Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Commands and Color Hex Table

For the last several years I've kept hearing gamers mention how good a game Commands and Colors Ancients is, but I've never gotten around to getting a copy of my own. Considering that I was a boardgamer for decades before ever taking up miniatures, that's a bit surprising to me at least. Maybe its that given the relative complexity of many of the miniature games that I like, Commands and Colors gave me the impression of being too light weight. Well, finally I've gotten hold of a copy of the core game, and I must say that I find it to be brilliantly designed. I can't wait to get some games under my belt, and even though I think that the block units are very attractive and elegant on their own, this game still just screams to be played using miniatures. I know that there is a hexless variant that can be used, but I thought that in order to keep it simple, why not just use a hex map larger than the one that comes with the game. Funds being tight, I didn't want to spend a fortune, but I was able to simply and quickly put together a hex table for just this purpose.

What I did was to get two 30" x 48" poster boards from Staples. I spray painted them black, and added a layer of Moss Green paint. I then drew up a hex grid using AutoCad, and plotted it out on large sheets of paper using the plotter at my office. I actually made the number of hexes larger than what is required for a Commands and Colors game in order to also be able to play Battles of Westeros on this table. The hexes were originally sized at 4" across the flats of the hexes, but since this didn't quite fit on the poster boards, I scaled them down slightly so that they are really 3 7/8" across. Then I aligned the plots on the boards and stuck a tack through at each point of intersection. The small holes were connected with pencil lines that were then draw over with a green Sharpie. The Commands and Colors edge border and section dividers were then drawn on with a black sharpie. Here are a couple of photos of the finished board:

Not bad, I think, for a very minimal amount of money spent.

Here are also some photos of how I plan to arrange units for gameplay. The first is an eight stand barbarian warrior unit. Since in the game, this is a four block unit, two bases will be removed each time the unit takes a hit.

Being based on 40mm x 15mm bases as per heavy foot, this is an easy fit. I've also tried doing the same with an eight stand unit of barbarians based on 40mm x 20mm bases for use as medium infantry.

This seems a little tight, and I might instead just use four bases per unit as shown below:

Here is a three stand unit of Gallic medium cavalry:

 And one of Numidian skirmishers:

Finally, a unit of Roman heavy infantry:

Seems to me, this is the way Commands and Colors Ancients is meant to be played.

Now, I have to work out how to put together a larger board for Epic-sized games.


  1. Looks like an inexpensive way to get the size hexes you wanted, especially as you probably had the CAD program already.

    1. Having the CAD program is at least one of the few perks of trying to make a living as a consulting structural engineer :-)

  2. I agree with your assessment. This is the way CC:A was meant to be played!

  3. Cool looking board, looking forward to seeing you put it into action


  4. A dusting of matte finish spray to flatten the sheen and Bob's your uncle.

    1. Good point! I didn't think of that. I'll have to hit the board tonight with the matte spray. Thanks.

  5. Looking good! I use 4 bases for foot and three for cavalry, but if you have the figures you might want to go six and four, but still removing only one stand per casualty, so that it looks like you've got a unit there even when you're down to your last block. Mind you, it's easy to confuse people that way, so simpler may be better!