About game: Commands & Colors Medieval (CCM) is already on the market for some time and I had a chance to play multiple scenarios of this game. It is kind of a natural continuation of its predecessor – Commands & Colors Ancients (CCA) – the most successful game of C&C system. Being based on that system, some of the mechanics are pretty similar to other installments of the series: the deck of Medieval Command cards that drive movement while creating a “fog of war,” and the battle dice that will resolve combat quickly and efficiently. Battle maps use specific terrain features to represent battlefields of various engagements. The scale of the game is flexible, and varies from battle to battle. Most prominently, we have forces depicted by the blocks which allows for quick set-up and pretty decent visibility of situation on the map.

On the other hand, CCM bring many new mechanics to the system, justifying new line of games:

  • Superior armor and status when battling
  • Cavalry units increase to 4 blocks
  • Heavy infantry battle dice are reduced from 5 dice down to 4
  • Light Bow Cavalry units can employ the Parthian Shot when they evade

Would it live-up to the expectations many C&C fans had when it was announced almost 3 years ago? Let us see!

Number of players: This is evidently 2 players game. Hopefully in future, with EPIC expansion, we will be able to have version for 4-8 people.
Playing time: The length can vary from 30 minutes – for some very confrontational scenarios like Callinicum Phase 2, to 1.5 hour for larger engagements, where units start far away from themselves. On average, plan 1 hour per scenario.
Complexity: Definitely a medium-complex C&C game, slightly more rules then in Ancient, much less then in Napoleonic or The Great War. However, in comparison to other Wargames, this is definitely light position.
What I like:
  • Completely new game mechanic for a C&C game – we had games with one deck, with two decks but this is first with special actions: Inspired ActionsBattlefields Actions.
  • Finally, already in the base game we have fantastic-quality, custom-made dice.
  • The game is full of interesting scenarios; we have three with Huns (already in Roman period) and great last-stand scenario (last in the rule-book).
  • Quick and brutal while at the same with tons of tactical decisions.
What I do not like:
  • Some components quality – while dice is superb, the victory tokens / banners made from cardboard are much less impressive.
  • Green game-board – well, I really like ancient beige / yellowish / sand board. It was so aesthetic and nice. The current CCM green board is too vivid for me and does not reflect the Mesopotamia desert too well.
  • Sometimes the scenarios are too quick, and everything goes down to the fact who first draws mounted charge.
For whom? Of course, first and foremost for C&C fans – especially Ancients series. GMT Games as publisher is great and the quality of game – superb. Thus the position should be appealing to all wargamers, especially ones preferring lighter, shorter positions, allowing for play of couple of scenarios during one evening.
More about the game:

And now let us have a look at the components – all pictures from my session reports.

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Inspired tokens, victory banners, bows banners
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Custom dice – great addition to CCM!
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Terrain tiles
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Blocks in action
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Rain of arrows
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Brutal battle of Melebasa

VERDICT:

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The Commands Colors Medieval is definitely very good, logical continuation of Ancients version. Number of changes in the system – as written in my articles – is so vast and deep that this definitely warrants new game series. Of course, CCM has for now only base game and cannot be compared to breadth and width of CCA. However, the transformation from almost purely infantry battles to the domination of cavalry is very swift and well-prepared. I would be anxiously awaiting for new expansion to the game which should increase it overall rating for me.

See you in another game review!

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