Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has played both command and color: ancients as well as Battleground Fantasy Warfare and could provide a brief comparison of the game play of each. Obviously, Ancients has cool wooden blocks vs. Battleground Fantasy's flat cards, but the mechanic of BGF sounds very interesting to me. Plus, it's $20, portable, and no assembly required.

Thanks for any insights from those who have played both.
 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Washington
United States
Unspecified
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
craniac wrote:
I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has played both command and color: ancients as well as Battleground Fantasy Warfare and could provide a brief comparison of the game play of each. Obviously, Ancients has cool wooden blocks vs. Battleground Fantasy's flat cards, but the mechanic of BGF sounds very interesting to me. Plus, it's $20, portable, and no assembly required.

Thanks for any insights from those who have played both.


I'll be keeping track on this - I've been half-assedly musing over both games myself...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: command and colors: ancients vs. Battleground Fantasy Wa
Upon reflection, an attempt to answer my own question while thinking out loud:


Battleground fantasy looks really good, and has nice reviews. CC:Ancients seems to be a gradual improvement over two other very good games, Battle Cry and Memoir '44. From what I can tell, it comes down to the following three factors:

1. Theme: historical or fantasy

2. bits: tactility of wooden blocks vs. portability of cards

3. Cost: $40 vs. $20 (not counting expansions)

4. Relative refinement of mechanics: CC:A seems very smooth. BG:F has a few *minor* glitches in the rules, but no dealbreakers

5. Community: I don't know which group is going to generate the most scenarios and rabidly obsessed fans.

I tend to think of Battleground: Fantasy as sort of a tactical Warmachine: Pocket Rotary Edition, if that makes any sense. By the time you get expansions for Battleground you're into it for $40 anyway. I think I give CC:A a slight, slight edge, all things considered, but neither game would be a mistake by any means.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Don Weed
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One thing to factor into the equation is the time and patience it takes to adhere the stickers to the blocks in Commands and Colors. Would you believe 375 blocks with stickers on BOTH sides? It took me the better part of four hours, but then, I was trying to get every one as straight as possible.

Also, I know myself and one other person who have purchased this game and both were shorted with the wrong mix of small wooden blocks. GMT has furnished the necessary blocks and did it quickly so I must give high praise to the customer service department.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A S
United States
Unspecified
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: command and colors: ancients vs. Battleground Fantasy Wa
statman8 wrote:
One thing to factor into the equation is the time and patience it takes to adhere the stickers to the blocks in Commands and Colors. Would you believe 375 blocks with stickers on BOTH sides? It took me the better part of four hours, but then, I was trying to get every one as straight as possible.


It took me about that long as well, but I have a background in playing minis games, so it didn't seem so bad. Putting stickers on ~400 blocks is easier than cutting the flash off of and gluing 400 6mm plastic infantry.

I can't help much on this question, though. I would own both games if I had more time to play; as it is, I have C&C:A.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Granvold
United States
Santa Clara
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: command and colors: ancients vs. Battleground Fantasy Wa
Well I guess I qualify to reply. I have played both games, though Battleground: Fanstasy was only once solitaire. Let's see, where to begin.


Componants:

The most obvious difference in these games is the components. Command & Colors, C&C, is played on a hex map board with wooden blocks, cards and special dice. Battleground, BG, comes with only cards and the rules, you supply the dice, D6's, and markers. Yet both are basically miniature games modified into something else. One top of that both emphasize how armies are controlled during battle, though in very different ways.


Setting:

C&C recreates historial battles from the time of the Punic Wars while BG is fantasy battles with men, orcs and undead. Both have plans for expansions with the elves for BG and Ancient Greece for C&C already mentioned. Games of fantasy battles have almost always been based on ancient battle with magic and heroes thrown in. BG does not have magic or heroes, maybe they will be added at a later date, so the difference in setting is mainly that of names and artwork. For some the setting will matter and they will therefore choose one over the other. For me I like both
fantasy and historical, therefore I have both games.


C&C mechanics:

C&C is centered around a hand of cards from which the players pick one to use each turn. The card determines how many and which of the units can be moved and fight, i.e. "commanded". The cards may select units based on location, the left/right/center sections of the battlefield, type, light/medium/heavy/foot/mounted, or other methods. Usually 1 to 4 units are able to be commanded each turn.

Once units have been commanded they are moved and then if able take part in combat. Combat may be either ranged, such as with bows and slings, or close combat with sword and shield. Combat is resolved by rolling special dice, stronger units roll more dice, and trying to get symbols that match the type of unit being attacked. Losses in combat are taken by removing blocks from the unit where each unit starts with 2 to 4 blocks per unit. Another possible result of combat is to force a retreat represented by rolling a flag on the dice, in which the retreating unit must (or loose blocks) move towards their own side of the board.

