Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Command and Colors Ancients

As part of my renewed interest in all things Roman, I pulled out my copy of Command and Colors Ancients last week. I really like the whole series (except for Memoir, the WW2 title), but I think that C&CA is my favorite. It does a good job of capturing the feel of ancient combat (or at least a feel that jives with my reading and other games I've played). Its also the most refined version of the C&C card-driven orders system. Unlike the other games, you always have something to do. The key is selecting the correct order from your limited set of options. Do you strike now with what you have? Or do you wait to try to set up a multiple turn combination.

Anyways, I read through the rules and played through two games from the Rome and the Barbarians expansion. The first game was one of the first in the book, and pitted a Roman scouting force (mix of medium cavalry and foot skirmishers) vs a group of Gallic auxilia and a couple of warrior units. IIRC, the fight wasn't really that close. The Roman skirmishers were able to inflict a few casualties and the cavalry was there to finish the job before the Gallic warriors could really engage. I believe that the scenario was a learning scenario, since the game ended after only 4 banners were captured.

The second game was much more interesting. It involved a Gallic ambush of a Roman camp along a river. (I can't remember the name of the scenario right now. Doh!) Anyways, the Gauls charged the Roman positions with a line command and took serious casualties. The Romans were able to bring their heavy infantry up to the front and knocked out several of the units, giving the Romans an early lead. After several more turns, the Romans had cleaned up most of the initial assault and were only a banner or two away from victory. The Gauls decided to delay with the remainder of the center and attack aggressively on the flanks. They were able to grind up the light troops on the Roman right flank and capture the Roman camp, resulting in a handful of banners. The Romans kept pressing in the middle, but the Gauls were able to withdraw with minimal casualties. It came down to the last banner, with the Gauls getting lucky and killing a Roman unit for the win. It was a really cool scenario.

I'm looking forward to playing more Command and Colors scenarios in the future. I think its a really cool, playable system.

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