Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Epic Commands and Colors: Ancients

It's been quite a few years since I bought the Commands & Colors epic expansion, and having been a bit of an afficionado of the standard game for a few years (though about a decade ago now, which is scary!) I decided it was probably time to actually try the epic version out.

Epic is basically two boards combined lengthways to create a board twice as wide and capable of employing up to four players per side. Obviously, as I'm playing this solo, the multiplayer aspect of it will be missing.

The scenario is Paraitacene. Who isn't a sucker for Successors?

In the picture below we have Antigonus coming from the left of the board and Eumenes from the right. The armies are reasonably well matched: Eumenes has the edge in elephants, but Antigonus has a stronger medium and heavy cavalry arm, and plenty of agile light cavalry on his left. The heavy infantry numbers favour Antigonus slightly, but Eumenes has the advantage in light infantry.

The lighting is terrible, but you can get a sense of the scale compared to normal C&C (as can be seen, I made an executive decision to use figures for this scenario. Not because I think they look better, but because I don't want to have to mix different coloured blocks to have enough units to play). 

Eumenes to our right; Antigonus on our left.

The winner will be first side to 15 banners, but you must be two banners clear to win, otherwise it's a draw (as it sort of was historically). It is an interesting match up. 

View from the Eumenid left.


View of the centres: Antigonid to the left.


View from the Antigonid left, showing his preponderance of light cavalry

The game began with some cagey manouvering on both flanks before two line commands played by Antigonus saw his centre advance to almost within striking distance. Eumenes suffered the first losses and was mostly playing reactively across the length of the battlefield. 

Skirmishing towards the Antigonid right...

... and towards the Antigonid left.

The armies battled tit-for-tat, with Antigonus keeping at least two banners clear of Eumenes the whole way. The infantry fight in the centre was vicious and unrelenting, but Antigonus' light cavalry also combined with his medium infantry to good effect to have Eumenes' right under pressure.  

Clashes in the centre: the Silver Shields advance.

Antigonus, leading 12 banners to 9, needed only 1 more kill to ensure at least a draw. Eumenes, knowing this was his last chance, decided to make a bid for victory. He would need to take 6 banners in one turn to do it.


The cards played, in order (Mounted Charge was for the right zone).

On the right, charges by the elephants and the heavy cavalry net two banners.

In the centre, two banners are taken, but two more are not.

On the left, a cavalry charge kills another unit. The final attack is elephants against light infantry. 

  
Two hits needed to kill the lights.

Two hits needed.... and two hits are rolled! Eumenes wins 15-12.

********************************

It is often the case in Commands and Colors: Ancients that there are moments of extreme tension, where everything comes down to a fatal dice roll. The epic game (in this instance at least!) maintains that tradition.

I enjoyed it. Playing a game designed for multiplayer meant that the confusion that would arise from different players making their own choices was lost, but realistically I'm not going to find seven other C&C:A players in the neighbourhood, so this was the best I could do. 

Will I play it again? Probably. It's a good option for when you don't have time or space to set up a full miniatures game but would like to get a battle in. It would be perfect for a rainy Sunday when all other plans are suddenly shelved and you have an afternoon to yourself.

For single player I give it 5/10.   

If you had the right people to join you, I would say it's likely to be an 8 or 9.


18 comments:

  1. Very cool layout and figures, Aaron. Not a C&C gamer, but I like the look of this larger board. The color and edging gives it an Hellenistic look.

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    1. Hi Dean, nice to hear from you. The original game uses blocks rather than figures (as you probably already know!) but it is a good looking game, that's for sure.

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  2. I knew that the Epic module was double boarded, but it is only on seeing it in your shot that I realised just how ‘epic’ the game is. Plenty of opportunity to be losing on the left (say) and winning on the right etc.

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    1. Yes Norm, plenty indeed! Hope you are well :)

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  3. It looks epic! Great to see you posting!

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    1. Thanks Tony, trying to get back into the habit again.

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    2. I have been also trying to get back into it, have about 4 posts to do but seem to just run out of time. I hope you manage to get up and running again your blog has always been a top source of inspiration!

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    3. Kind of you to say so, sir! Will look forward to your posts when they come out :)

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  4. Wow! Using your minis is a big upgrade over an already great looking game. Love Successors history, I need to spend more time down that rabbit hole. Hope all is well, Aaron!

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    1. Yes, gotta love Successors! All good here Monty, same for you I hope!

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  5. Looks great Aaron! Really enjoyed those Vassal games we played. Definitely have plans for Epic CCA games in 28mm.

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    1. Thanks Mike - am keen to play again. Will drop you a line!

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    1. Thanks Ray, great to hear from you. Hope all is well!

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  7. CCA produces enjoyable games whether with blocks, figures, solo, multi-player, standard or epic. Your table looks great, Aaron. Great to see your return to posting.

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  8. That looks excellent. I've had fun with the epic version of its cousin, Memoir 44. I find card management is easier if one side is played with an option of just two cards, drawn fresh on each turn. The other side are played normally.

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    1. Hey Ben, didn't realise you had Memoir in its epic version! Cool. Hope you are enjoying it.

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