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Field Commander Alexander

The legacy of Alexander the Great

This is my first foray into more serious wargaming. I say serious, but I mean things like hex and counter type systems. It's not a particularly heavy system - the rules are light and they're quite specific to the setup of the game.

Setup

Setting up the game was pretty easy, you pick the scenario you want to do, unfold your mounted map board for that scenario and follow the setup instructions on it. It mainly involves setting up the armies and so forth that start on the board, your armies and the starting gold etc.

The Turn

You start the turn by refitting your armies and running through the enemy operations (more on these later). You then enter the phase where you can move from region to region, which is done by rolling a dice and comparing this value to the number of standing armies you have which results in either you spending gold or suffering hits. You can then battle enemy armies and if successful - govern or raze that region. You can then spend gold on things or spend glory, which can be earned from winning battles and fulfilling prophecies. You can then repeat the move > battle phase as many times as possible, or you can stop whenever you like.

First Game

I started with the first scenario - Granicus. The game started well. I moved down to battle the Southern Greek forces and swept them aside. I then managed to move my armies back up North so I could get into position and prepare for Granicus. I recruited some new units and then proceeded down to Granicus, but not before fulfilling a prophecy to gain some glory so my Alexander was levelled up. I managed to win the Battle of the Granicus, but I took some damage to my units which would need refitting on the next turn. Enemy operations were still piling up and there was a big store of enemy reinforcements starting to stack up, which if activated would reinforce the Halkarnassus.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and attempt to crush the rest of the Persian forces. Unfortunstely it didn't turn out as I would have liked. By the time I was in position to move on Halkarnassus the reinforcements from the enemy operations arrived and I was faced with an overhwhelming enemy army waiting for me. I should probably have waited, built up my forces but I was in a reckless mood and I was still confident I could grind out a victory. it was close, and in the end it came down to just one or two units but Alexander was eventually brought down by some Peltasts in the Persian army.

Opinion

It's a fun little game, it's not at all complicated really and the game moves along at a nice pace. it might take a little while to play it the first time, but I feel like once I've played it a couple of times I'll find the game time isn't too bad. The battle system is okay, if a little random due to the dice rolls, but solitaire systems are difficult and battles themselves can and did sometimes go badly despite the best planning. I'm not sure it's worth the £55 or so it costs over in the UK, it feels more like a £30 game but I guess the mounted maps are what has pushed the price up. At £30 with paper maps I feel it would be a better price point.