Hail Caesar Reading List

Previously I discussed my desire to wargame Ancient Rome.  Every wargamer knows that part of the fun is research.  Just like RPGers enjoy reading sci-fi/fantasy to learn more of their setting, and to get ideas for storylines, wargamers read of their desired conflict.

My gaming buddy, and Troll in the Corner author, Adam created an 18th century reading list.  What’s that Shakespeare said about stealing great ideas?  My Hail Caesar reading list isn’t necessarily the best of the best.  That’s not to say the material sucks.

The list is comprised of the items I am reading to learn more about the game, the period, the conflicts, and my focus of Ancient Rome.  To be exact my focus is on Imperial Rome.  But, something tells me I’ll meander into Republican Rome as well.  I may as well read about both while I’m digging through the dusty tomes.


  • The Works of Caesar by Julius Caesar – Caesar’s firsthand account of his invasion of Gaul, the Civil War, and a smattering of other wars.
  • The Annals by Publius Cornelius Tacitus – Tacitus’ historical account of the reigns of Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero.  Discusses the military and political conflicts under those emperors.
  • The Histories by Publius Cornelius Tacitus – Tacitus  covers the year of four emperors (civil war engulfed the empire, four people clamored for the throne), the rise of Vespasian as Emperor and his two sons succeeding to the throne.
  • The Rebellion of Boudicca by Donald Dudley & Graham Webster – Webster is an archaeologist and expert on Roman Britain and the Roman Empire.  Boudicca’s rebellion is one of the most famous times of imperial Rome.  She was a native British (Iceni) queen that fought for freedom from Rome.
  • The Roman Army : the greatest war machine of the ancient world by Chris McNab – The entire history of the Roman army (both under the Republic and the Empire) is covered.  Maps, illustrations, excerpts from primary sources, and photographs are sprinkled throughout the book.  A survey of their army.
  • Cannae 216 BC Hannibal smashes Rome’s Army by Mark Healy – One of the many books by Osprey Publishing, our friend for introductory reading on any historical conflict, to aid the wargamer.  This one examines the pivotal Battle of Cannae, said to be Hannibal’s (the guy who brought elephants over the Alps) greatest feat.  It is a perfect aid for any wargamer wishing to  play the battle.
  • The Roman Imperial Army by Graham Webster – Webster is back with an in depth study of the Roman Army under the emperors.  He explains the army’s composition, tactics, and organization.
  • The Roman army from Caesar to Trajan by Michael Simkins – Another Osprey Publishing title.  This covers one of the most military active periods of the Roman Empire.  Ever wonder what the armor looked like that Rome’s soldiers wore?  This is a must read for you.
  • Roman Legionary 58 BC – AD 69 by Ross Cowan – One more Osprey Publishing title for the list.  Cowan provides a great survey of the Roman legionary.  How the soldiers fought, what they wore, their tactics, and their leaders.
  • Roman Battle Tactics 390-110 BC by Nic Fields – Yep, an Osprey Publishing book.  How can we recreate a battle of the Roman Republic if we don’t know how they fought?  This book teaches us their tactics so that we can become a great general like those from Ancient Rome.
  • Roman Battle Tactics 109 BC- AD 313 by Ross Cowan – One last Osprey Publishing title for the reading list.  This book covers the Roman Empire.  It serves the same purpose as Mr. Fields’ tome, but for a later time period.
  • Hail Caesar by Rick Priestley – How do you expect the play the game, Hail Caesar, if you don’t read the rules?  This gorgeous book is full of glossy, color photographs, charts, diagrams, and plenty of info to help any gamer get started.  It even includes a few scenarios you can play out of the box.

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