After going a couple rounds in Up Front, Patch and I went back to Commands & Colors: Ancients for a quick pair of games. This time was the Battle of Coronea from Expansion #6 (and as a part two of Anabasis). Unusually for this period, the Greek army has three Heavy units, while the Spartans (the 10,000) have two units of ‘Veteran’ Spartan MH that get an extra die as long as they’re in command range of Herippidas. The lines start relatively close, and there’s two hexes of fortified camps behind the Spartan left, which the Greeks can loot to gain banners. Also, this fight goes to eight banners, promising a long, hard fight.
I had the Greeks the first time, and started with Order Light Troops, close a gap in the center of my line and bring my flanks into archery range. Patch Ordered Three Left, doing one block of damage, and taking one each on two units in return. I Ordered Three Left to bring up a leader who was behind the line without being attached and move up some of my hoplites, before doing a Line Command. That brought most of my heavies in contact on my right, but I refused to come into contact on my left as his line was much heavier there. I knocked out an Aux, and picked off another block.
Patch Ordered Mediums to bring the entire center into contact, and wiped out a Heavy with attached leader, while breaking up my hoplites, doing two blocks to one, three blocks to another while driving it back a hex, and one block to a third, which also retreated three hexes. In return, he two two blocks to a MH, three to another, and three blocks to one of his veterans. I Ordered Three Right to finish off two of his MH and drive off another without damage, after which my MC charged into the gap and drove off another unit without doing damage. Patch Ordered Two Center to finish off one of my units, and drive off another.
I Ordered Three Center to go after his camp, and failed to do more than one block to his remaining MH on that flank, while taking a block on a Heavy, and two on my MC. Patch Double Timed his center over to this fight to knock out my MC and Heavy, but only took one damage when he tried to pick off a MH. I issued a Line Command to bring up my entire right flank, but most of what I faced was now his Spartan hoplites. I only did two blocks to one unit, and in return had two units reduced to one block and forced to retreat. Patch used Leadership to get his solid section in motion, and wiped out three units to finish the game. 3-8
Patch lead off the Athenians with a familiar Order Light Troops to close up the hole in the middle, and I Ordered Four Right to bring that side up. Patch used Line Command, which brought both flanks into contact. No units were eliminated, though one of my MH was reduced to a block, and two of my Spartan hoplites took damage. However, Patch had three units reduced to a block, as well as taking a block on two more, and a couple units were forced back, breaking up his left flank.
I Ordered Three Center, wiping out an Aux, and damaging and driving off a MH for no damage. Patch Ordered Heavies to finish off a MH and do three damage to one of my Veterans, taking five blocks across two of his heavies in return. A Line Command brought the centers into contact, but the right simply flowed around a forward weak Athenian MH, with the rest of the Athenian left out of range. I wiped out four weak units, and reduced his remaining Heavies to a block before driving them off. Patch Out Flanked me to drive off the left end of my main line, and knock out a unit in with Momentum after driving it off with the losses the first time. He also attacked my LC with his. I decided to take his two dice without evading, but he got a banner to cause it to rout off the field.
I Double Timed my left flank up to combat, and while Patch drove off my Lights with no damage to either side, I knocked out two weak units, and reduced a MH to a block. Patch used Clash of Shields to try and use that unit (the only one in contact) to finish off my MH+leader, but a First Strike got him first. 8-3
Both plays were surprisingly fast, with the total playing time being just a bit over an hour and a half on Vassal. The second game was particularly fast thanks to some powerful dice from me, but in general, the 5-dice units on both sides helped promote some aggression that sped things up. In both cases the Athenian army came apart with an ease that seems unlikely given that it’s a pretty good force. The real problem is that they have two leaders to the Spartan’s three, and in my play, the Athenians lost a leader early, and Patch never actually used the unattached one the second time.