I love coming back to C&C Ancients from time to time – that game really gives me a lot of fun. Some weeks ago I played with Marcin couple of Civil War battles (Caesar vs Pompey) and we decided to continue. These are some of the largest and pretty balanced struggles so it was obvious we will have a great time. What we decided to bring to the table was:
- Thapsus (46 BC) – a battle which ended the Civil War in Africa. It features Elephants and should be an interesting scenario.
- Munda (45 BC) – here the Civil War ended – the last bastion of Pompeians, and face-off between Caesar, Pompey Son and Titus Labienius. Very interesting due to terrain.
Without further delay, let me invite you to the session report! Enjoy!
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?
Thapsus (46 BC)
Following his set-back at Ruspina, Julius Caesar spent some time regrouping before making a surprise night march of 16 miles and camping near the Pompeian-held coastal town of Thapsus. Caesar immediately placed Thapsus under siege. Though numerically superior, Metellus Scipio, the Pompeian commander in the area, originally had no intention of risking a direct battle with the formidable Caesar. However, Caesar had forced the issue with this threat to Thapsus. If Scipio allowed a key city to fall without a fight, then key allies would defect to Caesar. Scipio reluctantly brought his 40,000 man army up to relieve the city.
Scipio occupied a defensive position and drew up his line with elephants (provided by King Juba) on the wings. Caesar opposed the pachyderms with light archers and slingers, while taking personal command of his right wing. As the battle began, volleys of missiles sent the elephants reeling. Caesar’s horse countered a Numidian cavalry charge and forced them to flee. After the failed charge, the Pompeian line crumbled and the rout was on. Pompeian resistance in Africa had been crushed, but the civil war was not quite over. There remained one more Pompeian bastion – Spain.
We started with Thapsus – while rather one-sided engagement, it features Elephants which are always fun to play. Some time ago I acquired – during vacation in South East Asia – miniatures of those creatures and use them in CCA games. Doesn’t they look gorgeous?
PS. As always, you can click on each picture to see details.
Munda (45 BC)
Following Julius Caesar’s victory at Thapsus, the remnants of the Pompeian army under Titus Labienus fled to Spain. Here, the garrison legions had revolted in favor of Gnaeus Pompey, the eldest son of Pompey the Great. Caesar traveled to Spain to put a final end to Pompeian resistance. He brought three of his crack veteran legions, the 5th, 6th and 10th, but most of his army was also composed of newer recruits.
Pompey deployed near Munda in a strong hill top position so Caesar was faced with an uphill battle. Rather than maneuver for advantage, Caesar uncharacteristically ordered a frontal assault on the strong enemy position. Some of the hardest fighting in Caesar’s life unfolded as the two armies slogged it out. The Pompeians fought with true desperation, for many of those soldiers had been pardoned by Caesar, and then deserted back to Pompey. For them there would be no second chances. Finally, Caesar’s 10th legion on the right managed to push the opposing forces back. The faltering of both wings eventually caused the raw legions in Pompey’s center to bolt back toward the town. About 30,000 Pompeians died – most slaughtered in the rout.
Gnaeus Pompey died with them, and also Titus Labienus, Caesar’s trusted aide who became his bitter opponent. Caesar had won the battle, but later said “he had fought many times for victory, but at Munda he fought for his life.” With his victory at Munda, Caesar finally brought the civil war to an end.
While from historical point of view, the battle ended in complete Pompeian defeat, on the board it was a very hard nut to crack. Those hills and numerical superiority on Marcin’s side was overwhelming. Just approaching was difficult, fighting uphill – sometimes impossible. Let us see how it developed!
That concluded our two session, 5 scenario’s campaign. We truly played with great pleasure; it was fun both from gaming experience but also reenacting history. As for the final score:
- Marcin (Pompey) 23 – Michal (Caesar) 32
After initial debacle of my troops at Pharsalus and Dyrrachium, I managed to get the campaign result straight with Thapsus and Munda 🙂 It was not so easy, especially in the second scenario while attacking uphill. Of course, elephants from Thapsus were also dangerous and completely unpredictable. All in all, as always, CCA does not fails to bring exciting games!
More session reports to come!