the table (standard HC). Medium/Heavy artillery are abandoned and removed from the table as soon as a division is broken (standard HC). Skirmishers in a broken division incur all distance and visibility penalties, and cannot use initiative to move closer to an enemy to engage in skirmishing. Note : We found that [HC/p85/Broken Divisions and p85/retire] (which requires units to use their moves to leave the battlefield) meant that it was too tempting for a player to ignore these units when making moves. The sight of troops presenting an exposed flank to an intact elite unit of a broken division as if the latter was invisible seemed completely wrong. This rule permits units of a broken division to take orders (with difficulty) to prevent such anomalies. Discussed on the Forum in May 2013.
7 7 P a g e SECTION 2: MOVEMENT Movement Distances The movement distances for infantry are modified according to the weight of their armour: Armour Movement distance Examples Little or no armour, 8 inches Slingers may have a small shield light armour with shield 7 inches Warband, light hoplites, peltasts Roman auxiliaries medium/heavy armour 6 inches Most regular infantry with shield very heavy armour including greaves and/or arm armour 5 inches Heavily armed hoplites Romans armed for Dacian wars Rationale: [HC p.33/table of standard moves] gives all infantry a move distance of 6 inches. We felt there needed to be a differentiation between lightly armed skirmishers and those wearing heavy armour especially when considering evade moves for skirmishers who ought to outrun heavier troops. We have retained the standard 6 inches for giving ground. We have also (possibly controversially) classed Roman Auxiliaries as being lighter and more mobile than legionaries. We developed these changes after noting the -1 inch movement penalty for cataphracts in standard HC. The movement distances for cavalry are modified according to the weight of their armour and size of horse: Type Close Order Open Order Examples Light Cavalry 12 inches 12 inches Unarmoured, may have small shield Medium 10 inches 11 inches Linen or leather armour, may have shield Heavy 9 inches 10 inches Scale armour, may have shield Very Heavy 6 inches 6 inches Very heavy armour including greaves and/or arm armour, may have shield. E.g. cataphract Rationale: An open formation is much looser and it is our belief that medium / heavy cavalrymen will be able to move at increased speed when in open order as they are no longer riding stirrup-to-stirrup. This also complements our house rules for disengaging or evading cavalry charges, where breaking into open order brings some speed benefit over close order equivalents.
8 8 P a g e Initiative Moves [HC p.31/initiative Moves] states that units can make one initiative move if they are within 12 inches of the enemy (or skirmishers of 6 inches). If a unit makes this initiative move, then it cannot take further orders that round. Additionally in their own turn: 1. Each unit wishing to conduct an initiative move must use command dice to see if the unit takes the initiative or not. Group moves are not permitted as it is a local decision. Each unit starts with a core value: Regular troops = 8, Irregular Troops = 7. This is then modified as follows: +1 Troops are levy +1 Troops are Shaken -1 Shaken or Levy Troops are moving to a safer position -1 An adjacent unit has taken initiative and the unit wishes to make the same manoeuvre -1 Exposed enemy flank within a single move of the centre front -2 Exposed enemy rear within a single move of the centre front The dice roll must score less than the final modified number for the initiative move to be carried out. The initiative move is always carried out of the general is with the unit. Rationale: This is a significant departure from standard HC. We have had several battles where light troops would neatly use initiative to slide out of the way of a subsequent ordered charge by friends. This seemed too much like power-gaming to us, and so we introduced a risk to the initiative move. The failure would just represent the ability of the local commander. If a unit fails an initiative move, it can still receive orders. 2. Units in direct support or in the same formation will automatically follow a unit making an initiative move, even if some units may be more than 12 inches from the enemy. An umpire decision may be required if there are space restrictions or where a supporting unit is felt not to have been in that role. Rationale: [HC p.31/initiative moves] allows support troops to follow if they are also within 12 inches of the enemy. We first extended the rule to include supporting units which were more than 12 inches away. We later extended it further to cover formations as it would seem odd for 3 units of a 2x2 formation to do one thing and the 4 th unit staying behind when they were part of the original group. Moving backwards A unit can be ordered to move backwards and still face the enemy at the end of the move(s). This reflects the ability to about-face without movement penalty (standard HC). However, if a unit with large shields moves backwards, then it cannot claim a large shield bonus against enemy ranged attacks in the turn they moved (i.e. traversing shots) as they will have turned their backs during the manoeuvre. A unit which wishes to step backwards, whilst still presenting their shields, can only do so at half-speed. A warband requires half-a-move to turn about face. Rationale: HC allows a unit to about face without penalty. We feel that this is only possible for regular trained troops. Unlike a Roman cohort, a warband would have all of the best fighters at the front and these would need to force their way to the back of the unit before or as the unit moved. This rule was to ensure that a warband cannot just about face and charge an enemy without incurring a penalty.
