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Subject: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself... rss

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Andrew Adey
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Scenario 2: The Crimissos River. History repeats itself.

This is a solo session report for the above named battle in the excellent "Command and Colors: Ancients" board game recently released. I have tried to give a blow by blow account of how this game unfolded, especially for the information of new players, or those just interested, and potential buyers.

I shall be using a little shorthand here: For the dice in the game: g = a green circle, b = a blue triangle, r = a red square, s = crossed swords, h = helmet, and f = flag.

The units are: HI = heavy infantry, MI = medium infantry, LI = light infantry, W = warriors, SL = slingers, AUX = auxilia, MC = medium cavalry, Ch = chariots.

The co-ordinates given, e.g. "F9" are the hex numbers on the game board. So, AUX A1- A2 means the auxilia in A1 move to A2. It should be easy...

Battles are described as "range" or "combat" for ranged or close combat, and the units involved and their locations are given. The RESULT of the die rolls is given as above, and the actual result to the defending unit after that. So:
"HI C12 combat MI C11 RESULT hhfgr" means the heavy infantry in hex C12 close combat the medium infantry in hex C11, and the dice rolled result in "Helmet, Helmet, Flag, Green circle, Red square".

Here we go then...

Scouts rode in and told the Syracusan general that the enemy had been spotted crossing the river Crimissos. They were certain they had not been detected, and could spot no enemy scouts or patrols at all. By the time the army had roused itself, half the Carthagnian army had crossed the river.

But half of it had not.

MOVE1:
Syracusan card: CO-ORDINATED ATTACK . One unit is each section is ordered.
AUX G10 - F10
AUX G5- F5
SL G4-F4
AUX F10 range HI D10 RESULT b Nothing happens. A blue triangle would damage a medium unit, but not a heavy, which needs a red square for ranged combat. The AUX only roll one die instead of two, because they have moved in this turn.
AUX G4 range AUX D6 RESULT h Again, no losses, because a helmet result only removes a block if a) the units are in close combat, and b) if a leader is in the attacker`s hex, OR in a hex next to it. And again, only one die rolled due to the AUX attackers having moved.
SL F4 range SL C4 RESULT f This should mean that the Carthaginian slingers retreat, but they have friends in two adjacent hexes, so do not retreat.

Carthaginian card: ORDER 2 UNITS CENTRE. Two units in the central section may be ordered.
AUX C7- C8
AUX D6 - C7

The Carthaginian general has split forces. One half is still on the far side of the river, and it can only be forded in a few places. He moves his lighter troops to screen the movement of the tail of his army - his left wing - across the river. The Syracusans also move light troops to cover the river and stop this.

MOVE 2:
Syracusan card: OUTFLANKED. Two units on each flank are ordered.
LI G3-E4
SL F4-E5
MC H11- E13
AUX F10 range HI D10 RESULT bb. The auxilia on the Syracusan left did not move, and so roll 2 dice, both showing blue triangles. Red sqaures are needed, so no effect.
SL E5 range SL C4 RESULT h. Again, no effect.
LI E4 renge SL C4 RESULT h. Again, no effect at all. The Carthaginian slingers are blessed...

Carthaginian card: ORDER 3 UNITS LEFT SECTION.
MI B4- B5
MI A4-B4
LI B3-D2
LI D2 range LI E4 RESULT h.

Much skirmishing across the river. Each side dare not wade across the river for fear of being caught in it at a disadvantage. With only one Carthaginian leader, near the right wing, few cards are suitable for moving the left wing into position rapidly.

MOVE 3:
Syracusan card: ORDER 2 UNITS CENTRE.
Leader G7-E5 The Syracusan sends one leader across to the right flank to help defend this area, stopping the enemy crossing the river.
HI G6-F6 He also starts to organise his line.

Carthaginian card: ORDER 2 UNITS LEFT.
LI D2 range LI E4 RESULT rs. AGAIN no result. The early morning mist makes the enemy difficult and fleeting to detect.
SL C4 range SL E5 RESULT hf. The Syracusan slingers should retreat because of the flag result, but not only does the attached leader prevent this, but there are two friendly units in support, so the Syracusan slingers hold fast...

