Sunday, July 8, 2012

Field of Glory 2-which way forward?

Field of Glory was first published in 2008 and by the fall of 2010, the authors started collecting feedback for version 2. It's been rumored the update would be published this summer but there's no official announcement on their website.  In the meantime, the FoG forum is rife with speculation. There was an post heralding a big announcement coming in June, which has since slipped to July.  The player base is restless and getting more anxious by the week. They want to know if there'll be changes to the basing system.  They want to know what the significant changes are before painting up new troops.  Rumor has it that Romans might not be quite so powerful and/or that barbarian armies might be a bit more powerful.  It's also said that Light Horse won't be quite so good in version 2.  Until the update goes to print, all this uncertainty fuels speculation and spirited debate over the merits of the changes the authors might make. 

4 years on, some of the FoG regulars have moved to other systems and eras. Others, like Madaxeman, (the fellow who maintains the excellent FoG wikis) left FoG Ancients for FoG Renaissance on the grounds that it's a superior system.  When  version 2 is published, some will undoubtedly be disappointed to see their favorite army, troop type or style of play negatively impacted and quit the rules entirely. Others will continue to use the original rules. Those who purchase version 2 will determine the success or failure of the revision by putting it to use (or not) on the tabletop.  Unfortunately, the publishing of the revision will likely continue the winnowing process that is currently under way.

I think our local gaming group, Twin Cities Field of Glory, illustrates the challenge.  Our group has been around since 2009 and as our title hints, FoG is the only rules we play. Our events are held in a public venue in hopes that we can turn some of the lookers into players.  Also, we announce our events in an email blast to a local Yahoo miniatures group. In the last year, we failed to recruit a single new member and worse, three members drifted off.  Interest in our FoG ReCon event hit an all-time low this spring when we couldn't agree on what we were doing until a week before the event.  Members complained that a three game tournament was too tiring so we dialed it back to two 600 point game.  Proving that you can't please everyone, the 600 point format went over very well with everyone except one player who railed against it before, during and after the event. Sigh.  

After ReCon, I tried to jumpstart our moribund club by proposing league play, 600 point double matches and a FoG Renaissance demo. I also suggested we open up our club to non-FoG gaming.  Four months later, not one of my suggestions has come to fruition and our club is closer than ever to extinction. Like the Righteous Brothers sang, "You've lost that loving feeling."  Can the authors bring it back with version 2? I surely hope so but in the meantime, I've decided to start seeing other people, I mean, playing other rules.  

Hell yes, you can join our club!