9 9 P a g e Moving sideways A unit can be ordered one move sideways without changing face and without risk of disorder. If it moves sideways more than one move, it must take a disorder test. Rationale: Moving sideways more than one move will introduce some disruption as it is unlikely to have been a trained manoeuvre. Charging A unit must be able to see the unit it is charging at the beginning of the movement phase. It cannot use the first moves in a sequence to get into sight of the target and then charge. A unit cannot charge an enemy in a wood unless it has previously seen the enemy move into it. Rationale: We believe this is what [HC p55/making the Charge Move/para 2] intended anyway, but included this rule for certainty. An order to charge is given at the beginning of the round (even if the actual charge is in the final move of a sequence), and that is when the target needs to be seen by the unit (not necessarily the commander). Extra heavy infantry lose their charge bonus if they have taken 3 moves to reach the enemy. Rationale: With all that armour, they will be tired! If a unit charges through a friendly skirmisher unit or a unit in open order, that unit is pushed out of the way and must take a disorder test. If a skirmisher combat lies in the path of a charge by close order infantry, both units are considered to be destroyed. The charging unit must also take a disorder test. Rationale: a combat between skirmishers should not prevent a charge by medium/heavy infantry from going home. As the combatants are fighting they also cannot evade the charge. The enemy unit is considered destroyed whereas the friendly unit is probably just dispersed by the charge. However, both are removed from the table. Reaction of a light unit when an adjacent unit evades Every skirmisher or open order light unit within 3 inches of a friendly unit evading a charge can also flee with the evading unit if it wishes. However if the unit is to stand, it must roll a dice: 4+ = the unit does not flee. If the unit does flee, the next light unit within 3 inches must also test, and so on. Close order infantry in open order will always stand. Rationale: an open order unit is normally engaged in skirmisher activity. As such, the presence of a charging close order unit and nearby friends evading/fleeing would be unsettling. Minimum distance between units A unit cannot be moved nearer than 1-inch to any enemy unit unless it is intending to engage in combat. Where a unit has given ground and the follow-up action would bring an enemy unit within 1-inch of another unit, that unit will move to be 1 inch away. There is no disorder test. Rationale: occasionally we had the bizarre situation where two units on opposite sides were next to each other and touching but unable to fight. Though this rule does not change this anomaly, we felt it looks better on the battlefield!
