Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Friday, April 5, 2013

Messing with Timoleon...

I played through a game of Commands and Colors: Ancients last night; it was the first time in a while that it has had some table time here.

The battle was Crimissos, which sees the Syracusans under Timoleon descend upon a Carthaginian expeditionary force and batter it while it is crossing the Crimissos river.  Both sides start out with five cards in their hands and needing five banners to win.

I'm not going to do a full write-up; I'll just post some pictures and a few comments.

Timoleon's centre is strong.  He has four units of heavy infantry, two of auxiliary infantry, and another leader, in Mamercus.

The sole unit of medium cavalry is on the left.

The right is made up of two units of light infantry, which begin with their flank resting on the river.

Hasdrubal has most of his left on the wrong side of the Crimissos.

But he has three of his strongest units already across: heavy chariots and the sacred band, classed as heavy infantry.

Just across the river and slightly exposed he has Spanish auxiliaries and Numidian light infantry.

Timoleon's first move is to block the river crossings with his lights and pepper the enemy with missiles.

Hasdrubal responds by using a line command to make for the crossings anyway.

Timoleon uses a leader + four card to move his centre forward and attack the Spanish auxiliaries with his peltasts, leaving them one hit away from destruction.

Hasdrubal consolidates his line with a move-fire-move card, which allows his lights to score a hit on Timoleon's unit of heavy infantry.

Timoleon attacks the river crossings with his lights, but the results are dismal, with both of his units forced to retreat in the fighting.

The Carthaginians use another line command to feed more men across the river.

Timoleon uses an order two left card to advance against the sacred band.  He scores one hit, but the battle back is lethal: his own unit is destroyed and he himself cut down.

The score is 2-0 to Carthage, and the battlefield suddenly a more open place.

With the advantage going his way, Hasdrubal elects to take a cautious approach.  Instead of using his double-time card to attack, he employs it to bring his medium infantry across to join the main line and to move the warriors onto the river crossings.

Hasdrubal is beginning to feel more confident about the outcome.

With a card that finally gives him some latitude, Mamercus (who has now taken over command of the army) advances the heavy infantry of the centre.

He destroys one unit of medium infantry, and then another.

It is now 2-2.


Hasdrubal attacks the isolated peltasts on his right, but only succeeds in driving them off.

Mamercus plays another order three card to allow him to advance his centre once more, and the results are equally impressive results.   Two more banners are taken, and the fifth and last is within his grasp.                   

Hasdrubal gambles on "I Am Spartacus".  He can activate one unit of lights (ineffective) and his own unit of heavy infantry, with +1 die on attack.  He hits Mamercus' unit in the flank and destroys it, forcing him to retreat to the next line, which is attacked in turn.

Three hits and a retreat are scored, and Mamercus is killed in the leader check!  It is a disaster for Syracuse. The game is tied at 4-4.

The momentum has swung back to Carthage.

With fortunes at a low ebb and a hand full of poor cards, it is left to the Syracusan cavalry to attempt to win the day.  A mounted charge card is played.

The cavalry engage the heavy chariots head on, needing two hits on four dice, but score none.  They do force a push back, and they gets another chance.  Once more they fail to hit, and once more the chariots are pushed back.  The gods are not smiling upon the Greeks today!

The battle is now Hasdrubal's to take...

...and the clash of shields card is enough to do it.  Hasdrubal destroys the weakened heavy infantry unit opposing him in the centre and the battle is won.

5-4 to Carthage, and history has been edited!


  1. Very nice looking game. The game mat especially so.

    1. Thanks, Dale. The mat was relatively easy to make, but the paint ended up being a little expensive!

  2. Super mat and nice minis version of C&C


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