After our adventure in Hatten, Patch and I did our usual between-big-games set of Commands & Colors: Ancients, and up this time was the Battle of Magnesia from Expansion #1. A river cuts off some of one side of the board (particularly, the Roman left), both sides have elephants, while the Seleucids have a heavy chariot and a camel unit. Overall, the Romans are down on cavalry, but have a solid infantry center.

Patch had the Romans for the first game, and we both started moving units forward before an Order Three Left let him do a block to my Warriors with a ranged attack on the first die roll of the game. Order Four Right let them engage (with other units moving up behind), doing a block to a Light, and then Patch Out Flanked to finish off the Warriors. Mounted Charge got me engaged on both flanks, with Elephants pushing back a Medium and taking a block in exchange for doing two (basically two hits on twelve dice….), and I lost a HC after only doing a block to a Medium. The other flank did better, doing two hits and forcing an evade on his MC while taking one hit on the Camels. Patch drove off the Elephants and HC, but caused no losses, and they came back with a Order Two Center, and lost the Elephants to do one more hit to the Medium, while also doing three hits to a Light.

Line Command swept Patch’s center into motion and did a hit to the HCH, and I tried the cavalry again with an Order Mounted to engage on my left, and did two blocks to an Aux and one to a MC for no losses. Patch got behind the HCH with his own Mounted Charge to finish it off and reduce my Camels to one block as they retreated. Darken the Sky got a couple of blocks, and for Patch’s MC to retreat to the base line. Patch moved up in the center, and I Ordered Four Left to drive off a Light with two losses. Patch announced that He Was Spartacus to get… one medium and one wild (and three banners!). His MC went after my Camels… who survived thanks to being able to ignore a symbol hit, and he lost the MC. His Elephants went in and did three blocks to a Light. I Double Timed my heavies to the Elephants, and got them, at the cost of a Light and two blocks on a Heavy. Move-Fire-Move let him reshuffle his line and did hits to three different units.

Order Two Left let me finish off a MC and do a block to an Aux, who finished off my MC. Patch drove off my Camels with ranged fire, and Inspired Right Leadership let me bring up my main solid units to pick off two Mediums. Sadly, my Medium was taken out by a Coordinated Attack, after finishing off another of his Mediums. 6-7

The second game started with me having limited choices, as I had two Counter Attacks (not usable as the first action of the game) and Clash of Shields (and there was certainly no one in contact). Of the two choices left to me, I Ordered Two Center to move up some of the back units, and then followed that up with the Line Command I drew to push most everything forward. Patch used a couple of Coordinated Attacks to move up, and I Counter Attacked the second to get my Heavy to the front and miss completely with archery.

Patch Mounted Charged on his left, and destroyed a Heavy, took a LB to one block, reduced a Light to two blocks, and drove off another with one loss. In return, I did a a hit and banner to a MC. Order Mediums got my center in motion, with one unit getting in contact with a LB to nearly destroy it. My MC went after his HCH, but did nothing while taking a hit. Patch Ordered Three Left to destroy the MC and LB, while doing two blocks to a Medium for no losses. I Double Timed to get the line of Mediums up to Patch’s line, and picked off two LBs and a Light with nowhere to go.

Order Three Center let him plug the hole with a Heavy and Elephant, while his other Elephant came around the rear, he got the weakened Medium, and reduced another to one block, losing an Elephant and one block on the Heavy in process. Clash of Shields let me finish off the Heavy, drive off his other Heavy with losses, drive back the remaining Elephant with a one-block loss, and drive a Light to the baseline. Patch Ordered Three Right and brought in his Warriors to finish off my weak Medium, and then do two blocks to another on momentum, taking a block in return.

Move-Fire-Move let me set up a secondary line with my light units, and drove off a couple of his units, but did no damage. Patch Ordered Two Left to do destroy an Aux, but his Elephants retreated, and two of his units took a block each from rampage. Leadership Any Section kept my center moving, and I finished off the Warriors, and got his HCH as they tried to evade. 7-6


Both battles came down to the wire, and I feel I had real card problems both times (which sorted out after that rough start in the second game, but I never could do much in the first). And while I had strong dice at times, my Mounted Charge in the first game is the biggest flop I’ve ever seen that card deliver.

At any rate, it’s an unusual mix of units, with the first camel we’ve seen in action, so that and reasonably balanced, so it’s well worth a play or two.