10 10 P a g e Use of Proximity Rule 1. Enemy units engaged in nearby combat may be ignored unless they constitute a direct threat. An umpire decision may be required. Rationale: We interpreted the logic for [HC p.34/proximity of enemy] as reacting to the presence of an enemy threat. An umpire decision may be required in some cases - for example, where a nearby combat includes friends close to being overwhelmed and where the possibility of an enemy sweeping charge would represent a direct threat. 2. Within woodland, the proximity distance is halved to 3 inches. Rationale: we felt that any awareness of the enemy would be significantly reduced, even with scouts. 3. The proximity rule applies to all of a unit s movement in the round. For example, if a unit can make 3 moves, it cannot back out of the 12-inch range with the first move and then take the next 2 moves, ignoring the presence of the original enemy unit. Rationale: When we started using HC, it became a common tactic for us to use the first part of a move sequence to escape the proximity rule. This struck us as too much like power gaming, so we introduced this restriction. Moving through Friends 1. A regular trained close order infantry unit may move (not charge) through a similar unit without either unit needing to test for disorder, even if a centre-front of one unit crosses the other unit. In all other cases a disorder test is required for both units. Rationale: [HC p.35/moving through friendly units and p.98/drilled] do not permit this unless both units are drilled. We developed this rule for combined formations of Roman legionaries and auxiliaries who were both regular and trained. 2. Close order infantry can charge through open order infantry without either needing to take a disorder test, provided at the end of the move both units are separate and their bases are not overlapping. If that happens, the open order unit is considered to have been pushed, makes one full move and must test for disorder. The pushed unit can be positioned behind the chargers but cannot act in a support role that round. Rationale: [HC p.35/moving through friendly units/2nd paragraph] may imply this anyway. 3. A Roman Auxiliary unit becomes disordered on a 5+ rather than 4+. Rationale: The HC army lists do not permit auxiliaries to be drilled; however they were formally trained alongside legionaries and other auxiliaries. It seemed appropriate (to us) that such training should have some benefit. Drilled Light Artillery evading a charge A Roman drilled light artillery unit positioned in front of regular legionaries or auxiliaries can evade a charge provided the chargers start from at least one move away. The artillery will move behind or to the flank of the regular troops where they will act in support that round. If they are less than one charger s move away at the time when the charge is declared, the unit cannot evade, can fire closing shots and must fight. The evade move must not exceed 6 inches. If the unit cannot get to the rear or flank of the unit to their rear, they cannot evade but can fire closing shots and then fight. Rationale: It is unlikely that an artillery unit will stand against an enemy charge if they have time to get out of the way.
11 11 P a g e Close Order Units turning to face when charged [HC p.60/charge Responses and p.61/turn to Face] permits a charged cavalry unit which is not disordered to countercharge if facing the chargers, or to turn to face them if not. This extension permits some other charged units to turn to face a charging enemy, if time permits. A close order unit attacked in the flank or rear and which is not itself directly or indirectly engaged in combat can face charging attackers provided the attacker s front centre is more than one move away i.e. the charged unit has time to react. a unit charged in the rear can about-face, but not close ranks a unit charged in the flank can make a single move to face the attackers, but not close ranks An initiative test is used to determine if the unit reacts to the charge. No command distance penalties are applied as this is considered to be a local initiative and the dice are used to introduce a risk that the unit may not become aware of the threat until it is too late [the default HC position]. Regular troops use 8; irregular troops 7 for this test. A Shaken unit can also react, but with a +1 penalty to the command dice. No single figure in the unit may move more than the maximum allowed distance in a single move. An umpire decision may be required to determine how much the unit can reform before the attackers arrive. A unit can also attempt this move when approached by an enemy unit who starts from over one move away and closes to within half a move, even if it is not able to (or chooses not to) charge to contact. An umpire decision may be required to determine how the unit reacts if there are multiple enemy threats. This manoeuvre is not possible for: Disordered units Deep formations (specifically, warband and phalanx unless drilled) Heavy Chariot units (as being too unwieldy) Rationale: if a unit is charging an enemy using several moves, HC states that the charge itself is the final move. When the chargers commence their move, however, the charged unit is likely to notice the approaching enemy and so has time to react. We adopted this rule after some instances where flank attacks were made on isolated infantry units who had failed a command in their own round (and so could not move). The chance of a unit just ignoring such an obvious threat seemed unlikely.
12 12 P a g e Movement in woodland [HC p.38/woods] defines movement in any type of woodland. We recognise two types of woodland: open (or managed) and dense (unmanaged). Cavalry or chariotry cannot enter either type of woodland. Rationale: Though trees can be far apart in a managed wood, and horses can navigate between them, the likelihood of a cavalry unit retaining any sort of cohesion is minimal, in which case they would become automatically disordered. As disordered troops cannot take orders, such a cavalry unit could become permanently stuck in the wood. It was easier to just prohibit cavalry from entering woodland. Open (managed) Woodland Infantry units in close order can make a single half move. Units in open order (including skirmishers) move through managed woodland at half speed. Dense (unmanaged) woodland Close order movement is not possible at all and units must adopt open order with a maximum movement of half a move. A unit which is more than 3 inches from the edge additionally needs to test for wandering. 1,2 = move at 45 degrees to left 3,4 = no change of direction 5,6 = move at 45 degrees to right If the troops are familiar with woodland (typically Germans), then they will have a reduced risk of wandering: 1 = move at 45 degrees to left 3-5 = no change of direction 6 = move at 45 degrees to right Rationale: This was raised on the forum in June In dense woodland, there is a possibility that the unit(s) will become disoriented as they navigate past dense undergrowth or gullies. Certainly this was my experience when walking through the German Odenwald.
