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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Question about the blocks rss

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Roland Wood
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It looks like the blocks must have stickers on both sides but doesn't this ruin the "fog of war" mechanic that block wargames usually have? What are the purpose of the blocks if this is the case? Why not just do miniatures? At $65 it seems that they could have gone either way. Sorry for the stupid question but I have never played a block war game and have been flirting with the idea for the past six months. Is this game not really a block war game in the true sense of the category? My friend already has Memoir44 so I can play the command & colors system already..should I look elsewhere if I am interested in the traditional block style war game?
 
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Roliander wrote:
It looks like the blocks must have stickers on both sides but doesn't this ruin the "fog of war" mechanic that block wargames usually have? What are the purpose of the blocks if this is the case? Why not just do miniatures? At $65 it seems that they could have gone either way. Sorry for the stupid question but I have never played a block war game and have been flirting with the idea for the past six months. Is this game not really a block war game in the true sense of the category? My friend already has Memoir44 so I can play the command & colors system already..should I look elsewhere if I am interested in the traditional block style war game?


There is no fog of war aspect here. It's just like Memoir '44, just with stickers on blocks rather than plastic minis. I think it was too expensive for this company to provide the plastics (plus they already had the art from their other ancients games - I haven't checked if it's the same, just assuming...).

If you want a fog of war block game, head off to Columbia Games.
 
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Mark Crocker
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You're right. C&C:Ancients is not a "block game" by any stretch of the imagination, despite the use of blocks. Nor would it be a miniatures game if figures were used as they do in Memoir. Google Columbia games website for titles, and get the reviews here at BGG. Also check out Worthington games (Victotia Cross), or Simmons games "Bonaparte at Marengo".
 
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Roland Wood
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Thank you. I have been looking at Bonaparte at Morengo and also Hammer of the Scots. I was initially excited when I saw C&C: Ancients. Since I have access to Memoir44 I think I will hold off for now even though most comments I have read on this game are that it is a great game and the best yet in the C&C series. Thanks again.
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Stickers on both sides?! This thread opened my eyes why I had so many stickers left when done.

But why would you want to put stickers on both sides?! I have just stickered one side to play with Fog of War. Just lay them flat if you don't want to play with fog of war.

Stickers on both sides??!! that doesn't make sense to me at all.

Anyhow, for new buyers: I suggest to sticker one side only.
 
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Brian Morris
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C&C: Ancients is not a "block game" in the same way as Hammer of the Scots or Europe Engulfed. It is more a classic hex and counter wargame. The first game in the series was Battle Cry and was produced by Avalon Hill and used plastic miniatures. Then the second game in the series was Memoir '44 released by Days of Wonder. It also uses plastic miniatures.

The third game in the series is of course Command and Colors: Ancients, produced by GMT. GMT already has a number of block games in it's line such as Europe Engulfed as well as a few other titles both available and in the works. GMT did not have any games using plastic miniatures as were used in two previous releases of the system by other companies. With there being a number of units in the game that needed to be represented and GMT already set to produce block games in both art and supplies I think it was simply easier for GMT to produce the game using blocks and stickers in a manner of their other games rather than try and produce plastic miniatures from scratch.

 
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Brian Morris
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While in the end a person can play however they wish I definately would not suggest stickering one side only, especially for people new to the game system. The game is not a fog of war block game like Hammer of the Scots nor was it ever intended to be. If you try and make it into that kind of game you are in a sense putting a square peg in a round hole and playing the game extremely different than the rules were ever written for it to be played. In the end you will be rather disappointed and frustrated with the reults you recieve. I suggest new buyers play the game as designed instead of trying to make it into something it's not.


Harae wrote:
Stickers on both sides?! This thread opened my eyes why I had so many stickers left when done.

But why would you want to put stickers on both sides?! I have just stickered one side to play with Fog of War. Just lay them flat if you don't want to play with fog of war.

Stickers on both sides??!! that doesn't make sense to me at all.

Anyhow, for new buyers: I suggest to sticker one side only.
 
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Robin Reeve
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Note, too, that Antique Battles had much less Fog of War aspects than more recent wars.
An Ancient Battle is nearly at the tactical level and two lines faced one another.
Leaders saw most of the enemies forces and all was in manoeuver.

Of course, at the strategical level, there were deceptive moves (e.g. Hannibal crossing the Alps) and disinformation.
At the moment of a battle, you could have ambushes - and Scenarios can provide special rules to simulate some surprising event.

But, globally, to ignore what sort of units you have in front of you was not the common experience of Anitque/Middle Ages battles...
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Hi Brian,

actually I was not trying to make a game that it is not.

I was convinced the blocks were ment to be for fog of war. I never realised the stickers were supposed to be on both sides. I could not discover anywhere that it said you have to put the stickers on both sides.

If there is one to be blamed for gamers playing a different sort of game than it was meant to be it is GMT by deciding to use blocks.

