The EPIC versions of Commands & Colors Ancients had always a special appeal to me. These are not the games you can win by pure luck or just by incident. You need to heavily depend on units without leader support and really plan long term. The left wing will not help the right and vice versa. There will be no time to cross the whole long EPIC board. I also like very much the hand management – ability to commit more and “shorten your hand”, just to recover it later on. Below three first EPIC scenarios from Expansion 5 – Cannae, Illipa and Raphia. Also played to refresh my memory of those engagement before Mini Tournament 62 EPIC Battles.

EPIC01 Cannae (216 BC)

Classic of classics, and first EPIC published by GMT. The well known set-up – with Carthage very strong on wings and shallow in center:

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Set-up (click to enlarge)

Well, they say that the best defense is attack. And that is what Marcin did with mounted charge card attacking my left, killing 3 cavalries plus leader. I tried to strike back – with some results:

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First turn carnage (!!)

My left / Marcin’s right was really the main place of fight. After cavalry clash, my heavies moved forward, dealing a lot of damage but also taking some:

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Left wing slaughter

However, on my right Carthage forces had no problem to crush weak Romans and the game finished in decisive Punic victory – as per history!

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The final situation (click to enlarge)

Still, it was good to play that interesting and – especially for Romans – difficult scenario.

EPIC02 Illipia (217 BC)

That was kind of “jest” from GMT, to give as second EPIC very similar battle to Cannae, with strong Carthage wings but completely different Roman approach to engagement and completely different result – Illipa:

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Set-up (click to enlarge)

Well, as Marcin shown in first game, the best tactic for weaker player is to attack. Not always… Just have a look below – despite three Roman units reduced to 1 block it was me who lost the fight 0-4 in victory banners:

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My unfortunate attack on the left; nobody survived

Ok, so let me try somewhere else. The center is strong! And it indeed proved to be a banner collector, when my heavies approached Auxilia / Lights line:

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The steamroller is coming!

At some point in time I was already loosing like 5-10. Then I got a fortunate round with 5 banners and the last turns were very, very exciting. Marcin played “I am Spartacus” twice, getting only 1 banner from victory. What is completely unbelievable, I drew also that card later on and in my last, desperate attack on my right, scored 3 banners:

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My final attack on right, finishing the game

Despite all odds and the situation in the middle of the game, Carthage prevailed:

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And the final situation (click to enlarge)

That was a really thrilling game, with suspense till the last moment.

EPIC03 Raphia (217 BC)

Then we moved geographically – but not in time – to eastern part of Mediterranean, where the Successor Kingdoms of Alexander – Seleucids and Ptolemics – clashed over the hegemony in the region:

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Set-up (click to enlarge)

Again, we were witnesses to very, very balanced game where probably the biggest twist and surprise was in the center – two First Strikes – one for each side – is a rare thing!

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Double surprise and center full of corpses

Marcin crushed totally my left, I managed to get more VPs in center and right finished in a draw:

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The final situation (click to enlarge)

That meant that with 2 points headway Marcin won.

Wow, that was a really great 3 scenarios. I have not played EPICs for long time and almost forgot how interesting, deep and unforgiving they are while teaching you the patience and forward planning!

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