Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Battle Cry Isn’t Commands & Colors: Ancients

The more recent edition of Battle Cry tightens up the rules of the game by a fair amount compared to the original. I can’t say I care for the “big box of plastic” approach to the game, though. The block wargames look classy and consistently turn heads. The stickers on Battle Cry’s units will be falling apart on anyone’s game that sees any significant amount of play.

The game play is much more different from Commands & Colors: Ancients, which I have played a lot more of. In ancient warfare, generals lead from the front. In the civil war game, they… just don’t seem to do all that much. (Aside from a few odd cards, the only thing you can count on from them is their ability to ignore a retreat result. In a game where retreat results actually can help you!) Combine that with everyone having effective ranged attacks and nobody having an automatic “battle back” action, and yeah… this is a completely different game.

If you play this Civil War game in the same way as you would the the Ancients one… you will die ingloriously. Tournament grade play will feature units mostly hanging back in some kind of cover and taking mostly one die and two die pot shots at things. Charges tend to result in the slaughter of your own men, not anything remotely approaching glory.

It’s brutal.

There are only four unit types. There is less variety in the units. Formation and leadership have almost no impact on the tactics. And winning tactics are decidedly un-epic. Mostly… it just looks tacky.

If you only get one of these Richard Borg battle games… I have to recommend against your getting Battle Cry.

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