After finishing Carrier Hill, Patch and I did our usual between other games set of Commands & Colors: Ancients. Up this time was the Battle of Raphia from Expansion #1. This is a large battle, with armies stretching across the entire board, and going to eight banners. The mix is what you expect to see in an eastern battle, though perhaps with more heavy troops. No terrain, and no special rules at all.

Patch had the Selucids the first round, and started with Two Right, doing a block to my LB with a LC. I Ordered Lights, causing his LC to evade, and his LB to retreat on that flank. Patch Ordered Two Left, chasing off my LC who had advanced there. I Ordered Two Center to bring up some Heavies, and Patch used Inspired Right Leadership to bring up his Elephants, who did nothing even after a rampage on battle back, and his Lights got a ranged hit on my Elephants.

I Ordered Lights again, and killed his LC with a banner when he had nowhere to go. Patch used Leadership on the right again, bringing up his HC (did one block to my Lights), and his Elephants faced my Elephants for no damage. A Coordinated Attack let me deploy a bit more, but did nothing else. Patch then used Mounted Charge, knocking out my weakened elephants, and we both took a block to our Elephants on the other flank, while knocking out a Light, reducing LC to one block, and doing two blocks on a Heavy at a cost of a block to his MC and two to his HC.

Line Command brought up my center, and I finished off his HC as they tried to evade. Coordinated Attack brought in Patch’s Elephants again, and his center leader attached to a Heavy (the HC had been four hexes away from anyone the leader could fall back to). He forced my Elephant and HC back with a loss on one flank, and killed a MC when it had to retreat at the base line. Three Units Right let me get the shattered flank into action, and I got his Elephants in two attacks and forced his MC to retreat on momentum. Patch Ordered Mounted, but his MC did nothing and took two hits from my HC, while his Elephants did two damage to a Medium, and then a block to another on momentum, but the did a block in return. Order Four Left let me pick up the other flank, but completely failed to take out the Elephants in four attacks, taking two hits in the process. Order Heavy got part of Patch’s center in motion, and his Elephants nearly took out a Heavy (three sword hits; thankfully nothing on re-roll), but finally went down themselves.

I Darkened the Sky to do two hits to a LB, one to a Heavy, and one to a Light. Patch used Move-Fire-Move to straighten out his line, and did two blocks to a LB. An Order Two Right forced a Light to evade, and Patch’s Two Left did a block to my HC. Order Two Center brought up a couple units, and Patch Ordered Lights, forcing back the weak LB, reducing a LC to a block with a blocked retreat, and reduced a second Heavy to one block.

The remnants of my cavalry Mounted Charged, losing my LC to do one block each to a Light, Aux and LB. Patch Ordered Four Right, moving up a Heavy as well as a Med and MC, while his LB (thankfully) failed to take out a weak Heavy. Line Command got me closer, but I didn’t dare close with the weak Heavies. Patch closed the gap with Inspired Center Leadership, knocking out an Aux, reducing the good Heavy to two blocks, and finishing off the other two at the cost of one block. I used Clash of Shields, and only got two hits on a seven die roll, with the Heavies going down on Battle Back. 4-8

For the second round, I started with Order Two Left, and managed a banner against an Elephant, but the rampage didn’t do anything. Patch Ordered Four Right and did one hit to my Lights as they evaded. Mounted Charge brought me into contact on both flanks, and on the right, I did a block each to an Elephant and LB, forcing them both back, and rampage did a second hit to the LB. On the left, I killed a HC and his Elephants, but lost a MC in the process. Then Patch Mounted Charged, did a hit to my HC, but lost his remaining Elephants on battle back. Then he knocked out my Elephants and did another block to the HC, but took two hits on an MC in return. On the other flank he forced my Elephants back, but lost a Light block on rampage. Momentum did two more banners to the Elephants, driving them back to my line, but no other damage.

Then I played Clash of Shields (again! I almost never have a chance to play it!) to finish off a MC and force a LC to evade. Patch Ordered Two Left, to drive back my forward HC and LC. I used Line Command to bring the entire center forward, and Patch Ordered Three Left to bring up a LB and Warrior, and attach a leader to the latter (he had been with the HC). Move-Fire-Move let me deploy the flanks and did a hit to a Light and LC, and then left Lights went forward into contact to prevent ranged attacks at the remaining Elephants. Patch used Line Command to bring his center forward, and the LB fell back to take a shot at my Lights. I Counterattacked, bringing our main lines to two hexes away, and drove off a LB with archery. Patch then used another Line Command to get two units into contact, while the rest closed to one hex range, and did a hit to a Medium, and three to an Aux, but took three hits on an Aux himself, and two more on his Warriors.

I announced that I Am Spartacus, activating the Elephants, an Aux, Medium, and LB. Archery drove a Medium back a hex, while driving his Warriors to the baseline; momentum picked off a weak Aux, and then I took a hit and retreated my Mediums after a muffed roll (three triangles… versus a Heavy). Patch Ordered Three Center to drive his Heavies into my line, picked off a weak Aux, did a block and drove back my depleted Mediums, and did three blocks to a Heavy who couldn’t do more than force Patch back a hex.

I Ordered Three Left, forcing back a LC, and doing a single hit and banner to a Heavy with the Elephants, who then knocked them out on momentum. Patch Ordered Two Center to finish off the weak Heavy and Medium. I Ordered Three Center, doing two blocks to his led Heavy, in return for two on a Medium, and finished it off with the Elephants. Patch Out Flanked, knocking out the weakened Medium, and I Counterattacked, bringing the leader for that Medium back to the front, and doing three hits to a Medium who did two back, and did nothing to the Warriors who did two blocks to my Aux. Patch Ordered Mediums, and finished off the Aux, and then did one of two blocks to the weak Heavy who finished the game with a three-hit battle back (on one needed). 8-7


This is a big demolition-derby battle, with the elephants and warriors adding just that bit of spice to make it really interesting.

Technically, I came out ahead in the first battle with Patch sacrificing the elephants and losing more than he gained. But actually my army was pretty completely smashed with key units weakened and all formation lost to scattered units. Things went bad in the second game as well when he smashed up my Heavies, and they didn’t do a thing. Patch had three good Heavies still, but that was about all he had, and when I started doing damage to them, the battle slipped out of his control.