MOVE 4:
Syracusan card: ORDER 3 UNITS LEFT. He has 2 units only, so one order is wasted.
MC E13-D12
AUX f10 range HI D10 RESULT hf ONE BLOCK LOST and HI retreats to C11.
MC D12 combat Ch C12 RESULT rbs ONE BLOCK LOST. Only one block because chariots ignore crossed sword results against them .The red square die roll does kill a chariot though.
Ch C12 battle back vs MC D12 RESULT ggh. No effect. Because at least one block of chariots survived, and did not retreat, they may "battle back", fighting their attackers. But to no avail. The medium cavalry survive intact.

Carthaginian card: OUTFLANKED 2 units on each flank may be ordered.
Ch C12 combat MC D12 RESULT hhbr ONE BLOCK LOST. Chariots attack with 4 dice, but if attacked battle back with only 3. The chariot`s attack remove a block of Syracusan cavalry.
MC D12 battle back vs Ch C12 RESULT ghf. Ch retreat to B11. MC cannot perform a "momentum advance" because the achieved the flag result during "battle back", not attacking.

The Syracusans spot a small vanguard of chariots moving across the flat ground, and sweep in. Horses and men shout and scream, dust and javelins fly, blood falls to the ground, ragged groups of horsemen and chariots weave and wend around one another, until the chariots break off. The Syracusan cavalry remain. licking their wounds and re-grouping. The light infantry skirmishing continues, with the Carthaginian Sacred Band feeling the claws of an auxilia unit who dart in and out, but wisely keep their distance from the heavily armed Carthaginians.

MOVE 5:
Syracusan card: CO-ORDINATED ATTACK. One unit in each section to be ordered.
MC D12-B12
HI G7-F7 Slowly, the Syracusans order their line.
MC B12 combat Ch B11 RESULT rrs CHARIOTS ARE DESTROYED. ONE VICTORY BLOCK TO SYRACUSE. Though chariots ignore crossed sword results, the two red square results are more than enough to finsh off the chariots. First point to Syracuse.
SL E5 range SL C4 RESULT rr Still no result despite all the light unit activity on the Syracusan right flank.

Carthaginian card: LEADERSHIP ANY SECTION. Player may choose any section with a leader in it and order it and all units in up to 3 adjacent hexes.
HI C11-D10
HI C10-D9
LI C9-D8
LI D8 range HI F7 RESULT b No effect.

MOVE 6:
Syracusan card: ORDER 3 UNITS LEFT.
Leader G9-G8
HI G9-F9
LI F10 range HI D10 RESULT hr HI D10 LOOSES A BLOCK.

Carthaginian card: ORDER LIGHT TROOPS. Excellent card - allows ALL light troops to be ordered, and the Carthaginian has many.
AUX C8-D7
AUX C7-D6
LI D8 range HI F7 RESULT rs ONE BLOCK LOST. Finally the Carthaginian skirmishers start to wear down the enemy HI.
AUX D7 range HI F7 RESULT g
AUX D6 range SL E5 Result s
SL C4 range SL E5 result hs
LI D2 range LI E4 RESULT hr

The Syracusans continue to deveop a fighting line, under showers of missiles from the Cathaginian light troops, but suffer very little.

MOVE 7:
Syracusan card: INSPIRED LEADERSHIP RIGHT SECTION. But the Syracusan cannot use this card for this purpose. He has no leader on the right section. He uses it to move any single other unit, which most cards have as a secondary function.
HI G8-F8 Finishing the line.

