Yes, introducing new players to my favorite and most played game is a great fan! Marcin (Stormwalker) – with whom (as of today) I have already played 177 (!!!) CCA scenarios also had his beginnings. Today I will bring those initial days in below post…
The initial campaign is always based on Carthage and Syracuse struggles; combining all expansions, that campaign covers below 4 scenarios:
1) Akragas (406 BC)
Classic of classics, most played CCA scenario (according to http://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/) and the usual entry for all players – Akragas. Completely asymmetric, heavily balanced towards Syracuse, ideal when more experienced player introduces a newbie:
When bringing new players to CCA I always play as Carthage. That gives so much needed 99% chance to new players to win their initial scenario but also I am able to test my CCA skills trying to do something finally in that set-up which can bring Carthage to victory!
Usually I am close. Usually, not close enough – like this time:
It was so close – as usually – to beautiful Carthage future. And as always – a steamroller in shape of Syracuse Heavy Infantry changed everything. Just have a look in the middle of the board…
2) Crimissos River (341 BC)
Another quick and violent scenario – which introduces also the terrain. And in my personal option – better then Akragas in that way, that both sides have chance for success – although Syracuse slightly bigger. As my set-up photo from that game disappeared somewhere, Vassal log for reference:
What counts here is speed with which Syracuse player moves before the Punic reinforcements arrive. Marcin passed that test brilliantly:
Another introductory scenario and another time Greek heavy units prevailed. Let us see.
3) Himera (480 BC)
This is one of the largest battles during Punic-Greek wars for Sicily. And coincidentally (look at the date) the encounter which happened during the same time as Greek-Persian battle of Thermopylae. The Ancients did not believe in coincidence – they were sure of unwritten plot between Carthage and Persia to destroy Greek world… Was it true? We do not know till today…
What we know is that scenario brings tons of new rules for starting players – ramparts, leader evade and escape plus camps. Still, Marcin played marvelously with those new game mechanics and suffered defeat by only 1 banner:
My leader survived first-round ambush and my counter-attack delivered on my right, using the protection of ramparts, proved to be decisive.
4) Cronium (376 BC)
No terrain but many, many units and their types. Historically, Carthage completely demolished Greeks:
This is 8 banners scenario – large! – and pretty demanding for a new player. You need to steadily move forward heavy units, not rush with light / auxilia and find place where your cards allow for best chance of success in attack. Marcin, also thanks to couple of my suggestions, managed to exert constant pressure throughout the game, focusing on my left wing – which is clearly visible below:
The above mentioned pressure was increasing up to the final Syracuse victory.
Below whole campaign summary:
After those scenarios Marcin definitely stated he likes the game very much – both, due to the theme as well as speed of play. So we continued our meetings and CCA scenarios – after above, we played another 173 games…