Our Caesarian Roman game at Salute 2014 is going to be impressive. Simon Miller is bringing hundreds, if not thousands of troops to cover the table. It’s going to be a participation game (entitled ‘C-Day’, representing Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in 55BC). Because of this, it needs to have a simple set of rules that are easy to learn.
Simon does have his own excellent set of rules, “To the Strongest!” which will be released later this year. However, Simon and I decided against them as they are unfamiliar to my local club (who will be running the game) and would require marking the board (as the game uses a grid pattern).
We needed a very basic, cut down set of rules to play on the day, which would be easy enough for the general public to understand quickly (you need to roll five dice and get fours…) and simple enough for us to remember! This is when I came up with the concept of Pulvis Niger, (yes, its Latin for Black Powder in case you were wondering).
The rules we settled on are a cut down version of Hail Caesar, and sort of similar to a cross between Hail Caesar (HC) and Black Powder (BP). In fact, they are perhaps most like the old Warmaster Ancients (WMA) rules, but adapted to incorporate some concepts from the BP system (from my perspective, they cut down on all the annoying things from WMA, such as rolling for each order). HC does involve a lot of dice, so halving them makes our lives easier.
Essentially, we’ve halved the hits, Clash and Sustained values (rounded up) that each unit normally possesses. We are retaining the HC command system and break table, but otherwise reducing the rules to their simplest most basic form.
Enter the Berserkers…
The Brixham Berserkers have kindly volunteered to give us a hand at Salute. For the past few weeks we’ve been doing a dry run for our game at Salute.
This past Wednesday night, we played another test game. We had two fun matches, and ended up with both a Roman and Celtic victory as the outcome. Each game took roughly an hour, so we ended up playing two games between 8pm and 10pm when we packed up.
I like it when the Berserkers play games, as they can sometimes get very competitive. This leads to rules discussions, as each side tries to bend their ‘interpretation’ to an advantage. All in good fun… I hope! In two weeks they will be a fine-tuned fighting machine, that will know the rules (or their ‘version’ of them) to a ‘T’.
Use of ‘chemical weapons’ by the Celtic side almost cleared the room at one point.