Carthaginian card: ORDER LIGHT TROOPS. AGAIN! Twice in a row the Carthaginian unleashes his hordes of light troops.
LI D8 range HI F8 RESULT hs
AUX D7 range HI F7 RESULT hs
AUX D6 range HI F6 RESULT hf LOSES A BLOCK. No retreat though because unit is well supported and may ignore the flag.
SL C4 range SL E5 RESULT fs Leader present AND well supported no again, no retreat. This shows the benefit of leaders and support received from friendly units holding together a line.
LI D2 range LI E4 RESULT rb

The Syracusan generals finally organise their lines properly though under great pressure from the massive shooting from enemy light troops - shooting that has been quite unproductive considering the amount of it. Timoleon orders the horns to sound, the standards dip three times, and the maniples of heavy infantry move slowly and efficiently like chess pieces on a board. Mamercus on the right flank hears the horns sound, see the signal, and ushers his lighter troops on to secure the right flank from the half of the Carthaginian army so far uncommitted.

And the whole mass slide inexorably forwards, as one, towards the waiting Carthaginian lines.

MOVE 8:
Syracusan card: LINE COMMAND The Syracusans order a complete line of adjacent units, as long as is possible, to move one hex forward - as one. One hex is all it takes to get the HI into the enemy. The Carthaginian general feels a shiver despite the growing heat of the day.

AUX F10-E11
HI F9-E10
HI F8-E9
HI F7-E8
HI F6-E7
AUX F5-E6
AUX E11 combat HI D10 RESULT gss HI LOSES 2 BLOCKS. HI "battles back" rolling flag-flag-flag-helmet-red, meaning 3 retreats for the AUX. AUX retreats to H10.
Auxilia retreat only 1 hex per flag against them.
LI E4 range LI D2 RESULT hg LI LOSES ONE BLOCK.
SL E5 range CL C4 RESULT bg SL LOSES ONE BLOCK.
AUX E6 combat AUX D6 RESULT hfr AUX D6 retreats to B7 (Should have been one hex only).
HI E10 combat HI D10 RESULT hhsgr HI in D10 LOSES REMAINING BLOCK- WIPED OUT. SECOND VICTORY BLOCK TO SYRACUSE. The proximity of a leader means both "helmet" die rolls score a hit, With a "crossed swords" and a red square, that`s would be all 4 enemy blocks of an intact infantry unit removed. But there was only one block remaining.
HI E9 combat HI D9 RESULT hhhsb HI in D9 LOSES 4 BLOCKS - WIPED OUT. THIRD VICTORY BLOCK TO SYRACUSE.
HI E8 combat LI D8 which evades RESULT gghhb LI D8 LOSES 2 BLOCKS and evades to B8. Units evading move 2 hexes back to their home line and are less likely to take damage. Only dice showing their type are effective - no flags, helmets, crossed swords.
HI E7 combat AUX D7 which evades RESULT ggghs LI D7 LOSES 3 BLOCKS and evades to C7. Normally evasion moves a unit 2 hexes, but if it can`t move the full two due to an obstruction, only one.

The Carthaginian army loses 17 blocks in one turn. The Carthaginian leader is left by himself, his unit being lost around him. He survived the single die roll, a "helmet" result would have removed him. The power of the Line Command card when used properly is displayed. The Carthaginian centre is shattered beyond redemption. It is only a matter of time now...

Carthaginian card: MOVE HEAVY TROOPS. But there are none left to move, so one unit of players choice moved.
Leader B7-B4 In desperation, the Carthaginian general races to his left to bring in extra forces.

MOVE 9:
Syracusan card: ORDER 4 UNITS LEFT
HI E10-D9
HI E9-D8
AUX H10-F9
MC B12-B9
MC B9 combat LI B8 RESULT ffg. DESTROYED. FOURTH VICTORY BLOCK TO SYRACUSE. The LI cannot retreat off the map, but has 2 retreat results against it. It loses a block for each retreat it cannot fulfil and is destroyed.
MC B9 makes a momentum advance and into B8 and combats AUX in B7 RESULT ggr 2 BLOCKS LOST. AUX battle back RESULT brh ONE MC BLOCK LOST.

The Syracusan cavalry move across to the centre and make their second charge of the battle, destroy one unit, and badly batter a second, but are down to one block now. They have fought bravely today and the gods will be pleased with them.

