Having finished up a big game, Patch and I did another round of Commands & Colors: Ancients, this time being the Battle of Nemea from Expansion #6. After some of the more interesting battles we’ve been doing, this is a return to basics: There’s no terrain, no special rules beyond the use of hoplites, and it only requires five banners. The Spartans are down a couple units compared to the Athenian/Boeotian army, but have some of the five-block Spartan hoplites, one more card in their hand, and go first.
Patch had the Spartans the first time, and the action led off on his left, and I made contact on my turn, but did no damage (archery and an evaded combat). Patch then used Leadership Any Section to move up more of his left, but didn’t do any damage to my evading cav. I Ordered Center to bring up more of my line, and Patch Ordered Medium to bring up his right, and press the attack on his left, doing a block to the the MC on my left, and doing three blocks to the unit with my right-side leader, who died in the first attack. I did nothing back, with all the dice being the wrong symbols or leaders! (I would have given as good as I got if the leader had lived.)
I Mounted Charged into the part of the line in contact, and wiped out two units while doing a block to a third, but lost the other MC and took three blocks on a unit in return. Patch Ordered Three Center to knock out both of the 1-block units I had, and did two damage to another, driving it off with a banner (which also saved him, as it drove it out of contact with Patch’s third unit). I Double Timed to bring my intact left units into the fight, and did good damage to two units, but I was now engaging the heavier Spartan hoplites. Patch Ordered Two Center to engage a weakened unit and knocked it out without trouble (though I finally realized I’d just drawn a First Strike card just as he rolled the dice). 2-5
As the Spartans, I led off with Order Two Right, Order Two Center, and Inspired Left Leadership to start closing with most of my line, sticking one MH in front of the line (if I’d been smart, I’d have angled it differently for leader support). Patch had Ordered Center twice, so my forward unit made contact, and took two blocks after having only done a single banner. To my surprise, Patch used I Am Spartacus and rolled a sword and four banners. He could have wiped out my forward unit from a blocked retreat, but instead had no turn at all.
I used Mounted Charge to bring our lines into contact. This wiped out three of his units, and weakened two others at the cost of 6 blocks across three units. Patch Ordered Mounted, which knocked out one unit (after a First Strike took out a couple extra blocks) on each side. I Ordered Three Center to continue the drive, but a two-banner hit allowed one unit to get away with one hit when I had another attack lined up. I did one damage to another unit, and took two in return. Patch Ordered Three Left to bring up a flank, and did two hits to one.
I then activated the bulk of my line again with Order Medium, but couldn’t really come to grips. I drove off his left-flank Light with a hit, and did a hit on a hoplite while a banner drove it out of range. Patch countered with his own Order Medium, and charged in with everything, including a couple units that were down to one block. Of course, my units were pretty beat up, and Patch started eliminating my units. The only unit that survived was driven off by a banner, so there still was no battle back. Similar to my earlier charge, he wiped out four units in one turn. 4-5
We’ve gotten used to the 6-7 banner battles with some terrain. This one was very short and direct. I’ve complained that Patch keeps getting the Mounted Charge cards, which are often decisive in these hoplite battles. I got it both times, and I still lost. Though it certainly was huge in the second game. We both thought I had it at that point, and my inability to finish him off in the next turn gave him the chance for the upset.