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Subject: Battle of Fanum 271 A.D. rss

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Nafta Lino
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At home of my friend Franco we played Commands & Colors Ancients EPIC on a custom map, twice as deep, with special rules for retreats and ranged combats. The game therefore becomes much more simulative but also more difficult and above all huge.
We chosen the battle of FANUM FORTUNAE, Anno Domini 271: Alemanni who invaded Italy against the Romans of the period of military anarchy (III century).

Franco led the Alemanni, I was the Emperor Aurelianus. The players win by collecting 14 banners.
Each of us could place troops in the sectors as he likes. I put my legions (the most powerful forces) in the central section and the cavalry on the wings (in the photos my forces are at the bottom, those of Franco at the top and green).

Instead, I kept the light troops at the foot of the hills in the center of the map, safe and out of sight.
At the beginning, I attacked on the right section with medium and heavy cavalry to intercept at least one supply wagon.

Indeed, the Alemanni have three supply wagons loaded with the loot of the raids carried out: they must carry them over the river Metaurus outside their own board to win a banner for each wagon saved.
I occupied a wagon, but to consolidate the conquest it was necessary that there was no adjacent enemy troops: the return of Franco with his cavalry forced me to flee.

I still managed to destroy the Alemannic cavalry, but I also lost two medium cavalries. Also for the proof of the leader's death, I took two helmets and I said goodbye to the heavy cavalry commander!
In the center, with my light troops who had advanced on the hills, I inflicted some losses on the enemy who had tried to occupy the hills playing a Darken Sky card (I can roll twice in ranged combat).

In short, the situation was quite balanced, the banners were about 5/6 each.
On my left I attacked with a mixture of medium and heavy infantry, but without great results,

on the contrary, I suffered heavy losses, including a whole unit and even their commander. And then I risked a close combat with my medium cavalry against a unit of Alemannic warriors at full strength, and I got annihilated.
"You wanted to risk too much" sayd my friend ...

and in the meantime two barbarian supply wagons crossed the map border...
and Franco had now 12 banners against 7, two banners still and the victory was his!
Our other wargames companion, Stefano, in the same battle against Franco and with the same score, two days before, lost hope, he preferred to surrender.
But this thought didn’t touch my mind, I still believed that there was possibility of victory ... many units of Franco were decimated, especially on the left. At the center, however, the warriors were intact and protected other reduced units to a single block.
There was little to do, I had to try to intercept some units on my left side with the few forces there and mostly to attack the center with my heavy legions (the most powerful units rolling five dice), hoping to open the way between the enemy forces of barbarian warriors and then destroy the units reduced to a block on the back, before they could escape.
So I risked it all out with a Double Time card in the center (which allows you to move foot units twice) bringing me close to the enemy.

Franco tried to escape with the reduced units by using our retreat’s special rules, but the legions did their job by sowing destruction, while on the left side the successes were offset by a loss that leads to the situation of 13 banners at 12 always for Franco. The gap had almost been filled, but ...
... now it was up to him!

Franco played two section cards, one for the center and one on my left.
In the center he surrounded my heavy cavalry on the ford with two cavalry units, but the two-dice shot limit saved my cavalry with no losses.
But now Franco had the decisive move ... on the left he attacked with medium cavalry at full strength leaded by a commander (who allows to hit also with helmet symbol) my medium infantry unit reduced to a single block ... three dice, only a favorable result to win (and on six sides of the die, three are winners).
So it was over for me?
But as in the battle of Gergovia that I told you in another post, I played a First Strike card!
Then I rolled 4 dice and make 4 winning shots (three swords and one blue color)! Cavalry destroyed, 13 flags each!
Franco disconsolate (because now he knew he would not close in the round as he hoped) rolled one dice for the proof of commander’s death, and the dice said… helmet! 14th banner, victory!!!

However, even without the last lucky roll, in the next round I would have had the chance to attack a unit of warriors with a single block with a full heavy infantry,

and two other good moves, so I think I would have managed to win the game anyway. I then had in reserve Clash of Shields and I'm Spartacus cards.

Beautiful game, 3 hours duration (without counting setup) despite longer maneuvers (because the battlefield is deep twice the normal) and fierce but often not decisive close combats. I hope to try to play leading the Alemanni, and in the meantime ...
For the glory of ROME!
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Edward Kendrick
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Redditch
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Excellent report!

