Historical Background: Rome was the scene of civil unrest. The Senate needed a strong leader to restore order, but they feared creating a dictator. They decided to appoint three men to share command - Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. The plan began to unravel when Crassus was killed in Egypt. This set up a power struggle between Caesar, who was in Gaul, and Pompey who was in Rome. Caesar stopped at the Rubicon River with his army. He knew that if he crossed the river it would mean civil war, a gamble that might cost him his life. With the famous words "the die is cast" he crossed the river, sparking a civil war with Pompey's supporters. The decisive battle of the war was fought in 48 BC at Pharsalus. Caesar was triumphant. Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was killed. Casesar became dictator, turning the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire in the process. Caesar was murdered four years later in 44 BC.
Battle 1: This battle has not yet been playtested.
The Armies: The battle can be played with plastic 1/72 scale figures. There are many sets of Roman figures available. Check out the Plastic Soldier Review to see all the possibilities. Figures should be mounted two per base, cavalry bases are 1.5" square, infantry bases are .75" x 1.5". Mounted commanders are based singly on .75" x 1.5" bases. All units were six bases in size - 3 bases in the front rank, three in the rear rank. Here are some paper soldiers you can print and use.
Caesar's Army (all units 6 bases)
Overall Commander: Julius Caesar
Pompey's Army (all units 6 bases )
Overall Commander: Pompey
The Board: The terrain was flat and a 7.5' X 5' foot table was used.
Deployment: The armies begin at least 18" inches apart. Historically Pompey deployed all his cavalry on his left wing, Caesar put his cavalry on the right wing to face them (backed up with infantry).
Sequence of Play:
2. Caesar Shoots
3. Pompey Moves
4. Pompey Shoots
5. Charge into Melee
Movement: All foot units move 6". Commanders and cavalry move 12." A unit can not move closer than 1" from the enemy except during charges.
|Cavalry & Commanders
Shooting: Only skirmishers are allowed to shoot. Eligible units may only fire at targets in front of them, they can not fire to the side or rear. Roll 1D6 for each base that shoots. Every 6 rolled is a hit and one base is removed from the targeted unit. If any part of a unit is in range the entire unit may fire. Units that are engaged in melee may not fire, and may not be targeted.
Charge into Melee: Both sides may charge into melee. This is the only way to get into melee. Foot units may charge up to 6," cavalry may charge 12". Units may only charge if they can reach an enemy unit. If it matters Caesar's army charges first.
Melee: Each side rolls 1D6 for each base in the fight. Both sides roll simultaneously. The Melee table shows the number needed to score hits. Remove one enemy base for every hit. If both units still have bases left they remain engaged and fight again next turn. If a unit is attacked on the flank or rear it may only fight with two bases during the first turn of melee. On subsequent rounds of melee all the bases may fight.
|Infantry & Skirmishers
|Any vs. Skirmishers
Last Stand: If a unit is reduced to one base this last base is removed immediately. This rule does not apply to elephants
Commanders: Commanders may not be targeted individually. If they are attached to a unit they count as an extra base in melee (but not shooting). Caesar counts as two extra bases in melee. If the unit they are attached to fights in melee or is completely eliminated by shooting roll 1D6. If the roll is a 6 then the commander is eliminated.