Carthaginian card: ORDER 4 UNITS RIGHT But there are no units left on the right wing, so it is used instead to move a unit of Gallic Warriors to the river.
W B2-C3

MOVE 10:
Syracusan card: ORDER 3 UNITS CENTRE
MC B8-B10 Wisely the cavalry retire a little out of reach, to prevent their total loss giving an easy vistory block to the enemy.
HI D8-C8
HI E8-D7 Keeping the line intact.
HI C8 combat AUX B7 RESULT ghhbs AUX ARE WIPED OUT. FIFTH VICTORY POINT TO SYRACUSE.

The day ends with a crushing Carthaginian defeat. None of the units starting on the left wing made it across the river. Several did not even move. The lack of a leader here hampers the Carthaginian greatly. The preponderence of light troops which HAVE crossed the river make the job of the Syracusan HI easier. The Carthaginian chariots would have been better attacking rather than standing at receiving the MC charge, because they attack with 4 dice, but only defend with 3. Not a single Syracusan unit was destroyed, though several were damaged.

History has repeated itself.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this. I hope it makes sense! It writing it I have discovered just how much detail you need to keep during a game to write anything vaguely useful. There may be some errors in my reporting, and if you find any glaring error please let me know.

Lastly, what do you think of the reporting format? It is a little rough, but any ideas to tighten it up would be gratefully received.





 
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Ryan O'Rourke
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
So far all the sessions reported seem to indicate a weakness on the Carthaginian side. This may be historically accurate (?) But does it make for a fun game?
 
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Todd Goff
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facesnorth wrote:
So far all the sessions reported seem to indicate a weakness on the Carthaginian side. This may be historically accurate (?) But does it make for a fun game?


The game turns to Carthage's favor around 218 BC (scenario 3). Hannibal and friends really kick it up for the Carthaginians.
 
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Andrew Adey
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Quote:
So far all the sessions reported seem to indicate a weakness on the Carthaginian side.


I agree, they do appear to struggle. There`s nothing to stop you adding a unit or maybe two to the Carthaginian side, or removing one or two from the Syracusans. This makes the game "unofficial", but hey, there`s no law against it! (Yet).

Beginners can take the stronger side leaving an experienced player with more of a fight, too.
 
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Benjamin Kindt
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
One look at the scenario Ticinus River (#3) seems to indicate its balanced pretty far in favor of Carthage.

Carthage gets three leaders vs. 1 for Rome
Carthage gets 5 command cards vs. 4 for Rome
Carthage gets Heavy Cavalry vs. Medium for Rome
Equal number of units

I'm sure its historically accurate, but how much fun would it be playing the Romans?
 
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Will (JR) Todd
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
bkindt wrote:

I'm sure its historically accurate, but how much fun would it be playing the Romans?


I don't know but I sure do like a challenge.
 
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Andrew Adey
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Quote:
I'm sure its historically accurate, but how much fun would it be playing the Romans?


It isn`t much. I`ve just finished playing that scenario as another solo game and Rome got trashed. So you`re right! I`ll have a seesion report up ASAP.
 
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Ryan O'Rourke
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
Albireo wrote:
Quote:
I'm sure its historically accurate, but how much fun would it be playing the Romans?


It isn`t much. I`ve just finished playing that scenario as another solo game and Rome got trashed. So you`re right! I`ll have a seesion report up ASAP.


That's what I mean. How many of the scenarios are balanced? Is the game fun or are we just replaying historically accurate scenarios? With 2 equal players is it always going to be decided beforehand?
 
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Sean Swart
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Damnation, here we go again. This same complaint is raised everytime a C and C game is made. First off this is not a jab at the members here on this site, but come on....

These battles and games are based on history. NOTHING to do about historical warfare is fair, NOTHING is balance. Each side fought with what they had, each attempting by means fair and foul to gain a HUGE advantage over the other.....

So what if the games are not balanced. Neither is warfare. Like both previous games you play both sides and total up the points to see who was the better General today. How hard is that?

