After a very short Endless Struggle, Patch and I did our usual round of Commands & Colors: Ancients. Up this time was the Battle of Vercellae from Expansion #2. This is the final wrap up of the Cimbrian War, and is pretty much the denouement of First Man in Rome, so I’m in generally familiar territory. It’s a large battle, with the Germanic army largely bunched up in the center (four deep in places!).

I had the Germans first, and did nothing with my opening ranged attacks, while Patch Ordered his Lights forward, and got one hit on an Aux. I Darkened the Sky, and got three hits, driving back an Aux. Patch moved up his left, and a Line Command got my entire mass moving, and finished off a Light, and drove off another. Patch Ordered Lights, and forced two units back with ranged fire. I Ordered Three Right to send in the cavalry, which had so far only avoided retreating off the map from ranged fire because of my leader. However, I merely traded two blocks on a LB for two on a MC.

Patch Ordered Two Left to send in his cavalry, knocking out the weak MC, doing two blocks to another, and forcing my leader back in return for one block. I came back with Order Two Right, and knocked out one MC and finished off his LB. Patch Ordered Mounted (all one MC…) and lost his last MC after driving off my weak one and doing a block to the one with my leader. Order Three Center let my main mass start getting into action, knocking out an Aux, and forcing a Light to evade with a loss. Leadership Any Section let Patch counterattack, nearly taking out two Warriors, but he lost a Med and took 3 hits on another in return. Order Three Center let me protect one of the Warriors (and Beorix) while finishing off his Medium. Then momentum finished off an evading Light. 8-1

For the second round, Patch opened with Two Units Left, which thankfully got no hits in ranged combat. He tried again with Three Units next turn, and got a hit on an Aux. I Ordered Mediums to deploy more of a line forward. Patch Out Flanked and wiped out a MC and did a block to a Med in return for one hit on a MC. I Double-Timed my right into the barbarian flank, forcing two LBs to evade after taking a block, and knocking out an Aux for one hit on my damaged Aux. Patch Counter Attacked, and wound Warriors through his packed formation, doing a block each to a Med and the damaged Aux, in return for two hits on a Warrior. I reshuffled the Aux out of the way with Leadership Any Section, and a First Strike kept one of my Mediums from doing anything after taking a hit, but I knocked out two Warriors while taking two hits on a Medium.

And then Patch used a Line Command for his big mass, which stayed out of contact, but finished off Sulla’s Medium and drove the remnants of my right back with banner hits. A Coordinated Attack got a hit on a Light and let me reposition slightly. Inspired Left Leadership deployed his flank a bit, but got no hits in all ranged combat. Order Three Right got my remaining Mediums and Sulla back to the barbarian line, and I knocked out a Warrior, forcing Beorix back, while momentum got a hit on a Light.

Another Line Command let Patch advance a bit more and cause ranged hits to two units while knocking out Sulla’s new Medium at a cost of two blocks each on two Warriors. Order Two Right let Sulla join the last Medium on the flank and force a Light to evade. Patch Ordered Lights, but did no more than force Sulla to retreat a hex. I Ordered Three Center, and knocked out an Aux, but lost one of mine in return. Patch Ordered Four Center, and knocked out a weak Medium, but took two blocks to a Warrior in the process. I Ordered Mediums, taking out a Warrior while taking one hit, and a pair of our MCs reduced each other to one block.

Patch then sent in a Mounted Charge, finishing off that MC, picked off a 3-block Medium and forced a LB to evade with a hit. I used Line Command on the remnants of my left flank, and reduced two units to one block each while taking a block on a Medium. Patch Ordered Three Right and finished off a Medium. 6-8


The first battle started slow for me, but as soon as I got into close combat my dice were unbelievably good, and Patch went down before he could do much. The barbarians only get four cards, and by the end of the game two of them were basically junk, but the rest of my hand let me do what I wanted.

The second game dragged out a lot more, and is probably a lot more typical of the scenario.The Romans have good tools, including a six-card hand, though Patch’s two Line Commands and Mounted Charge helped him out a lot. We’re still getting used to Marian infantry, and I only remembered mid-turn at one point that one of my Mediums had a shot. All our leaders got a good workout in the second game, and Sulla especially gave better than he got.