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Subject: CAESAR:CoG = War Galley + SPQR rss

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CAESAR:CoG = War Galley + SPQR



Introduction:
Caesar:Conquest of Gaul (C:CoG) is Volume VI in the Great Battles of History Series (GBoH) published by GMT Games.

I’ve played a number of GBoH games and I love the “feel” of the games. See my review of Alexander here. So I am biased.

What I would like to accomplish in this review is give the readers already familiar with the system an idea if C:CoG is for them?

Components/Review

 


The Rules

To answer the question posed above, we really need to digest what C:CoG offers. The basic ruleset to C:CoG is quite similar to SPQR and would be on par with that difficulty. This is contained in a 26-page Rule Book.

What C:CoG specially offers is an additional 8-page Naval Scenario Book. This rulebook offers a shortened version of the rulebook from War Galley. These additional rules are quite simple, but do increase the “difficulty” when combined with the standard ruleset above. But, they are only used in two of the six scenarios offered. (refer below: The Scenarios)

C:CoG has two different play aids on thick, heavy cardstock. Much thicker than previous publications. The first Play Aid is double size and double-sided. This is equivalent to four pages of charts used in the land battles. It would have been nice to have this in duplicate.

The Second Play Aid has 9 small charts used only in the Naval Battles. These are very useful.

The Counters

Three sheets of counters (840 full-colour two-sided counters). As per the rest of the series, the Counters contain both units and markers. The units are colourful and easy to read.


(Great cross-section of the different units in C:CoG)

Roman counters are reminiscent of SPQR legions. The Gaulish units are primarily Barbarian Infantry (BI) with the addition of some Chariots, Light Cavalry and a few missile units.

There are also galleys (same length as phalanx units) and Veneti sail ships which utilize square counters.

The Scenarios

The Play Book is 16-pages long and contains 6 scenarios. Four of the scenarios are land only battles. These battles all have their own map. Most battles have a 4-6 hour published playtime (double this if you still need to flick back to the rulebook frequently).

The fifth battle is the Invasion of Britain which combines only the movement naval rules with the ground rules for a beach landing battle.

The sixth battle is a “bonus” battle which uses the shortened naval rules (refer above) and does not have a map. This battle takes place in the Bay of Biscay and any full-size map can be used.

Just a quick aside regarding the maps. C:CoG contains two full-color double-sided 22x34" mapsheets, comprised of 3 full-size maps and 2 half-size maps. The maps are quite lovely with streams and camps (etc) and are a bit more interesting than the flat ground seen in The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition



So, how do they play? Well, this is possibly the one beef with C:CoG. The scenarios all have a slight to strong advantage to the Roman player. In this way, C:CoG is more of a conflict simulation than a wargame.

Also, controlling a whole army of Barbarian Infantry isn’t quite as exciting as managing a mixed force of Carthaginians with elephants, horse, phalanx and skirmishers(as in SPQR).

The naval battle, although also skewed in the Romans favour, is fun and a great introduction into the War Galley rules.

The Die

Yes! You also get a 10-sided die! Mine was Black. I suggest you pull out the wallet and buy another d10 if you don’t already have one.

As in typical GMT fashion you also get a wad of small plastic bags. These are ok for storing your counters in.



But I suggest you pay the extra couple bucks and buy a few GMT Counter Trays (currently $18 for 10)


Expansion

Currently there is only two published expansions for C:CoG

Caratacus (no longer available)

I don’t own this expansion, so I can’t really comment much. It contains two scenarios and the following components:

60 Full-color, double sided 1/2" counters
One 22x34" map
4-page Scenario Book



And Gergovia (readily available)

This module contains one large single-sided map and a 1/2 sheet of counters. It covers 1 battle and has a playtime of about 4 hours. Possibly not worth getting, but that is a different review for a different day!

C3i Magazine
There are a few additional battles in C3i Magazine. The first two are now downloadable from C3i Website.
Publius Crassus in Aquitania from C3i #11.
Arminius and the defense of Germania from C3i #11. The leader counters were inserted in C3i #10 and can be found here.
C3i #21 also contains 5 battles of Great Battles of Spartacus.


Summary

Pros thumbsup
d10-1 Great feel, I love GBoH!
d10-2 Contains bonus naval rules for a quick introduction into War Galley.
d10-3 Invasion of Britain is a fairly unique GBoH experience.
d10-4 Lots of counters and lovely maps, make for some interesting scenarios

Cons thumbsdown
d10-1 Battles are not balanced.
d10-2 Gaulish forces are a bit boring. Loads and loads of BI! No elephants. soblue
d10-3 Only 6 battles. Four land only battles.
d10-4 Limited expansions.

Recap
I suggest that fans of the GBoH series would like the addition of this volume. For newcomers to the series, I would steer them towards the more approachable The Great Battles of Alexander: Deluxe Edition or SPQR (Deluxe Edition) which are both more interesting and have more (varied) scenarios and pieces.

Please note: I have no affiliation with GMT Games.

All images are courtesy of my fellow geeks.
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Ryszard Tokarczuk
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It`s really great to read a review from a fellow GBoH`er but I`d like to point a single mistake in your review.

By "readily available expansion" you mean "Gergovia"? Not Caesar:Conquest of Gaul, right?
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Richard Berg
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Thanx for the well-thought out comments . . .

"Battles are not balanced."

Blame Caesar . . . and the Roman military system. Gallic armies had n staying power ... but they did give him a whack on his head at Gergovia.

RHB
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Jon
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Thanks for the review. It gives an accurate representation of my impressions of the game as well, although I have only played one scenario from this particular GBoH entry.

Nice labels on the baggies too!
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Tim Webb
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I've played all but the naval battle (I own War Galley) and think your review really captures the game well. I'm OK with the imbalance - I play Imperium Romanum II! - and do like the feel and great look of this game but confess I find it a little "counter heavy" for me.
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RyTo wrote:
It`s really great to read a review from a fellow GBoH`er but I`d like to point a single mistake in your review.

By "readily available expansion" you mean "Gergovia"? Not Caesar:Conquest of Gaul, right?



OOPS! blush

Edited and corrected link. Thanks!
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Adam Siler
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Support for the game is good, in my opinion. There are C3i modules for German wars from a few years ago, and a recent Spartacus article. The Spartacus one has more than some full modules. The only downside is that you need a few units from SPQR for some of its scenarios, if you consider that a downside.
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