13 13 P a g e Open order troops being charged Evading and Fire & Flee Rationale: This section reflects a feature from WAB which we liked. We believe that an open-order unit should be able to fire and flee if time and distance allows. What follows differs in some degree from [HC p.60/charge responses]. This rule applies to - light infantry in open order and skirmish units - units whose sole offensive weapon is the bow. If in closed order, they will also break into open order - non-cataphract cavalry (who evade after breaking into open order) The rule does not apply to - close order infantry units which have adopted open order When a player announces a charge, the charged unit must state their intention to stand, evade or fire & flee before the command dice are thrown. Stand Once committed to standing their ground, an open order unit can elect to close up as permitted by [HC p.36/formation Changes] provided the charging unit is more than one move away. A skirmisher unit cannot stand except against other skirmishers. Evade & Fire & Flee The number of moves available to the charged unit is the same as that for the attackers. If the attackers take 3 moves to contact, then the charged unit can use up to 3 moves to react. This is different from HC which requires a command roll to determine the number of evade moves, though they get at least one. If the unit elects to fire and flee then the first move will be taken up firing closing shots as soon as the enemy come within range; any residual moves are used for evading. If the chargers have three moves available but need one to get within range, then the shooters are viewed as standing their ground in the first move, firing in the second and fleeing in the third. In the event that the shooting triggers a break test on the chargers and stops them, then the unit firing does not move but any other open order units which were not shooting and which decided to evade when the charge was announced will move an appropriate distance (umpire to decide). Evading troops will always head for the area of maximum safety as understood by the unit. An umpire decision may be required to resolve any discussion concerning non-visible troops - i.e. awareness of friendly or enemy units in a wood or behind a hill. An evading unit cannot move to be in support of another unit. Rationale: We felt that evaders would just run. To be put into support seemed too much like power-gaming. If the evading unit is caught, it is destroyed [standard HC]. The unit can evade using as much of their available movement to get to a position of perceived safety unless their path is blocked by impassable terrain or enemy units. The unit can evade through a friendly unit provided it can completely clear the other unit, otherwise it will remain in front of it.
14 14 P a g e Units leaving the table This house rule provides some clarification for how we interpret [HC p.36/units Leaving the Table]. A unit which leaves the table counts as a casualty when evaluating divisional strength. If a division becomes broken, any of its units who have left the table cannot return [standard HC]. Otherwise it can return unless it is shaken [standard HC]. Non-shaken units can return as follows: - The unit will return in the next round - It will return to within 1 move either side of the exit point - It must return to a point of safety (umpire decision) If there is no point of safety, it cannot return that move. It will then return in the following move, but within 2 moves of the exit point, and so on until it is able to return. This reflects the greater distance available for the unit to have moved whilst off the table. The unit is placed at the board edge when it returns within 6 inches of the side. It cannot move or fire that round as it is considered to be reforming. If it left the table disordered, then it is no longer disordered when it returns. If a unit in combat is pushed off the table, all units involved in the combat are removed. The unit or units who were losing the combat are considered to have been destroyed or dispersed. The unit winning the combat and any supporting units can return as described above unless they are shaken. Note: If the winning units are removed in their opponent s turn, they can return immediately and are deployed within 6 inches of the table edge.
15 15 P a g e Sub-Units Following a failed command, all sub-units which are more than one move away from their parent unit get a free move towards that unit unless blocked by enemy. If the parent unit is destroyed, any light infantry or skirmisher subunits are also removed.
