This month’s mayhem took place on the plains outside of Ilipa, courtesy of GMT’s Commands and Colors.
Ilipa is one of the Epic System battles – essentially a bigger version of the base game, with some tweaks to the cards and some fog of war rules. To get the best out of the Epic stuff you need four players on each side: one commander and three subordinate generals. As we had four altogether – Ben Peleg, Roy, and me, we played in teams of two and let the fog of war happen naturally.
The actual battle was from the Second Punic War and featured Scipio Africanus beating up on the Carthaginians and taking Iberia from them, forever.
Peleg and I took the Roman Army. We only had a couple of good quality heavy infantry units, most being medium infantry, with some light and medium cavalry in support.
Ben and Roy’s Carthaginian Army was short of decent quality heavy and medium infantry, but had lots of Auxilia, and some warbands. They also had a couple of elephants; these are potentially devastating, but can trample their own soldiers if they retreat.
The battle opened with Peleg and I trying to set our units up to use a couple of cracking command cards we had in our hand. Before we could get underway, however, the Carthaginians feinted with an elephant and were a bit shocked when we wiped that solo adventurer out. That was the last we saw of the elephants!
Now Peleg and I put into action our master plan. Just as we played the first mighty command card, the Carthaginians played a card to counter it. Undeterred, we went at it again for our second sweeping move. They did it again.
While this was going on, skirmishes on the wings were just about even. But Peleg and I were too aggressive and suffered by seeing both our cavalry wings get ground down.
At this time Peleg deserted the field (ie went home!) leaving me to try and pull off a miracle. I did not manage it. I battled on, but soon enough the Carthaginians got the final victory banner they needed to claim the win and rewrite history.
I did not keep a note of turn by turn events as I was too engrossed in the gaming challenge. (I doubt I will ever try, as it was hard enough concentrating on the game!) I think this was the same for all the players who seemed to have a good time. We recognize the element of luck, but we also recognize we had great fun.
Now, if we can only muster enough players for the 4 v 4 real thing…
Thanks to all who came for a great night’s gaming.