After finishing up Charging Chaumont, Patch and I did our usual between-things Command & Colors: Ancients scenario. This time was the Battle of Gabiene from Expansion #1. Another Successors battle = more elephants. This time, both sides have some, and the two armies are relatively even, with Eumenes having slightly better infantry (including the Silver Shields), three elephants to two, and Antigonus having more cavalry, an extra leader, and an extra card. The unusual bit is that Eumenes has a camp to his right rear, and Antigonus can get a banner for getting a unit into it.

I had Antigonus first, and started with Order Two Right, which brought a Light into range of his elephants for no effect. Patch countered with Three Left, and forced my Light back with a banner from ranged fire, and did a hit to my HC with his LBC. Coordinated Attack let me start ranged combat across the field for no effect. Patch Counterattacked to move all three Elephants before I could get any banners, though he only attacked (my center Light) with one of them for no effect. I Ordered Lights, and concentrated fire on his Elephants, and could only get one banner each on two Elephants. Order Three Center slammed two of the Elephants into my line. One forced my Elephants back two hexes, and then hit my Medium, who First Striked for one hit, and took two themselves; the other did two to an Aux who wiped out the Elephant.

Leadership any Section let me move my left around the surviving Elephant, eliminating it, and doing a ranged hit against his Light. Order Three Left moved his remaining Elephant to my line, who wiped out a Med (3 swords on the first roll), and did a hit on my Elephant on momentum, while the battle back did nothing, and he got a ranged hit on my Lights standing out in the middle. Not having much I could do about his Elephants, I called out I Am Spartacus to activate a Light and MC (and had three banners in the roll—pity this wasn’t Medieval), and did one hit to the Elephant with the Light, while the MC did two hits to an evading LBC. Patch Ordered Heavies, and the Elephant passed behind my line to hit a Heavy for three blocks, and I barely got him on the battle back, while my Lights evaded away from his HC.

I used Line Command to move up my entire center, and caused his HC to evade back to his line. Leadership Any Section moved up his HC, Aux, and Silver Shields, while his LBC did a block to my MC at range. His HC wiped out my Aux (three circles…) and then finished off my weak Heavy on momentum. Order Two Center allowed my Elephant to do a block to the HC as it evaded. Patch Ordered Lights to do another block to my MC at range, forced a LBC to my baseline, and forced a Light back to baseline, losing a block on two banners. I used Three Center to do a block to the Silver Shields, and force his HC to evade out of his line. Order Three Right caused me to evade a Light back, while he did a block to a Med, who did three blocks back, reducing both units to a block each.

Order Two Center let me take a shot at the Silver Shields to do a block, and then hit them with my Elephants to finish them off, and then do a block and banner to an Aux on momentum. Patch Ordered Four Right to reshuffle the line and press forward, knocking out a weak Med, forcing my MC to evade, and doing a block to an Aux, while taking one on battle back, while my forward Elephants were knocked out at range. Mounted Charge let me move forward, though half of them were too far away to engage the enemy, but my remaining Elephant unit knocked out a weak Aux, and then got a full-strength Heavy on momentum. My MC did a hit on his MC, and he accepted a banner instead of battling back, and momentum did three hits to an Aux.

Patch called I Am Spartacus to order a Heavy, HC, Med and MC (the last two on wildcards). The Heavy did two hits to my Elephants, while everything else moved into better positions. Out Flanked let me move up my right, but the left concentrated on Patch’s stranded Aux, and knocked him out. 7-6

For round two, Patch started with Order Two Right to move up his cavalry. I Ordered Two Left to bring my Elephants up to them, but did nothing as he evaded. Patch used Mounted Charge to get his Elephants all the way to my other Elephants, bring two units up to my forward Elephant, and his MC hit my line. This didn’t kill any units, but caused massive havoc, as he got a hit on one of my Elephants, and a banner on both of them. The rampage only caused one hit (to the Silver Shields), but the trample weakened four, while Patch took no damage. His MC did a hit to my HC, but took two blocks and a banner in return, while he did a hit to my forward Elephant which did a block to a HC on rampage and retreated back to my line. I used Move-Fire-Move to try and drive him off, and did a hit to a HC, and a banner to an Elephant, using the second move to move skirmishers up.

The Elephants moved up again as Patch played Order Two Center. The Silver Shields wiped out one with a First Strike, but the other wiped out a Heavy, but completely missed on momentum vs another Heavy, who killed them on battle back. Another Move-Fire-Move let me get lighter units out to the front, but did no damage. A second Mounted Charge from Patch let him get a LBC into the camp for a banner, and he picked off my MC plus Eumenes with a weak MC, who used momentum to attack the Silver Shields, who took no damage, and chased them off the board with three banners on battle back. Another MC picked off the left Elephant, and his HC did a block to evading LBC. On my right a MC wiped out an Aux, and then got the right Elephant on Momentum. 3-7


The first battle took an hour and a half, and was a real slog the entire way. I compared getting rid of Patch’s Elephants to pulling teeth. The second round took about half an hour. I’m getting long-term concerned about how often the side that plays Mounted Charge is the side that wins. Back in the days of hoplite battles, I thought it was an artifact of a +1 die to most of the army for a turn, but it’s continued into the post-hoplite world. +1 die to mobile units is just really powerful, and really easy to use unless your cavalry is hopeless at melee (i.e., non-existent, or all lights).

Though I had problems in the second battle no matter what Patch did. My initial draw was two Move-Fire-Move, a couple of Order Lefts, and a First Strike. Not a really great hand, one one that was incapable of dealing with what Patch was doing. Thankfully, Elephant killing was a lot easier for me that time, or it could have been a shutout.

I thought about going after the camp during the middle of the first game, but was a little to busy to spare a LBC on one turn, and then it had to evade out of range.

At any rate, despite my collapse the second time, it’s another good scenario. With five Elephant units, they really dominate the thinking and action, but the rest of the line is far from unimportant with all the heavies and MC/HC running around.