16 16 P a g e SECTION 3: RANGED ATTACKS Effect of Ranged Attacks 1. Ranged attacks must roll two sixes to force a break test on the target unit. This applies even if the to hit score is 7. Rationale: [HC p.44/top right paragraphs] state that a break test must be taken if one six is rolled. It adds that if a 6 is required to hit, then two sixes would be required for the test. However after many battles, we found that a disproportionally large number of medium/heavy infantry units being broken with the one-six rule. We then playtested this two-six rule and found that heavy infantry generally stopped running from skirmishers though they did suffer considerable attrition as they advanced. We felt this better reflected what we read in our history books. We reexamined this in 2013 after forum feedback, but still feel that the two-six rule gives a more likely outcome at least for us. 2. If a close order cavalry unit has to take a break test and the result is retreat, it will break into open order to do so. Rationale: It certainly makes sense for a cavalry unit to retreat when getting pelted with missiles. We felt that the local commander may decide to break into a looser formation to reduce further casualties. Our house rules also give them a greater distance move when in open order. The downside is that the unit will need one move to reform into close order. 3. If the result of a break test caused by ranged attacks is break, the unit is not removed unless the unit is shaken. Instead, the unit treats the result as the worst category of blunder, i.e. it makes 2 moves away from the source of the ranged attacks, taking one further casualty. It additionally becomes disordered. If the unit is unable to retreat fully i.e. it is blocked by a combat or impassable terrain, the unit moves as far as it can. 4. If the result of the break is retreat, but the unit is unable to do so, it moves as far as it can and takes one additional casualty. It does not become disordered. 5. All targets must be declared at the beginning of the firing round. A player cannot keep firing until a break test is forced, then switch targets with any remaining units. 6. Open order and skirmisher infantry may be pushed by closed order infantry making a retreat. They will move ahead of the retreating troops (staying in contact) and take a disorder test. Close order infantry or any cavalry cannot be pushed in this way. Note: this is distinct from troops being pushed following a give ground result from a neighbouring combat when a full move is made. In that case, the troops who are pushed make a move to get out of the way; here they are pushed on ahead of the retreating troops. 7. Greek phalanx can use the phalanx rule to avoid taking a break test unless either more than 2 casualties are inflicted or the unit is shaken. Note: This extends the normal phalanx test to ranged attacks.
17 17 P a g e Firing into combat HC does not appear to cover this explicitly. a) A unit can make ranged attacks at an enemy unit which is supporting another in combat without risking casualties to their own side b) A unit can make ranged attacks at an enemy unit in combat. Each attack is then separately checked to see where it lands: 1-3 = own unit; 4-6 = enemy unit. The saving roll then reflects the target troop type. The weightings can be altered by agreement if one of the combatants presents a proportionally larger target or is being fired at from the rear. Rationale: if a skirmisher unit is able to fire into a combat it seems unlikely that it would just stand and watch. If a unit in combat is shattered by the action of missile fire, it is removed before the combat phase [standard HC]. However the unit who was fighting the shattered unit will occupy their space only if a) They are not Shaken b) They won the previous round of combat Rationale: the forward momentum from the previous round would be enough to occupy the space of the destroyed unit. If they had been pushed back in the last round or are shaken, they are likely to just sigh in relief. Firing overhead Any unit can fire overhead of an intervening unit if they are within range of the target. A to hit penalty of -1 is incurred unless the enemy is downhill or uphill and so visible to the unit firing. If friends are within 6 inches of the target and in the line of fire, then they are hit if the attack dice scores a 1. The morale save is then dependent on the unit which has received the collateral damage. Firing at a pike phalanx 1. Macedonian phalangites can claim the large shield bonus when fired at from the front. This is to reflect the effect of the massed spears which were historically stated to deflect arrows. This bonus is not available when fired at from the flank or rear. Artillery Fire Artillery firing at infantry with large shields do not suffer the -1 to hit penalty. A bolt-thrower firing at half-range or less at open order infantry screening close order infantry has a chance of hitting the close order infantry if it misses the open order screen. Each missed attack is re-rolled to determine if it hits the close order troops. A modifier of -1 is used for this re-roll to reflect the chance of the bolt hitting the ground. Rationale: This reflects the much greater hitting power of artillery compared to arrows and slingshot.
