Messing with Caesar

For our Salute game, we needed to use a quick set of rules which would allow fast play. I didn’t want them to be dumbed down too far, as we needed to keep the flavour of the game intact. We also wanted to use a system that my volunteers (the Brixham Berserkers, gawd bless ‘em!) knew very well. So, the concept of Pulvis Niger was born.

The classically educated amongst you may recognise that Pulvis Niger is indeed ‘Black Powder’ in Latin. The original idea was to cross Hail Caesar with the simplicity of Black Powder, basically taking it back to the simplicity of its Warmaster roots, but retaining all the innovations that Black Powder/Hail Caesar had added.

People may find this variant strange, but sometimes altering the number of dice you roll can change the nature and speed of a game. Don’t get me wrong, Hail Caesar is an excellent game, but for a fast moving demo, we needed to keep the number of markers and dice on the table to a bare minimum.

Pulvis Niger

This is a very basic, cut down version of Hail Caesar. 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.

Romans

Unit

Weapon

Clash

Sustained

Shooting

Morale

Stamina

Special

Legionary

Sword, Pilum

4

4

1

6” Javelin

4+

3

Drilled

Aux Archers

Bow or Sling

2

2

1

18” Bow

None

2

Small Unit

Open Order

Ship

Artillery

Medium

Ballista

2-2-1

48”

Aux Cavalry

Sword

Javelin

5

3

1

6” Javelin

5+

3

Drilled – May move once on a failed order. May move through friendly troops without risking disorder.
Pilum – Reduces enemy’s morale save by 1 for the first round of combat.

Celts

Unit

Weapon

Clash

Sustained

Shooting

Morale

Stamina

Special

Fanatics

(1 unit only)

Sword,

Javelin

5

3

1

6” Javelin

5+ (4+)

3

Wild Fighters

Fanatics

Warband

Sword,

Javelin

5

3

1

6” Javelin

5+

3

Wild Fighters

Skirmishers

Sling or

 Javelin

2

2

1

12” Sling

None

2

Small Unit

Open Order

British Chariots

3

3

1

6” Javelin

4+

3

British  Cavalry

Javelin

4

2

1

6” Javelin

6+

3

Open Order

Wild Fighters – may reroll one failed attack die per game.
Fanatics – Morale bonus of +1 until shaken. Must declare a charge on an enemy unit if in range.

Support

Units within 6”and not in combat can support. They add their shooting attack die to the melee. Treat as an additional attack for the supported unit. Shaken and disordered units cannot support.

Shattered units

When a unit reaches double its stamina in wounds, it is automatically broken and removed.

Divisions

Each division should consist of a minimum of four units. Roman divisions are broken when they lose over half of their units. Briton units are broken when they lose up to half their units.

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