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!  

13 comments:

  1. indeed.

    That's why I mainly play another set of rules,called Art de la guerre. Though it's in French, it's about to be translated. It's a mix of DBM and FOG. We quite like it in France. in fact more than FOG I guess, and it's taking well at my London club too ;)

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    1. Good tip! I'll give this a try as soon as its published in English. Unless of course, you can send over a French woman with an interest in history to translate it for me. :-)

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  2. Although we're off FOG for a bit, my view is that it would be ridiculous to change the base sizes - and alienate all the players as a result (I hate rebasing figures as it usually means snapped legs and hours of effort).

    FOG is a good system but I always felt that the rule book was badly laid out - it meant constant flicking from one part to the other during a single combat.

    My own view is the simpler the rules, the better. I saw someone with the latest Warhammer 40K rule book and its the size of a small family car. Are you expetected to read and digest all of it?

    FOG is the same - lots and lots of pages but does an overcomplicated rule set make for a good game? I've found that relatively simple sets like PoW and DBA can create equally good battles.

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    1. I agree Phil that a big change to basing would be a disaster. My guess is that if there is a change, it'll be a choice of using 40mm by 15mm OR 40mm by 20mm for heavies. 40 x 15 is awfully tight so I wouldn't be opposed to this kind of change.

      And yes, the rules could REALLY be organized better. They could be simpler but that's probably utside the scope of a revision.

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  3. It does sound like I am glad I have let FOG pass me by.

    On Art de la Guerre, I have been really really waiting for that translation for over three years...it sound like my kind of game from what I can glean.

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    1. You're a patient man! What have you been playing for the last 3 years?

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  4. Monty, I think 'what hasn't Shaun been playing for the last three years' is the more appropriate question! ;-) Shaun is legendary for his game reports using different sets. His blog is essential reading for us ancients types :)

    Regarding FOG, I picked it up feeling very enthusiastic but put it down feeling the opposite. We got through one game but were so put off by not being able to find what we were looking for in the rule book that we stuck with BBDBA and Lost Battles. It's a shame, but maybe the second edition will be better in that sense.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  5. Hey Pru! I'm not sure I've seen Shaun's site and I'd love to take a look. Can you shoot me a link?

    BTW your use of CnC plus miniatures is brilliant! My friend Mark and I were talking about it just this weekend. I just recently realized that the CnC scenario website is good fodder for tabletop ancient battles. The theme for tonight, "I'm Monty and I'm a bit slow..."

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  6. LOL, with pleasure! Here's a good representative sample:

    http://shaun-wargaming-minis.blogspot.jp/2012/06/heraclea-replay-with-hordes-of-things.html

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  7. Thanks for the kind words Aaron. What I mostly played from 1997 until a few years ago was Armati (which is why Art de la Guerre is attractive as it seems to share some concepts). The best page on my blog to go to is the one that has links to all the reports and reviews:

    http://shaun-wargaming-minis.blogspot.com.au/p/links-to-reviews-and-callinicum-reports.html

    I have CnC Ancients but have not played it. I have looked at the scenarios online and they are really geared towards CnC, and are not readily convertable to other miniature rules. Perfect for CnC with minis though.

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    1. Wow, that is a list! And to think, our group played only one ruleset for the past 3 going on 4 years. I have a lot to read here! Thanks for the link back.

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  8. For what it's worth, FoG almost killed ancients at the THMG. It was a bit of a struggle to get things revived with impetus. I think if you can get someone to try it, you should be able to rope people in. The 25mm game JJM runs at our club (you can see some incidental pics at the blog) do a good job attracting people as well.

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    1. I know I'm roped in when it comes to Impetus. I do enjoy both rules for different reasons. FoG is Chess-like in its precision and control. Maurice and Impetus force you to react to events on the board, whether its a played card in Maurice or a unit going impetuous in Impetus! Great club website, BTW!

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