Wargaming Ancient Rome

TestudoWho doesn’t love ancient Rome?  American cinema is full of action-packed films depicting ancient Rome, glorifying the Roman civilization, and enrapturing audiences for decades.  But, “what the heck does this have to do with wargaming and why is Jonathan writing about it?  Doesn’t he do that podcast thing instead of blogging?”

Listeners to my show, Wargaming Recon, know of my love for a laid-back set of wargaming rules called Black Powder.  I refer to them as guidelines for gentlemanly wargaming.  Rick Priestley, who wrote those rules, created an adaptation suitable for the ancient world.  His creation is called Hail Caesar.  It enables wargamers to use the accessible style of play that Priestly perfected with Black Powder.  Hail Caesar covers everything from biblical times (and before) all the way to the medieval ages.

Since I was a small child I loved all things ancient Rome.  The grandeur, the society, the army, the leaders….all of it is magnificent.  Now I can recreate my favorite battles from Spartacus, Gladiator, Ben-hur, or HBO’s Rome.

My wargaming buddy and fellow Troll in the Corner author Adrian lent me his copy of the rulebook.  Another wargaming buddy and, you guessed it, fellow Troll in the Corner author Adam and I have been bouncing ideas off one another.  With some information from Karwansaray Publishers’ Managing Editor, Jasper Oorthuys, a scholar on ancient Rome, my mission became clear.

Whenever I tackle a wargaming project I like to outline my goals.  The guidelines I create allow me to more effectively direct my efforts.  For this project I decided:

  1. To embrace my non-painting side by choosing to not paint the models.
  2. To purchase affordable, quality, models requiring no (or little) assembly.
  3. To begin playing Hail Caesar as quickly as possible.

Next time I’ll discuss the ways I approached each of the goals and I will offer suggestions for how you can get into wargaming the ancient world.

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