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Friday, 12 April 2013

Rome's Dacian Wars - A Review

In this post I thought I would do a brief review of the recently released Warlord Games’ Hail Caesar supplement Rome’s Dacian Wars written by Craig Woodfield. In the interests of transparency and full disclosure I should mention that I was part of a play test group for this supplement, know the author and also contributed a few photos for the book. In other words, don’t expect a balanced review, if you have even the slightest interest in Imperial Rome and the Dacians, you really owe to yourself to buy it!

Seriously this is a very attractive sixty four page, soft cover book with the usual Warlord high production values. It is lavishly illustrated with photos, illustrations by Peter Dennis and maps and it is worth the price of purchase alone on visual appeal . There is eye candy and painting inspiration on virtually every page and my personal favourite is the double page spread (pp.54-55) of Paul Daniels’ superb Dacian army. 

Ancient gamers are often wary of rule specific supplements - one person’s preference in rule sets is often another person’s poison. However the scenarios and ideas for games in this supplement can be easily applied to most other rules and the text, including quotes from ancient authors, has general appeal and is both informative and entertaining.

The supplement follows the familiar Warlord format with overviews of the Empire under Trajan, the Dacian and Sarmatian tribes; rule additions; army lists; scenarios; campaign ideas for the invasion of Dacia; information on Trajan's Legions and shield designs; basing and unit size; and further reading. The scenarios have maps, orders of battle and then a description of how it played in an actual game. Needless to say, the player who was Trajan on more than one occasion, didn't actually know what he was doing! 

There are differences with the army lists here to the Hail Caesar Army Lists: Biblical and Classical for the Dacians (p.73) and Imperial Rome (pp.76-77) but nothing major. If you are a Dacian player you might feel the original clash value for falx armed infantry of 10 is only fair and accurate but if you're Roman player this might make you a bit nervous! One of the great strengths of Hail Caesar and this supplement is that it is not really prescriptive but up to you and your opponent to reach agreement on lists and scenarios and adapt or modify as you see fit. 

In summary this is an excellent supplement and resource that is well worth buying even if you don't play Hail Caesar. Apparently there are two further Hail Caesar supplements currently in the works, dealing with the wars of Imperial Rome. One covers the invasion of Britain and the other Germanic Wars. I can't wait!


  1. I picked up a copy of the Dacian Wars supplement and concur with your review - I think it's a great addition to my Hail Caesar library. I also like the simple siege rules - that was a very useful addition.


  2. Thanks Miles, I think it is a great addition too. We've had some fun games using the siege rules.


  3. Thanks for the overview of the supplement, Mike. Lucky you for being a playtester too!. I only have the main rulebook - but like the rules. Maybe I need to get this one to re-energize my EIR army. Best, Dean

  4. Thanks Dean, it definitely worth getting, you could use all the scenarios for WAB. The HC Biblical and Classical lists are on Army Builder now as well.