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Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, new opportunities

Our club has played Field of Glory Ancient & Medieval exclusively for a couple of years now.  I've been exploring some other interesting rules and projects and I've secure commitments from a few others to join me in a "test drive." Gaming is a social experience and I don't want to run off in a new direction only to find myself alone. In no particular order, here are my 2012 projects. Drum roll please...in the style of a military march!
Field of Glory Renaissance.  I got FoGR for Christmas in 2010 and only recently got around to reading it. I'm late to the party but I have to say it looks excellent!  The authors  build off of the feedback from Field of Glory Ancients to create an improved product.  I've discussed the rules at TMP and the praise so far is unanimous. Compared to FoG, players say that in FoGR:

*Shooting is more decisive as firearms and artillery to not suffer from the +2 for death roll checks.
*Units break from base loss more often than from morale checks.
*Overlap is less decisive with a maximum of one dice per overlap.
*Different rules for moving blocks of units/divisions makes the game move faster.
*Interesting combination units (Pike and Shot) plus double sized units like Keils and Tercios.

It appears many FoG players have migrated to the Renaissance era while the Ancients and Medieval rules get worked over in version 2. I'm currently painting artillery for my Later Ottoman Turks and I need to do the same for my Hungarians so we can demo the rules for the club.  If this goes well, I'll be painting up some Renaissance era armies. 
Gladiator rules:  I'd been looking for something ancients-related that could be played quickly before or after club matches when I came across positive reviews of  Red Sand Blue Sky - Heroes of the Arena. Gladiator matches can be played in as little as 10 minutes so this seemed to fit the ticket.  With rules in hand, I looked for some gladiators to paint and found the spectacular figures done by Crusader Miniatures.  To date, painting my 28mm gladiators has been slow because I haven't painted in this scale for three years.  I must also confess that when I was painting in 28mm years ago, I was painting orcs, goblins and dwarfs!  This old dog is having to learn a few new tricks and I'll post the results as I go along.

Another club member is ordering Warhammer Historical Gladiator rules.  We'll field test these rules side by side and pick the best between the two.    
Impetus:  My wife recently came up to me while I was painting and commented "I think you like painting your armies more than playing them."  Impetus appeals to the painter in me, especially with each unit sitting on a single base that's generally larger than what's used in other rules.  This allows the opportunity to make each unit a diorama of sorts. An added bonus is that each unit is represented by fewer figures.  An excellent example in 15mm is found here and an example of a phenomenal 28mm Impetus camp is here. I spend a great deal of time painting my  armies and it bothers me that much of my effort is squandered once the figures are squeezed shoulder to shoulder on small bases.  I really like the visual results of fewer figures on a larger base.  

Impetus is well-regarded and seems to be an interesting counterpoint to FoG as evidenced by this review by a FoG player.  That it can be played in two hours opens up  opportunities to get a game in when I don't have time for a full FoG match.  I know some gamers love to argue and debate who's better, who's best in the world of rules.  I know that debates about rules can descend into a blood sport.  Despite the obvious hazards, I'm going to see if these two rulesets can peacefully coexist on a shelf in my house. It's only January 1st but already, it looks like 2012 may be a year of living dangerously!