I finally played the first scenario of Commands and Colors: Ancients tonight. I’ve been scouring the internet for the past couple of days looking for replacement dice to use with the game and generally coming up empty handed. I really wanted a set of “indented” dice similar to the dice in Battle Cry. There is one online retailer that carries this type of dice but they are located in the UK and I didn’t want to wait that long or spend that much to have 7 dice shipped overseas. I’d looked through the replacement parts section of Hasbro’s site and had found some things that I could use but before I ordered, I stopped by the local TRU this afternoon to see if I could find what I needed on the cheap. I did! They are clearing out copies of Yahtzee Jr. for $5/copy. I bought 2 since each copy had 5 dice and I needed 7. It was a little more than I wanted to spend but I have good, solid dice to use with the game now. Logan wants the dice from CC:A to use with the Yahtzee game so that’s cool.
My good friend Jeff Lovelace came over tonight and we set up the first scenario (The Battle of Akragas – 406 BC). He was Carthage. I was Syracuse. I aggressively pushed up units on my right and center sections while he kept toward his side of the board most of the game, moving his units laterally across the board to create and maintain a nice battle line. He drew first blood, eliminating one of my leaders attached to a unit! By the middle of the game, he was up 3-1 but I was able to smash through his center with several units of heavy infantry and bring the score back to a 3-3 tie. However, my units were scattered in groups of 1 and 2 across the board while he still maintained a nice grouping of units and was able to deliver the killing blow, defeating me 5 to 3.
We spent a lot of time referring back to the player aid and occasionally looking up a rule in the rulebook. This will subside over time as we grow familiar with the units and the additional rules that are not part of Battle Cry or Memoir ‘44. Anyone familiar with Battle Cry or Memoir ‘44 will be able to pick up CC:A quickly. Still, there are a lot of differences between CC:A and its predecessors. Part of this is due to the style of fighting for that time period (and the rules present to promote that style) and part of it is due to the number of units that can be used. In Battle Cry and Memoir ‘44, there are only 3 units to deal with. In CC:A, you have at least ten different types of units and some have rules for how they interact with other types units. If anything, this opens up the system to considerably more variety and a wide range of scenarios to design and play.
Once I have a few more plays under my belt, I’m confident the game will play quicker and more smoothly than this initial game. I want to play a few more times before passing judgement but I suspect that, in the end, most folks will consider CC:A the best of the 3 games Richard Borg has released in this series.
I can’t wait to play again!