18 18 P a g e Long Range Attacks a) Archers, Slingers and light artillery can fire in both their own and the enemy s turn. Where units can exchange ranged attacks, the shooting is simultaneous unless a unit has moved towards it or across its path, in which case the enemy has to fire traversing shots first. Rationale: Traversing shots occur in the opposing player s round. It seems odd that archers and singers cannot fire if the enemy has not moved. We accept that javelins cannot do this due to the supply issue. b) Traversing shots only incur a -1 penalty if the target has moved more than half a single move distance. c) Traversing shots are not mandated against targets moving away from the unit firing ranged shots d) The range of all weapons within woodland is 2 inches Rationale: [HC p.47/table of morale save modifiers] provides a benefit of +1 for a unit being in cover, but there is nothing to limit the range. From personal experience (I live in a wood), it is rare that you can see more than 30/40 yards in a straight line. Half range penalties (see below) do not apply as everything is effectively at very short range and less than the range of visibility (3 inches). e) A to hit modifier of -1 is applied at over half-range (of the weapon) Rationale: this replaces the modifier for long-range shots in [HC p.45/table of to hit modifiers] which applies to all weapons if the range is over 12 inches. Following a forum discussion on horse archers and some reading up on the effectiveness of slingers, we felt that this penalty needed to be weapon-specific. f) All modifiers are applied to the to-hit score. If a 7 is needed to hit, then for each 6 rolled, it needs to be converted by throwing another dice (4+ = hit). Rationale: [HC p.44/last paragraph] states a 6 will always hit. We felt that a target in open order, at long range and partially obscured would be a really difficult target. However we still count 6 s for the purpose of the 6-test even if the 6 was not converted. g) If a target is obscured, then the firing unit loses one or more of its attacks, dependent on how obscured the target is. An umpire decision may be required to determine how many attacks are forfeited. Note: [HC p.45/to-hit modifiers for ranged attacks] modifies the attacks by -1. h) A unit can fire overhead without penalty if it is uphill of intervening friends. i) Troops making ranged attacks in their own move must fire preferentially at any unit which is either firing at them or which constitutes the greatest threat (an umpire decision may be required). A unit with drilled or elite status can however elect to fire at another target. Rationale: [HC p.41/nominate Target, p.42/choice of Targets and p.48/ranged attacks and open order] give guidance that the closest enemy would be the natural target and provides a list of units which are not considered clear targets. We decided to just apply a simpler greatest threat rule as to determine the natural target, recognising that an umpire decision may be required. j) If a unit chooses to evade rather than fire & flee, it cannot subsequently fire during the shooting phase as it is assumed to have used this time for evading.
19 19 P a g e SECTION 4: HAND-to-HAND COMBAT Wild Fighters [HC p.107/wild Fighters].permits up to 3 re-rolls on the attack dice of a unit classed as Wild Fighters in the first combat round in the game. This is only triggered when the warband fights a similar sized unit. It is not triggered if a standard or large unit fights a small unit. Rationale: This restriction prevents play where artillery or light infantry units are deliberately wasted to use up the enemy re-rolls. In history, the first main clash of a battle would be between substantial forces. Units in Support 1. Units adjacent (flank or rear) to friends in combat must support them. Rationale: [HC/p.66/Supports] does not explicitly state that units must support adjacent units in combat. However, in a Forum discussion (March 2013), it was clear that opting out to (say) subsequently instigate a flank or rear attack in the next game move would be unreasonable and unhistorical especially for undisciplined units such as warbands. 2. Units within 1cm of front, flank or rear are viewed as being in support and do not have to be actually touching the unit in combat or exactly aligned with its front. Once in combat, all units can be aligned. Rationale: [HC/p.67/Positioning supporting Units] permits some flexibility. This rule is to quantify the limits. 3. Supporting units incur a -1 penalty when they are - Shaken or Disordered - in open order Rationale: As a unit in open order has a -1 to its combat ability, then this should also apply to support. This may be standard HC anyway, but we could not find it, so this rule is included here for clarity. These two attributes are cumulative, so a shaken unit in open order will only support on a Levy units in support will contribute 1 attack less than their sustained attacks value. For a standard unit, this means that the unit contributes 2 (rather than 3) attacks to the combat. 5. Cavalry cannot be supported by infantry to their rear Rationale: We have not found any historical example where cavalry were directly supported by infantry in their rear. It also looks very odd on the battle field. 6. A unit attacked on one flank cannot be supported from troops positioned on the other flank. It can, however be supported from a unit to the rear.
