Patch and I had our between-bigger-games round of Commands & Colors: Ancients on Tuesday. This time it was the Battle of Lechaeum from Expansion #6. It’s a tiny little battle; Patch commented that it looked like I hadn’t pulled the pieces out yet when he saw it, and it only goes to three banners instead of the usual 4-5. The Athenians have two more units, but are all Lights with a couple Auxilia, while the Spartans are mostly the much-nastier Spartan MH. However, the Spartans only get three cards, while the Athenians have five.

I had the Athenians the first time, and led off with a Line Command to bring the Auxilia up to the front and start peppering the Spartans with arrows, doing a block each to two units, and force one retreat. Patch Ordered Two Center, doing two damage to an evading unit, and taking a block to one of his damaged units after doing nothing to an Auxilia. My next turn did nothing, and Patch Ordered Mounted to pick on my right flank, wiping out my Auxilia, and doing one block on an evade in return for three damage on one of his Spartan MH. I got lucky on archery to wipe out his two-block unit, and Patch rolled with Order Two Left in to force me back on evades, doing one more block. I got no result from an Order One (Heavy), and Patch moved up his right flank.

I used Leadership Any Section to activate most of the center, and forced two units to retreat, one of them with a loss. Patch used Mounted Charge to get three units into contact, forcing my Slingers to evade back to the base line while doing a block to them, and did two damage to the other Auxilia, who did three damage in return. I then used Clash of Shields to activate four units; the first attack knocked out the Spartan MH I’d just damaged, but the Spartan leader got away. On the other end of the line, I did one damage, while two banners in battle back forced my Light to retreat to the base line. Patch Ordered Medium to knock a block off my leader+Light while it evaded to the base line. I Ordered Three Center to pick on his 2-block MH and got lucky with archery to finish it off. 3-1

For the second round, Patch started with a familiar-looking Line Command maneuver and did one block each to two units, and forced one to retreat (he actually got two other banners, but they were both against a supported unit). I Ordered Light to bring up the Light Cavalry and start peppering the Athenian line back, forcing a retreat of his Bowmen. Patch forced a retreat on my left, and I Darkened the Sky with my Light Cav, doing one damage to a Light before forcing it to retreat. Patch Ordered Three Left to reform his line and do a block to one of the Cav. I Ordered Two Left (with only one unit there) to get him back in line, and he immediately did two more hits to the unit. A Coordinated Attack got him and his neighbor into contact while part of the right flank started moving up. I did one hit and was forced to retreat before a First Strike took out my weakened Spartan MH. Patch Ordered Light to do one block each to two units.

With both Spartan MH near my leader down a block, I Rallied to get them up to full strength (I could have rallied a third, wild, block, but the only other thing adjacent was the undamaged LC) and advanced to do a hit to his Auxilia while taking two in return. Patch Ordered Light again to pepper my line, forcing a retreat, and doing another two hits to my leading Spartan MH while only taking two hits in return and retreating out of the line. I Ordered Medium to pursue, breaking his line up with evades but no hits, but my 1-block MH forced his 1-block Aux to retreat and then Momentum Advanced to hit him again to finally knock out the unit, while the leader retreated to his base line.

Patch used Order Two Center to join him up with a unit, but his archery missed. I Ordered Three Center and knocked out his other Auxilia while my more distant units tried to reach the battle. Patch Ordered One (Mounted) and missed with archery on my 1-block unit again, and I Counter Attacked for Order Mounted to force him to evade, but only did one block of damage. Patch used Leadership Any Section to finally knock out my 1-block unit, and my leader joined a full strength Spartan MH right behind him, while he did a block to another unit. I Ordered Four Right (only three units) and I hoped to force his Bowmen to get trapped between the city walls and my Spartan MH, but my LC couldn’t get a result on him, and I simply forced his Light to evade with a block of damage. Patch used Order One (Mounted Charge) to force my weakened LC to retreat, which eliminated the unit. 2-3


Frankly, my hands were terrible both times. In the second game I finally chewed through bad cards to have some some ability to maneuver, but at one point in the first game my hand was a pair of Order Heavies, an Order Light, Clash of Shields (with no one in contact), and Counterattack (with Patch not using anything that I wanted).

The scenario really does a great job at presenting the heavy force that just can’t come to grips with the light force. The Auxilia are the only things that hit on swords in the Athenian army, and since they can’t evade they’re going to be the first casualties. It’s probably worth just keeping them behind the main line, and let the Spartans have to force the Lights to evade before getting to them, but I wanted every unit I had doing archery to whittle down the Spartan extra-large units. I really didn’t want to put the Light Cav in harm’s way, and it killed me the way I was afraid it could, but with three cards and my starting hand, I just couldn’t let Darken the Sky clog up my hand all game.