Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A #16 and a # 38, to go

Eric had the choice this week, and he wanted to get Commands & Colors: Ancients onto the table, using the scenarios from issue #19 of the GMT magazine C3i.

The first scenario saw my Romans take on Eric's Carthaginians at Orongis (212BC), so I got to see this one from the other side of the board from my playing with Doug at our recent wargaming extravaganza. (Report.) There was an initial burst of action on the flanks, which I won decisively, then the middle started up, which I also carried, winning around 6-2.

We swapped sides for the next scenario, Celtiberia (207BC), which sees the Romans catch the Carthaginians asleep in their camp, with only light forces screening the main troop base. I managed to draw not a single 'Left' card in the entire game, so never got my main force into action. As a result my lights got pounded by the advancing Roman line for a big Roman win, which was a very historical result.

Finally we came to Po River (203BC), a really big battle with lots of troops. I spent a lot of time arranging my forces to take maximum advantage of a Line Command card, bringing up my heavy infantry, meanwhile dealing with a skirmish on my left. Unfortunately, although I caused casualties, it wasn't the killer blow I'd hoped for. Eric played a Double Time card, brought up his heavies and then went on a dice rolling spree, rolling 10 hits in 13 dice, including two outright kills of fresh units, for 3 flags, with 1 required. I was unable to get the 2 flags I needed, and Eric provided the coup de grace to take the win 7-6.

Although we played barely 2 days ago the details have already started to fade from my mind, and I had a hard time recalling how the battles actually went. Compare that with my play of Glory III the previous week, where I can still remember the action and how the game turned out. I find the C&C games to be the gaming equivalent of Chinese food - enjoyable at the time but in a short while you're hungry again. That doesn't mean to say that it isn't good, just that it doesn't have lasting value. Then again it doesn't really attempt to anything more than it is, which is why I still like it.

Obviously there is a comparison with last time's game, Clash for a Continent. Both fit into a similar slot, but CfoC offers more control, which is where I like and dislike the differences. I must admit I'm quite fond of the C&C card approach as I can storyboard the effects of the cards, although I liked both games equally.

Next time we're going to try a 2-player 18xx game. We've got a big session planned for next Friday (10/05), so I'll have the base rules fresh in my head to go up against Eric, who's played a lot of 18xx.

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