20 20 P a g e Commanders in Combat A commander who has joined a unit can choose to enter combat. 1. A commander must fight if the unit he has joined is attacked. 2. The commander/general/c-in-c contributes one extra attack Rationale: The Hail Caesar army lists permit 3 attacks and in some cases more, though [HC p.83/fighting Values of Commanders/paragraph 3] lists some restrictions. This rule is probably our reaction to the WAB rules which in our view made Characters far too powerful. 3. The commander/general contributes +1 to any break test score taken by the unit he is accompanying Rationale: we felt that the presence of the general would boost the morale during the combat. 4. The commander is unable to give orders to other units in his command whilst he is in combat. Rationale: If the general is fighting he cannot send orders. We could not find this restriction but were certain it was implied. Fighting in Rough Terrain. Infantry get a +1 bonus for fighting heavier infantry in rough terrain. Rationale: Heavier infantry are less mobile due to their heavier armour and are arguably less used to fighting in rough terrain. This also gives warbands some advantage over heavy Roman infantry in woodland mirroring the historical ability of the Germans when fighting Rome. Roman Pilum [HC p.103/pilum] states that units fighting an enemy equipped with pilum get a -1 penalty to their morale save in the first round. This can be interpreted to be in the first round of any combat. This house rule places a restriction in that the pilum bonus can only be used by a unit once in a game. Rationale: A legionary only carried two of these javelins and both would probably have been thrown in the initial engagement. A forum discussion in June 2013 revealed that a re-enactor found he could not hold a pilum and his shield with one hand, whilst using a sword with the other, so all javelins would have been likely thrown before fighting hand-to-hand. A further topic in December 2013 concluded that javelins from the rear of the unit would supply the front of the unit and this ability represented continuing supply. We do not hold to that view. The nature of the pilum is that it was unlikely to be reused during a battle. Resupply during a battle was also improbable, so it is restricted to once per game.
21 21 P a g e Fighting more than one unit If a unit is directly fighting more than one enemy unit, then a) If the units are of the same type, the casualties are divided between the units b) If the units are of different types, then the attacks are divided between the units and the morale saves depend on the troop type. Rationale: this prevents a player from placing a disproportionately higher number of attacks onto the weaker unit. In actual combat, this would not have been possible. Action by victorious unit when enemy unit gives ground A unit must follow up an enemy unit it has defeated in combat and which has given ground, even if they are disordered or shaken. All units in the attacking formation* must also follow up where they can. Units who are drilled have the option to stay put (player decision). Units defending a barricade or building or who are in closed ranks cannot follow up. Rationale: [HC p.78/moves by Victorious Units/paragraph 2] states that the victorious unit does not have to follow up. We have played many rule sets in the past which included the concept of a push-back. This is how we view giving ground : it is the pressure of the winning side which has forced the enemy back. As such, no gap should appear even if the winners are badly battered - that is, the troops are actually pushing not just standing there watching the enemy break off combat. *the attacking formation comprises all units in the original charge, whether or not they are directly supporting the main combat. This can be a whole battle line. However, if troops in a defensive formation received a charge and won the combat, then only directly supporting troops will follow up.
