Not being anywhere near ready with my setup for our next go-round in ASL, Patch and I played the next scenario in line of CC:A tonight. Actually, we managed to speed up a bit from our 1 1/2 to 2 hour games, and got in two rounds of Ilipa in 2 1/4 hours tonight.

I had the disadvantaged Carthaginians first, and Patch opened with a fairly nice set of cards: Order Mounted and Mounted Charge. This allowed him to move up on the flanks and pick off my elephants before I could do much. He did loose a MC in the process, but so did I.

Patch moved up, and mostly continued to press on the flanks while I tried to deploy out of the fairly dense formation the Carthaginians start in. A Line Command followed by Double Time put him in contact on his right flank and we traded two units each.

At this point, I had a decent hand of cards for fighting in the center, and had gotten two of the three heavies in the back deployed to the front. I just needed time to use them.

But he used a Order Four Units Right, did several attacks, and finally mopped up a couple of weak units with his one-block, leader-led, heavy. 4-7

Being earlyish, we immediately swapped sides and went at it again. I was disappointed not to have a strong opening hand like Patch had.

I started moving up on one flank, and picking on the Elephants, but Patch charged forward with an Out Flanked, followed two turns later with a Order Heavy. This lost him the elephants with a return of only three blocks (two through rampage) thanks to some very poor rolling.

I pressed a bit on my right, closed up with a Line Command… and did very poorly on the missile exchange that followed. We finally came into contact on the right, and bad rolls, combined with me having the only leader in the area put his flank into trouble, especially after I knocked out his heavy. However, I now had two one-block mediums there, and the heavy was lagging behind. I used a Double Time to get the Heavy into action and knocked out an Aux, completely collapsing that flank.

Patch surged forward again with a Mounted Charge, which knocked out both weak Meds, and nearly got one on the other flank. On the other hand, it weakened both Cavs on the left.

I Counter Attacked to cut off his cav units. I got both of the weak ones, and nearly got an Aux on momentum with a hit and three banners. A banner on the unsupported MC on the right finished the game. 7-2

Despite my better score on the second game, I sure felt like Patch had much better control of the first round than I did of the second. It’s certainly tough on the Carthaginians. Not only do they have the four card to six problem, but their setup is dense and against the back row, so they need to deploy the army into battle with a poor hand.

I ended the first round acting a lot more aggressive than was really wise, betting on good rolls to keep valuable units from being smashed, but I felt it was do or die time. It actually paid off. One more turn (which I nearly got) would have seen me smash two more units (one way or the other), and maybe bag Scipio on his second unit.

Actually, Scipio lost his first unit in both our games, though Patch evaded him onto a much better unit than I did.

I don’t think my hand ever really came together in the second round. Lots of vanilla “Order Two/Three/Four” cards, which work; but at six cards, you hope to have a couple tricks up your sleeve.

Patch never managed to get his center formation deployed, and was only able to use one of the Carthaginian heavies. I have a feeling that Carthaginian success rests on getting those heavies into action. Better use (and dice!) of the elephants would help, though with four cards, it’s going to be hard to get them out of the way of Roman archery without going on the offensive.