If you want balanced, give both sides the same forces on a open field and set them up in the same manner, THAT would get mighty boring if you ask me.
 
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Ryan O'Rourke
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
OK, you made your point.
 
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Sean McCormick
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First off, great job with the AAR report. I like your level of detail.

Whenever you are looking at an ancients game, scenario balance is likely to be an issue at least some of the time. That said, I think the Carthaginians need to take a different approach than they did in this battle. What they need to do is refuse battle on the right and center while doing everything in their power to get those medium infantry across the river and into the battle line. They're in a difficult spot without question, but they can't expect to hold up against the Syracuse phalanx with only the units that are already across the river. The Carthaginian infantry needs to concentrate in the center, pulling it in from both wings. Only once that has happened can they contemplate offensive action.
 
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Nigel Buckle
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
facesnorth wrote:
So far all the sessions reported seem to indicate a weakness on the Carthaginian side. This may be historically accurate (?) But does it make for a fun game?


Well I've only played Scenario #1 & #2. Results so far:

Scenario #1 3 wins for Syracuse 0 for Carthage - but 1 was very close. Yep, I think this one is tipped in Syracuses' favour. Is it a problem? not really, just switch sides and try to do better as Carthage.

Scenario #2 1 win for Syracuse 1 for Carthage - need to play this one a bit more, problem for Carthage is lack of leaders and everything is in the wrong place - opening hand makes a big difference, do you try to get your left over the river or re-organise the right? I won pulling the left over, but had the cards to do it. Problem for Syracuse is keeping Carthage split and apply local superior numbers, if Carthage gets all its units into play you're going to lose, danger is pushing too far forward with too few units, you need to bring most of your army up, but that takes time - possibly too much time, allowing Carthage to sort its act out ...

Scenario #2 is intriguing, want to play it again (and also want to play the others too ...)
 
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Ray
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
Da Black Gobo wrote:
...So what if the games are not balanced. Neither is warfare. Like both previous games you play both sides and total up the points to see who was the better General today. How hard is that?

If you want balanced, give both sides the same forces on a open field and set them up in the same manner, THAT would get mighty boring if you ask me.

Wouldn't it be more exciting to handicap each scenario by the average victory point difference between the two sides when it ends? Other asymmetrical wargames do it all the time. That way you could retain accuracy yet make it equally challenge for both players in a single playing (you could loose the battle but still win for outperforming history)

That said I'm not ready to say the earlier scenarios need and modification yet...
 
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Sean Swart
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A game doesn't take too long ot play, so it should be easy to play two games at one sitting with a friend. As I mentioned earlier, play twice, once as each side. Then add up the two scores in banners. So, if you won as Syracuse 5/2, then lost the next game 5/3 as Carthage, you would have been the better general that day with 8 vs. your friends 7 banners overall. That seems the BALANCED way to do it.
 
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robin goblin
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
Ray's suggestion is also a good one. I'm not sure why this series of games always has equal banner/flag requirements...so either Sean's or Ray's suggestions would work equally well I think...Ray's one has the advantage that you'd have to play a bunch of games to figure out what the balance should be!

Robin
 
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Scott de Brestian
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Re: Scenario no.2 River Crimissos - History repeats itself.
Da Black Gobo wrote:

Wouldn't it be more exciting to handicap each scenario by the average victory point difference between the two sides when it ends? Other asymmetrical wargames do it all the time. That way you could retain accuracy yet make it equally challenge for both players in a single playing (you could loose the battle but still win for outperforming history)

That said I'm not ready to say the earlier scenarios need and modification yet...


Have players bid for sides. Sure, that can work. However, it can lead to ahistorical generalship. Fighting to not lose badly is different than fighting to win.
 
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Maksim Smelchak
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Hi Guys,

I just finished playing this scenario yesterday evening.

The Syracusans won both times as expected.

5 banners to zip and...

5 banners to 3.

I have the games logged here on my blog:

http://6mm-minis.blogspot.com/

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.
 
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