22 22 P a g e Action by victorious unit when the enemy is destroyed 1. When a unit is destroyed in combat and removed, unless it is in closed ranks, the victorious unit must immediately move into the space previously occupied by the destroyed unit, even if it is Drilled, Disordered or Shaken. Any supporting units will also follow up if space permits. A Drilled unit acting in support may opt not to follow up. This action may result in a unit fighting with the enemy supporting unit in the next combat round. Rationale: [HC p.78/moves by Victorious Units/paragraph 2] makes this move optional. The move into a destroyed unit s space is to reflect that the final stages of the combat will be very confused, and that the enemy unit does not just disappear leaving a void. We found that this rule made for far more interesting battles as the battle lines became disrupted, which we believe is what actually happened. 2. If several units destroy an enemy unit, then the unit which charged will occupy the space. If all units charged, then the umpire will decide how the units move. 3. If the destroyed unit had close-order rear support which is also destroyed, then this space is occupied instead. 4. If a victorious unit finds itself in base contact with an enemy unit who was previously supporting the destroyed unit, then the combat is fought in the next round as it is viewed as continuing the previous combat. Clash values are not used, and the victorious unit can claim momentum. 5. If the enemy supporting unit failed its own break test and was forced to give ground, then the victorious unit has the option not to follow up [the default position in HC]. However, Barbarian troops must follow up. 6. If a unit supporting the victorious unit on the flank finds itself in base contact with another enemy unit who was not involved in the same combat, a new engagement is fought immediately with clash values but with no charge bonus and no momentum 7. A unit which supported a destroyed unit Cavalry Breakthrough a. cannot elect to close ranks if confronted by the victorious unit b. can evade as normal if it is already in open order. It cannot break into open order and then evade. If a cavalry unit destroys its opponent, and there is no enemy unit within 2 moves, the unit can continue to advance one or two moves. If it makes two moves, it must take a disorder test (as for a sweeping charge). Optionally it can break into open order in which case it does not take the disorder test.
23 23 P a g e Giving Ground but unable to move If a unit is obliged to give ground after a break test but cannot do so due to another blocking unit or impassable terrain then the following guidelines apply: a) If the blocking unit is an unengaged friend who is able to move, then that unit makes one full move away and tests for disorder (standard HC) unless it is aligned at an acute angle to the blocking unit. b) If an unengaged blocking friendly unit is aligned at an acute angle, the unit giving ground will slide along the blocking unit s front if the two units overlap by less than half the unit s width. If the overlap is half or more, then the blocking unit has to make a move away and test for disorder (standard HC). c) If the blocking unit is in combat, or is an enemy or there is impassable terrain, the result depends on the relative sizes of the attacking unit and the unit giving ground : a. If the attacking unit is smaller than the unit giving ground, the units remain in their current positions, but momentum is awarded to the attacker b. If the attacking unit is the same size or larger than the unit giving ground the unit giving ground is destroyed. Note: Skirmishers giving ground cannot push close order troops and so will always be destroyed. Supporting Units taking a break test If a flank supporting unit gets a test result of break, the unit instead retreats 2 moves, takes a casualty (i.e. the worst case of blunder) and additionally becomes disordered. Units to the rear will be removed on rolling a break result (standard HC). Rationale: It is not clear to us why a flank unit is also dispersed if the main unit is destroyed. There are many historical examples where this did not happen, though we accept that in some battles there has been a knock-on effect where unit after unit effectively panics. We may experiment with a -1 modifier to the support break test if the main unit is destroyed. Phalanx rule If a phalanx is attacked in the flank or rear, and is not engaged to the front, the phalanx rule cannot be used. Rationale: [HC p.107/phalanx] does not mention flank attacks, but we felt that was in the spirit of what is written. We still have some problem with the phalanx rule applying when the phalanx is engaged to the front and also attacked in the flank/rear but usually the additional casualties from the other attacks are sufficient to nullify the rule. Morale Saves for Cataphracts. Cataphracts will save on 3+ against missiles or in combat. Notes: A cataphract unit has a reduced movement distance of 6 inches to reflect the effect of the heavy horse armour. Additionally there is a -1 to ranged attacks against cataphracts to reflect their additional protection. We have changed this around to put the benefit on the saving throw and extended this to combat as well. The -1 penalty on ranged attacks no longer applies. Rear Support by small units A deep formation such as warband or phalanx cannot be given rear support by a single small light infantry unit unless the latter is armed with slings or bows. Rationale: Javelins are a short range weapon and would not be thrown over a deep formation which is typically over 10 men spaced a metre apart. Any morale effect would be negligible.