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Regular readers will know about my fondness for the Commands & Colors series of games by Richard Borg. This fantastic range of games is often referred to as  ‘light’ wargame due to the simple, easy to learn rules and lack of tables or charts, but I think that does it a disservice.

One of the strengths of this game is that it simulates the problems inherent in commanding armies in an elegant way. The command card deck limits the maneuverability of your forces and covers the plethora of problems that can cause orders to be lost or misinterpreted, etc, without complex rules.

It also allows me to spend my time concentrating on my tactics rather than looking up rules, thus allowing me to stay engaged with both the game and my opponent.

Several years ago I made a hex board on which to play Battlecry with my 10mm miniatures and the other day I setup the for board for a solo battle.

Rather than playing one of the many historical scenarios from the rulebook, I setup a ‘meeting engagement’ with random forces. Each army was lined-up in march columns at the side of the table and units could be brought on to the battlefield by playing a Section card and ordering units to march on from off table.

The board setup with march columns top right and at the bottom right the solo playing aid.

Early on, Confederate artillery routes a Union cavalry brigade whilst infantry in the wood engage yet more Union cavalry…

The Confederate’s early success is finally stymied as Union reserves make it onto the field…

The Union counter attack gains momentum as one Confederate cavalry brigade is destroyed and the other repulsed…

The Union cavalry presses the attack and destroys the Confederate artillery whilst deadly musketry from the infantry puts paid to the Confederate cavalry…

The march columns show that the bulk of the Confederate army is still marching to the sound of the guns…

Confederate infantry build hasty fieldworks…

Union artillery is rushed forward…

And opens up a bombardment on the Confederate positions…

The Confederate counter attack begins with a cavalry charge from the right flank…

The Confederates have committed more brigades to the fight…

With a solid defensive position secured and fresh units coming forward, the Confederates are victorious.

All in all this was a very entertaining game which swung back and forth. It was an interesting challenge to balance taking the offensive with the units you have on the battlefield and bringing on reserve units, which take time to get into the action.

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