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"Stick with Warmaster series or 'upgrade' to Hail Caesar?" Topic

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1,670 hits since 16 Jun 2012
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CPBelt17 Jun 2012 6:34 a.m. PST

I already own Warmaster Ancients, its army book, and Warmaster Fantasy. I really enjoy these rules. I wish I had Medieval, but can't afford its price.

I would like my historical armies to also double for fantasy gaming. Looks like I'm going the 15mm route.

Now, I have been debating if I really need to get Hail Caesar or stick with what I own. What do you guys think? Do I need to spend another $40 USD and retire these rules? What would I gain? BTW I also own Black Powder, so am kind of familiar with it.

Manflesh Inactive Member17 Jun 2012 7:23 a.m. PST

If you and your friends enjoy Warmaster Ancients, then why change ruleset? Hail Caesar isn't necessarily an upgrade, just a different rule system (albeit with some similar mechanics).

I've played both, and for what it's worth I prefer Hail Caesar. Hail Caesar captures the period flavour a bit better and is more tactical, but these would only be my opinions. You get a good game with Hail Caesar, and it seems to encourage a less competitive atmosphere than Warmaster, FoG, but again that will be dependent upon your gaming group anyway.

At least with Hail Caesar, you don't really need the army list expansions (says the guy who bought the first one). You can create the unit stats themselves, and they devote a fair portion of the book to helping you with this. I find this kind of fun in itself.

Sorry if this doesn't help that much. I might be missing the query, because you're saying that you really enjoy one perfectly viable ruleset, and asking if you should invest in another. To which my wargamer response is automatically heading towards "you should buy as many rulesets as possible at all times". If there's any particular difference between the rulesets you'd like compared, then I'd like to help more.


Lord Raglan Inactive Member17 Jun 2012 7:27 a.m. PST

Switch to War and Conquest, IMHO it knocks spots off HC.


Bob in Edmonton17 Jun 2012 7:58 a.m. PST

I think Hail caesar resolves a lot of issues with Warmaster ancient (base removal being one) and is a better overall game. But if you are happy with WMA, why change?

PSADennis17 Jun 2012 8:03 a.m. PST


Parzival17 Jun 2012 8:43 a.m. PST

Haven't tried HC, but I do think a few questions are relevant:

Are you investing in new figures or reusing WM/WMA figs?
If the latter, will you need to rebase for HC?

If the former… do you need a good home for your old figs? evil grin

Volstagg Vanir17 Jun 2012 8:56 a.m. PST

How, exactly, is Hail Caesar an upgrade?

Bob mentions Base removal, but that seems a matter of taste.
Man mentions 'period flavor' and 'more tactical'
but what does that mean, exactly…?

Considering you have invested, what: $100 USD?+ time! In Warmaster,
I think its worth getting some detailed point for point comparison
(if anyone is willing and able…?)
FYI: I picked up Warmaster Medieval for $20 USD on fleaBay last month….

As a Warmaster player myself, I'm also intersted in the comparison
mostly because I'm not sold on it handling Sengoku Samurai battles.
It'd work well enough, just not sure it communicates the right "flavor"
(might actually use the Brettonia Fantasy list: that might do it… hurm)

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2012 9:45 a.m. PST

Actually, there's been some discussion on various forums that Pike and Shotte might be a better choice for age of battles Japanese than Hail Caesar, but I've not tried either for the period yet, so cannot say myself. As for whether to buy HC, I agree with Manflesh – one should always buy as many sets of rules as possible. wink


Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jun 2012 11:34 a.m. PST

I love Warmaster, dislike Warmaster Ancients and like Hail Caesar. I think it handles a lot of things better than Warmaster Ancients.

yorkie o117 Jun 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

I also own both, and vastly prefer HC over warmaster, its less fiddly, no base removal, flexible basing, and is a great game.

I enjoyed warmaster for years, but hail caesar came along and i can use all my warmaster armies no problem, and in my opinion its a better game.


brevior est vita Inactive Member17 Jun 2012 12:22 p.m. PST

Warmaster Ancients and Hail Caesar are built on the same basic gaming engine, but 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 the key factor.

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 are stated out loud, and 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).

5. There is no Armour Save in HC, although the Morale Save does tend to serve 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. There is no base removal in HC, so players may use casualty figures, markers or some other means of tracking 'casualties' i.e. overall unit cohesion.

7. HC includes a greater number of optional rules to add historical characteristics and flavor to various units.

8. In WMA, armies tend to be built to standard point values. HC is much more oriented toward scenario play, and while a rudimentary points system is included, there is clearly much less 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 rule sets. Which of them you might find preferable is naturally going to be a matter of personal taste. Hail Caesar is quite flexible in regard to unit size and basing, so if you do choose to pick it up, you shouldn't have any trouble adapting your WMA armies.


Caesar Inactive Member17 Jun 2012 2:01 p.m. PST

I like HC a bit more than WMA.
It is the same basic system but less complicated while providing a fairly identical overall experience. Skirmishers are 'fixed'. The players have greater flexibility in applying their own historical take on the game system. Larger units look better and the varying sizes are a better representation. I like one command roll over three and the commanders have greater scope in ordering units without them having to be in brigades. Commanders also have a few fun special capabilities that didn't exist before. Unit stats are more interesting.
The product overall feels like a refined second edition to WMA.

Yesthatphil17 Jun 2012 2:03 p.m. PST

Hail Caesar is better, if those are your choices.

Just my take


abelp0118 Jun 2012 2:46 a.m. PST

CP you need to buy 2 of them and give one to a buddy as a Birthday present <wink wink, nudge nudge> LOL!

wargame insomniac18 Jun 2012 9:30 a.m. PST

I have tried HC (with 28mm figures) and love it.

One of my friends who is a huge fan of both Warmaster and Warmaster Ancients is planning on switching to HC. Basing wise he will just be able to use his 2 existing WMA armies- HC is very flexible and you should nt need to rebase.



Trajanus18 Jun 2012 1:31 p.m. PST

Are you investing in new figures or reusing WM/WMA figs?
If the latter, will you need to rebase for HC?

Er, no you don't. The only change you may want to make is if any of your armies have Shock Cavalry mounted on the narrow frontage from WMA.

Other than that you are good to go.

We played one game of HC using our 28mm WMA armies and never went back.

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