I'd be interested to read your house rules for retreats, as I've often thought that the C&C system generally places too much emphasis on chasing down depleted units. I've toyed with the idea of allowing units to retreat without using actions, subject to their taking no further part in the battle.
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Mayor Jim
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Fort Wright
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Great report!...too bad you didn’t have many pics ....joke
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Pete Belli
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Superb!
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Pete Belli
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Barbarossa wrote:
...I've often thought that the C&C system generally places too much emphasis on chasing down depleted units. I've toyed with the idea of allowing units to retreat without using actions, subject to their taking no further part in the battle.


An experimental "withdrawal" command seemed to be a good optional rule.

A player expends a command to "withdraw" a unit reduced to one figure. That formation is permanently removed from play but does not count as a lost unit.

As you mentioned, this might reduce the questionable practice of "hunting" depleted units instead of using solid tactics to triumph in the scenario.
 
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Matthew Fedel
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Great report!

Those First Strike cards always come out at the best moments.
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Caleb
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pete belli wrote:
Barbarossa wrote:
...I've often thought that the C&C system generally places too much emphasis on chasing down depleted units. I've toyed with the idea of allowing units to retreat without using actions, subject to their taking no further part in the battle.


An experimental "withdrawal" command seemed to be a good optional rule.

A player expends a command to "withdraw" a unit reduced to one figure. That formation is permanently removed from play but does not count as a lost unit.

As you mentioned, this might reduce the questionable practice of "hunting" depleted units instead of using solid tactics to triumph in the scenario.


At the cost of potentially significantly lengthening the play time. Not saying it's not a trade-off worth making (for some), but for me, one of the key aspects to C&C Ancients is speed of play.
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Nafta Lino
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Barbarossa wrote:
I'd be interested to read your house rules for retreats

My wargames friends have written house rules for ranged combats and retreats in CCA Epic.
Here the rules for retreat or evade.
There are two kinds of retreat: Hasty retreat or Fighting retreat.
Hasty retreat: foot unit with Evade Eligibility, must retreat two hexs. Cavalry must retreat 3 hexs.
Light infantry and cavalry can go through other units (see below). At the end of the retreat, player have to roll two dice: one flag = one loss, but leader erases one loss (no support by close units). So, two flags are two losses, one with a leader. The enemy unit have to enter in the hex (momentum advance) and can do another close combat if this unit is cavalry or warrior or has a attached leader.
Hasty retreat simulates troops that they retreat before coming into contact with the enemy, a tactic usually used by light troops.
If whole retreat is not possible (i.e. you would go through medium or heavy infantry) hasty retreat is forbidden.
Fighting retreat: use the standard rules for evade
Going through another unit during retreat or evade
Only if there isn’t another possibility, rather than lose blocks, some kind of units can go through one (and only one) friendly unit during the retreat or evade movement. The player chooses if he wants going through.
Medium and heavy infantry can never be go through by another unit (they are a shield wall with no holes).
Light infantry and auxilia can always go through another unit (not medium or heavy infantry) without penalty.
Medium and heavy infantry can only go through light infantry and auxilia, but these units have to retreat automatically (heavy troops push back light units with their onrush).
Any kind of cavalry can go through another kind of cavalry or light infantry or auxilia, but player must roll one dice for moral check (cavalry can turn around other friendly unit during escape, but this retreat has a negative impact on morale). If dice roll is a flag, even the unit crossed must retreat: no bolster morale for attached leader or supported unit.
If the unit withdrawing ends its move into a hex occupied by a friendly unit that can be go through by (not medium or heavy infantry), this last unit roll one dice for possible retreat. If this unit crossed doesn’t retreat (no flag), the first unit must retreat for another hex; but, if this is not possible (for broken ground or the unit withdrawing have to go through a second unit, except a leader), going through is forbidden.

Tomorrow I’m going on holidays, so I can’t reply for ten days. Bye!
 
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Nafta Lino
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cannoneer wrote:
one of the key aspects to C&C Ancients is speed of play.

Yes, but this is the epic expansion! We don't use these house rules when we play the basic game. So, with the epic, my friends want to play a more simulative game even if it'll be more slow
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Pete Belli
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Naftalino wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
one of the key aspects to C&C Ancients is speed of play.

Yes, but this is the epic expansion! We don't use these house rules when we play the basic game. So, with the epic, my friends want to play a more simulative game even if it'll be more slow


A valid point.

Many of my epic Commands & Colors scenarios have been played at conventions so the players have a relatively large block of time committed to the session.
 
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