Last Wednesday, Patch and I had our latest between-games session of Commands & Colors: Ancients (I still need to write up our latest ASL adventure). This a third Pyrrhus vs Rome scenario, this time a few years later, and one that Pyrrhus actually lost. The setup for the Battle of Beneventum is unusual, with the Romans on their base line behind ramparts and in a couple of camps. They also have two Heavy War Machines, which is a first for both of us. Their fire is largely blocked by the rest of the army, which is mostly Mediums with some Heavies in the rear and lights in front. Pyrrhus, main force is also on/near his baseline, but there’s some MC forward on one wing, and a couple units of Warriors out in front.

I had Pyrrhus of Epirus for the first game, and the first couple turns were spent trying to get things in motion. Patch eventually Ordered Three Center to use the HWM and a light for ranged combat, but got no results. I Ordered Mounted to bring my MC into contact, and start moving up the one unit of elephants, while keeping them screened from the HWM. Good die rolls killed Patch’s MC outright, and did then killed a Light for no losses. Patch Ordered Three Right, but got no hits as I evaded away. I then Mounted Charge, and killed a Medium with the Elephants, who then did one block to a Medium in a camp, taking a hit and a banner in return, with the rampage knocking a block off a Roman Aux. I then finished off the Aux, and killed a MC when it was forced to retreat while surrounded at the edge of the board.

Patch Ordered Three Center again, but didn’t do more than a couple of banners. I Ordered Three Left, concentrating on the Roman flank, and knocked out the Medium in camp with a really good roll, while his leader evaded off-board. I then did a hit to a HWM and a Medium, and took nothing in return. Patch did a Coordinated Attack, and the HWM did no more than an ignored banner against the adjacent MC in camp, and took a block in return. 7-0

For the second round, Patch started by moving up the heavier units in the center like I did, but I started with Order Two Center for early ranged combat, and did a block to a Light. Line Command got a lot of mass moving, and got a hit on one of my Lights. I deployed a bit with Move-Fire-Move, and forced a Light back with two banners. Line Command got his Warriors into contact, picked off another Light block, and eliminated an Aux (two hits & two banners into my line; momentum to do the final block).

I Double Timed to get units around his forward Warrior, and it retreated for no losses, while the other Warrior took three hits and retreated. Momentum took me to the first Warrior, who took three blocks and retreated. Patch Counter Attacked, getting his Heavies up to my exposed Heavy, and wiped it out in two attacks, taking one block in return, with Dentatus evading back to a Medium. He also got a block on an evading Light. I Ordered Four Right to re-engage, and did two blocks to a Medium on poor rolls (overdue, frankly), and a block to a Light, while taking three blocks in return.

Patch announced that He Was Spartacus, to order three mediums and a Heavy, and finished off a Medium to send Dentatus evading back to a HWM, and forced two losses on a Medium with a hit and two banners. I Ordered Mediums, and sent a depleted Medium reeling with two banners, while doing two blocks to a Heavy in return for losing a MC. Patch Ordered Three Center, wiping out a Medium, and sending another leader evading back to a Light. I said, No I’m Spartacus, to order two Mediums. I dove into the junction of his line to finish off both Warriors, and did a block to an evading Light.

Patch Out Flanked for ineffective ranged attacks on his right, and did two blocks to my MC on the other side. I Ordered Three Right to do a block to a Heavy with a HWM, and Patch used First Strike to do two blocks and a banner to my Medium before it could try to take out a MC. Leadership Any Section got Patch’s center in motion to finish off a Medium and MC. 2-7


So both games were pretty convincing losses for the Romans, though my dice were somewhat past ‘hot’ in the first game. It was nice to finally use HWMs, but I think they did all of one block between the two games. And frankly, the Romans have a pretty tough row to hoe here. There’s just enough good units at the front of the Epirote army that they can get in some early good strikes and get some momentum. The Romans should have the advantage of some fortifications, but by the time they’re back to that, too many units will have been wiped out (as they don’t fit).

It didn’t help that Epirus got good cards both time. I’ve noticed that Mounted Charge is generally decisive, and my use of it in the first game got me three banners. Patch got a Line Command that I would have been very happy to have, a good roll on I Am Spartacus, and that Counterattack on my Double Time blew apart my offensive.