Adrianople Battle (378 AD) as depicted by EPIC C&C Ancients – The Boardgames Chronicle

How one can celebrate his another birthday anniversary? Well, by meeting colleagues and friends, spending really good time together and playing ones’ favorite boardgames! That was my plan also this March, which I actually repeat year after the year – with only difference being the title brought to the table 🙂

This time I really had a great desire to play C&C Ancients again. With the number of birthday guests it was easy to set-up a full EPIC scenario – the question was only which to choose. I went for one of the decisive battles of the late Roman Empire, which actually on board can be a pretty balanced game… Adrianople 378 AD!

Without further delay, let me invite you to the historical background and picture-rich session report! Enjoy! PS. As always, you can click on each picture to see details, which I suggest especially for those large, panoramic overview pictures.


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?

Historical background

How it all started? A collection of mostly Goth tribes with some alliesed Caesar Valens to be allowed land and foederati status to escape the Huns. Valens badly needed allies and agreed, aided in the decision because the Goth leader, Fritigern, had accepted Christianity. Unfortunately, the gred and brutality of the provincial commanders quickly prompted a Goth rebellion.

Two years of running battles against subordinate Romans ensued, with no clear winners or significant victories. Valens petitioned the Western emperor for help and took the field himself. In August, his scouts reported finding a large Goth camp and Valens moved in for the kill, electing not to wait—as requested for the supporting Roman army Gratian was leading to help. We can surmise Valens wanted to gain the victory himself and recognized he had significant superiority over the Goth camp and laager.

We do not know if he believed the Goth cavalry were off on a raid or what, but clearly he aimed to defeat the camp quickly. His troops made a seven-hour march over difficult terrain and met with a variety of emissaries and delaying tactics from Fritigern. When a hasty attack began on one (or the other) flank, Valens launched a general attack on the position. His army was heavily engaged all along the laager position when the Goth cavalry returned, hitting first one flank and then the other.

The Roman cavalry was first to rout, leaving the infantry to be surrounded and cut down. About 2/3 of the entire Roman army was destroyed, including Valens and most of the top generals. The disaster changed the very character of the empire and made certain the Goths would be major players for the next several centuries.

Session report

There were five of us who decided to play, so we had to split the forces. The decision was to have the following teams:

  • GothsCuba G (overall commander, already with some CCA experience), Konrad (right wing commander, also some CCA games already played) and Philip (left wing commander, completely new to the world of CCA)
  • Romansme (overall commander, responsible for center and left) plus Kuba J (leading right wing, new to CCA)

After brief explanation of the rules – in the end Commands Colors games are not overly complex to learn (much harder to master) we started the game. The excitement was great on both sides so we started immediately!

Game set-up of our our battle. Split of forces between players on both sides was pretty obvious. I strongly suggest to click and enlarge the picture for details.
  • Close-up on central section.
  • Close-up on right wing.
Being conscious of the large enemy cavalry contingents on the wings, I immediately attacked in the center. The battle was bloody on both sides but the initial onslaught was repelled by Goths.
Kuba J had great archers and not only depleted lights of Filip, but managed to cut off some of them and destroy. There was a risk of two-pronged attack on Goth camp, as Filip (left wing) was not getting enough orders to move his forces.
However, Konrad was well equipped with cards and his Goth Cavalry wing pretty quickly advanced. All went ok until I played a timely First Strike. But this was only beginning of my problems on this wing.
Kuba J followed-up on his successes ve lights and got rid of another two units. It started to look scary for Goths…
A good general can release pressure by hitting opponents. Konrad not only was equipped with great cards but he had some incredible rolls (outright kill of my MI or HC)
A final strike came from Filip. It is impossible to roll 3 flags on 3 dice, isn’t it? Well, as you can see barbarians get some really hot dice this evening!
The final situation on the map at the conclusion of our game. Goths historically prevailed, although their victory was not so devastating as it was in reality.
  • Close-up on the left wing.
  • Situation in the center at game end.
  • Close-up on the right wing.

Summary

I must admit I spent fantastic evening playing this CCA scenario – we had a lot of fun, tons of laughs, many sudden twists and turns of fate and what is most important – I had a great time with friends, celebrating together. And I think we all are ready to come back to more EPIC scenarios!

More session reports to come!

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