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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: For the beginner - effect of the card draw? rss

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ArcanumTL ArcanumTL
Canada
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Hi everyone - being mostly a Euro gamer who has gotten interested in trying out a war game - it seems like Commands and Colors comes highly recommended.

I like the blocks and historical scenarios of past battles. However, I noticed that the core mechanic is to draw a card and use your hand to play commands. As beginner, will the card draw or certain cards be too swingy? I looked bthrough the card distribution and it seems you should be able to get the commands you want but the events seem more random.

Or will more experience help you plan better or level off the card effects?

Thanks for advice to a noob!
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James C
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Managing your hand of cards is CRITICAL to success in CCA.
You need to consider carefully your available options, and plan ahead accordingly.

If you're lucky, you'll be fed a steady diet of useful cards.
But you shouldn't rely on being lucky! (Napoleon's commentary on the subject notwithstanding.)

Rather, to succeed, you need to make your moves assuming that you won't draw the exact card you need next turn, but rather will need to make do with what's already in your hand.

So, for example, you may prefer to launch on attack using your center units, but if in your hand you only have one good center-attack card, and three good right-flank attack cards, you'd probably be better off trying to cook something up on the right, as such undertaking could be sustained for a few turns. By then, you may have drawn another useful center-attack card or two, and may finally be able to pull the trigger on your original center-attack plan.

CCA is a truly great game. The card/hand management, although initially a turn-off to me (I was reared on Amerithrash / A&A fare), is now something I find to be one of the best features of the game. Like a real commander, you don't have God-like powers, but are quite limited in your options at any given moment during the battle.

Enjoy!
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John Rogers
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Yakima
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James is quite right. I’ll add that I too had a euro background and found the hand mgt aspect quite comforting. It forces you to focus on the situation at hand and reduces feelings associated with being overwhelmed and AP. You will find positioning leaders, line formations, and terrain likewise go a long way to opening your hand a bit.

As a side note I find the deck in CCA to be the most balanced between the various system iterations. Many of the cards allow players to command a single unit of their choosing if none of the specified card units are available. Plus they riff off lines and leaders a LOT. Plus there is only one (first strike) gotcha-take-that card which is huge for me.
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Bruno Macchiavello
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The C&C system is certainly a tactical game, rather than a strategic one. The ideia is to do your best, with the cards you have. Having said that, is not like there is 0 strategy. Play some turns in order to make everything right for that card that you draw at a certain point is critical. Your first games, will probably seem to lucky, especially if both players are novice. But, knowing the deck is extremely important.

This game is great, period. Why? A novice can play and have fun, a senior player will always learn a new strategy to test. C&C Napoleonics cam give the feeling of being more strategic, memoir 44 has the cooler minis. But, Ancients is the best of C&C games. The theme and how war has handle in that time perios fits perfectly to the theme.

Commanders send written letters to their generals to order troops. Sometime, this letters never arrive. An infantry had a chance against a cavalry. The system make sense, a lot of sense.

For other scenarios, like WW2, the system does not make sense at all. Having daid that all C&C games are good games!!. Ancients is the best one
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Michael McCalpin
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I can assure you from painful experience that the better player usually wins, so the luck of the card draw is less powerful than it might seem. What the better player does with the cards and on the map appears more powerful than the luck of the card draw itself.
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Dom Rougier
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C&C:Ancients is one of my top five games, ever.

One of the reasons for that is that the core mechanic (the hand management and card drawing) works directly against the actions you're taking in the game (trying to keep a bunch of guys in a line, and march them into the other guys).

This fundamental conflict is a subtle and amazing piece of design. It also helps make the sometimes-boring part of ancient wargames really interesting.

Now, the card drawing and especially dice do have a fair amount of variance. It's possible to do everything right and still lose. I estimated a while ago that this happened something like one game in ten, and that might be an over-estimate, but it is fairly high. The game is really short though (~60 minutes), which is pretty forgiving of that kind of thing.
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ArcanumTL ArcanumTL
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Thank you all for the great feedback - it does makes sense to "play" the hand that you are dealt in the most optimal way. This reminds me of Brass which it is economic logistics game based on cards - there are strategies but you must first play the cards you have and adapt along way.

I certainly like the different scenarios as it does fit historical nature. Now - I am bit torn between Ancients vs Napoleonics?
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Chris Laudermilk
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Why choose? Get both! (full disclosure: I did).

