As you may know, I’ve recently been burning the hours playing Field of Glory: Empires. While this pursuit does take up a lot of my time, it doesn’t really produce anything worth commenting on. It did, however, cause me to glance back at my old posts about FoG: Empires. In the process of that review, I was reminded how my revisiting of the title was courtesy of my search for a Paraitakene scenario.
At the same time, I recalled that my first, bumbled attempt at FoG: Empires occurred while playing as Rome (as I one again am doing) and trying to find some historical alignment with the Battle of Sentinum. I’ll remind you too, if you haven’t already figured out where I’m going with all this, that my FoG: Empires excursions, this time around, were launched by my fussing about with Blocks!: Julius Caesar and not finding a reasonable representation of the Roman Civil War.
Bear with me now. I had a point when I started typing.
When trying to find a decent order of battle for Sentinum, the most prominent example was a setup for the game Commands & Colors: Ancients. I don’t own and Commands & Colors physical titles and have not been seriously considering buying in because, if for no other reason, I don’t foresee myself scrounging up a suitable opponent. I’ve occasionally been tempted by the Hexwar Games PC conversion on Steam but bad reviews have scared me off.
As I check back today, Commands & Colors: Ancients has been yanked off Steam. I could speculate that the harm that a poorly-implemented computer version did to the GMT brand outweighed anything to be earned through sales. It may also just be that there were no sales in the face of those bad reviews – or at least not enough to justify and even-minimal cost of support.
That loss now means I’m ever-less likely to do anything Commands & Colors: Ancients* going forward. Am I now forever “blocked” (tee hee) from closing the circle that unites Alexander, Persia, and the block-game mechanic? Not if I can lean on the work of my fellow bloggers.
It thus seems serendipitous that, just a couple of weeks ago, Michal at The Boardgames Chronicle wrote up a session report encompassing the Battle of Paraitakene and the follow-on, a year later, the Battle of Gabiene. The article is full of pictures, gameplay, plus a bit of history. You might enjoy reading from there rather than my own, tedious prose.
*I did pick up Commands & Color: The Great War in its HexWar/PC iteration a while back, when I thought I might want to focus my playing on that era. It’s Steam reviews seemed slightly less dismal that those for Ancients and the choices for period tactics is even more limited for the First World War. I add this detail because while I was thinking my comments would apply to the Cs&Cs franchise as a whole, there is this one loophole.