Alexander Successors Wars – as depicted by C&C Ancients – The Boardgames Chronicle

Recently I play C&C Ancients definitely less in comparison to the time when I was initially enchanted by this game. Still, it oftentimes gives me a lot of satisfaction and nowadays I usually play sets of historically and chronologically connected scenarios.

Recently I brought to the table couple of Civil War battles (Caesar vs Pompey), later on the Greco-Persian Wars. This time we decided to completely change the settings and armies compositions. We moved to the Alexander’s Successors Wars! What we played was:

  1. Paraitacene (318 BC) – first of the grand clash between Antigonus and Eumenes, a battle to be long remembered.
  2. Gabiene – (317 BC) – a battle which almost ended the War of Diadochi – after which Antigonus became a true Lord of Asia and most powerful pretender to inherit the Alexander’s legacy.

Without further delay, let me invite you to the session reports! Enjoy!

PS. As always, you can click on each picture to see details.


Some of my articles regarding C&C system:
Commands and Colors games – my 3 favorite
[REVIEW] Commands Colors Ancients
Strategy Article – Skirmishing and Evasion
Strategy Article – Breaking The Line, Holding The Line

Paraitacene (318 BC)

Historical background

By 318 BC the Successors had formed two competing alliances: the ‘Royalists’ who claimed to fight to maintain the empire for Alexander’s infant sons, and a rival coalition that sought to claim their own independent kingdoms. The opposing Successor Armies in Asia—one command by Antigonusthe other by Eumenes—met in battle at Paraitacene in 317 BC. Antigonus was by now the most powerful of the Diadochi, controlling most of Anatolia and the eastern satrapies. Eumenes had the backing of Alexander’s heirs and a large war chest, though the fact that he was a Greek and not a Macedonian was a major handicap.

Antigonus fielded 28,000 infantry and 11,000 horse. Eumenes‘ force of 35,000 foot and 6,000 horse included the veteran Silver Shields who had fought with distinction in all of Alexander’s campaigns. The battle opened with Antigonus’ light horse attacking Eumenes right. This attack was wrecked by Eumenes’ heavy cavalry. Meanwhile in the center, the Silver Shields drove back Antigonus’ phalanx. Antigonus’ army was on the ropes when he pulled off a stroke that evened the score. He charged through a gap and was successful in routing Eumenes’ left flank. Both sides at this point were exhausted and returned to their camps. Antigonus claimed victory but realistically the battle was a draw and a final resolution would be at Gabiene, a year later.

Session report
Game set-up of our first scenario, Paraitacene. I am using my special miniatures for Elephants – they look great, don’t they?
Elephants are of course the primary target of all the archers and range units. Above Marcin very effectively uses his skirmishers.
What is the best way to take pressure from your poor Behemoths – attack, and in doing so, surprise opponent. Double Time is perfect for this – especially when you get 2 VPs!
When Heavy and Medium units start to fight the dead falls in droves. In total 16 blocks killed on both sides with two more points for Eumenes!
But Marcin of course counter-attacked my depleted forces – using great Mounted Charge – which gave him immediate 2 VPs.
Many players keep Clash of Shields for the perfect occasion. You should not – even with 2 attacks a lot can be done…
Final situation in our first scenario, with victory for Eumenes – although after initial successes I counted for more. That scenario is fantastic as always!

Gabiene – (317 BC)

Historical background

After Paraitacene in 317, Eumenes was desperately trying to keep the united Empire of Alexander alive for his heirs. the following year, Antigonus emerged early from winter quarters and force marched across the desert to catch Eumenes off guard. Eumenes detected the move and the two armies closed on a salt plain near Gabiene.

Antigonus’ force had 22,000 infantry, 9,000 horse and 65 elephants. Eumenes’ army was down to 17,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and 114 elephants. Both sides up in a classic Alexandrian set. The battle opened with the skirmishers and elephants engaging in a confused melee. Antigonus’ cavalry charged home against Eumenes’ left wing cavalry, routing it. In the center Eumenes’ Silver Shields prevailed again in an infantry attack that forced back the Antigonid phalanx.

Meanwhile, Antigonus’ cavalry force was pressing in on both flanks and also captured Eumenes’ baggage train (camp). It had been another close battle but Antigonus had prevailed. Antigonus negotiated with the Silver Shields to exchange their commander for their captured baggage, and Eumenes was betrayed and put to death. Antigonus was now the undisputed leader of the Asian satrapies, and would soon make a bid to reclaim all of the Empire of Alexander for himself.

Session report
Game set-up of our second scenario, Gabiene. Please observe the camp on my right and mobile Antigonus cavalry opposite it – a perfect unit to overrun it. Also, my Elephants are set in the tragic way – Trample is pretty obvious in this situation.
After some initial exchange of range fire, the cavalries clashed! What a battle it was – almost everybody died!
While my depleted cavalry decided on a (successful) ride to the map edge, Marcin hit in the center, totally obliterating my Silver Shields!
The game entered its determining and mobile phase. Mounted charge gave Antigonus 3 VPs in one go.
I immediately counter-attacked with the same also gaining 3 VPs…
…but that was not enough. Final situation on map – a close but still victory for Antigonus. What is interesting, the Camp is untouched.

Summary

That concluded our 2-scenario mini campaign. We were playing with a great pleasure – very close battles, tons of heavy units and options to utilize combined arms. As for results, that was a total draw – not surprisingly, these were truly evenly matched opponents:

  • Michal (Eumenes) 12Marcin (Antigonus) 12

I think the Successors battles are pretty often overlooked and undervalued. Still, those are some of the largest, more decisive and close engagements of antiquity. If you have a chance, I strongly recommend trying them!

More session reports to come!

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