Dear all, welcome to my third and final part of the series. In my effort to compare Commands Colors Medieval and Ancients, I have focused my first two publications on major changes (here) and on minor changes and subtleties (here). But enough of looking into the rules and paragraphs. What is the best way to see the difference in the game flow, if not to play actual scenarios in both systems?
Ok, you might ask which scenarios would be fitting for such a comparative play? Well, Medieval version has a very good answer for this. In the rulebook, we have three first scenarios happening in the 5th century, during the wars of Roman Empire with Huns. On one hand, they chronologically fall under the Ancients umbrella. However, from the tactics and weapons perspective, this is definitely the early Medieval epoch. The three scenarios are Utus River (447 AD) and Catalaunian Fields (451 AD) Part 1 & 2. For our test we used the first one – a perfect choice to compare both systems.
The Scenario – Utus River (447 AD)
Before reporting the plays, let us stop for a moment to try to understand what this battle was about. The main reason was Eastern Empire ceasing to pay the tribute to the Huns. Of course, such development cannot be left unchecked and soon after Atilla’s army invaded the Balkans. After months of raiding finally a pitched battle was fought between what small forces Romans could get and the Eastern horde. Byzantines lost but according to sources the loses were so high on both sides, that in the end the peace was signed, bringing things to Status Quo – Easter Roman Empire would resume paying the tribute while Huns would change their focus, looking instead toward the weaker Western Roman Empire.
This is one of the longest CCM scenarios, finishing at 9 banners. So in order to defeat your opponent, you would have to utterly rout him, defeating at least half of enemy units. Let us see how both systems will reflect it!
The gameplay – CCM
We decided to start with Medieval. I was given the Huns, while Marcin led Byzantines army. Unlike other medieval scenarios happening in the 6th century, here we have very large proportion of infantry with classical placement of cavalry mainly on wings. Below follows the photo-session report (you can just click on each photo to enlarge in the new window):
The gameplay – CCA
As a next step we changed the system and set-up the scenario again. In order to play Utus River scenario in CCA, we had to account for narrower board – 9×13 hexes instead of Medieval 11×13. But only two units (Roman cavalry) had to start off map so that was a minor issue. Of course, all cavalry were 3-block units, Heave Infantry had 5 dices in close combat, etc. Let us see how it went.
Just as described in previous articles in the series, infantry was a cannon-fodder for cavalry in Medieval version. The underestimated Redeploy was crucial there, as it allowed for concentration of the best Hunic units on one wing. On the other hand, Ancients version focused mainly on the center and foot-units clashes – the Heavy Infantry was again king of the battlefield. What was very symptomatic was the score – both games were won by Huns, but Medieval version shows close to zero chance for Romans to put-up a decent fight. At the same time Ancients attempt saw some chance of Byzantine victory. The reason was simple – much more cavalry on Huns side, which is unstoppable in the newest installment of C&C system.
That concludes my series of articles comparing Commands Colors Medieval to Ancient. I hope you found it as a valuable source of information but also as a fun read – especially the test described in the above article!