Other aspects of combat include evading close combat, battle-back (where the defending unit gets to attack back if is survives), leaders, momentum, etc. This along with the larger number of unit types makes C&C a richer game that it's earlier siblings, Battle Cry and Memoir' 44.

The goal in C&C is to achieve a preset number of victory points. These are gained by destroying enemy units and leaders. The ability to win often depends on having cards that one can use to sustain an attack in an area for a period of turns.

Last, C&C has a number of scenarios which determine the units and starting positions used in the battle. There is no rules for creating new scenarios, though I expect many people will.


Battleground mechanics:

BG is much more like a miniatures game, simply subsituting cards for a unit of miniatures. It is played without hexes and movement is measured. Each turn the player moves all his units, checks pre-melee courage (to see if the unit actualy rushes in to fight) and resolves combat. What gives this game a focus on command and control is that every unit has an order which determines what it can and cannot do (much like another game series I have picked up recently, GMT's Musket and Pike series). The player has a limited ability to change these orders, or even take command of an individual unit for the turn. This is controlled by command points, the number of which varies by the size of the army. In the standard game each player has 3 command points per turn. It takes one command point to change one units orders, take control of one unit, etc., so the players ability to control things in the heat of battle is limited.

Some of the possible orders are to move to and attack in melee the closet or a specified enemy unit, or stay put and defend a position, or move towards and attack the nearest or a specified enemy unit with ranged fire.

In addition there are command cards which can give bonuses or special abilities. These are drawn during the game, taking a command point to draw one of these cards.

Combat, both ranged and melee, is resolved by a series of dice rolls, using normal 6 sided dice. First a roll is made to determine if any hits have been made, then for the hits that occured a roll is made to see if any damage has been done. Damage is tracked on the unit's card, as is its current orders. Once enough damage is done the unit starts making morale checks, failing this check will eliminate the unit.

Unlike C&C, BG does not depend on scenarios to set up battles, though it is possible and one scenarios has been published in a magazine. Instead the players decide on the number of points to be used, and build an army where the units point value comes close to that value. Players then set up on opposite ends of the playing area alternating placing one unit at a time.


C&C units:

There are 14, I think, different type of units in C&C. These include light, medium and heavy infantry and calvary, elephants and chariots. They differ in the number of blocks in the unit, how far they can move, the number of dice they roll, it they can do ranged fire, if they can evade other units and some special abilities.

BG units:

There are also several types of units, including foot, mounted, and even an Orc stone thrower. They differ in how far they can move, if they can do ranged fire, the number of dice rolled on attack, the target and defense numbers, their courage rating (used on morale checks) and the number of "hit" boxes they have.

Summary:

Both games simulate simular types of battles and both seek to highlight the difficulty in controlling armies in battle. But the two games take different approaches in doing these. C&C uses a hand of cards from which a player chooses one which determines the possible actions that turn. BG units have a preset orders and a limit number of command points with which to change these orders. It is interesting to contrast the different methods used by these two games.

To me BG feels more like a traditional miniatures game while C&C feels a bit like a euro-style game, though it is definiatly a wargame. I suspect, though I have not played enough of BG to confirm this, that C&C will take less time to play than BG. A C&C game can take form 45 min. to an hour to play, while I guess BG will take an hour up depending on the size of the armies used.

Hope that this gives some insight. Myself, I'll enjoy playing both games.

Enjoy,
Tom
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That was a wonderful comparison. Perhaps you could copy it over to the articles section of Battleground Fantasy, perhaps, or to CC:A. Very useful, thank you. I would throw you some geek gold but I lost it all in a math trade!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Granvold
United States
Santa Clara
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: command and colors: ancients vs. Battleground Fantasy Wa
Thanks. I'll copy it over to the C&C and Battleground area in a day or so.
A math trade?

Enjoy,
Tom
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Crane
United States
Orem
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As part of a sweetener in a math trade list, I added 30 gg. I made the mistake of putting in my wants list a game that I was only semi-interested in, which was the game I "won". The trader threw in an extra card-based wargame, out of generosity, so it was an even trade, but I still wish I had left the gold off. Time to write some reviews, I suppose!

If you are not sure what math trades are, go peruse the trade geeklists and read the descriptions. Essentially, it is a geeklist where everyone lists a game they want to trade, and then creates a text list of which games they want, in descending order. The data is then fed into a cray computer in Aldie's basement which works out the ideal trade for everyone. Supposedly, an ancient version of the algorithm was used in the infamous beads/manhattan trade. Kidding, the algorithm can only give you what you ask for, so be careful what you wish for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith Anderson
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
I'll play the Klingons
badge
I'll play the Klingons
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I almost purchased Command and Colors: Ancients this weekend but put it off. Then I saw this list and read about Battleground for the first time. Ended up ordering Battleground.

I went with Battleground mostly because its order system won out over the card orders to me. Admittedly this is biased since I have notes on a game that I was working on with a similar order system and so am pre-disposed toward liking it.

Thanks for starting this list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.