Julius Caesar is a 2 player war game from Columbia Games and designers Grant Dalgliesh and Justin Thompson. As a gamer, I have an appetite for all kinds of games - except that I have not played very many war games. The closest I've played to war games are a couple of the C&C games and (my favorite game of all time) War of the Ring. So after doing some searching on BGG for good intro wargames, I was excited to hear that Columbia Games was willing to send me a copy of one of the most recommended titles - Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar is what is known as a "block wargame." In these types of wargames, player's units are represented by wooden blocks, with information on only one side. This means that players are unable to see exactly what enemy units are in each location - just where the other player has units.
The game will end either after 5 rounds, or immediately after a round where 1 player controls cities worth 10 or more victory points.
A round begins with each player being dealt 6 cards from the 27 card deck. There are two kinds of cards - command cards and event cards. Each player has to discard 1 card from their hand. Then both players select 1 card to play. determines both who moves first, as well as how many movement points and levies the player receives.
Unless one of the players plays an event card, whoever plays the card with the most movement goes first. This player will first move any blocks he wishes to move and then can either "heal" a block on the board for a levy point or deploy a block from her levy pool for a levy point. Then, if any cities contain units from both armies, battles are resolved.
Each unit has a strength value and a combat value. A unit's strength value corresponds to how many dice it will roll when it attacks. It also represents each unit's "hit points." Each time a unit suffers a hit, a unit's block is rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise - thus decreasing its strength.
Another nit I would pick with the game is the size of the map and the size of the blocks. The map looks very good, but on a few occasions it became unclear which units were in which city. Stacking the blocks helps a little, but they fall down and remembering how strong the units that fell were was a hassle.