There's a reason that C&C is a whole series of games and not just one. It a pretty elegant, easy system to play and is very quick for a war game.
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John Rogers
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ArcanumTL wrote:
I am bit torn between Ancients vs Napoleonics?


Check out the response from TRK27 in this reddit post.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/boardgames/com...
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John Rogers
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ArcanumTL wrote:
I am bit torn between Ancients vs Napoleonics?


Also check out this conversation on Nappy Love: when and why?. I too was wrestling between the games. Still am in some respects.
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H, Gua
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ArcanumTL wrote:
Thank you all for the great feedback - it does makes sense to "play" the hand that you are dealt in the most optimal way. This reminds me of Brass which it is economic logistics game based on cards - there are strategies but you must first play the cards you have and adapt along way.

I certainly like the different scenarios as it does fit historical nature. Now - I am bit torn between Ancients vs Napoleonics?


I'd say it may depend on your appetite for complexity. This is not from experience, but it really looks like CCN is more complicated than CCA, and may take longer to play. I can say from experience that there is plenty of CCA to enjoy! laugh
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Russell InGA
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I think that it is perfectly valid to remove a few of the cards for the first few games.

"First Strike" is in my opinion a good card to remove until you are used to the flow of the game. (When I play solo, I always remove this.)

"Rally" is a card that is fairly confusing, easy to do wrong, and rarely comes up. You can certainly do without that.

Those are the two that come to mind, but there might be another that I have removed in the past. (I am trying to remember if I removed the mirror image cards which can be a little confusing.)
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Grant Linneberg
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ArcanumTL wrote:
Thank you all for the great feedback - it does makes sense to "play" the hand that you are dealt in the most optimal way. This reminds me of Brass which it is economic logistics game based on cards - there are strategies but you must first play the cards you have and adapt along way.

I certainly like the different scenarios as it does fit historical nature. Now - I am bit torn between Ancients vs Napoleonics?


Of course get both, but if you're trying to decide which one to get first (and you like both periods), get CCA first. It is a bit easier than CCN. And once you've learned CCA, CCN will be that much easier to grok later.

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James C
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After years of playing CCA, Memoir 44, and Battle Cry, I finally took the plunge and will be picking up Napoleonics this Christmas. Why? Isn't it just more of the same? Well yes and no.

Each manifestation of the command and colors system really does have its own unique feel. Minor tweaks change the game significantly. So by picking up multiple games within the system, you enjoy the benefit of fundamental familiarity, but also the reward of new strategies, challenges, and play styles dictated by rules revised to fit the era in question.

To me, the choices have been driven by my interest in the eras in question. If money were no object, I'd probably pick up the WWI version as well.
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Tom Stearns
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I recommend you start with Ancients. It is, in my humble opinion, the best iteration of the C&C system. It's also less complicated that Napoleonic's. Once you have played Ancients and have a good feel for the system then you have a whole plethora of different era's to choose your next game from. Or you can invest in the Ancients expansions. Greece and Eastern Kingdoms is my favorite.

Good Luck! It's a great game system. If you have 6-8 friends interested also then getting the Epic expansion is a no brainer. Epic Ancients is C&C at it's epic best.
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Kevin Duke
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I agree with Tom that CCA is easier to get into and faster to play. With single map games, we always play each scenario twice and sometimes we will play it 3 or 4 times, because as soon as one ends we want to play another.

While we enjoy CCNap, it’s more rare to finish a scenario and flip. We’ve done it some but the end of a CCNap game gives a feeling of pausing.

Regarding the “more of the same?” question, I worried about that with CCNap, thinking it might be mostly “same game, different stickers,” but I was surprised at how “different” it felt...and then I experienced equal amazement with Samurai Battles and Great War. Core engine “same” but each rides very differently (and Great War is a great game).

I’ve proofed the upcoming Medieval version and can say, it’s also going to feel different but I can’t really explain where...other than inviting you to imaging cataphract Bow cavalry that melees as Heavy...
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ArcanumTL ArcanumTL
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Hi everyone - thank you all for the great feedback. I managed to grab a copy of CCA so I am excited to try it out. Now I just need to find someone to play it

Is there also any online play?
 
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Tom Stearns
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Www.vassalengine.org
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Miguel [working on TENNISmind]
France
Caen
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gohrns wrote:

And the latest version of the module (v4) is amazing, a huge step towards the feeling of the real game! meeple
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