Amendments to V3?

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ChrisTofalos
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Amendments to V3?

Post by ChrisTofalos » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:47 pm

We've been playing with V3 long enough now to properly evaluate it. I think most players agree that this is the best version yet, with a quicker, more decisive gameplay. Unfortunately, as a successful rule set, FOG-AM is probably at its lowest level yet. It's clear from Tim Porter's recent end of year report that player numbers have dwindled to the extent that MeG now has more competitive players. FOG languishes at 6th out of 7 of the most popular rulesets, barely above DBM at the bottom. I've tried in the past to make suggestions to try and reverse the process. Suggestions like a handicap system, which works perfectly well at my club MAWS, have generally met with derision. I can't help wondering if anyone is bothered at all. Anyway, here are a few ideas to try and improve matters. Sadly, I suspect they'll meet with the usual apathy but, what the heck, here goes...

One of the appeals of ancients, surely the most popular wargaming era currently being played, is the tremendous number of different armies that can be fielded. Whilst Version 3 does give a better game, with heavy foot armies gaining in popularity, one once popular type has virtually disappeared. Cavalry lancer armies such as Bosporans and Sarmatians are rarely, if ever seen. It's similar with the Steppes terrain category they used to like fighting in. I think this may be down to the three dice on impact which, although contributing to the game's improvement, have made units of four bases of cavalry very vulnerable, especially as a base loss now gives an immediate minus one for 25% losses. Would it be such a drastic or dramatic change if horse mounted troops got a plus one on the death roll (as elephants) at impact? This might help and bring a popular troop type back into play.

As for the disappearing Steppes, the last time I started a game with Terry he suggested we dice for who was the invader. Invader? I don't think the word is mentioned anywhere in the rules. We used to dice for initiative, where a more competent general and superior numbers of mounted troops could give an army an advantage at deployment. This has NOTHING TO DO with who the invader is. Let's please bring back the terrain choice to any of the terrain types listed for BOTH armies. That, along with a little death roll boost for lancers, might reintroduce that missing variety.

Finally, a suggestion for army lists. Although we now have three excellent army list books there are some armies missing that were in the original set of books (my own Early Zhou Chinese being one). What about a fourth book along the lines of The Lost Scrolls? It could include some of the missing lists and maybe some revised ones. But please lets have it as a free PDF download! In fact, couldn't we now have ALL army list books available as free PDF downloads? Other sets, like the now most popular set ADLG, include all lists with the rule book, why can't we? Free army list books might just tempt some of those missing players to have another look...

Whatever happens FOG-AM is going to be around for a long time. There are going to be players who aren't going to change sets no matter what. But carry on as we have in the past and that pool of players is going to continue shrinking. It could be so much better...

berthier
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by berthier » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:35 am

I whole hearted agree with you on bringing back some of the old lists. I can think of several right off the cuff that I would like to see re-appear in an official form and I would think pdfs would be the most economical way of distribution even if they have a nominal charge.

I am not so sure that giving a boost to lancer/shooty cavalry armies at impact is a solution. I see players attempting to min and max their options in open tournaments and taking that list that maximizes their advantages. FOG works best in period which is why I prefer themed tournaments and campaigns.

The biggest issue I am encountering here in the US is the availability and cost of the rules. There is only one outlet in the US that sells the rules and I have found in the past it easier to order direct from Caliver but that has its own inherent cost (approx $200 US for all 4 books before shipping). The lack of availability at the end of V2 was a serious impediment to recruitment then. The difficulty in getting the books (and the cost) is preventing growth here in the US now.
Christopher Anders
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http://bloodsandsteel.blogspot.com

ChrisTofalos
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by ChrisTofalos » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:59 am

.The difficulty in getting the books (and the cost) is preventing growth here in the US now.
A great shame! I would have thought making the set available as a PDF would have been a smart move. Better to sell some at, say, a tenner than none in book form.

The world of FOG-AM really needs some positive action from its leadership.

grahambriggs
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by grahambriggs » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:50 pm

ChrisTofalos wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:59 am
.The difficulty in getting the books (and the cost) is preventing growth here in the US now.
A great shame! I would have thought making the set available as a PDF would have been a smart move. Better to sell some at, say, a tenner than none in book form.

The world of FOG-AM really needs some positive action from its leadership.
Making it easy to get the books outside of the UK should be a given. One of the fundamental challenges for the game in recent years is that the owners of the business don't play the game so do not directly see the issuesand opportunities.

ChrisTofalos
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by ChrisTofalos » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:38 pm

Making it easy to get the books outside of the UK should be a given.
Why not inside the UK, too? I recently bought a PDF copy of ADLG for just €5. Doing similar for FOG (and the army list books - which were included with ADLG) might just tempt some of the dozens and dozens of players we've lost to have another look.

Player levels for FOG-AM are at an all-time low. DRASTIC action is urgently required.

grahambriggs
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by grahambriggs » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:38 pm

ChrisTofalos wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:38 pm
Making it easy to get the books outside of the UK should be a given.
Why not inside the UK, too? I recently bought a PDF copy of ADLG for just €5. Doing similar for FOG (and the army list books - which were included with ADLG) might just tempt some of the dozens and dozens of players we've lost to have another look.

Player levels for FOG-AM are at an all-time low. DRASTIC action is urgently required.
Did you read my second sentence? That's why.

petedalby
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by petedalby » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:44 pm

I recently bought a PDF copy of ADLG for just €5.
I believe that is because the current version is out of print and a new version will be published later this year. I suspect the new version will cost rather more than a fiver.
Pete

ChrisTofalos
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Re: Amendments to V3?

Post by ChrisTofalos » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:11 pm

I am reliably informed that it's Slitherine who own the copyright to FOG-AM. A bit odd that a commercial company is responsible for the poor distribution of one of its products but that's the way it appears.

So what is the future for FOG and its many (or dwindling) number of players? Not exactly bright anyway! Could the copyright be bought out with some sort of Kickstarter appeal and then the rules and army list books distributed as free PDFs? Might be one way to improve matters. Any other ideas?

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