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I have never posted a session report before, but today's battlefield events just begged for recording.
My wife and I have been playing through CC:A scenarios for a couple months. We are now moving into Expansion #1 and tonight we sat down for a Marathon session.
She took the Greeks and I took the Persians. As is her custom, she asked right away, "Who is supposed to win this one?" I assured her that it was supposed to be her side. Six cards later (2 Line Commands, a First Strike, and a Leadership Any Section for her and two utterly forgettable cards for me) the 6 banners to nil massacre was complete. I could not believe a stack of Auxilia troops that large could be removed in so short of a time span. I had tried to go toe to toe, but the Greek Heavies were too much for me.
I demanded an immediate rematch with the goal of at least winning one banner. I decided that my strategy the second time would be much more defensive. I originally planned to make a concerted effort to get my cavalry out and park all my Light units in the river where they would be on equal footing with all comers.
A pair of early Move-Fire-Move cards allowed my light Persians to pick off a couple of Greeks and retreat to the river. A lack of Line Commands caused the Greeks to take a more measured approach as well. The Persian cavalry escaped from behind the river and launched the first attack. They knocked out an Auxilia but got a little over-aggressive in their pursuit. The Greeks closed ranks trapping Artaphernes behind enemy lines. He managed to escape but his troops did not. The second Persian cavalry troop launched a second ill fated attack that resulted in their destruction. So far my "defensive" strategy handed the Greeks two banners while only gaining one of my own. But hey, I had already bettered my previous result!
The Greeks finally closed on their right, but the Persian left put up a stout defense. One Persian unit was lost but the combination of battle back and counter attack evened the banner count at three apiece and sent the last Greek right flank Heavy scrambling back to the safety of the rest of the Greek lines.
A period of reorganization followed in which the Greeks melded their shattered right with their center and heretofore untroubled left. The Persians sent volley after volley at the confused Greek lines picking of stragglers all around. I picked up a Clash of Shields card somewhere in this phase of the battle and was content to wait for the Greeks to close.
Unfortunately, I ran out of ways to stall, or maybe just ran out of patience so I launched my second offensive with my two Medium Infantry units (now both with leaders). A Greek Auxilia fell victim, but again we traded banner for banner as one of my units fell on a counter attack.
Even though the banners were now 4 apiece, the Greeks started to feel the pinch of units lost and considered a defensive posture as well. However, a Rally card that restored 4 units inspired the Greek general, er... my wife, to go for broke. The Greek left finally showed up a launched their attack. However, they were not able to defeat the full strength Auxilia and Mediums they were facing. The Clash of Shields that followed, the 28th card played, spelled the end for the Greeks.
I know some lucky arrows and spears were probably a part of the result but I think I deserved it after the prior beat down I received! This is why I love CC:A--two wildly different results with the same scenario played the same two people controlling the same two armies.