About game:

One of the first games in the Commands and Colors system. Spanning through whole ancient era, from Dark Ages battles of 7th century BC till Fall of the Roman Empire in 5th century AD. And a very special position, as this is the most played and the most enjoyed title from all boardgames for me.

The C&C system is pretty popular and widespread, but let me briefly summarize its general concepts and how they are depicted in Ancients:

  • First and foremost – command cards set – which drives movement, creates a true fog of war and presents both challenges and opportunities. Important to note there is no second deck in CCA.
  • Secondly and very importantly – dices. The battle dice system resolves all combat efficiently and quickly. In CCA we have traditional red, blue, green plus sword, flag and leader. The Leader is very important in ancient battles!
  • The scenarios last usually up to 1 hour (depending on type – regular vs EPIC), are played on hexagonal map, most usually 11×9 or 26×9 hexes in size.

So, are you ready to meet all the magnificent generals of the Ancient era – like Alexander, Hannibal or Caesar – and face them in brutal and quick fight using the great and simple system?

Number of players:

All regular scenarios are definitely best played with two opponents. There are some solitaire, fan-made modes but truly, this is not a solo game.

For EPIC game you can theoretically play with as much as 8 players, but 4 up to 6 is maximum in my opinion.

Playing time: The regular scenarios take on average 1 hour, with some unusually large (Thermopylae or Milvian Bridge) which could pass that mark.

EPICs really depend on number of players. With two opponents you can easily fit in 1.5-2 hours, with 4-6 it is around 3 hours on average. I never tried 7-8 Players version.

Complexity: As already written, it is an entry / not overly complex wargame which can be played by almost everybody. Still, to master the usage of the ancient formations you would need some time and scenarios, as it may not be evident that the battles are not only won by heavy infantry charging headlong at the enemy 🙂
What I like:
  • Relatively simple set of rules allowing for wide array of possible tactics and strategies; in other words, a game easy to learn but difficult to really master
  • I usually play boardgames for theme and historical appeal. C&C Ancients has tons of this, starting from crucial battles of the human history, great generals and statesmen taking the field as well as the narrative. I am really deeply immersed in all those battles once I get one to the table.
  • Replayability – with six expansions and many fan-made scenarios you have endless hours of joy before you get through the whole content. And most of scenarios you want to play more than once, so interesting and engrossing they are!
  • Fantastic components – while some might prefer minis, here blocks are great – both from the usability perspective, aesthetics and the period – they fit well and I can image ancient formations organized exactly like portrayed by CCA.
  • Great online community – thanks to Allesandro Crespi, we have fantastic webpage commandsandcolors.net/ancients/, where all fans of the game can meet and exchange opinions / question on forum, check all official and fan-made scenarios as well as sign-up for tournaments.
What I do not like or would like to see in the game:
  • The color of some of the blocks for Eastern and Greek armies in Exp4 are different from the Exp1.
  • As far as rules are concerned, I sometimes would like to see how the “time pressure” rule would work in Ancients (it is implemented for example in The Great War). Not in each engagement, not always, but definitely, some battles would benefit from it. Of course, one of the things would be how to do it without recon cards 🙂
For whom? A fantastic light wargame for everybody. Especially if you want to encourage somebody to our hobby (see my recommendations for this)
More about the game:

And many, many more…

And now let us have a look at the components – all pictures taken during my plays:

Romans storming Carthaginian positions
C3i had great number of very interesting, terrain-rich scenarios
Will Arminius again defeat Romans? (Teutoburger Wald)
EPIC Paraitecene  one of the greatest experiences in CCA you may have!



This is my first 5/5 rating as far as the reviews by The BoardgamesChronicle are concerned. And if I remember exactly, one of two which I gave 10 on Boardgamegeek. As I already said and stressed couple of time, this is my first C&C game, the one which was a true cornerstone in my come-back to wargaming seven years ago. This is also a game which is very close to my other hobby – passion for history – and enables me not only to read about the past events, but try to reenact them and even attempt to change!

I can’t express enough how I like it and appreciate the design and I cannot recommend it more! Especially if you want to encourage somebody new to our wargaming hobby!

Great job Mr. Borg, thanks!

See you in another game review!