A month without an article about Commands Colors Ancients on my blog would be a heresy 🙂 So today I would like to share with Dear Readers a very interesting add-on set of scenarios for CCA which I stumbled upon some time ago and had a chance to play.
Some of my articles regarding C&C system: Commands and Colors games – my 3 favorite [REVIEW] Commands Colors Ancients [STRATEGIES] How to attack in Commands Colors Ancients? [STRATEGIES] How to defend in Commands Colors Ancients?
Vae Victis is a game magazine on board and miniature wargames published in French. Most game rules published have a English translation. The authors pretty often reach to the publishers and game designers form across the Atlantic. In issue number 123 we had a chance to familiarize ourselves with official mini-campaign (3 scenarios) for Commands and Colors Ancients. The topic – 4th century AD Gothic invasion of Roman Empire. Two initial battles / skirmishes (Marcianopolis & Battle of Salices) with culminating battle of Adrianople – one of the most crushing defeats of Romans in ancient history.
You can play the games as individual set of games but also in form of mini-campaign. We of course have chosen the later one, summing up the points form all three games. So without further delay, let us see how it went. PS. At the end of the article you will get the links to scenarios itself.
Marcianopolis (377 AD)
The Battle of Marcianople or Marcianopolis took place in 376 following the Goths’ migration over the Danube. It was the first notable battle of the Gothic War of 376–382. After a failed Roman attempt to assassinate the Gothic leadership at a banquet in Marcianople, the Roman commander Lupicinius gathered all available troops, some 5,000 men, and attacked the 7,000–8,000 Tervingi Goths under Fritigern nine miles to the west of the town. While the Romans adopted a defensive posture on the battlefield, the Goths launched an immediate, all-out assault and bashed and slew the Romans with their shields, swords, and spears. Lupicinius fled as more than half of his army was killed on the spot. The Goths then re-armed themselves with Roman weaponry.
Main actions of the game:
- That one is really tough for the Romans; with only 3 cards you can mainly react
- But even with this, I decided it will be good to take a defensive position near the rough terrain and marshes, narrowing down the eventual paths of Marcin attack
- It worked out pretty well, as the game developed into bloody stalemate, broken finally by the Goth cavalry charge
- In the end, barbarians prevailed: Michal (Romans) 4 – Marcin (Goths) 5
Battle of Salices (377 AD)
The Battle of the Willows (377) took place at a place called ad Salices (“town by the willows”), or according to Ammianus, a road way-station called Ad Salices (“by the Willows”); probably located within 15 kilometres of Marcianople (modern day Dobrudja, Bulgaria), although its exact location is unknown. Forces from the Western Roman Empire under the command of Richomeres advanced westward, while forces of the eastern Roman Empire under Traianus and Profuturus advanced northward where they joined forces to attack the Goths who had recently rebelled under command of Fritigern and were laying waste to the northern Balkans.
The only extant description comes from Ammianus who left few details; he gives a lengthy description of the dead and dying, but no information on the number of combatants. At one point the Roman left wing gave way, but it was re-enforced and held. The battle ended with nightfall. The result was a bloody draw with both sides taking many losses; the Goths remained encamped behind their war-wagon circle for over a week after the battle.
Key developments of the session:
- This is scenario with special rules of “setting sun” – that element I am not so much fond of. At the beginning of each player’s turn you roll 2 dices and after three “doubles” you end scenario immediately. That happened to us but before…
- …we both jumpedd to the hills on my left / Marcin right. That seemed strategically important place from which further attacks can be started.
- We blooded each other with nobody gaining special advantage and… then the game ended.
- Well, we felt definitely that something was lacking here. We finish in mid battle? Next time we will for sure play without that special rule!
- This time I have minimally won: Michal (Romans) 3 – Marcin (Goths) 2
Adrianople (378 AD)
The Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378), sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between an Eastern Roman army led by the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels (largely Thervings as well as Greutungs, non-Gothic Alans, and various local rebels) led by Fritigern. The battle took place in the vicinity of Adrianople, in the Roman province of Thracia (modern Edirne in European Turkey). It ended with an overwhelming victory for the Goths and the death of Emperor Valens.
While its effects are well known, its details are surprisingly vague. We can be confident that the battle started before the Romans had their army entirely ready, due to an impatient subordinate commander, but reports vary on whether this happened on the right or the left flank! Perhaps the details are murky because so many of the Roman leaders died, including the emperor himself. What we do know is that the Romans blundered their way into the fight.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adrianople & Richard Borg description
What happened in our game:
- Again, the scenario with special rules – this time Gothic cavalry entering the game. The Goth player can enter his cavalry groups by playing an “inspired leader” card (no matter which). That at least seems pretty flexible and assures that Maricn will not have to wait endlessly.
- Unlike late emperor Valens, I was aware that cavalry will come… thus instead of attacking the well-entrenched wagon lager, I set-up a welcome party for the Gothic cavalry.
- What a nasty surprise it was, one wing quickly decimated while second managed to break-through with only one unit.
- Marcin seeing that all is lost charged downhill from the hills and swept my two units.
- Still, I managed to weaken and then finish one of his warriors to end the game.
- Un-historically, Rome prevailed!: Michal (Romans) 7 – Marcin (Goths) 2
In the end Goths have won one while Romans two of our games with the detailed score of:
- Michal (Romans) 14 – Marcin (Goths) 9
This is rather short and bloody campaign, with two first scenarios being pretty small. The third one is a really great culmination as a large forces on both sides meet each other. All in all it plays pretty quickly and you should be able to fit this into one evening (as we did!) If you are interested in exact set-up and special rules feel free to reach to below sources:
See you in another session report!