Wednesday, 28 August 2013


More boardgaming - Got my hands on the award wining "Command and Colors Ancients" game with 3 of the expansion packs thrown in as well - had been given this for a bargain from a board gaming mate who doesn't play it very often these days - happy days!

There are multitudes of Historical battles to choose from, 3000BC to 400AD is the time span for the Ancients battle set so can be anything from Bagradas, Cannae, to Zama. Each battle on the list comes with a map to outline where the units were formed, terrain and which leaders were there. With the expansion packs you also get special heroes and units, for example the Greeks get Alexander and his companion cavalry. (Medium cavalry that fight the same as heavy cavalry without the movement penalties)

The game has a grid map system where upon you deploy your troops. Each troop is stacked in blocks with different colours and block sizes to represent the different classes and type. The Light troops are Green, Medium are Blue and Heavy troops represented using Red. Infantry stack in 4 blocks high, with cavalry in 3 stacks and chariots , elephants & war machines is 2 stacks high - with each hit you remove a stack token until all removed i.e. killed.

Chart showing the different units 

Playing cards example

You have a deck of command cards for which you carry out and drive your movement and unit activation with, this creates a true fog of war and presents both challenges and opportunities. There are four types of command cards: Leadership cards, Section cards, Troop cards and Tactic cards."
Examples of cards are :  "Outflanked" - you activate 2 units on the right and left sides.
"Order Heavy Troops" - Order any heavy troops up to your command value
Your command value is the set starting amount of cards in your hand before the game begins. You can play one card a turn and replace at end of turn, you can also play a reaction card in your opponents turn if you have one.

The dice used
There is a dice system for the game that resolves all combat and shooting efficiently and quickly. Each battle die has one Light, one Medium, one Heavy, one Leader, one Flag and one Swords symbol on them. So whether shooting or melee you roll the dice and if you get the symbol of the unit you are targeting you score a hit for the type.

Andy and I played a couple of games last weekend. The games found me using the Carthaginians facing against Andrews Romans, then the Greeks against an Indian army, and Andy playing the Gauls against the Romans, as shown in photo below - Gauls are green, with Romans red.

The Romans vs the Gauls


The Original game details the historical battles between the Carthaginians and the Romans, following the invasion route of Hannibal's army into Italy.

The 1st Expansion pack is the battles of the Greeks vs the Eastern Kingdoms, where you follow the exploits of Alexander the Great and his invasion of Asia Minor.

2nd Expansion pack is the battles between Romans and the Barbarians - this one I do like as its the Romans against the Gaul's and Germanic Goths. You get a sense of Asterix and Obelix beating up Romans when playing these guys.

3rd Expansion pack is the Roman Civil wars and Epic Battle scenario's
Epic allows you to play large scale "Epic" battles, where in you can have up to 8 people playing. 4 players a side with one overall General and a player controlling the right, the left and center boards each. This is possible by joining two battle boards together. The cards are given to the overall general who in turn issues order cards to each of his battle commanders.

Andy and I couldn't help ourselves and played an Epic battle between us to see how it was played. We joined the Epic boards together, which took up the whole length of the table. At first it looks a tad daunting with all the units available to you and the amount of cards each has, You use the cards slightly different where upon you have to assign them to each section - little hard to explain -  overall it took a wee while to play, but what a hoot!

Andrew played the Romans while I stuck to the Carthaginians again to keep it simple.
Cant remember what historical battle we played exactly but we placed some more terrain tiles on the board in the way of hills and some forests scattered about. Also put some extra units down - Andy chose 2 Heavy Ballista pieces, where as I chose 2 Light Horsebow units as they looked interesting, movement of 4 and range of 3 tiles for shooting.

It was the first one to 13 points for the win, I had all my heavy and medium foot troops in center with heavy/medium cavalry  on left with a whole heap of light cav on the right flank, the light infantry was spread across the front in center. Andrew had good right and left flanks with heavy troops in each, had his medium cavalry as a mobile reserve in the center, with 3 elephants out front with 2 well placed on the half way line between right and left wings

Andy is the red and Grey troops while I am the Brown and Tan troops in the photos below.
I had made a good start , I dominated the flanks with good use of my light cavalry on the right and heavy cavalry on the left and pushed up with foot troops in these sections but my center folded as Andy's heavy troops dominated, so the end result was Andy pushing down my center and while retreating his flanks into a tight defensive position in the center. I had won the game with 13 points to Andy's 11 points - have to point out Andy was lucky to get the last 3 points as he had a very good last 2 turns.

You should also note the piles of dead units on each side, just a few !

Starting positions
Final position 

Great game !


  1. Wow! I've played this and enjoyed it greatly but I have yet to give the Epic Game. Looks like a blast.

    1. Definitely give it a go, its a lot of fun.
      Andrew and I were playing it two player mode to give it a test try ... have yet to play with more players and are looking forward in doing so.