I own Columbia block games and assumed naturally that blocks were to create fog of war. It doesn't mention anywhere it is, or is not.

I think you missed out my line that you can lie the blocks flat if you want to. Till this threa dwas posted I assumed the correct way of playing was with fog of war and why shouldn't I. This was a natural result of the GMT decision to make blocks, not miniatures.

Again, some designer notes would be a help here. Anyhow still having a blast with playing fog of war and I personally don't see that the game dramatically changes by stickering only one side.

It is definately not a creation of doing something it is not designed for. If that was the case, they should either have mention it clearly or put miniatures in there.

Again, you can always lie them flat if you want play according to want it was ment to be. Or do you think the game was not designed to do lie the blocks flat?

Anyhow, as you said gamers should do what they like and I am sure am not the only one who automatcally assumed to sticker one side and play it

No need to buy a Columbia game for fog of war! Just sticker one side and play as you like: Either what it was designed for by lying blocks flat or stand up and with fog of war!

Other variants we are currently trying: Parties pick one card from the pile and perform that action. When finished te other player does the same and so on.

I am currently making scenario's with units that consits of five and six blocks: elite troops, or regular troops with elite morale (veterans).

I know it is not what it is designed for but it you just pick the way of play that is most fun to you.

So Roland (and new buyers) my opinion would be to sticker one side and try any variant you like.



 
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George Kinney
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Quote:
I could not discover anywhere that it said you have to put the stickers on both sides.


I'm 100% positive that the manual that came with my copy said 'front and back' for the troop blocks, and went on to specifically mention that the trophy (black) blocks were to be stickered on the front only.

But the reason I'm sure of this is because I too had assumed they would be one-sided, and then noticed that the manual said otherwise.

Must be the wooden block + sticker thing, since I also own Memoir'44 and Battle Cry (and not a single block war game) and realized the troop markers should work the same way.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Rulebook, page 2, second column, just under the example picture, specifically says to put stickers on both sides.

Amazing how many people don't actually read the rules and then tell folks what the rules do or don't say and then use that to justify...whatever.

As to the variants, sure, you can play any way you want to and I hope you have a great time. Consider how well the flat shape of the blocks could be used to skip across a floor and try to bounce them into the game box-- there's an exciting game for you!

Just recognize-- or don't if you're invested in self creations-- that the game which actually came in the box is an excellent game and a lot of people are managing to have a great deal of fun at it without conjuring up variants which totally miss the point of the original game. You've mentioned what, three different variations-- have you tried actually playing the game by the rules as written a couple times? (Okay, I realize that you have not actually read the rules, so I guess that question is answered.)

Yes, they used wooden blocks. It was the jazziest thing they were able to produce, and it happens to work extremely well as a game mechanic.

No, it was not intended as a fog-of-war game, and turning it into one is missing the point entirely. With an actual card hand, versus drawing one randomly or whatever else you describe, it's possible for players to try and think about how they want to put things together...to "plan," in other words.

Yes, in reference to someone else on this forum who loves to point out that plans don't last after contact with the enemy, some of us are actually enjoying trying to make plans that work AFTER contact with the enemy-- in other words, having one idea in mind but maintaining the mental flexability to adjust from one turn to the next. We enjoy that. You're welcome to enjoy whatever you want to enjoy. Just please don't clog up the forums talking about what a stupid game it is until you have actually read the rules one time and played 2 scenarios.

Fog-of-war block games can be a lot of fun. Hammer is one of my favorites. The things these two have in common is:

1. They are both a lot of fun and have a high excitement level.
2. They both use cards, although not at all in the same way.
3. They both have wooden blocks, altho not for the same thing.
4. They both are fun to play once, swap sides, and play again. The difference is, this makes for a long session in Hammer and you can do it 4 or 5 times with C&C in the same amount of time.

At least, you can do it with the game that came in the box and uses the rules in the box.

Hammer would not be the game it is without fog of war. C&C is not the game it is WITH fog of war. Perhaps you would be happier with Stratego.

 
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Gecko23 wrote:

I'm 100% positive that the manual that came with my copy said 'front and back' for the troop blocks, and went on to specifically mention that the trophy (black) blocks were to be stickered on the front only.

But the reason I'm sure of this is because I too had assumed they would be one-sided, and then noticed that the manual said otherwise.


You are correct. I nearly stickered both sides of the victory blocks. Luckily, my copy of the manual was also clear as to which blocks get double stickers and which don't.

As for the blocks versus minis, I was initially disappointed to learn that there wouldn't be minis. However, with all the different units I think it would be cost prohibitive to use minis even if the game had been published by AH, Eagle or DoW. And besides, the blocks look quite nice, I think.

My only "complaint," is that they weren't able to include a mounted board. Keeping my fingers crossed for an appearance on the P500, though.

Has anybody else considered buying an extra set of Roman blocks and stickers and painting the second set of blocks a third color to create Roman civil war scenarios?
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Never mind....it's okay.

