So Hail Caesar by Warlord Games is now on its 2nd edition. We have full played both sets and have rated the rules out of 5 in the following categories as follows: -
Complexity - in theory the 'I go - you go' rules are quite simple despite the layout however the Unit characteristics (of which there can be many) can complicate things. Even with Unit Cards (see downloadable content in this blog) it is quite difficult to remember all the attributes.
Layout - ok so this is going to be summed up in one word. "Dreadful". This is the 2nd edition and it still doesn't have a full Turn Sequence (it has the same fairly glib reference to it in both editions of the rules and QRS). There are relatively meaningless photos which wouldn't be so bad (unless you have the pdf version & you intend to print off a copy) if everything was logically placed. Yes the pdf is handy and is well referenced but even so it isn't perfect. It has been explained to me that they are "Sandbox Rules". This could be deemed to be sarcastic taking into account the length of the rules, though I guess the general vagueness and the lack of acceptance by the author that there were errors in the 1st Edition could slot it neatly into the "Sandbox Rules" category.
Realism - "It's just a game". Yep, I'd go with that. It does have some nice features and ideas in there I like. Ideas that other rulesets perhaps should or have copied in some form. An abstract attempt at Command & Control does not work very well.
Playability - not sure why it has a '3'. But it can be fun seeing the opponent not move his Elite Companion Cavalry for several moves (no this never happened to me). If the dice actually roughly roll around average and don't mess up the odds dramatically it can be sort of quite playable. And the Blunders Rule.... in the 1st Edition it just spoiled everything and whilst not used in our 2nd Edition games I would say that the results look to be moderated. Too much looking through the overly long (with luvely pictures) rulebook due to a poor Quick Reference Sheet and poor rules layout.
Value - I gave it a '2'. One is for the unnecessary photos. The rest is for the rulebook.
In Summary - I am waiting for Edition 3. Maybe a complete re-write encompassing some of the good ideas in an easier-to-use format) and a lot, lot shorter. Preferably without saving rolls.
However we have some downloads (below) that should help you get through a game or several. We hope that you like them. Please let us know if we have anything wrong. Please use freely. The Unit Cards are fully editable and have some types already entered for one of our Hoplite Games (we have more if interested).