Saturday, 29 June 2013

Crimissos River

We needed something to play at the club at short notice this week so I quickly sorted out the stuff for a Command and Colours Ancients game. I am vaguely intending to play through the Punic Wars scenarios in order and although we'd already done Crimissos using Lost Battles it was also the next one in line for CnC.

Our usual approach to CnC is to play on hexon terrain with toys rather than using the supplied boards and blocks. In this case it was my desert boards and 20mm plastic stuff rather than Tims rather grand 25mm toys. New arrivals this time were my freshly flocked hexon single desert hexes and a couple of stands of Gallic slingers. John took the Carthaginians and Tim the Syracusians.

Historically Crimissos involved the Cathaginians invading Syracuse (again), and this time taking their newly formed Sacred Band with them.  Hasdrubal led the Carthos and one somewhat foggy morning they straggled across the River Crimissos only for Timoleon leading the Syracusians to spot his chance at attack  while the Carthos were disorganised. This is a quick scenario, five command cards each and five banners needed for victory. Scores in the commentary are Carthage:Syracuse.

Carthaginian Sacred Band and heavy infantry suported by chariots and light troops with Hasdrubal lurking at the back. In the rush to put he game together I forgot my sector indicators and had to use tile spacers.

Carthagian Auxilia on one side of the river, the rest of the army on the other side. In the rush I also forget my single hex river sections. The four hexes of dodgy looking river bits are fordable.

Syracusian phalanx supported by peltasts and medium cavalry. Timoleon is the leader with the white shield.

The Syracusians are neatly formed up, unlike the Carthos.

Syracusian medium cavalry who bear a striking resemblance to Alexanders Companions. Ahem.

Carthaginian four horse chariot. Well, there are four horses aren't there? Airfix with replacement wheels.

After ineffective missile fire, the Carthos try to cross the river. Medium infantry, light troops and warbands. The single hexes can be seen in the distance, they don't quite match. Freshly  painted Airfix Gallic slingers next to the Libyan infantry.

Syracusian light troops inflict a few hits on the auxilia and the phalanx rolls forwards.

Carthaginians engage the phalanx with auxilia and mediums and suffer some losses.

The phalanx rolls forwards.

And suddenly there are fewer Carthaginians. The phalanx is heavy infantry, five dice apiece. Ouch! 0:1

The Sacred Band and Hasdrubal get stuck in and wipe out the opposing peltasts. Timoleon and Hasdrubal go head to head. 1:1

The Syracusians continue to kill off Carthaginian units, an element of Auxilia and both Libyan infantry in this case. The victorious hoplites follow up. 1:4

Hasdrubal is driven back by Timoleons men, but the chariots move up.

The Sacred Band wipe out a Timoleons men, Timoleon has to flee. 2:4

On the other flank a Warband takes out more Syracusian peltasts, Timoleon has to flee again!. The Syracusians are now well poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 3:4

In a desperate move the medium cavalry move to engage the chariots.

But on the other flank a phalanx unit takes out the impudent warband. 3:5 and Victory to Syracuse!

At game end the Sacred Band are left isolated in the middle of the Syracusians. Historically they were isolated and destroyed.

As usual, a close fought game. We ran the cavalry attack on the chariot for fun and the cavalry were destroyed so if the attack on the warband had failed it would have left the score at 4:4 with the Sacred Band poised to take out another phalanx unit. Although I was a bit dubious about CnC Ancients when we first started playing it, as time has gone on I have become more impressed with it as a simulation and more comfortable with the abstractions. We actually know how to play it now and how to set things up to take advantage of the cards, particularly the various group activation cards. Most importantly it is fun, looks great with the toys and is fast to play. The latter being something I value more as I get older. We'd finished this game before some people had finished setting up, so time for a chat about COW and then home for tea and buns:)

Hasdrubal can go home to lick his wounds but he won't have long to wait for more action as the next battle in the series is Bagradas which we've done several times before but everyone loves Elephants don't they.


  1. Having units one's general is leading killed is clearly no bar to victory! Even if, with a name like Timoleon, nobody expected much...

  2. It probably demonstrates flexible mission directed command capability. Or something.