Patch and I’s latest round of Commands & Colors: Ancients depicts the Battle of Leuctra where the Theban commander massed all his best infantry on his left to face the elite Spartan units on that flank and smash them. The setup encourages this with the opposite wings being much further away from each other than the heavy flank. There’s a mix of units on both sides again, though the Thebans are light on Hoplites, with their left being composed of Heavies (with one of them ‘special’—acting as if they always have a leader), while the Spartans have their extra-big MH to oppose them.

I had the Thebans the first time, and spent the first couple moves Ordering Two Right to line up for an Inspired Right Leadership before realizing that my only leader was on the left. Meanwhile Patch used Move-Fire-Move to get his center deployed and Ordered Two Left to tighten up that flank. I then Double Timed my Heavies into the Spartan right and reduced an Aux to 1 block, Patch’s led MH to two blocks while doing a block to another, with two of my Heavies reduced to two blocks in return. Patch Ordered Medium and swarmed the Sacred Band (special) to wipe them out. I Double Timed on that flank again to rearrange my units and knocked out the wounded Aux, drove another one back after taking a block, reduced a full Spartan MH by three blocks and drove it back, and reduced the two wounded ones more, and in return had an Aux reduced to one block and driven off.

Patch Ordered Three Center to pick off my leader/Heavy, but only drove him back a hex with no losses. I Ordered Four Left continue pushing at the Spartan MH and pull my Aux further out of the way. I finally finished off one of the Spartan MH, did a block to another, and traded two blocks from my leader/Heavy with his Aux. Patch Ordered Three Center to hit my leader/Heavy again, knocking it out this time, but the leader evaded back to a full-strength Heavy. I used Coordinated Attack to bring up a couple units, and pick off two wounded units, getting his leader in the process. 5-2

Patch started the second game with Order Three Left to start moving up the heavy flank, and I Ordered Mediums to fill in the center and start picking on the heavies while the Theban leader was slightly behind. I picked off the Sacred Band in two combats, but couldn’t quite finish off the other heavy, and took five blocks across three units. Patch Ordered Lights to bring up units across his line, but got no results from ranged attacks. I Ordered Two Right to finish off a Heavy, and Patch Ordered Lights again, doing a block to a Spartan MH and a MC which was forced to flee to the baseline.

I used a Line Command for the entire right and center, and forced one of his MC back to the baseline with ranged combat, while picking off an Aux and reducing both of his remaining heavies to two blocks while he reduced two Spartan MH to one block. Patch Counterattacked for a two unit ‘line’ of his heavies which picked off my weak Spartans while reducing the last one to one block. My leader evaded to just off the end of the rest of my line and Leadership Any Section allowed me to move new units up while the leader attached himself to the center of the new line. I reduced a Heavy to one block, but it wiped out a full-strength Aux. Patch Ordered Three Center to bring up some MH and hit my new line with the MC, doing two blocks to another Aux, but a hit and two banners in return easily took care of the MC. I Out Flanked to start moving up the left while the remaining MH with support from the wounded Aux (and leader) to hit the remains of the Heavies and did a block to end the game. 5-3


Both games gave me lots of tense moments since I was gambling my most effective units against ones about as good. The first game was more of demolition derby as almost nothing happened away from the engaged flank. The second game was a little more fluid, but only a little; it was still decided in the same place. With the wide gap on the setup of the opposite flank, this’ll almost always happen, though we were also constrained by our cards. If the first game hadn’t ended when it did, I was completely out of options on that flank.

There’s something about the five dice from Heavies that really inspires confidence, though the five-block Spartan MH can probably take it. On the other hand, the four dice of the Spartan MH doesn’t feel as potent.