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Subject: Bagradas Recap rss

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Chris Laudermilk
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It seems this game does such a good job of generating a narrative that I'm posting a session report of each battle. That's a testament to how good this game is. So, I'll spam these session report as long as there is an audience willing to read them. As a bonus, this time there are pictures!

This time, we played Bagradas and randomly chose sides. As it turns out, my son once again fought for Rome and I fought for Carthage. Bad luck for him--Rome was at the disadvantage this time. So, I had plenty of heavy units to counter Rome's legions. Plus Elephants! What a luxury. I also had good medium and light forces on the flanks. I learned Elephants take care in their use as they are dangerous even to friendly units.

So after we set up, I took the first turn, and had a great starting-off card, playing Command Light, thus allowing me to get a great screen into action and start harrying him right off the bat. I followed that with a strong push on my left flank, drawing first blood eliminating a Roman light infantry. My son countered with his own lights, and the left flank was heavily engaged.

After getting his attention on my left, I threw a cavalry charge on my right and again inflicted some carnage on his screen. That enticed my son to respond somewhat piecemeal, and now his screen has been drawn off to his flanks.

I now sent in the elephants to try and wreak havoc in the center. I succeeded, but not quite how I intended. Thus begins our lesson on the use of elephants in Ancients. While they can be a powerful unit, you have to keep your own elephants at arm's length as several of my light infantry units learned to their sorrow. I kept the elephants in line, and too close to my screen. So, when the Romans pricked them, their rampaging did as much damage to me as to them.

However, that got my son somewhat overconfident, and after pushing my elephants back--and eliminating one, he sent in his light infantry to attack! Silly Romans.
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This time, I got the better of it, and was able to chase those pesky skirmishers back to their own line. In the end, I pinned those infantry against the Roman lines and eliminated them for failure to rout.
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


I was able to threaten his leader, but didn't have enough strength left to press that home.
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


I also learned to space the elephant units out so they don't inflict as much chaos on themselves as the enemy--and in contrast, to bury them adjacent to as many enemy units as possible to maximize the rampage chaos. They ended up being relatively easy banners for him, bringing his 4-1 deficit up to trailing by one. But they did chew up the remainder of his screen and threw his line into disarray.

Now the focus shifted to my right flank. My light infantry had accounted for themselves well, causing more damage than they suffered and providing no banners to Rome. I was able to get my light and medium cavalry into the fight, and began to roll his flank.

Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


By the time that was resolved, I had my heavies, warriors, and flanking lights arranged in a massive, snaking line. Perfect, I had a Line Command hoarded for just this eventuality. So, I moved 2/3 of my forces forward in one go. I also got a "Holy crap!" response for that one. In the end, at the center this was mostly posturing and psyching my esteemed opponent out. The heavies and center never really got into the fight. This one was all about the flank action. However, I did get my warriors and some supporting lights within striking distance on my right.

Then I threw a Counter Attack to his I Am Spartacus (No! I am Spartacus!). I got double the troops activated, including my warriors. Their charge was impressive, eliminating a light unit right off, then mauling some mediums and chasing his surviving medium cavalry to the rear.

Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


That set up the final act as my rightmost warriors--still at full strength, plus my lightly-wounded cavalry plus leader. They were clear, and within range for a final glorious charge to shatter Romes's left flank and start to roll it up. I eliminated the remainder of his medium cavalry, thus gaining the final, 7th banner. Truly at that point, his position was precarious as his left flank was beginning to get rolled up and the Carthaginian heavies were almost lined up and ready to engage.

Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


At this point, Rome retired from the field as in history. Their left flank was effectively gone, with Carthaginian cavalry sweeping around their rear and supporting warrior troops making a strong push in close combat to support that movement. Their right flank was weakened, with more cavalry positioned to take the remainder of skirmishers out of the battle. In the center, the Carthaginian heavy infantry was in good order, and moving forward.

Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients


Piles of Roman casualties:
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients



So, after the action, we learned a lot in this one. Elephants are cool--but are a double-edged sword. I'm not yet sure if my son picked up on the hazards to yourself in their use, or what to do to minimize that. He DID pick up that doing any damage sends them on a rampage, so it's not a bad idea to throw some dice at them--and lights aren't a terrible idea as that limits the elephant's attack strength.

As I had hoped, he did pay attention to my use of Evade, and used it himself. So, light troops did a lot of running away. However, he allowed me to pin troops with no avenue of escape. I gained three banners simply by pinning his troops against his main line, or edge of the board.

He got pretty frustrated at the die rolling early on (he had bad luck, I had exceptional luck), but stuck with it and fought back to a competitive game. The command level disadvantage limited his options, and he didn't find a way to work around it--but I'm not certain that I could. I'll be interested to play this one again with reversed sides.
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Peter Cooper
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claudermilk wrote:
So, I'll spam these session report as long as there is an audience willing to read them.
I'll read them. Thanks.
 
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Daniel Rodriguez
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Keep em comin!
 
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David Pereira
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There is always an audience...

Keep on going, you're gonna see some great battles later on
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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Heck, right now even these first ones are great. I get that they are simple so we can get our heads wrapped around the rules--and I think it's working, we are both learning the mechanics, and tactics.

Even with the chaos & carnage the elephants caused, we were both eager to see how the played and amused at the mess they made. I'm also seeing how the two armies fight differently, and am not sad that I've gotten to play Carthage most of the time--I like having the flexibility of the cavalry, and am making better use of the light skirmishers. I'm waiting to see some strong counter moves on the flanks, then it will get really interesting.
 
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David Groves
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Yes, I like a good battle report, particularly with pictures.

Thank you for writing them.

Dave
 
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BrentS
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Thank you for the AARs. It's great to revisit these scenaios through fresh eyes.

claudermilk wrote:


He got pretty frustrated at the die rolling early on (he had bad luck, I had exceptional luck), but stuck with it and fought back to a competitive game. The command level disadvantage limited his options, and he didn't find a way to work around it--but I'm not certain that I could. I'll be interested to play this one again with reversed sides.
The disparity in command is the key feature of this scenario and I think that's why it's placed where it is in the stepwise introduction of the game's features in the base set. It's a scenario I still really enjoy. I wrote a strategy article about playing with a command of 4 and actually used this scenario as an example. If you're interested it's here.

Brent.
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Chris Laudermilk
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I had found that article & read it. Great tips in it, and I should print a copy for him to read (though that may be a battle worthy of an AAR in itself whistle).

I keep trying to get him to swap side & replay the scenarios, but right now he just wants to forge ahead & try the next one. I'm ok with that, and will bide my time--eventually I'll get the replays.
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