[The post was initially published on my boardgames blog HERE ENJOY! Enjoy!]
Continuing good practice of playing the Command Colors Ancients scenarios in thematic packs, resembling the campaign, me and Marcin decided to take on the ancient Greeks wars now. The choice was to go through all the Spartan Hegemony battles, so starting just after Second Peloponesian War - when Sparta defeated Athens - up to the moment of losing the supremacy in Greece to Thebes.
The CCA Expansion 6 provides a lot of interesting battles where hoplite was involved, sometimes presenting even the smallest skirmishes, so you might find there battles you have never before heard of. Still, this is great mixture of large encounters and small, three banners skirmishes. As total campaign takes 10 plays, I decided to split the session report into two parts for this to be more digestible.
As always, we decided that one of us will play all scenarios as one side (Marcin = Sparta) and the other will take always the side of the opponent (Michal = Athenians / Armenians / Thebes / etc.)
1) Phyle (404 BC)
First three scenarios describes situation just after Athenians were subdued by Sparta and 30 tyrants government was established in the Athens. Some citizens of the losing side were expelled from the city and were occupying nearby hills. Tyrants dispatched small contingent of Spartans to keep them in check. And then things started to get interesting:
Well, exiles did not planned just to sit and wait. They simply charged unsuspecting Spartans. So did I, but had so awful dice rolls in first round that after mounted charge of Marcin I was sure to loose immediately. However, that precious cards was just played too soon and despite some problems I managed to secure minimal victory for Exiles:
2) Munychia (404 BC)
Well, another historically very interesting battle. Now the exiles moved toward port of Pireaeus - critical supply line for Athens. One of the Tyrants with contingent of local troops tried to intercept them. He did not wait for Spartan reinforcements, being sure exiles will not desert the defensive position on the hill:
The tyrant was wrong. Mortally wrong. I decided to take the example from outnumbered exiles and... charged downhill at unexpected tyrant forces of Marcin - his Spartans barely managed to take part in the battle before it was over - still, it was just a win, not a crushing victory:
The historical after-match of this battle was deposition of the 30 Tyrants government and establishing new governing body for Athens.
3) Piraeus (403 BC)
The new government in Athens was more moderate but still not willing to settle with exiles who occupied Piraeus. They sent for Spartan to help settle the issue. The latter dispatched one of their best generals - Pausanias:
The exiles were pretty swiftly defeated once the Spartan hoplites got into the battle but Pausanias suggested government and exiles to talk - which led finally to the re-unification of Athens.
Well, as you can see on the set-up picture, Spartan hoplites are some distance away. So... you just need to keep the hills and eventually roll down from them at the mass of the enemy light units! This is what I decided to do - pretty suicidal mission which in the end worked!
At some moment in time it got to the "cat and mouse" scheme, where I was charging on my right at the light troops while their comrades were taking over hill in the center. Fortunately, damaged caused by charge downhill was enough to finish the game.
4) River Centrites (401 BC)
So, after three scenarios about Athenian Exiles, we moved to completely different place - far away, in Asia, where Ten Thousand of bravest Spartans under the leadership of Xenophon was trying to get out of the hostile land. I will not be far away from the truth if I say, this was one of the craziest scenarios I had ever played. Just have a look at the set-up:
It was very interesting game, full of difficult decisions. The main, brutal and relentless clash was in center where my blocking forces were mercilessly attacked by Spartans - taking with them the full three units! I was not able to fully catch-up with Marcin with my encircling forces, and thus had accept the defeat in the end:
5) Nemea (394 BC)
We come back to Greece. As you might imagine, Spartan hegemony was not well received by the Greek Polis and after some time Athens, Thebes, Corinth and Argos joined together in an anti-Spartan alliance. Spartans quickly dispatched army to get down the coalition and the armies numbering similar amount of Hoplites met at Nemea:
In history this was classical, straightforward Hoplite battle without any nuances. Both sides shifted right and overwhelmed their respective opponents, but better organized Spartans turned to the center and took into flank remaining coalition forces, completely crushing them.
There was not so much finesse in our battle and most of the fight took place on my right / Marin's left. I decided to attack Spartan allies, as they have only 4 blocks and are easier target - that proved to be key decision, which in the end impacted the final score:
These were good games, quite refreshing after over 20 battles from Romans times we played previously. And still a proof that you cannot have enough of CCA - it is so addictive! And to close-up the report, after first five scenarios - out of ten which compose full campaign - the result is: Michal (Greeks) 24 - Marcin (Spartans) 19.
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
A spectacular report! I love how the photographs tell the story and show the changing nature of the battles. River Centrites looked particularly chaotic!