19 April 2009

All Quiet... Painting & FoG

A bit quiet here. Been painting away but nothing to show for it just yet. I've been doing a bit of commission painting plus a "secret figure exchange" thing at Warhammer-Empire, so I haven't really worked on anything for myself. I assembled & primed some figures while waiting for paint to dry. That's about the extent of it. ;)

Friday night I played my second game of Field of Glory. I had late Republican Romans, my opponent had Indians.

This time we used the terrain rules from the book, and my first impression of them is that they are typical of the rest of the rules: too heavy on rules, charts and dice rolls. It seemed way too involved to me, but I'm guessing it's aimed at a more competitive/tournament environment. The end result seemed to place too much terrain on the table, as well. I even chose two "open" options for terrain. I was lucky in the terrain "deployment" though, and a lot of it ended up in our deployment areas (especially my opponent's.)

After playing two games now, I'm picking up on a few things. Light cavalry, for example, seem useless for anything but pinning other troops in place while avoiding contact entirely. Roman legion seem to be a cruise missile troop type. Spanish Scutarii aren't too bad, either. I must have been outnumbered at lease 1.5:1. I was concerned about getting flanked ans so went ahead and weighted one side, while trying to stall on the other side to prevent my opponent from hitting me. In hindsight I should have thrown all tactics aside, moved forward in a big line and blasted through the Indians (regardless of troop type I would be facing) and simply cause overwhelming casualties before the flanks could be turned. Instead I tried all manner of stupid manuver, and still blasted through anything they contacted.

The rest of the guys playing said it was a bad match up, which I understand. But something still didn't seem right with the game. By the end, I was getting the hang of the pages of charts, modifiers, etc. and didn't need to look at them half the time. But I still think the game is a bit clumsy. Ar maybe, at best, it simply "lacks gracefulness."

On the other hand, I'd still like to give it another try. If nothing else, FoG has got me in the mood for big battle type games again. As enjoyable as WAB is as a bit more of a "beer & pretzles game" (in my opinion*), I'd like to play something that feels more like a large battle.

Along those lines, I also picked up a copy of Warmaster Ancients. I won a copy of their Warmaster Medieval suppliment at Cold Wars, so figured I should pick up the core book. I've played the original fantasy version of the game, which I enjoyed, and the historical version seems to have cleared up some of the spots I had a problem with. However I have not tried it yet, and there are new rules thrown into the mix, so I'd have to play a few games before knowing whether I'll like it or not.

* OK, maybe not the best term. But it's sometimes hard to take WAB seriously, especially at 2000 points or less. Once you have larger games it does start to look and feel more like a big battle. At lower point levels, small scale gimmicks or a bad roll of the dice can determine the outcome of the game. The flow of battle seems really fragmented. Like you've got a half dozen tiny, fairly manuverable pieces, and that's it. This isn't to say I dislike WAB. I enjoy it for what it is. (And it's also a good excuse to play the scale of all right thinking people: 25/28mm.)


  1. Tom,whats funny is that everything that you have said is how I have felt about Warhammer for some time.I really dont enjoy playing it. I will hold on to the Warhammer English Civil for now though,as the thought of rebasing is not an appealing one. So far as FOG is concerned,I try to think of it as a very hyperactive DBA,and then I feel better about it.

  2. I guess I've just been playing some form of warhammer or another for so long (20+ years?!?) that I don't have to think about the mechanics. I also feel they've been simplifies from the older fantasy rules, which has helped streamline them.

    However, as I said, it's hard to take them serious, by which I mean there are a lot of integral quirks.

    Given the choice (and space), my ideal would be to play a fairly smooth running "battle" game in 25's.

    Like I said (both on here and at the game), I'd like to get some more FoG under my belt. Maybe some of the "clunkiness" will just become second nature and I won't notice it.

    I *do* like some of the mechanics. I like the "edge of the board" penalty, and the simple manner in which you can pin units in place (now that I know that trick.) Also, I think I've got a better grasp on how to hit someone on the flank -- I think that got a bit confused in that game at Cold Wars. (At least the way Wayne clarified it for me.)

    Hell, all those quality modifiers in DBM seemed impossible to remember in-game, but eventually it became second nature and I enjoyed the game. But that's why I say I'll give any set of rules more than a few games to grow on me. FoG might just do that eventually. ;)

  3. I have been a player of Warhammer for many years too, and also of DBx variants up to DBMM.

    Having played a good few battles now of FoG I will also agree there is something not quite working there for me, I think it boils down to the issue you had with the romans, shock infantry wins, no tactics required, it also didnt seem as intuative to me as either WFB or DBMM

    as for scale...15mm all the way - apart from Napoleonics when its 6mm :D