Interview with Great Escape Games

We spoke to Mark from Great Escape Games about Clash of Empires, and The Rise and Fall of Persia, their new book.


Mark and his small associate….

” Stu and I had played WAB [warhammer Ancient Battles] for years, but it didn’t support the armies that we wanted to play with. The only way we could use them was if we looked on the internet for some amendments that people had cobbled together…when they redid WAB we saw an opening.”

” Much like Rules of Engagement we looked at what we wanted from a rule set and what it was we didn’t like about existing rule sets and developed Clash of Empires to meet what we felt was missing. For instance WAB has a single Command value, LD, and then a series of exceptions to make that fit all types and variants…In the ancient world some armies were very disciplined, they were good at marching, following orders etc, but when they met with the enemy the morale could falter. Whereas others like the Celts were not particularly disciplined, they would just gather and charge and often ignored commands, but they would continue fighting whatever…So morale and discipline are both accounted for in the Clash of Empires rules…We have also made it more about the troops than individual personalities. Generals lead the armies, they do not single handedly take out the enemy…We have also focussed on support, making sure that you can play, whatever army you may have. For instance I have a Crusader army but I cannot play WAB with them, Greeks are very popular but you cannot use those with WAB rules, as no supplement was created and the lists in “Armies of Antiquity” were inadequate. In Clash of Empires we have made it possible to use the majority of popular armies immediately, and have over thirty army lists on the website available freely, so you need not wait for the next supplement before you can play.”

“We have set ourselves a timeline for the release of the supplements and The Rise and Fall of Persia will be available from October 5th…This covers from the beginning of the Persian Empire through the conquest of Greece, the Peloponnesian Wars and the Rise of Alexander the Great to the destruction of the Persian Empire by the Macedonians. We are releasing the dark Ages supplement next year…We don’t write the supplements ourselves, we get people who have expertise in the area to do it…The first 1000 copies of The Rise and Fall of Persia come with a limited edition figure of a Persian Satrap modelled by Steve Saleh…We hope to release a unique figure with each of the books.”

For more information visit the Clash of Empires site, and as soon as The Rise and Fall of Persia is released it will be available at Arcane Scenery and Models.

Friday round up

Bonjour mes amis ou mes armées…

Last week we skipped the Friday round up, sorry chaps.

We do have some new and forthcoming items to make up for no round up last week…

Not new, but reissue is the Warlord Roman batallion/starter set; this reissue offers a great bargain at a penny under £60 you get:
60 Plastic Legionaries
20 Plastic Praetorians
20 Plastic Veterans
24 Plastic Auxiliaries

Also from Warlord there is…*deep breath* Dacian Commander, Roman Casulties, Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Duke of Cumberland,and Imperial Harquebusiers.

From the Plastic Soldier Company we have two 15mm Sherman Tanks, in umm wet and dry

We now carry all the Artizan Wild West range…

And from AFV we have some ammo  and tracks 



Saws…we have saws (yes that’s saws not sores…) from Expo we have the ultra thin razor saw and the jewellery saw

AND forthcoming we will be stocking some more Tamiya items and from Zvedza we will have the 38T tank and the Reconnaissance group forthwith…

If you’re on Facebook why not befriend the Arcane mascot/valet Louis or become a fan on our page



Hail Caesar Review

Hail Caesar is a game for those whom the gods have marked for glory-for men who do not quail at the sight of barbarian hordes nor quibble with what fate decrees at the roll of a dice. ” Foreword to Hail Caesar by Rick Priestley

The brand new book Hail Caesar (released 15 April 2011), is perfect for wargamers who enjoy the Roman, Greek and Egyptian periods. The main body of the book is devoted to the mechanics of game play , the latter section to battle reports and appendicies containing designer’s notes.

The book opens with  a little about the way the rules can be adapted to different sizes and types of game play, and the essential equipment: an army(!), six sided dice, tape measure and an opponent!

The first part of the mechanics is devoted assembling an army, either from scratch or building on existing troops, the different historical troop types and the fighting qualities of the different types of troop within the Hail Caesar rules. They then move onto the particular base sizes, and table sizes, most appropriate for gameplay. The section on formations discusses the various benefits of different arrangements of troops, how to move from one formation to another.

Games Rules and Command move onto the nitty gritty of playing the game, covering everything from the sequence of play to how to advance elephants through friendly troops. Briefly, the book moves into terrain and covers how this can best be utilised in battle, and also covers rules regarding use of terrain, such as buildings that can only be entered or assaulted by infantry.

The actual battling is covered in two comprehensive chapters, Ranged Attacks and Hand-to-Hand Combat. These chapters explain the intricacies of combat, from choosing your target, to how to respond to your opponent charging your rear, never a pleasant experience! Should combat not work out as well for your troops as hoped, your unit may have to take a break test, and this is conveniently covered in the following chapter. The book moves on to the various types of commander, and what to do should yours unfortunately meet his maker, and finally the gameplay section comes to the all important Victory and Defeat.

The next section of the book is quite data heavy, giving values for various troops on a range of qualities from their ability in combat to their morale and then a selection of Useful Rules which includes everything from wedge formations to what to do when your elephants stampede.

We then move into battle reports which give a good flavour of how Hail Caesar games can progress. The battles covered are:

  • The Battle of Kadesh 1274BC-between the Hittites and Egyptians.
  • 426BC-Athenians vs Spartans (yelling “I am Sparta” not obligatory)
  • Border Raid AD52-Romans endeavouring to crush the Britons, capture their women and send their livestock away.
  • 260 AD-Romans (again) battling the Persians.
  • 500AD-More Romans but this time against the Hun.
  • 937 AD-Viking alliance of Welsh and Celts versus The Saxons who accompanied by Viking poet Egil Skallagrimsson.
  • The Battle of Brada River 1148AD- King Baldwin III crusading against The Damascans.

The book finishes with some notes from the designer on the devlopement of the game of Hail Caesar from Black Powder, some hints on playing with smaller models, how armies were composed in ancient times and all the rules.

Hail Caesar is an attractive and well illustrated tome, providing a comprehensive introduction to the rules and strategies for playing ancient battles. There are full colour photographs throughout of battle scenes, troops and individual soldiers. There are also snippets of interesting historic information covering everything from Spanish swords to cooking molluscs daft enough to be caught;  Welsh poems and of course those all important period insults! Clearly, a great deal of research has gone into compiling this attractive book, a reflection of the expertise and enthusiasm of the authors, in particular, the rules maestro himself, Rick Priestley. Hail Caesar continues Warlord Games’ tradition of producing high quality, beautifully illustrated rules books that are ideal for both the novice to the hobby and those more experienced.

Invest in Hail Caesar and revive some Roman or Barbarian glories, unless you are a raven starver [see page 161] that is…

Reviewer Arcane Scenery’s Girl Friday.