JUST PLAY COMMANDS & COLORS:ANCIENTS........DOESN'T MATTER HOW.JUST PLAY IT!!!!

Even if you enjoy just tossing the blocks over the table....
Even if you like putting the stickers on your girlfriends butt and try to engage with your elefant....

Just play C&C:Ancients for.....sake.

They should have made cubes with stickers for all 6 sides!!! no mistake about the damn FOG OF WAR.

These Columbia bastards have brainwashed us silly human wargamers.

Anyhow. Just Play C&C: Ancients.

Enjoy and tomorrow I am having another session with my gamegroup. And I play how it is meant to be.....

Provided we do not get into a discussion about fog and stickers and missing the point etc...

Forget it. .....Just Play it

play it

it

bye....
 
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Mike Brown
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The "Card System" creates the Fog of War. Not the Blocks.

Agreed Bosma. (lol)
 
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Kevin Duke
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Good points.

Even though I generally do play with the blocks laying down (easier to see with overhead lighting) I like having the stickers on both sides-- because they make it faster for me to find the blocks I want and set them up.

Yes, I have a "system" of bags and color tags and all that. Still, having 300+ blocks that are blank on one side would slow me down and reduce play time.

Your performance may vary.

Quote:
has anybody else considered buying an extra set of Roman blocks and stickers and painting the second set of blocks a third color to create Roman civil war scenarios?


A very interesting idea. They do offer blocks and stickers for sale in the "parts" area.

I'm considering a set in order to assemble some units in a different way and try to construct early "Celts" for things like Caesar's battles. (Yes, I confess- I'm thinking about a variant! But I promise, if I do it, I will test it a lot before posting anything, and try to leave the engine alone as much as possible) but this is an interesting idea as well.

Actually, if you kept them separate enough, you COULD just put Roman stickers on brown blocks for your Roman vs Roman things. But I think your idea of biting the bullet and painting the blocks will be much better. I believe the gray ones-- the current Roman blocks-- will be easier to paint, in terms of existing base color. And painting will be nice, since--in my copy at least-- the gray did come out rather streaky.

One could say that the abilities of the two sides are so abstractly close that one could merely balance the troop types (so far as you can with the mix) and give similar numbers of cards and leaders and get the same effect. Of course, that's not nearly the same as seeing our gray romans against someone else's "other color" romans. But what other color? Would be nice to know GMT's plans for the Greeks and Persians, wouldn't it? We know they will avoid colors already used for troop types-- tan is an obvious choice. maybe a khaki green. Pale yellow. gray/blue.

Very interesting thought!
 
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Roland Wood
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kduke wrote:
Just please don't clog up the forums talking about what a stupid game it is until you have actually read the rules one time and played 2 scenarios.


Wow. Pretty harsh Kevin. I never got the impression he thinks Ancient is stupid. He just made an initial setup mistake and happened to enjoy the accidental variant that came from it. Upon realizing his mistake he was just sharing that stickering one side would give someone the option of playing both ways. No need to feel that the purity of the designer's original intent is going to be sullied....

Since this does happen to be the thread I started for the specific purpose of learning whether Ancients is a traditional "fog-of-war" block game or a tactical miniatures game using blocks AND since my question was answered adequately by post number 2...

technically all of your posts along with everyone elses after the question was answered constitutes...CLOG.

Anyway, once again thank you all for the clarifications and I am glad if my question helped out others who were unclear about the game. Now...clog away!

 
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In a way, a limited sort of fog of war could make sense here. At initial siting distances, a soldier would be able to tell chariots from elephants, and mounted troops versus footmen, and the size and orientation of the blocks would properly give this information away. However, one might not be able to discern heavy infantry from light infantry (both footmen, and both represented by the same size block) at a distance, until the range was closed, and having stickers on only one side of the blocks might facilitate that. Not an option for me, as I dutifully applied my stickers to both sides, but an interesting thought perhaps.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Roland

Sorry-- yes, that was harsh.

Some of the posting are blurring together now, and there actually were some which pretty much said, "this is s stupid game" coming from people who had just opened the box. But I shouldn't take that out on someone else who says a lot less.

(Remember the initial days after release, when there were a lot of postings expressing great surprise that the game had blocks instead of figures? I mean, that information had been posted by GMT for a looonng time before release..)

Sorry also if I contribute to clog/clutter. We actually have multiple threads going on some of the same topics, and unfortunately this has led to more than one page of topics and now newcomers are repeating thread titles because something which addresses their question specifically is on page 2 (or 3, or 4).

Clutter of a different sort I suppose.

I'm fairly new visiting BGG. Does anyone come along and 'sweep' out folders/threads with information that is way outdated?

I would not expect them to delve through the threads to delete anything unless it were something really bad that they had received a complaint about, but I could see some site administrator noticing that a threat from, say, June 05 had very short-term material in it and had not been added to in six months or more.

Does that happen here?

thanks
 
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