Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Commands & Colors: Ancients - teaser.

I thought I'd post something a bit different here and invite some reader participation. To give some background, I have been playing in an online C&C:A tournament for the last few months. On Sunday I was involved in a match with a chap who'd thrashed me 5 banners to 1 in the first leg. The second leg saw us switch sides and play again, with the player scoring most banners overall going through to final of the competition.

The scenario was 1st Bedriacum, 69AD from the 4th Expansion. I was controlling the Othonians while my opponent controlled the Vitellians. I had these cards in my hand:

The next screenshot shows the board position after two cards had been played. Bear in mind these special rules: the Praetorian unit hits on helmets and can ignore one flag rolled against it, and the Julian legions rule is in force. This means that medium and heavy infantry units can move two hexes and not battle, or move one hex and battle. MI and HI are also missile capable, but they only get to roll one die, and only if they hold or move only one hex. So here's the board (at last):

The next play was mine. My opponent's hand was six cards. Assuming standard section and leadership cards in his hand (ie, no first strike, no clash of shields, no I am Spartacus), how would you play the Othonians in order to win 5-0 in as few turns as possible? In your explanation, be as general or as specific as you'd like.
EDIT - here is a link to the post containing a report on what actually happened. Many thanks to all those who've read and contributed to this!


  1. I'd use the double time to move the troops in the centre rightwards, trying to destroy Vitellius and the 4 infantry units near him, to get the 5 blocks. This would beneficially move most of my units away from the two generals and heavy units in the Vitellian centre.

    The first attack would be with a MI or WB and a HI against Vitellius, supported by my General. I can't recall exactly how the Double time works, but I think it might be possible to stick my LIBow across Vitellius' retreat path...

  2. The enemy center is fairly well backed up. Use your "double time" card to attack in the center with the warband Praetorians and so forth with Titanus. You might cause damage because they cannot retreat all the way if you get enough white flags. Since he has no leaders in the middle, he won't be able to sluff off retreats either.

  3. I digress...he does have 1 leader. Never-the-less...hit the weak middle!

  4. That centre is quite strong... although it is easier to attack it with more units, I didn't fancy the 2 leaders stacked with heavy infantry units! One of them (at least) would be able to counter attack in their turn, probably killing a unit... so a 5-0 would be unlikely.

    Auxilia, with their 3 dice of attacks, don't scare me as much as HI.

  5. There is another problem here and it's the cards in the hand - moving over to the right flank with double move sounds like a good idea, but once you cross over to the right section, how will you maintain momentum in coming rounds?

    Otoh, advancing agaist the hanging flank in the center and concentrating on MI and HI with a leader gives you a possibility not only to get a 1D check for leader casualty (if you manage to kill HI), but also to advance, and attack MC. It will of course evade, but you will have cards to follow up in next round and by then they don't have anywhere to run (unless moved away by your opponent in his turn).

    I wouldn't worry so much about that HI on your opponents right flank, they are slow and you have at least one more round until they come into contact with you.

  6. With my attack, the leader would still be in the central section at the end of the first move, so he could use the inspired central leadership card to activate 5 units on the right for the second round of attacks... beyond that I agree it would depend on drawing useful cards.

    Presumably Aaron pulled off his 5-0 victory; I'm guessing with a bold attack in the centre. But the two general-led heavy units there must have given the Vitellians a pretty good chance of turning it around!

  7. I've thought of a better solution, which is a compromise between the central attack and the flank attack above.

    Using the Double time, Titianus and the central MI go 2 hexes straght ahead, and hit the HI and MI ahead of them; the Praetorians and Warband go right and hit Vitellius. This could theoretically give 5 blocks in one turn, if one was exceedingly lucky...

    HAndily the remaining enemy general on their right wouldn't be in a position to attack.

  8. Some pretty decent plans are on display here! I'll post what actually happened tomorrow, but feel free to add more in the meantime.

    Thanks to you all for getting into the spirit of it!



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