Well, Patch and I did another round of Commands & Colors: Ancients between bigger games. This time, it was River Centrites from Expansion #6 (and the Anabasis). It’s a very unusual scenario, with the Spartans caught between two forces, who retreat towards both of the regular board edges (the Armenians towards one edge, and the Carducians towards the other), while the Spartans retreat towards a river in the center of the board. There’s a lot more Persians than Spartans, and they start on hills, but they’re spread out, and generally not as good as the Spartan units. (Certainly, they have no hoplites.) The game goes to seven banners, but if the Spartans can get their entire force on the Armenian side of the river, they win.

I had the combined Persian forces for the first game, and drew all three Line Commands straight off. Patch started with Inspired Right Leadership to press on the Carducians on that side, doing one damage to two units while taking three blocks across two units. I attacked in the same corner, but only did one block. Patch then Out Flanked to continue to retire a depleted unit and do three damage to a Warrior, while moving is left force towards the river.

I used Line Command to engage the few Spartan units in the center with the Armenians, but only did one block to a Spartan Hoplite in return for taking a loss on Warriors, and nearly having an Aux wiped out. Patch Ordered Light to knock out a Carducian Warrior and force my leader there off board while getting a LC behind my line in the center. I used Line Command on the Armenian line again, knocking out the Spartan Hoplite, forcing his LC back to the river, and did three damage on an Aux, but I lost the Warriors and a block on a Med in the process. Patch Counter Attacked to activate his center, and knocked out a Med while doing two more blocks to the damaged one while doing a block to another Spartan Hoplite.

I used Leadership any Section to move my right side Carducians forward, and ended with a Spartan Hoplite and my Warriors reduced to one block each. Patch used Inspired Left Leadership to move the stricken Hoplites out of the way and finished off the warriors, while also getting my wounded Med and picked off a loose leader with archery. I used Order Two Right two move up a LC and finished off an Aux. Patch then Ordered Two Center to pick off a depleted Aux. 2-7


For my turn as the Spartans, I started with Order Three Right to try and press on the same force that Patch had good luck with, but no damage was done. Patch then used Leadership Any Section, to activate that entire corner, wiped out a Spartan Hoplite, and did three damage on a second while I did one damage each to a Warrior and Aux. I Ordered Four Center to attack the Armenians, and start moving forces over the river, doing three blocks to a Light, while taking one in return. Patch Double Timed to get the rest of the Armenian center into play before I could force the hills, and reduced two Spartan Hoplites to two blocks while taking one damage on each of two units (with help from a First Strike that also drove off an attacking Med).

I used Order Mounted to get more forces towards the river, and traded a weak Spartan Hoplite for a Med plus leader, but took one hit for no gain on a momentum attack. Patch used Order Three Center to finish off my remaining Spartan Hoplite, and got my leader. I used Out Flanked to get a new Spartan Hoplite across the river, and wiped out the Carducian Warriors that had given me trouble, while also doing a block on a LS with a momentum attack.

Patch Ordered Light to kill a LC on a banner (no place to go  in the river), and reduce my right-side Spartan Hoplite to a block. I Ordered Two Center to move up, and Patch yelled I Am Spartacus to order a Med, Warrior, and an Aux to finish off the wounded Spartan Hoplite. I used Line Command to move almost my entire remaining force towards the Armenians, and knocked out a Med at a cost of one block. Patch forced my abandoned right-side leader off-board with an Order Two Left (well, assuming you count the river as a normal board edge, in which case he Leader Evaded “off-board”; if you call it a blocked evade, then the game ended right here; I think the former is right though).

I Double Timed up to the the center hills, did a block to a LB in exchange for a block on an Aux, did a block to an Aux, in exchange for three on Spartan Hoplites, did two banners to the same Aux to force it to lose a block on the board edge, and then did another hit to it in momentum, when he did a hit back. Patch Ordered Two Center, but couldn’t get a hit on my 1-block Spartan Hoplite. I Ordered Light to very nearly get across the river (only two units still on it), and did a hit each on a LB and Aux, and also did two to a Light. Patch Ordered Two Center again, but only did a banner to the weak Spartan Hoplite (who took it to get out of the way), and a hit to an Aux. I used Coordinated Attack to wipe out a 3-block Aux, and then get wipe out a 1-block Aux on momentum, I then finished off a LB by forcing them off the board. 7-6



It’s a very interesting scenario. The Spartans are surrounded, but the Persian forces can’t really go toe-to-toe with them. Patch had fairly good dice in both games, and I was thinking I was going to go down hard again in the second game when I started breaking up the Armenians. Since they’re also the effective ‘goal line’ for the Spartan army, the pair of Mediums just doesn’t last long, even with hills.