Patch and I recently had our between-games set of Commands & Colors: Ancients, and this time we’ve hit Alexander the Great’s career with the Battle of Granicus from Expansion #1. Alexander has a river to cross to get at a fairly decent Persian army, but has a number of advantages. The Companions ignore one sword hit in combat, and can ignore a banner, while Alexander causes a unit to battle with one extra die. Meanwhile, the Persian leaders only allow helmet hits for the unit they’re attached to, instead of all adjacent units, and Leadership cards only order the unit they’re attached to. And, the Persians have four cards to Alexander’s six.

I had Alexander first, and opened with Order Light, to line up at the river a bit more, and caused two blocks of losses with archery, and drove two units of cavalry back. Patch used Order Mounted to pull the rest of his forward line back out of range, not contesting the river. I started crossing the river, and Patch Ordered Lights into archery range. I Ordered Three Right to charge into the lights before Patch could start getting hits, and did one block to a bow unit.

Patch counterattacked with Order Three Center, putting Spithridates and Rhoesaces into my strung-out units, doing three hits to an Auxilia, and taking one in return. Inspired Center Leadership got my left flank into the river, and an Order Three Right cost me a MC as Patch got a double-banner on it, and drove it off the board. We both inched or centers up, and then Order Lights from me did two hits on a LC from archery, and knocked out a MC while taking one block in return.

Patch then used Mounted Charge (“I failed to do this last turn, and lost a unit as a result”), and got behind Alexander. I used First Strike as he went for my 1-block Aux in the river, but only got one of two blocks, while he got the Aux and Ptolemy. Then he knocked out the Companions, and Alexander had to evade through the enemy line (I’ve known the rule, but never had to do that before), Momentum then took out two LC blocks in the river, but I finished off his LC when they joined in.

I used Line Command to get intact units across the river, as well as getting more into it. Patch then used a second Mounted Charge, which finished off my LC and killed Alexander. World history is in ruins. 2-6

Patch spent the first three turns lining everyone up along his bank of the river, while I moved units up from the base line. Then Patch used Line Command to get most of his line into the river, driving off two of my cavalry units, doing two blocks of damage, and taking one in return. I used Clash of Shields for the two MC still at the river, and drove back his Med and did damage to a Heavy, but took two hits on a MC in return. Patch used I Am Spartacus to order a Light, two Medium and two wild (Med and Heavy), and put his flank cavalry into the river as well as getting his Med back in, and knocked out both of my center MC, while taking two blocks himself.

I used my own Line Command to fill in my center, and Patch used Mounted Charge, and did two blocks to an Aux, who then drove the attacking MC back past the river, and Alexander wiped out a MC, and I decided to keep Mithridates on-board, but momentum caught up to him and killed him (did not think that through…). I used Move-Fire-Move to rework my line and drove Alexander back. Patch used Inspired Right Leadership to move his center across the river, and I used Darken the Sky, which got six hits on various units, and finished off a Heavy, while damaging the other one.

Patch Out Flanked, and drove off my LC (they stayed since it was a river and a one-block MC, but a banner kept me from battling back), and on the other flank his LC was driven off by a banner from my LC. We both spent a turn rearranging a bit, and then I Ordered Three Center to knock out an Aux and drive off another. Patch Ordered Four Right, but only took one hit for his trouble. I Coordinated Attack for no damage and Patch Ordered Two Left to knock out an Aux, and do a block to a LC on momentum.

Desperate, and out of better options, I Double Timed but failed to get a 1-block Aux and lost a full Med on battle back after two attempts on his Medium. 2-6


I knew my initial charge over the river in the first game was chancy, but Patch had some really good luck in that one. The second game bogged down near the end as we both had problems. Patch had a bunch of reduced units scattered around and didn’t feel safe taking on my more intact army. But I was out of cards to maneuver with, and couldn’t find any good ways to finish them off.

The scenario is certainly interesting, with the split setup for the Persians, and the Granicus River really influences the battle. The hills never quite came into play, though both Patch and I used them as an anchor at some point.