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COMMANDS & COLOURS:   ANCIENTS   Expansion: 6   SPARTANS  an expansion by Richard Borg

When I read the contents for this expansion to the amazing C&C Ancients I was, for a moment, slightly disappointed, for I had expected 300 Blocks (as in 300 Spartans) instead of the 258 (including spares).

COMMANDS & COLOURS is the major player in the Block war games market. The expansions are growing it into a viable history of the Ancients era but you must have the original C&C game to play all of the expansions. This includes the latest addition, expansion, #6, The Spartan Army.  To play all 26 scenarios in this expansion requires the map from the first game and the special dice, Command cards and Foreign Armies from  Expansion #1: the Greece and Eastern Kingdoms.

Commands & Colours is card driven like its contemporary game Battle Cry and similar to Memoirs ‘44. The Order/Command card that you play determines which units move and/or battle. The positioning of the blocks, blank side to your opponent, means that you can bluff and strike in ways the Spartans would have been proud of.

The Spartans have always been one of the most exciting armies to ponder and study. Whether in movies, books or games they are always involved in colourful battles such as the `300’ Spartans at Thermopylae, and like the British in battles like Balaclava, many of these colouful battles ended in glorious defeat.

The scenarios here can be played campaign style from 669BC when the Argives defeated the then bullying Spartans at Hysiae, through to Megalopolis in 331BC where King Agis fought to the bitter end against the Macedonians lead by Antipater, Regent to Alexander. Controlling the Spartan army is often akin to taking a minnows football team into a cup draw against Manchester United, the conclusion is foregone but the getting there is the best part of the journey.

Given a complexity level of medium and a playing time of around 60 minutes per battle, the Spartan Army is possibly the best army to have fun with whilst keeping with the strategies and tactics of the time.

Each expansion brings with it some new rules pertaining to the titled army (or armies) but for the main the rules remain the same, giving players the opportunity to express themselves through the forces available to them.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015